W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
Varied sources, October 7-8, 2001
THE PRINCE OF LIFE AND THE LIGHT THAT IS
THE BLACK SEA AND DARKNESS
On Sunday, from memory, October 7, one heard on varied news reports of a Russian air-liner which had been destroyed over the Black Sea, with the loss of all passengers, these being mainly Israeli. Later a view was voiced that it conceivably was a stray missile from Russian forces, in their practice manoeuvres, which being long range, had attached itself gratuitously to the doomed air-liner. Later still, on Monday, it appeared that a US authority was of the view that in fact it was such a missile.
The concept then appeared that such manoeuvres at such a place would be 'foolish'.
Perhaps so! All of these things, perhaps subject to dispute, but with increasing attestation in this direction, along with material evidence, it appears, of an explosive event, a sudden one moreover: to what do they point ? Even if it were terrorist, and even if it were a combination as earlier suggested, of a terrorist act and a Russian 'error' contrived by some dissident or Arab-aligned person or member of the personnel, or any other unsavoury scenario: it still brings home one message. The human heart, without Christ, is capable of almost anything.
It is capable, merely for example, of conceiving by devious means, using a sleeper (for these can occur in places outside the USA!), a plant, a person chameleon-like, for long deliberately imitating a normal person in order to abuse power and misuse responsibilities and inflict indiscriminate damage on others at some apt-seeming moment: and so having a subtle objective. This ? It COULD be to destablise Israel yet further, to increase suspicion amongst allies, to simply kill a predominantly Israeli passenger list, to make people in general, especially in Israel, more afraid, and readier to come to any negotiating table that may 'arise', to lead in general to more negotiations (yet more) so that more land (yet more) could be taken from a residual Israel (yet less). It could be part of a series planned, as in the US.
It might not; but the coincidence is to say the least, exceedingly strong, and the 'error' if such it were, for a Russian long-range missile to be left carelessly around in the air, as if one might 'forget' airliners and that kind of thing in terms of one's professional preoccupations, and just happen to invent such an omission at this time, it is conspicuously noteworthy!
The human heart, in terms of terrorist action whether in Ireland, in Israel where it is an almost daily occurrence to kill, with FOREIGN powers FUNDING and FIGHTING with words, declaring the desirability of the extinction of Israel, helping a dissident minority; or in the USA, against its shipping earlier, as against its embassies: whichever and whatever its place and precise function, it is not pleasant to regard. Things not different in kind, however, can be seen for example in government offices, where someone in power irresponsibly uses it to disturb the career of another, by slander and spreading mischievous nonsense, to foul a business, in devious ways, in the dark, back-stabbing and spreading false data to the detriment of some target person. Why ? Perhaps in order to secure the career of the critic who discerns that the target person may destabilise a meteoric rise, by exposing a weakness ... and so must GO!
Devious intrigue, with
integrity at a minimum, courage low, daring high, or using suicidal persons,
like the 19 year-old profiled in one magazine, who IN ANY CASE appeared to find
life not worth living and find a 'glory' resolution in death a good thing:
these things do not need terrorist examples to expose them. Such however DO
undoubtedly highlight the condition of the human heart. With some it is mere
pride, an insistence on appearing great, or competent, noteworthy, by wealth,
by tongue, but position, by influence. With others, it is manipulation which
appeals, as perhaps with Lenin, exposed in the Kremlin openings of Gorbachev,
as perhaps the least Communist of them all.
THE EVENING LONG AFTER EDEN
tolerance and derogation
has all this folly arisen ? In
If so, then it is friend of what indubitably accepts the Koran (in its formulations at least). THIS equally indubitably REJECTS CHRIST as the Son of God, does not receive His ransoming death, does not position Him as redeemer, has Him eclipsed, who is the word of God, by someone who has NO power to do or say what no other man could or did, but is merely supposedly appointed His successor in a line of prophets, and His overcomer.
In this, it categorically
REJECTS not only the divine Redeemer, but the Son of God, and further, rejects
this that the church is "the fulness of Him who fills all in all" (Ephesians ). It summarily dispenses in terms
of a raider of property and invader of territories, this, "that in the
dispensation of the fulness of the times, He might gather together in one all
things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in
And the "might" is simply part of the construction, not in the least an expression of doubt, for it is stating this in Ephesians 1:3ff: The Father has chosen the believers in Christ, before the world was founded, and has predestinated them to adoption BY Christ, giving them acceptance in His own beloved Son, in whom is redemption by His blood, abundant forgiveness by grace. This is from His own internal, divine purpose, which means that when the time came, ALL THINGS should find their unity and meaning in CHRIST JESUS. This includes things both on earth and in heaven.
THAT is its teaching.
Thus in Ephesians 3:21, we find that there is to be to God "glory in the church BY CHRIST JESUS to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." In Colossians 1:19ff., we find that the Father resolved that in Christ ALL FULNESS should live, for He had life in Himself (Hebrews 7:16), and having made peace through His blood on the cross, to RECONCILE ALL THINGS, on earth, in heaven, ALL, to HIMSELF.
This follows from where we learn that He is the image of the invisible God (as in Hebrews 1, the definitive image), with priority over all creation since HE IS ITS CREATOR. That is the teaching of the Bible.
Now let us be realistic, at least for a moment. IF the Creator is in priority as man BECAUSE HE MADE MAN, what on earth is this about some one man who is self-admitted a sinner, Muhammad, supplanting this Christ! Does the finite overthrow the infinite ?
Does the impact of eternity in time, alone in history, yield to another man unannounced in the divine word, unproductive of uniqueness and practical attestation by irresistible feats and works, as appointed in advance ? and so does such a one replace Him who came like a Cruise missile to earth according to pre-stated plan, One who came for good, and not for evil, help not death to His foes, One whom nobody could ever overturn in confrontation, so leading to His predicted murder, One whom nobody could ever or even now answer, in terms of His word, as this site for one is showing ? Does the temporal replace the eternal ? Does the non-redeemer oust the redeemer appointed for all generations! (Cf. SMR Chs. 5-6, 9, Appendix C, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Biblical Blessings Appendix IV., Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix IV .)
If so, then as surely as light follows darkness in dawn, so darkness will follow the presumption in so congratulating the repeated works of violence, not only in the Koran and its statements, but outside it in history, in defiance of the work and word of Jesus Christ. Small wonder you are forbidden to be aligned with unbelievers (II Cor. ) in Jesus the Christ, and the State is thus EXPLICITLY derogating the Christian faith by such actions, the work of Christ by such statements as these we have cited. Is this its task ? Obviously not. It is not so elected. It is not purveyor and assayer of religion which is its voted sovereign power!
The catastrophic collision
of the Muslim assault on Christ, several centuries after Him with no objective
ground and against all grounds, simply constitutes Muhammad a false prophet,
such as Christ predicted would be numerous. For a President of the USA to call
the teaching of the Muslim belief structure GOOD, the teachings are good ... it
is a derogation of Christ, a sacrifice of truth, an assault on the twin towers
of the mercy and gospel of Christ, saying that what sails in its airliners of
the past 14 centuries right into this Christ and into His Gospel, it is GOOD!
Is this what the
Is the simple fact that one does not attribute to all Moslem people a desire for bloodthirsty terrorism, to have to be stated in this approbative reference to their religion, an explicit and outrageous enemy of Christ ?
Is what nearly conquered
Is the rabid insistence on NO FREEDOM of worship, the long record of intense persecution in MANY countries with Islam background, of Christians, deprivation of life, peace or property, to be called GOOD, or a mere excrescence, though it has been an epidemic to the point that tolerance is uneasy, and freedom almost unknown! Are the imperious injunctions against 'unbelievers' to be found in the Koran (e.g. Surahs 3:148, 160, 4:76, 8:36-41, 9:5, 9:27-31, 9:77-46, 47:3-10, 48:22 cited for example in Lord of Life Ch. 3, cf. SMR p. 91), to be termed good ? Are people who follow them to be called non-Islamic ? And even if they are, are these injunctions of the Koran to be blandly looked at, the head scratched, and the history, ignored, the policies of many nations bypassed, and is one then to say, they are not really there, are they! Is this then GOOD! Is it inflammatory to be factual ? Is it unpeaceable to be able to read ?
IF what is meant is this: that the religion contains some good moral points, as well as rejection of Jesus Christ, or the elevation in various places of force into the realm of faith in a way intolerable both in principle and practice, why is this factual matter not declared, instead of this overall approbative affirmation concerning this religion! One does not NEED in such a governmental case, to attack Muslims, any more than one believes in attacking Roman Catholics on the triple idolatry (cf. A Question of Gifts Section VI, cf. SMR pp. 1032-188H ). One should DO GOOD TO ALL MEN: THAT is what the Bible teaches. But it is quite another thing to give formal APPROBATION to this violent religion. One can be kind to its practitioners; it is quite another matter to approve their form of faith.
MANY people have good sides, but steal only when they feel the need acutely, or murder on exceptional provocation. So with religion. It is not good which thrusts out Christ against all reason, and invents a correspondence with the prophets of Israel while contradicting them utterly and absolutely, in principle, in depth and in the very nature of salvation (cf. SMR 1080ff., 50-71, 830ff., 988ff. ). If Christ is ANYTHING, if logic means ANYTHING, then it is bad, precisely what Christ warned about in terms of false prophets. It is first of all anti-Christian.
Yet if a leader does not wish to move into the realm of RELIGION as a STATE, then a simple statement: We mean good to Muslim as to Buddhist, to Christian as to atheist. It is not the purpose of this State to persecute or discriminate in our efforts for the welfare of our people," this would be enough.
The reassurance may be needed. The statement about a FAITH is not.
It is a betrayal of Christ, nothing less, a confirmation of the propriety of assault on Him and thus on His ways, which include goodwill to all, good works to all, love of one's enemies and never using force in matters of faith (John 18:36). So this is good, and the exact contrary is good as well! Are we in Alice through the Looking Glass now, then, in order to bolster a coalition and secure the land from terrorism! Is it not yet realised that the fact is very different.
What did Christ say ?
This is the clean fear, which has reverence not for man but for GOD (Psalm 19), because He IS good and to offend Him is to offend goodness, and afflict mercy!
THIS however is not what one is here seeing. There appears here, instead, to be fear of man or his feelings, or the loss of his help; but such is misdirected.
This may be intended to be kindness, in part; but it is misaligned. There is loyalty, but it is NOT FIRST TO CHRIST. This is ABSOLUTELY INDISPUTABLE regarding the US government. If Australia follows in official stockinged feet to some Mosque, the case is not as bad, but it is tendentious, to go where the Name of Christ is abused, His post is degraded, His function is denied, His kingdom is displaced, His truth is rejected, to go via ONE body AS a government official, with ONE religion in this way. To do so, on behalf of the nation is to insult the Christians, play truant with loyalty and to put affairs of State into a specific religious box, where they do not fit.
It is better to be CHRISTIAN in oneself, if this is the case, and NEVER in ANYTHING in word or deed do ANYTHING AT ALL which is not in the name of Christ. Why ? It is because it is written, that is why (Colossians 3:17). It is also what is known as trustworthiness and faithfulness to Him in whom one states that one believes, that is why.
Is the State then to take priority over one's duties in life, priority over CHRIST ? THIS IS STATISM. If Australia follows the US, even in part, in this folly, in this degradation of Christ, in this assumption that it is being TOLERANT, to betray the command of Christ, His dignity and His truth, if the thing be done by professing Christian, or to so insult the Christians by such gratuitous evaluations, if it is not, what then ? Will it in the name of the State proceed to state, imply or declare that a religion at war with Christ, is worthy of respect, or religious approbation of any kind, rather than recognise that such a State action is TREACHEROUS and PRESUMPTUOUS, demeaning to those who are Christian and to the Christ Himself! Let it be so; but if so, then alas for our land!
If further the religion should even here be stated to be 'good', that would bring on the full horror of Statism, betrayal, treachery and pragmatism.
There are emphatically NOT just two options. It is NOT true that you either persecute, misunderstand or mischievously derogate in your land, people of a particular religion, or ELSE affirm that their religion is good and to be admired. It is NOT such a dilemma which we face. You can instead declare that full tolerance of religion is permitted in this land and that no discrimination is practised against the freedom of worship in this land, nor is any action contemplated against some in this land, because others who name the same faith are acting with massive, bloodthirsty, evil terrorism.
You could state that you wish to show a leadership of self-control, and that there is no assumption of any guilt in such things towards the population who are of this religion. You would need, as in any other world dominion type enterprise as shown such in history, with its agenda not unclear in its book, NOT to endorse its teachings; you merely signify your intentions of fair-minded, even-handed treatment to all. You might add, to one and to all, that violence to people's persons or property in the name of religion is EQUALLY and absolutely forbidden in this country, is a criminal act, and that while free speech is utterly preserved, it is not free to ask others to physically attack others.
No Einstein would be needed
to work this out; no Socrates to think it; no Demosthenes to proclaim it. It is
simply showing goodwill without being entangled where you are not commissioned
THE DILEMMA WHICH IS MERELY SPECIOUS
It is not, then, hard to do so. It is not necessary to pretend there is a dilemma when a school child could see that this is not so. It is of course not intellectual capacity but rather in all probability in terms of the history of human relations, the thrust of motive and counter-motive, policy and polity, need and desire which can make such things even conceivable!
IF however the State should take this step of congratulating one of the prolonged enemies of Christ and freedom, in this format, at the religious level, then so far from the land becoming multi-cultural, as wishing to be kindly to all, it is becoming in servitude to approbation of positive evil, often practised, clearly written. Certainly, one is in favour of every self-restraint in such matters. One need not in the least assume that any particular religionist means to do what his book declares. One can imagine that many are not clear, are confused, are traditionalistically involved and have not thought it out, are following some religious culture which implicitly subordinates such things and so on. This is tolerant and tolerance to the errors of others can be fine, so long as you do not ENDORSE the errors, or the book or the religion but merely TOLERATE IT and seek to do good to those like others, who hold to this or that.
In other words, if the STATE dares so to demean the name of Christ as to call His utter enemy in a false prophet, a GOOD teaching vehicle, then it is approachng a state of war with Christ. Now in mitigation, it is true that only one official may be involved; that would limit the matter, but that ONE OFFICIAL would either be condemned, if he took such action, by parliament or not. If not, then parliament, if the action were very public on the part of the official, and the official were very highly placed, would itself become guilty, as it was in the USA case for failing to rebuke President Clinton even though the legal authority subsequently on the ground in view at the time, refused him liberty to practice law as a penalty, according to report.
One is to hope that Australia will avoid such extreme and confused action. To be sure, the whole nation may not mean to be at war with Christ because a high official (if such should happen) in any way ENDORSES the Muslim religion, states or implies that it is good: but if the leader does it, and the Parliament accepts this, then the nation is implicated.
Some, like the present author, may protest, and others agree with these; and when one condemns what the Government does, then at least one is not implicated in its action. But the land is compromised. It is most unwise to play with Christ. It is most foolish to act as if He were a value system or an option, when He is Lord. You CAN do it; it is common. So is the result. It is not a mere matter of suffering overt catastrophe, though this could certainly result. It is the daring of a country which owes Christ, in law, in liberty, in heart, in faith, so much, to demean Him by implication in asking for troubles of the most eminent category.
Nor is it merely
retribution that may come, though in the long run, Sow the wind and reap the
whirlwind is a principle that does not cease to operate on a seasonal basis!
(cf. Hosea 8:7). For many things, the retribution lies within, for compromising
quality, invading morality and demeaning righteousness. A Proverbs 1:31 puts,
they shall eat the fruit of their own doings, be filled with their own fancies.
Such action tends to season dead meat with swamp water, to mix purity and
folly, to attenuate divine significance and to call good evil, evil good. Of
this, what does the Bible say (Isaiah 5:20-21):
This: "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil,
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness,
Who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight."
Is one prudent then to make peace with error, to call good what is anti-Christian, what oppresses Christians and has done for centuries in many lands, routinely, even when it has not launched endless wars ? It is prudent for the love of this world, but not for the next; it is prudent for serving the creature, creation, but not for serving Christ (as in Romans 1:17ff.). It is an appalling atrocity to even DARE to DEMEAN the Lord by such talk (see meta-religion, Lord of Life Ch. 8, and cf. SMR pp. 422Q*1).
Others do not have to worship as Christians, but when the STATE ends by calling good some body which is their utter enemy (to whom as Christians one must show LOVE! as in the Sermon on the Mount from the lips of Christ, not servility or approbation), this for the dominating religion which itself demands submission, then that State is first of all coming to be at war with Christ, then with His people!
They are taught to take it patiently, very well. But the State is asking for trouble by troubling the truth when it is not elected so to act on the part of all! Is it elected to act like some pope adjudicating in the realm of religion ? Quite the contrary, it is to do NOTHING to establish a religion.
To declare all religions equal IS to do something to establish a religion, and it is an exercise in unscholarly presumption hard to equal. This is merely another possibility, but it is one which often lies at the base of the outrages committed towards one religion on the part of a State official, elected to represent all in matters GRANTED, NOT in those exempted! Would it be CONSTITUTIONAL indeed to start, implicitly or explicitly, adjudicating in the area of religion ! It would not appear so. In either event it is yet to embrace what debars the claims of Christ in the Bible, and does so utterly and emphatically. So to act without warrant, however, this is treason to truth and assault on the Bible, doubly horrific if perpetrated by a Christian.
What then of the Christian in particular ? Bearing with another's error is one thing; doing good to another in error is one thing; showing grace and kindness to one who does evil to the things that matter most, this is one thing: to call what the religion of that person or body is doing GOOD, or to imply it: this is something else. This is denying the stark authority of Him in whose name you are ostensibly acting.
One must hope that this nation will not so offend the word of God, the witness of its Christians, the place of Christ, the truth of His reailty, in needless and servile haste, as if to embrace with kindness is the same as embracing what is evil along with it. It is not for government to attest the authenticity or acceptability of a faith as good, or sound. Who gave it such sanction ? ALL its voters ? ALL who endorsed its platform ? ALL who have a constitution of a very different kind for their land, a land which REFUSES the State intrusive power in this way ?
So to act, it IS to help a religion, to acknowledge it as sound. It DOES tend to establish it. WHAT power in the constitution grants by LAW or WORD the power to adjudicate in religion ? Tolerance is not the same as agnosticism, and a nation which allows different forms of worship so long as they do not do violence to the persons or property of others, is not the same as one which IN THE NAME OF THE STATE declares that they are all good, or to be revered, or honoured or respected! Does a doctor respect the life of a thug when he treats his wounds ? Does he decide who is a thug by some ethical equation ? Or does he attend to his medicine and do good ? Does a politician become a god to evaluate ? Does he have an innate ability without reason or warrant, to declare ? Does goodwill equate with positive finding ? Or is the goodwill the thing to be practised and the evaluation, in PUBLIC, left where the constitution leaves it ?
Is culture then king ? and if culture says, All is good! is that then good and true and right and to be applied in politics ? By what authority! If culture says all is good, who says that the culture which says so is good ? Is reasoning in a circle a cause of the delirium or a result in such a case ? Whichever, the merry-go-round does not lead to clarity, and charity is not the same as erecting State power to determine what is the case with individual religions.
This sort of political action, then, seen in the US, and in danger of happening here, is a presumptuous parody of tolerance, which is intolerant of the truth by gratuitously endorsing what is not made to stand by reason, but by the authority of the State! It compromises some of its citizens for the sake of others. The citizens did not authorise this.
They do not elect a government to be an adjudicator of religions, a priest, a pope, a place and arbiter of all things. Their land gives freedom, not endorsement. If however this land, soon, like the USA already, proceeds along this path (and see precursors in Lead us Not into Educational Temptation! and That Magnificent Rock Ch. 8), then it merely adds to the momentous and predicted momentum towards that one religious hypnotic hallucination which is the precursor of the coming of Christ, in its setting (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and SMR pp. 683-707). Such a thing has to come, but woe to the ways in which it comes! It is sad, even grievous and one wishes well to one’s country, seeking not evil but good for its condition…
In our next Chapter, we shall look at Romans 5 to see the seat of the trouble, the radical and long-presented solution and the fact that this is channeled in entirety from Christ, and its power proceeds effectually only from Him. When He is derogated, life is degraded. Where He is taken as Redeemer, Creator and King, then the place being incomparably filled, the results are rigorously found. It is all one: in this world, you follow it and its ways, in the prince of darkness, and do what he finds acceptable in his lowest common denominator religion, which that prince lowers in contempt at the call of cowardice, convenience or desire; or else you follow Christ, who does not DESIRE this world, but only its people.
is He who says of the prince of this world, HE HAS NO PART IN ME! NO MAN can
serve two masters, said Christ, for "either he will love the one and hate the
other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other." Applied to money, it is
nevertheless a generic outside it.
It seems best to present this section of SMR here for immediate reference. In addition, the following note is provided, as it is useful in alerting the reader - and this is a BOOK of alerts - to the objectivity of God, and hence the perilous presumption in patronising Him, whether for State or self, spiritual or political convenience, with condescending words about religions. With God, there is no room for tolerance. You have Him or not. The place for tolerance is to others for your OWN part, not in prostituting the glory of God to the habits of subjectivity, which presuppositionally commences with virtual, if not actual, agnosticism. If that is the lie, take the consequences. If not, then, do not act on it. It is false, and like all false things and spurious, presents to you the cutting edge of reality.
CULTURE, SUPRA-CULTURE AND SUPERNATURAL:
A Grave-Diggers' Fiasco
Among the blind grave-diggers is "culture". Indeed this agent can act with more initiative than that, even to the point of preparing for burial! In this role, it might be called -
Culture has sometimes been given a sort of religious signification, as if the mere mention of this vocable, the mere writing of this word-symbol in some way rubbed out almighty God. Actually, in some of the many books written, the term 'culture' is merely a satisfying symbol of satanic spiritual power, allowing all manner of enormities to masquerade as the truth.
As shown in this trilogy, God is, is the omnipotent, is sovereign, is not in the least interested in learning His ways from His creatures - "Who, being His counsellor has taught Him!" says His word, at Isaiah 40:11-14. On the typical, topical social studies culture, however, the opposite is affirmed in this relationship. There MAN is (planning) to continue, and has no interest whatsoever in learning his ways from any creator or other being, real, imagined, hypothetical, sincere or hypocritical.
On the latter approach, commonly called humanism (q.v. - "measuring themselves by themselves, they are not wise" - II Corinthians 10:12, as Paul puts it), the deliriously satanic pomposity of it all has God (in all His ways) relegated to a human side-show, an epiphenomenon of man, if you will (ridiculous as such a concept4, upon analysis certainly is found to be). The 'argument' for such a position, in essence, in outline, is this; MAN has manners, clothes, religions and all that; God is part of the religion side of things. It is something man wears... and makes. More sophisticated versions may make it a libido expression over time, and so forth; but the case is essentially still the same. Divine existence is contingent on man, this devout scenario affirms.
It is quite common for such an approach to be logically without any stated ground. It is all assumption. Perhaps one good reason for such an approach is one Hitler seemed to know almost instinctively:
a) if it is too amazing, just thrust it out upon the people fearlessly; and
b) always be sure to weave and to interweave it everywhere you can. Another reason for it is this: it presupposes what is demonstrably wrong, so is best not made to rest upon reason, which, as shown earlier, disengages from and disowns the humanist preconception and misconception altogether.
What is Culture ?
What then is culture ? It does have a place. It can be defined in such a way as not to be a sort of bibulous, and implicitly, anti-Biblical oration. (See Logical Positivism.) Culture, in a descriptive and non-prescriptive format, is this: What people tend to do and say and think, and how they tend to behave and speak and express themselves, in a given place, nation, race or station. Since people vary enormously, even within the same race, in their morals, manners, loves and distresses, religion, acts and attitudes, culture needs to be defined with modest realism rather than philosophic and arrant presumption.
In any given people, it becomes this: that combination of concepts, manners, modes, customs, beliefs and exercises of diverse human powers, which while it may have political outcomes from time to time, in this or that overall direction, is yet heterogeneous, with spiritual and mental cleavages that may be total, irreconcilable and only sometimes clearly perceived.
Where is Unity ?
On humanist basis, 'culture' is often subjected to a philosophic preconception of some underlying essential unity; and in terms of military dangers or defence, it may be given thrust into some such unity. Unity however is neither assured nor necessarily desirable, for a given set of sub-groups in a society, for their ideologies, values or pursuits. Some may be right; some wrong; some distorted, some possessed of a distorting dynamic, some careering to ruin, some in stages somewhat past even that!
Abraham perceived the culture of Sodom, but shared neither its performance nor its destiny. To Jesus in Jewry, the same applies in the first century A.D.. Many transcend their cultural trends mentally; and in many, through supra-cultural origins in Jesus Christ, comes the power and the perception by which they transcend them spiritually.
The very concept of culture-as-unity pre-supposes man as the ultimate, and disposes matters of great diversity or even irreconcilable contrariety as one, in the blind interests of philosophy, and in particular, of her spawn: religious pretension masquerading as scholarship. God of course is in fact as supra-cultural as the heavens are above the earth - "My thoughts are not as your thoughts!" He says - Isaiah 55:8-11. Those who are His have an environment and heredity of the Creator's direction, association and disposition (Ephesians 1) - one which is far removed from what the creature may derive from within its own ways, which are frequently in active divorce, derogation or distancing from God.
Not only is this so, but through the everlasting grace of God, His people have His own diction, His words. As a master violinist can use the simple strings that others ply with comparative 'pain', so God is abundantly able to teach what He wills through language: amplifying, refining and indeed creating a whole series of mutually related definitions, conditions, super-imposed 'harmonies' of intelligibility, until an environment of connotative, comprehensible diction is present. So He speaks, and so the word of God to mankind is declared. That, as demonstrated earlier, is the Bible.
Thus the Bible is a supra-cultural implement sui generis. Over millenia by many agents, it was provided with so intense a relay system of meanings and message, that it resembles in ways both astonishing and refined, the work of one author through different offices. This it does not only in its matter, but in the connotative complex which is so individual to God.
Naturally this is, while a prodigy, also an exercise in proportion. Man himself is partly programmed, partly free product of God; and his proclivities of speech and comprehension have been, at the first, moulded by God. Any difficulty (apart from deterioration through man's misuse of man) lies therefore not in the very concept of divine communication to the creature called man; but in the divesting of digressions from truth, the removal of rubbish from the presuppositions, assumptions and avenues of thought. Like a giant dredging operation, it can be done. The harbour is for ships and the ships lie well in harbour; it is just a matter of cleaning it up.
Resolution of Unity
What then is the actual unity ? Fumbled for in cultures, lusted for in States, sought in the irrationalities of existential confusion, it is in fact that of design derived from deity, one which in its full complement has will. And will ? This can mock sin, deride the deity who made it, guffaw at the design under which it operates without licence, only to inherit thought which distorts and folly which fractures.
Structurally, then, the unity so missought and mistaught, is one of design; but it is also (potentially) that of the love of the Redeemer, who restores the heart. Nor is He dumb, though few there be who listen; and many deaf become cynics in the traumatic sadness of the actual fact, that without the Redeemer, unity in this race is no more. It is as well for this race that God has in the person of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, provided a salvage operation called salvation. Its relevance is as broad as the race, and as narrow, in the end, as those who receive Him in reality and in truth (John 1:12-14, 3:16-21).
The Majesty of Communication
When, accordingly, the majestic communication of the everlasting God comes into harbour, there is just that combination of wonders that attest it: its coherence of contour, its clarity and challenge in concert, and the wonder of its performance. Never does that communication clash in form or force, from one century to another, over the 1500 years of its composition, or the 2000 years since its completion, as events unfold to confirm it, apply it and to verify its witness. The system of thought, the system of speech, the profundity of understanding; it is communicable to man as God desires. Its draught is deep; its structure is clear.
The ship of divine communication comes to the harbour - to use our image, as God dredged it in the first place. It comes as a cosmos of its own - sent from afar, now near at hand. Its motion is beautiful. It is of magnificent strength and everlasting stability.
Thus neither is there any question of incomprehensibility - except through the ever-attendant churning of sin; nor, on the other hand, is there anything of a captive communication, fashioned by human culture into impurity or ineffectiveness. It is all within the scope of the mankind God made. The adjustments needed to walk, work and wonder within this sublime, divine communication relate in that other wonder - called 'man': to his degree of freedom.
That however is an entirely separate wonder (see Appendix B, pp. 1113ff., infra on WILL), and it has its own divine mode of dealing and disposition, so that neither is force offered to the will of any creature, in the scope of salvation, nor is inability through sin a detainment centre for the will of God.
The form and the function of the mankind God made, do not in the slightest degree remove man's responsiblity or God's ability to confront the race, or any individual within it. On the contrary, these create it! In our days of little human wonders, as mankind increases in knowledge just as Daniel predicted, there is this enduring divine wonder: God has bundled up the history of man before it happened, and discovered it to the race by means of the text of the Bible, informing it what He has in mind.
In that sense only, the twentieth century is the century of vision; what the many rejected may nevertheless... be inspected. God has done, as He will do: just what He said - and He has done it multi-dimensionally. In this, history has now turned preacher! Indeed, every high thing (of sickening, or wanton pretension), God will abase, be it culture, philosophy, pagan politics or the delusion of autonomy.
Paul Davies has made some remarkable howlers in 24 HOURS (8/92), duly blending with 'time': spontaneous generation, limits for God and misconceptions imposed as a priori compulsions.
Thus we read: "This 'quantum cosmology' provides a loophole for the universe to, so to speak, spring into existence from nothing." Quite an accomplishment! Again, "The fact that the universe can create itself..." and "The argument ... that ... something or somebody ... must have set the universe going initially - has now been well and truly discredited." These manufactured pearls need just a little look. They should be considered in their mutual relations.
There are indeed a few problems here. First: nothing is not actually the same as something with a quantum in order to fluctuate: in that a quantum is after all, something. Again, a fluctuation is actually something which varies in certain ways. It must be there - and not nothing - in order to vary. Nor is their inter-relation nothing, since it depicts what is - not what is not.
Hence a 'quantum fluctuation' cannot on 3 grounds be nothing: that is a simple contradiction in terms, and a repetitious one: not permissible, for a physicist, or for that matter, anyone else interested in establishing anything. (Cf. pp. 18 ff., 332E ff.; 200, 252H ff., 264 ff., 284 ff., 379; with 112-113, 213, 229, 286 supra; and 1017 infra.) It is useless to try to 're-define' nothing (q.v., as in the case of some who fail, trying to succeed by 're-defining' success). Such is mere semantics, verbal manipulation, use of terms in a confused and propagandist way, self-contradiction leaving no one in any need of further contradiction. As has been noted elsewhere in this work - if one contradicts oneself: enough! There is no need for anyone else to do so, logically... Such cryptic cosmologies come from and amount to - nothing. For what does not ... see Chapter 1 supra.
Then there is the misconception on time, in which a straw man is removed quite irrelevantly from the creation situation. That of course makes no logical difference, as such is not a component except in the imagination of the attacker. The concept then that the 'supernatural' cannot invent a system with a time element, component or aspect of its matrix - define it how you will: this is merely a vapid reverbalisation. It simply restates the assumption that the God who created our kind of time, serial time in material aspects (though our minds can surpass it in some retrospective and prospective ways, and our spirits may meet with God) is not there. Read then: because God is not there, therefore God is not there. This however could as well have been omitted without any noticeable difference. It is simply an identity statement establishing nothing but a desire to say twice the same thing with not once a reason for either. Repetition however, while it may be good propaganda, does not constitute a logical sequence.
If you grant the first, you grant the second, but both stand on nothing. Actually, as to the anti-model assumption, the notion which twists and distorts Biblical Christianity (and as shown earlier, the logically demanded position that God created space-time and matter as well) into a merely immanentalist substitute: it is merely of psychological interest. Davies' voiced concern that God could not start time in time - by which he acts as if to demolish creation - is one of the most jejune and simplistic upheavals of misconception one could wish.
In fact, it is precisely impossible, if one is dealing with the Creator, consistently to hypothesise that GOD would have, far less would be required to have, the same sort of time or system as we do. This, our whole limited kind of time system, did indeed start, as Davies appears appropriately to discern; not however by paradox of inchoate phrases and nugatory nothings, but by the very particular and adequate power of God, for whom such a chronological stage is simply a species of construction, an instituted aspect of His chosen creation, limited and delimited at His pleasure.
Indeed, an author is not incorporated into his novel's time-schedule, and if it could enforce itself on him, he would not be its author. The positions are not merely different, but mutually exclusive! That is some error, to demand of a model what it prohibits, and then to dismiss it because one's demands are not met!
Just as we cannot think in non-characterisable terms, or account without using causality, so any endeavour, as here, to wed irrationality and reason is doomed. It violates the ground rules it uses, breaks the universe of its own discourse, and gives causal grounds, causally conceived, for non-causality. Actually, it is not even possible to think of a categorically non-causal area, for this would demand disappearance of rational characterisability, hence of specifiability, hence either of expression, designation or description itself. (Cf. pp. 284ff. supra.) Nor is it possible to account for causality dis-causatively, since the very effort to find the ground of it is an exercise in causality; and endeavour to get categorically beyond it, assumes its operation wherever it goes. (Cf. pp. 113ff., 158-159, 284-287, 422Aff, and see Index: Kant, Causality.)
Christianity, in the Bible, very simply indicates that GOD created our type of causal nexus with an eternal operative, creative power, neither serially limited nor subjectible to processive, progressive stipulations as condition or essential mode. It is time to cease trying to fit the author into his book. It is true that it proceeded from him, but they are in totally different dimensions.
In terms of this intense and uniquely valid harmony, it is indeed time to realise, as Paul for example, makes clear in Romans 8:38-39, that time itself is a creation of God; and that creation is His institution of what was not there. Being created, it proceeds in its mode, God acting in His own illimitable freedom, and also within His creation, doing so at His will, discretion, and according to His purpose. God who is the beginning and the end of all creation, is no captive or component of what He makes. It is indeed impossible to weave in and out of the reality of the logically demonstrable God who is, bringing in alien and incompatible thought at whim, and to devise anything but a morass. From that self-contradictory bog, the beautiful and serene logic of the Biblical faith is wholly divorced.
Not from empty words, ignorant imaginings, delusive conceits, barren beliefs has that trilogy of mind, matter, spirit, called man come. The inaugurator of this magnificent system, this all but incredible creation (man is hard to believe, a prodigy, but we must believe, for we see), the One who has wrought its vitalisation, its capacities has Himself created these things by a mind of exceeding majesty. To this Being belongs a power so subtle yet massive, a wisdom so profound: He is indeed a Spirit so infinite in understanding that from Him has man not only come, but been planted together with the universe - like a gigantic toy, a gift of youth, an encyclopedia unwritten for man to probe - tossed in.
That this GOD from whom all has come, through whom and to whom are all things - as Paul puts it so magnificently in Romans 11:25-36 - has written... not only in the wonder of architectural code in our body cells, how we are to be produced, generation by generation: but through scribes, prophets, whom He has led, declaring why, and for whom, and with what understanding of mind, life and will of our Creator, man is made: this is the archway to the divine splendour. It is an archway indeed through which everyone of this race must pass for such a destiny. That He has visited us - as shown in His book - condescending without panache, to our form, surpassing our ideals, deputing His beauty, and calling us to it via the Cross of our ugliness, in Calvary: this is the copestone of that arch. As to that, He did it in time, and not at all for nothing.
The excellent harmony of all things seen from the word of God continually ridicules the evasions of jagged unbelief, its much ado about nothing, irrational, restless. Neither sin nor creation is nothing; nor indeed, is nothing to be its reward.