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FEED AND TELL
TV and TO BE ?
Violence is not inviolate to judgment,
But truth has a better answer
From time to time, one sees
earnest seeking protestations that it is not really the amount of violence
that children see which makes them love violence, prone to violence, violence oriented at all. They should be allowed to feast on filth, and grow wholesome, feed on grime and remain clean, brush their mental teeth with ashes and have them smooth.
It is really a complex question with a simple answer.
Violence seen, to be sure, does not make violence done. There is a censor in the mind which assesses, or even analyses, and what is seen and experienced does not go straight to the streets of one's personal life. It may even cause revulsion, detestation, an intense desire for gentleness, the evils of violence having been seen. Priorities, if you do not actually set them, set themselves: since man is made by God this is natural, being merely the substitution of the probative for the actual. Man tends to see through screened eyes of evaluation, based on ... believe it or not, values!
That however is merely the first step. Next, there is a question of the inward censor. It is rather like AIDS. The body has an amazingly intricate and effective resistance system, by virtue of which it is able to exist, without which in this environment, its existence would be likely to be short, with man not here. ALL of man, as we constantly need to realise, has to be here for any of him. If however the SYSTEM ITSELF is spoiled, violated, then the diseases may dance on the common of one's life and grow rude in their disregard.
Life can end then on this earth shortly. Resistance and actuality mutually reinforce; and both are integral, synthetic systems as you expect from the Author of system, mind and spirit. Everything is all, always coherent ... except for disease, mental, spiritual, moral or physical. What then of this internal personal resistance, this censor, this prioritiser, this evaluator ? If disease can swashbuckle its way into the living systems when their physical resistance system is at fault, what of the moral ?
As with violation to the body, through systematic disease resistance defect, and great progress for disease when it can attack the resistance of the body, so with violence and the mind and spirit of man. If the CENSOR, the conscience, the GROUNDS of assessment of what one sees and experiences, can be subverted, compromised, conditioned, then the resistance - instead of becoming strong in its act against the filth seen on the screen, in the case of children watching on TV, the violence, cruelty, insensitivity, disregard of life, vainglorious ambition, survival as god and so on - can fold! Subverting defence systems is a form of aggression, attack!
Thus young Christian children in a Christian environment may indeed resist much volume of evil traffic. If however the parents, even some calling themselves Christian, in weakness or in compromise, misconception or other error, allow the children free access to such things, knowingly, then the children knowing this, are likely to draw their own conclusions, even if unconsciously. Indeed, it must never be thought that thought has to be verbalised, or even conceptualised, to be present in its motivational potential. Perception can occur without much conscious thought, in an instant assessment scarcely noticed by the child; yet deeply ingrained in its understanding.
This comes partly from the light of life in every man, that donation and dowry at birth from God, as part of the spiritual componentry, partly from its unspoiled, unsoiled operation, and partly from sensitivity to impact in the child whose mind is not yet formed into recognisably reasoned responses. There however is the rub. What is this about 'unsoiled', or 'unspoiled' ? Children are not angels. Some imbibe with their mother's milk, it almost seems, gentleness and sensitivity, but not unselfishness, or sainthood; other do not even do this. A child who is also a child of God is a beautiful thing; but they are not common, far less commonplace. Thus in varying degrees, the sensitive spiritual tissue of thought is apt for violation, if pushed for failure and departure into foolish realms. If it is not founded, it is readily confounded, though some resist further, being better grounded.
If, therefore, a diet of violence in which callous or callow survival thrust is great, pain is unimportant (provided it is not for the hero, or is far less for him or her than for the opposition) is fed to the children, they may resist. However, imagination can be mighty in children, and this stirred, a child may make excursions in which morality is minor and excitement is major. Hence before long the sense of "other", and different, of things delightful because unknown may become gripping; and this being fed with filth, the streets of the city of the child's life may become scenes of violence, imaginative, endorsed, heroic. From this, it is but a small step to PLAYING IT OUT in real life. For some it may require much more courage, and less character, but the IMPULSE is now there.
Now teach them survival of the fittest, as if this made the fit to exist, as in the desultory substitute for education in this field now practised in South Australian government schools, and to a significant extent in other schools through the bias of curriculum standardisation and that which is implicit in year 12 examinations, through their slant or assumptions, and the ease with which they may be met when a common cultural standard is assumed: and what then ? Then you have a re-education of the child's censor, that is, of his or her ground and system of resistance.
This now is not merely a question of come in, go out violence, or merely of conditioning through experience, visually; or enhancement through imagination being engaged, through fascinating adventures of moral worthlessness: rather does it become an explicit re-education of the mind, an indoctrination of the Censor, of the conscience, and a direction of thought.
That it is worthless is no exemption from its appeal, as Hitler youth situations show. That Germany was not the master race of supermen ought to have been apparent. That a race would rule should not have seemed sensible, humility merely adding to rationality. However in the intoxication of the delirious doctrine of organic evolution and the vainglory inherent in them (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Chs. 7, 8, and Earth Spasm ... Chs. 1 , 7, with Wake Up World!... Chs. 4, 5, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 6, 13, 16, TMR Chs. 1, 8), glory outwitted rationality and the German people were hoodwinked into a folly for which most of the world paid. So here, the generation, that GRABBED GENERATION (cf. News 118) is not only miseducated, so that in the name of science, a flat contradiction of scientific method occurs (cf. SMR pp. 140ff.). They are also mis-stimulated.
Thus the Censor in the child, the conscience, the inbuilt sensitivity becomes grossly disturbed, all these three forces coalescing in one inglorious result. Now it is true that, in opposition to what one school Principal once implied to the author, that a School does not produce person "products". You do not see "our products" on the streets. There is in fact vast scope for action and interaction and retro-action, for response and for jettisoning of what the school stands for, in a vast myriadfold display of the human psyche at work. Nevertheless, the constant pounding, expounding or merely implicit inspissation of principles and approaches tends to erode resistance, even if it does not control; and in many, it will tend to form an established basis, at least pending further questioning as life matures.
It is like wind and water erosion, in a softened soil: you cannot predict with any certainty anything more than a trend; and with people, less than this. Nevertheless, the input into the already sinful streets of the mind, not unfrequented by personal desire or objectives without active policing, or quality control, of this river of mud in not likely to lead to clean households in the village life of the mind. In other words, there are firstly many adverse influences at work (or even at play! in computer games), seizing different controls in the mind and heart, moving different streams of thought and desire in the spirit, and when to all this are added the inward errors of this kind such as are always to be found in man, you accelerate perils by retarding resistance.
Thus you are really practising the sending of a river to the foundations of concrete skyscrapers when you foster the dynamic of violence in the education of the child, amid the other psychic and social dynamics.
Pushed by desire, drawn by example, stirred by imagination, misdirected by worse than null precept, the child is now ready for the next onset. This is the religious one. That of course, as the SA Education Department rightly saw, closely related to the instruction program. What that infamous Circular to Principals on which TMR Ch. 8 rightly dwells, does not exhibit, is any understanding of what religion is. In fact, if all were a mere expression of a mute universe, to which men add their ten cents' worth of insight, then that too COULD not be known. Divorced by their models from absolute truth with absolute intimation of itself, they lurk in shadows and speak with 'light' that is merely a form of self-contradictory darkness.
Where blindness is the assumption, the glories of sight are simply not available for the exponents. You cannot preach darkness, and assume light in your own case, always the downfall of the intrinsic darkness advocates, whether Freud or Darwin or Marx. What CANNOT know, CANNOT tell. Yet they all do, for their skills lie in the reductionist fantasies, not in logical coherence. (Cf. Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9, Endnotes 1 and 2, Christ, the Wisdom of God ... Ch. 6, Appendix and *1, Of the Earth, Earthy Ch. 4, esp. *2 which gives further references to the point.)
When you mangle man in your human modelling, you speak as one crucified. Christ was crucified for His speech, but spoke before crucifixion. You CANNOT crucify the truth and succeed: that is one reason why He rose, said He would, was forecast to do so, including just when, as was the parallel forecast, of just when the event would occur (cf. SMR Ch. 6, Highway of Holiness Ch. 4). Crucifixion of logic is intensely and immensely popular; but it is quite vain logically (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7). Destroying your means of expression is expressive, but only of comprehensive disaster for communication and reason in your own case. Debate becomes irrelevant, not because its end is not sound, but because it is denied in its basics in the beginning. The model thereby simply destroys itself, and the exponent of such ideas is as a corpse, out of the context of contest.
While, then, religion is intensely present in the endless sermonising of the materialists and relativists, it is always systematically vain; just as it seeks constantly to be the only preacher, by law! (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 8). This lust for law even in academic circles is not merely debased education, as with all merely indoctrinative substitutes for instruction, but it too is illicit logic. You do not NEED law to help a State do its job, in mathematics. Nor in any other subject is it needed, provided reason is given full scope. Where mere law is the answer, reason was not the question. Always, you should, in education, be able to show your grounds, not your police force, your law courts or your social manipulation powers.
To be sure, people can be swayed by ludicrous theories such as this self-making excuse for thought, and may need to be confronted with rational demands, if they educate; but the floor should be open for debate, not the debacles of rule and force as so often the case, where man makes himself in theory first, as if effort could substitute for wisdom, and then makes himself his own god! next legislating his position, since it is arbitrary and logically defenceless. How could any such world fail to be a failure, which it is! Civilisation is threatened by moral illiteracy, irrational passions both of the evolutionary grandeur type of mysticism, and the arbitrary religious substitutes for truth, which proliferate like rabbits, and damage the soil. That is as it should be. How COULD you expect folly to thrive, or irrationality to have reasonable result! Let us then see further the corruption of youth in this medley of misty thought and misled unacademic ambition, which tends to bring the world in thrall.
Thus the child gains
from humanistic establishment religious exercises*1, as likewise
from social educative media,
from TV and other*1A imaginative invasions, as
from psychic predilections and role model impositions:
such a fatuity of fiascos of life that its very inward ground for review and reason can become hypnotised, or even acquiescent. So obvious is this multiple input pressure, in its trend for output, that one could perhaps be excused for beginning to wonder if it is partly an employment exercise for social workers, so to mar the young by a pantomime of pollution, arresting, stirring, imaginative, surrounding as in a play that 'treatment' becomes necessary. Even if it does not, then the crime requires police, re-education requires teachers...
After all, there are SURE in this miasmic milieu, this deluded humanistic mischief coupled to false religious passion, to be many who take to drink, to gambling, to violence, to self-fulfilment at ANY cost, even as a religious exercise! This may be of the crypto-religious variety (cf. Secular Myths ... Ch. 10, Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3), that is secular and smuggling 'god' in without name, or overtly religious, so that in either case spiritual perversion becomes rife, thereby adding to the fire of psychic destruction, not to the water to quench it.
Stressed and misdirected,
equated with the meaningless*2,
divorced from the Lord of their lives,
from the God of
from the significance of their
the integrality of their existence,
from the purpose of their
the supra-programmatic and the
from the meaning of morals:
they are ready to sway like cars on three wheels, but built for four.
Violence in TV ? It is but one of a multiple cast at work. By itself, with all the other forces corrected (an entirely new society), with moderation, with understanding of the need, as in Shakespeare's plays, to see the moral outcomes in their visionary splendour and the meaning in its intrinsic depth, then yes, TV violence might not do so very much harm. It, is however, not by itself.
It is well, then, that we reflect on the words of Paul, whatsoever things be good, beautiful, of good report, virtuous, these are they on which to reflect (Philippians 4:8). Why eat fat and expect to be thin ? Why play in mud and expect to be clean ? But then, the case is far more strenuous than this.
Why not BE CLEANSED, so that the spoliation of society in its current last stages of spiritual pollution and carnal corruption should not be the major impactive dynamic ? For that you need a rock, what is both good for you and for your good, procedural and purposive, both; and you need further, a Rock that is not submersible in the oceans of psychic error from within or social evils from without. In fact, you need your God.
Where however is the Truth to be found, without which you CANNOT even pretend to declare this or that source and nature for man ? It is found where man is found in his multiplied and integrated systematics, just where all other such objects are found; and the fact that man is not only an object but a subject merely the more points to the author of such liberties, logic and licence, past all matter, requisitioning originating and imaginative mind for man and spirit for his will.
But where, where is He to be found ? Is He to be researched in the middle of some boundless ocean, in the stars, in space ? Not at all. If you should ever want to meet me, one should not recommend thumbing through these many volumes. There, you would meet some of my thought, but by no means, myself.
If you want the Author of Your being, you need to find Him at home. Where however is this ? Where does He live ? It is not in the interstices of that simplest of creations, matter (not in its techniques, but in its limitations). It is not in your own mind, for this too is a mere creation, a page if you will, in your library assemblage that He wrote, in its outline and schema.
It is not in the skies, the mere expansiveness of His creation, nor in the DNA, the mere programming for that extraordinary and indeed unique combination of pre-programmed meaningfulness and unprogrammed personality in many of its reaches, especially that of rebellion against rationality, now so often seen in the complex self-contradictory variety, which rebels against reason, w hile trying to use it to do it! That, it is rather like a childish tantrum; but it will all the less for that draw you nearer to your God.
He is to be found where He says. When I write to some biographical body, it is my ADDRESS or telephone number or email address that they want. If they want to do business with me, they do not write to a book! I have to tell them where I am.
God has told us, not only in DNA for the platform for personality, or in our spirits, the agency of imaginative action, but in the Book which is unique in its sovereign disregard of the 'forces of history' in telling us precisely what will happen, and in what combinations (as in SMR Chs. 8, 9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
He has told us not only in the Book, but in the LIFE of Christ (Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Christ, the Wisdom of God ... Ch. 8, Biblical Blessings Appendix IV), forecast and forecasting, doing all things that none other could do, and never falsified or unverified in anything, despite the mouthings of millenia. You find it moreover in the relentless report of reason (cf. SMR), both in principle and in verification, pointing inexorably to His word, and in that, in the perfect fit of His prescriptions and remedies for man, in that it works. Humanism works not at all, like a ray of light trying to filter from low down on the horizon through the tall trees. It explains nothing (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7). It uses man to measure himself without knowing even what he is who measures, and starts with what it can neither produce nor explain, even then ending with what can be shown so to arrive, either in principle or in practice.
Yet in the multiplied and mutually interactive grounds noted, God is to be found. He has provided His address by these means. It is as written in the book. It is as demonstrated in His Messiah, practical, principled, prophetic, predicted, passionate, impeccable, sin-free and redemptive. It is there that you find your Rock. It is time to look, for you do not find without looking. It is time to look to the Lord in faith, for you do not proceed with distrust with anyone in any wholesome or good thing. It is time to repent, that beautiful key to the home where He is. It is time to knock, for what door is to be expected to open if you just stand there (John 10:9ff., Matthew 7:7). Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you: but seek Him where He is to be found, and knock not on a stone, but on the Door.
History is not standing still. It goes as ever to its appointed place, with the next step, Christ's return to this ruinous, factitious, meretricious muddle that man is making of himself. It is better to meet Him before that. Man matters. Matter does not really, except as an instrument. Man matters to God. God matters to man. The matter with man is the chatter and caterwauling which he makes instead of repentance. He is so cold that his teeth chatter, and they bite his tongue; yet he continues to talk, talk, talk ... about nothing, with ragged tongue and clenched teeth.
Nothing will not help him. He needs not merely to meet God, in repentance, with realism, and in faith to receive pardon for his polluted premises and foolish intakes, self-absorption and vainglorious pretensions, but to realise that it cost God redemption, the payment that justice demands for ruin (Romans 3:23-27). God allowed the ruin to be the remedy, and to be constituted in a crucified Christ, His only begotten Son exposed to the sin in a way far more intimate than TV, and exposing death to the vitality of eternal life in ways past all wonder.
When God acts, neither death nor life nor sin nor sorrow can impede Him! It was His action to allow sin to have its day, and absorbing it by assuming its guilt for Himself, though free from it, to banish it in breaking its penalty and providing a free pardon from it, in and through Himself. Is this not what He foretold with unexampled accuracy and glorious precision in Isaiah 52-53 ? Is this not the very area which in one school where the author once taught, he was virtually threatened with parental action because he dared to bring up this text in the context of history, the subject!
Here it is displayed, the plan of God, to redeem by paying Himself, like the good Father He is.
He took the form and format, to fulfil the formula, to extinguish guilt by bearing it. Hence He was ready for their worst, and this ? They DID IT TO HIM, they killed Him in an atrocity of abundance, as if violence were their heart's domain. Ever since, they pay. Peace is not found without truth, or truth without God, or God without mercy, or mercy without words or the words without the Lord whose they are. Death could not hold Him: like a cricket ball in an inadequate fieldman's hands, He could not be fielded. Instead, He came back to show His power before their very eyes, robbing the grave of its prey, and the authorities of their prize.
What then ? It is necessary to come to Him in Person, following the word, but trusting in HIM (John 5:39-40). They you get a purification, a pardon and a rest. Then at last, you return to your founder, instead of being confounded. Coming to truth, you spare yourself confrontation with it; for you see, it will always rule. Lies have their season because of liberty, and liberty is necessary for love, for you cannot forcibly love. But the lie-season passes.
God does not pass; but He does pass by. Call upon Him, says Isaiah, WHILE He is near (Isaiah 55:1-6).
JOY IN THE MORNING
Far should the Christian be from sorrow at this onset of such delusive dynamics coming increasingly into society, politics and even many so-called churches. If it had been otherwise, the word of God would not have been fulfilled (cf. Jeremiah 23:5-6, 11-20 with emphasis on the coming culmination of this fraud, seen in verse 20, II Peter 2-3). Since it is this way, what we see is therefore the word of God once again and in spectacular manner, implemented. Did not even Christ decline to use angelic resources to rescue Himself, LEST the scripture thereby would not be fulfilled! (Matthew 26:52-56) ... "or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels ? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must happen thus ?"
No more does He now prevent the explosion of lawlessness and lovelessness which is the inheritance of the 21st century (Matthew 24:11-14,24).
Did He not tell them that they would rejoice when He arose from the dead after precisely three days, though grieved in the humiliation of the Cross which He had to suffer that joy might be full in the presence of the Father, for all His adopted children! (John 16:20-28, Matthew 17:22-23 cf. Ephesians 1:1-19).
Does one fail to rejoice because the last ascent to Everest is cold ? or because at the bell for the last lap in the 880 yards race, the challenge is great! Is it not rather the exhilaration of the end, of the accomplishment, of the race for which one has prepared, which comes to the fore!
Does one complain when arising in the morning, because the day is full of light, and enables much industry ? Rather would one grieve if there were no day, no end, no completion, if the test were for ever and the rest in His presence, all labours completed, were deferred! and deferred ... It is now, the time is approaching, the beginning of the end grades in its shades to the mid-point, and the line comes like an express train (cf. Luke 21:26-28, Answers to Questions Ch. 5), as if one did not have after all so far to go, for the conclusion approaches on its own!
When I awake, said King David (Psalm 17), I shall be satisfied with Your likeness! It is no coincidence that it may be translated no less, "in your likeness" for as you see in I John 3:1-3, we shall see Him as He is BECAUSE we shall be like Him. The image-bearing facility given at the first, becomes the completed, resurrected conclusion, so that as adopted children, we can see God, in His presence, created and yet now living in eternity, redeemed, but for what ? It is for life in His presence, so that "the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear form their eyes" - Revelation 7:16-17.
Is it to sorrow at that ? Is it to grieve because in a three hour examination, one is on the last question ?
Does one lament because in a five set tennis match, one is now in the fifth set ? Or is it a pain because the final strategies have now to be employed ? Is it a penalty that the Commander in Chief of the armies of the Lord, is near, that His plan is prevailing in the very default of so many in their lurks and lairs ? The ONLY sorrow is this, that so many 'escape' from heaven, the haven of rest, the place of the blessed, the terrain of justice and the land of truth (cf. Psalm 130), in order that they might rather rot in the realisation of guilt (Daniel 12:2); and the sadness is that these poor deluded souls will not accept deliverance, as if damnation, that final result of recalcitrance before the Lord, should be their triumphant terminus, rather than as is the case, their poignant by-product of calamity.
THE RELIGIOUS ACCELERATOR
WHERE THE CAR RUNS UNRULY IN THE RUT
*1 It is not only the senseless shackles of self-sufficiency for a product, man, who is so abundantly reliant on his construction that a disease can snatch the greatest among the culture of man in seconds, or sever connection with this life in squalid years of anguish that we find the malady of many. It is also in this, that the sheer magnificence of the programmatic, bionic tools in man leaves all pursuit behind, needing no creation because already created, and needing wise maintenance despite the infelicitous unfaithfulness of man, leaves many as dead as a drowned cat, with a heavy weight in the self-appointed sack of heaviness.
Scrambling from his Creator as if he were a rat in the presence of a superior tom cat, instead of returning the garage of his construction, the factory of his assemblage, consulting the manager, seeking interview with the owner, and finding the path of peace, man works his own ruin.
To be sure, the Christian is not exempt from impact of disease, as far as that goes; but as in Psalm 103, there is such a provision from the Almighty of power and recuperation and resuscitation, provided only one is working in His will, that though death still comes till the general resurrection arrives, yet diseases can flee like Autumn leaves. How many times has one found, in writing these 69 volumes of systematic work, now in the 70th., that what seems all but sure to stop one in one's tracks, some disease, some inability, some prohibition be it physiological or financial, social or other, is stopped. It is about to jump like a lion on its prey, yet He "healeth all your diseases" (Psalm 103), the work being in His eye, as in mine, ONLY because I have felt constrained to do it, for His glory and the help of the brethren, not to mention to fishing for men in the tormented waters of a sinful world.
As we saw in Job, many are the tests (Job 1, 2, 3, 4); but as we see in life, many are the deliverances, and their intimacy with task is the more impressive, as when one is a fighter pilot, and up comes the tanker at the apt time. How He does it is His business: that He does it is the pilgrim's to experience.
Yet man prefers in millions to be minion of matter, creature of psyche, saying to a rock, You are my father! just as they equally inanely did of old, blinded by disfaith (q.v.) and molested by desire! (cf. Jeremiah 2:13,27), yes, to a stone, 'You gave me birth.'
Not merely is this an irrationalist surge from salvation, which man needs as a fish needs water, but exponents of this salvation, frequently themselves misrepresent it. In this aspect, Foreign Minister Downer has, despite the thrust into freedom of speech rather than discipline in churches ostensibly related to the name of Christ - free and voluntary societies, with some point given real exposure (Ch. 2 above).
This is one of the predicted failures in a body which many seek to USE for their own inglorious purposes, pushing new immoralities as is the case quite famously and explicitly in the case of Anglican and Uniting Churches; for these are nothing less than new dynamic assaults on the doctrine of Jesus Christ IN HIS NAME. Yet masses stay within the 'communions' of these unhallowed assaults on the truth of the Bible, without in the least leaving them, far less with the zest of obedience to the manifest commands to that effect (II John, Romans 16 :17, Jude, II Timothy 3, Ephesians 5 and see The Christian Pilgrimage Chs. 5 and 6, with News 43, Joyful Jottings 8 and Separation).
What then ? While they stay, they encourage and strengthen the wickedness which Jude and II Peter so amply expose, which Jeremiah before them did likewise in his own day (Jeremiah 23) and Ezekiel no less (Ezekiel 14:3-11) with Hosea in company (8:9-14, 9:-17 esp.8:8), while Moses foresaw and predicted it for his own people, who with other peoples are to people the end as Christ's return draws near (Deuteronomy 32:15-43, where they glory in rocks which are but flints, and forget the Rock who made them - as in 32:15-17, where the alliance in one faith with the Gentiles is seen as also in Jeremiah 16:19-21, Isaiah 66).
Is it then surprising that what has for millenia been in the divine mind shared with man in numerous exhortations, exhibited in a pre-run in the sad history of Israel and foretold with an impassioned zeal in the New Testament, has come to pass ? If it had not done so or did not, then where is the truth ? But since it has come to pass, there as always is the fact, foreseen in Him who made history, which pursues the appointed paths like a well-oiled Rolls Royce, flowing in the highway. Is it surprising if the chauffer takes the automobile of history to the place assigned for it ?
Is it at all odd if God does what He said! He always has done, to the point of arithmetic in the Cross as often noted (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), to the point of the carnage in fallen Empires (cf. SMR p. 713, Acme, Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 10, The Defining Drama Ch. 8, 10 at *3), and their arising (Isaiah 44-45 - Biblical Blessings Ch. 1), to the point of the entire civilised world coming to grief in its own inconstancy and arrogance (Isaiah 2, 24, Matthew 24).
While this occurs, is man then to
waggle his torso and exude groundless and unbounded
Is it excusable to remain where one is prohibited in a scenario, clear as in the sharing of air force plans for bombing Europe in World War II with pilots, and that with notice not for an hour in the operations room, but over millenia! Can one see - Do not walk on this grass for it is poisoned with fox bait! for millenia and find it too hard to ... understand when it happens, KEEP OFF IT ? It is time to repent of all this lingering on the part of those who say they know the Lord, where they are frankly forbidden to be (Romans 16:17).
Meanwhile, SINCE these bodies, apostate and wallowing in the waters of bitterness, are enlarged and continue with a sort of inertia from days past, THEREFORE there are those odd and sudden urges and surges resembling those noted by Foreign Minister Downer and noted in Ch. 2 above, those apparent eccentricities, those departures from anything like biblical faith on the part of large ecclesiastical bodies, those breaches of mission, those errors of commission, those preoccupations with the ephemeral or even contretemps with the irrelevant which may so readily occur, when one's real mission is forgotten and something instead becomes impelling. If churches fall, then clerics who tend to lead them, and the more so if the Lord is ignored, are not likely long to remain aloft! (II Peter 2).
There was no ERROR in that, for it is indeed the case that many bodies calling themselves churches, and hence in their clergy, there is poison in the pot (II Kings 4:38), which needs healing, without which it cannot be 'eaten'!
In this predicted period of decline into religious formalism (II Timothy 3:1-5), however the need for liberty of speech is not less, but far the greater. It was rather the threat to freedom of speech which could develop from a secular mode of approach to a religious topic which was the issue with the speech of Downer in the last chapter. Indeed, it is not freedom in society but licence in free bodies denying their origin and author, their mandate and their mission which is the underlying problem. This is a prognosis long given, and an error in which none should indulge, a site where none should remain.
Now one cannot well leave the country when it errs; but one can leave a dead ecclesiastical body, engaged in rifle work against the commandments, if it does not readily heed to challenge.
It is unfaithfulness in the 'prophets' not freedom in the nation which is the irksome reality. It is not liberty to speak, but departure from the ostensible commitment which is the cause.
It must be faced at the root, not axed in the air. The best cure is undoubtedly revival
from the Lord; but in the meantime,
while the dusk gathers
and the predicted time of darkness before dawn comes into its full gloom (Revelation 13),
when the false prophet flies into high political places (Revelation 16) and has much power,
and evil distorted religion becomes gilt-edged stock (Revelation 13),
even having there a "beast" of its own, servile to the political-social-military one (13:11):
there is need for one simple thing: obedience to the word of the Lord,
and abiding in Him..
It is expected of a soldier of
Christ that he be faithful. While each individual mission-pilot, if you will,
becomes thus rather a site for assault than a privileged participant in the
revolt, there is need for liberty
of speech. Souls must be delivered from confusion, people alerted to peril, hypnotic fantasies exposed, reality brought to bear, the word of God preached with fervour and liberty, and reason given as asked, a thing commanded (I Peter 3:15).
Because Christ is the truth, the more liberty to speak, the greater the impact. When freedom exists, as one has found for some 50 years in the Christian ministry, assailed on all sides because faithful to His word: then truth dominates. It does not need to domineer, protected by law: its truth becomes victory. Never has one found it other.
These predicted and practically EXPERIENCED facts (cf. News 121, 122) being so, it is to be expected that there will be a huge dynamic at
1) the level of many large,
formally and formerly 'Christian' bodies, which will be subversive of truth
2) the arena of society, where
the political decline, the social stress and the religious betrayals
3) the intimacy of the morally
disintegrating family, where the imbuings of the above two evil
4) the political theatre, where
laws as in Victoria
(cf. Galloping Events Ch. 7,
News 100, *1),
A current discussion or conference on Computer Games and their impact and their resultants brings up the point that if TV imagery is subjectible to the analysis given in this chapter, and in its milieu of our present time if this has an eminently proud part to play in the destruction of man, through anaesthesia of the conscience, anorexia of the heart, leprosy of the spirit, as the various soiled philosophies endlessly parade either their meaningless pleasures, without the end product (as in cigarette advertisements, a more nearly physical case far less dangerous than the direct overthrow of the human spirit by seduction): then do Computer Games do less ?
Of course, it is not the MEANS but the ENDS, and the END of the process that is in view. If angels ran these modules, then doubtless there could be much good, just as much that is good CAN come from both TV and Computer Games. It is fine to use the hands, but for good purposes, the lips, but not for cursing goodness, the imagination, but not for monotonous regularity of insurgencies of ill-thought out and even reckless agencies of spiritual degradation. As ulcers to the upset stomach, so abscesses come from the exhalations of the abyss. Nor is it merely that this poor soiled world is a dangerous place, so that one must use everything with extreme care, as has long been a practice of many. That is yesterday; what of today.
The case is now much more advanced.
Instead of a virtue being extolled
despite its frequent attack by some,
vice is extolled (cf. Isaiah 5:18ff.),
permissiveness becomes like an inane
grandfather, trying without power to redirect the dynamic drives to more
youthful dementia on the part of the wildness of the young:
miseducated in philosophy,
mistaught by endless examples, often held up as if 'good'.
Good is called evil, and evil
good on a grand scale and the larceny of the human soul from God is becoming
more and more like a Fagan circus, the young having inculcated into them, just
how best to make this 'steal'. It reminds of little children dancing round with
subtle crook, Fagan, learning how to pick pockets, and all with such fun ...
until they are caught.
Now increasingly, society becomes Fagan, and its schools as shown in some detail (cf. TMR Ch. 8) are being misused as instruments of mischief. It is in this context, together with the religious one traced or noted here, with reference, that the Computer Game scenario, in conjunction with the TV Image and 10-20 hour program per week for many children, is estimable.
While a trickle under the house may not erode the foundations so seriously, the matter advances when it is a three inch deep channel. When however it is a three foot surge, the presence of these waters in these (youthful) places, can ruin much quickly. When the foundations were never laid down right, in the first place, the destructive results can be quite remarkable.
Let us change the image. It is like food poisoning. If there is one unit per million, it is a ‘scare’ ? If one per thousand, it is dangerous indeed ? If one per ten ? If the systems are already weakened ?
It is not necessary to be too detailed: enough that one sees in one shop the advice, for the tittilation of the young, that pieces of cow bowel (or some such nicety) may be seen flying nearby in this game, as its destructive opportunities fascinate the spirit, drive the mind, entertain the thought of the young. The ready assurance of the advertiser that this is the power line for purchase attraction, is all too apparent. Examples surge of obliterative, tortuous, impelling thrusts to implement desire in its lust.
Ruin, survival, destruction, low cunning, power, glory based on affectation, pretence: all these things are preached often enough; but when they lay hold of eroded imaginations, push infected hearts, confirm the miseducation message, the social mis-examples and the philosophic misfits that abound already, yes, then this becomes one more avenue of ruin which should accelerate the judgment of God. The case advances: when it is there, there is nothing more, but the Final Assizes. If for many these are outside Christ, what is the point of the heedless thrust of lust ? Assassinations of statesmen are not very popular, though it becomes more common; but the assassination of the soul of children, by joint and multiple social means, religious perversions, educative devices, who will pay for that!
*2 See SMR Ch. 3, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 19, 29.