W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
Naturally Nature does not invent itself: what does ?
Time Magazine has once again blasted its way into the fallacy of Naturalism: which enshrines the thought that because some things happen to what is not man, therefore man may perhaps be in order to follow suit.
It is true that Time quotes here and there, and even explicitly cites someone telling us that we should not have to look to the 'animal world' - 'to see what is normal or ethical'. Yet the article concerned proceeds to announce this: "Mother Nature seems to be keeping an open mind" - on what ? On "what's normal or ethical" in the sentence concerned. The topic: sexuality and the unnatural.
First of course, 'Nature', that fallen idol, is no Mother to man. It is a site of our situation, no more. We live amidst it, are not derived from it. This is the observational evidence just as it is the logical necessity (cf. The Shadow of a Mighty Rock Chs.1-3, That Magnificent Rock Ch.1, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9). It neither ministers intelligence to us nor to our codes. If a worm oozes when pressed, should we ? If a boar charges when pressed for room, should we ? If monkeys have their own variety of AIDS, or a parallel, and behave as they often do sexually, should we join suit in some stultified farce in which intelligence is abased, reason prostituted and common sense excluded ?
Indeed, is what DOES merely happen ANYWHERE EVER in itself a guide to what ought to happen, just because it DOES happen ? In school should classes shoot each other, or should we have an open mind, or deem 'Nature' - that unshriven goddess of delusion - to be keeping an open mind, and so shrug when it happens ? Classes to kill, members to murder ? Why yes, it does happen. Open mind.
The two - principle and practice, are by no means unrelated.
The intoxicating drink of naturalism,
If Time shrugs around the situation, do children do better, when precisely this sort of at best ambivalent, and at worst degenerated philosophy, bereft of ground and stability, is what is taught in uncounted instances? Taught ? worse then this, often asserted with all the asssured prejudice of those who prefer their human meat well-done, amongst the cannibals, arguing that it tastes nice - and that IS one cited reason for some.
Will not indeed many,
Let us leave the magazine's ponderings and come to reality.
a happening prescribe ?
Do morals come from actualities ?
Does description grow into prescription ?
Is IS the same as OUGHT ?
In fact, the term 'nature' needs no capital. It does not even have a 'mind' to be open! It includes the vicious and the virtuous, the loving and tender with the cruel and incredible. 'Nature' is a judged entity as is also man. Nature is in its own trouble, being a product oppressed in its own version of the fall of man: an environment suitable for man the sinner, it is still subjected to vanity, to things inconvenient and difficult, a sunset palette for man to ponder. It is no way of progress but a mirror for the tormented species called man, to watch and see in it, his own face as he falls yet further. This, man's twentieth century face, it is not the face with which the race was born, itself the most inventively brilliant moulded thing that ever has been seen on this earth, as a creation, leaving his own creative efforts, impressive as they may be, virtually for baby babble for comparison! Alas, as so often, here also, man in millions forgets himself!
This is the situation. It is for this reason that the Bible, proven to be the word of Almighty God (see refs. above) makes clear that the time will come when the ferocity of 'nature' will be balmed, when the lion will lie down with the lamb (Isaiah 65:25), and this not merely as a factual datum.
This historical period to come, it is a PART of a whole in which, with the return of the Messiah, the one whose death Daniel predicted for around A.D. 30, that is Jesus the Christ, will arise to show something else. He came not only to be murdered, forming thus and thereby a sacrifice both perfect and adequate for all the sinners who should ever claim His justly pardoning power. He shall come also both as Prince of Peace and Author of Judgment.
this blessed time noted by Isaiah as cited above, it is not a combination
of forbearance and judgment, on which loom the clouds of mercy and for
which comes the sunshine of grace, but this:
"The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14), or as Isaiah in his own prophecy puts it,
"They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain."
says Paul, the situation is this: "The creation
was made subject to vanity, not willingly but by reason of him who has
subjected the same in hope. For the creation itself also shall be delivered
from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children
of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain
together until now, and not only they, but ourselves also, who have the
first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting
for the adoption , that is, the redemption of our body. " -
Man's madness is merely focussed in the Colorado High School killings of April 1999. It has been evident for long, a form of madness which comes expressly and explicitly from sin, leads to it, and is about the last basis, as in the Kinsey reprot (even if that had been accurate) for behaviour. It is rather like watching how TB patients cough, and saying,
Respiration in nature has an open mind as to how to breathe, and perhaps coughing is the way!
But let us come now specifically to the topic of Time, as it looked at some aspects of 'Nature'.
That it is a fact that unnatural intercourse can vastly increase disease risk, since the observable preventive devices in the male-female situation are not then physiologically in place, is perhaps insignificant to intelligent man, who after all, may fail to meet financial needs anyway. He may be in trouble enough wihtout bothering about how on earth he can meet the enormous hospital costs for long-seving AIDS victims. Why worry then ? Let them proliferate, since we shall fall anyway ? Is that to be it ?
What then ? Why worry ? become perverse and dare anyone, including God, to tell you it is an affliction to society as well as to yourself! A burden ? Why worry ? A financial disaster in the making ? 'Leave me alone!' HOW! Now footballers may be called on to take the 'insignificant' increased risk of playing with those afflicted with AIDS, and to endure years of horror as a result, because THIS infectious disease, unlike many others, may often come as a direct result of what is Biblically forbidden. Is that it ?
Of course, the case is this - see Romans 1:25-32. It is BECAUSE they forgot the demonstrable fact of God (Romans 1:18-21 and see above references), we read in the Bible, that THEREFORE GOD GAVE THEM UP TO A REPROBATE MIND, an unnatural, a perverse, a confused and rejected mind.The theological readily became the physiological and the psychological. That is what is scripturally taught; that is how the thing stands. Neither fear nor arrogance, neither personfications of 'Nature' nor imaginations of its doing what it never is seen to do, will alter what the Maker has to say.
What is the 'natural use' in sexuality is explicitly compared and contrasted, in this Romans 1 passage, with 'what is against nature'. Topic: vile affections among women (1:26). Next topic: the same amongst men, with the association of "burning in their lust, one toward another" (1:27). Some might say, I DO NOT BURN WITH LUST! although homosexual. It is, however, STILL NOT the natural use, as here defined and being paralleled with the 'natural use' exchanged for 'what is against nature' by 'likewise', it is made to be a description of what is 'against nature' and not an addition, an optional extra. If it is unnatural in this area, then it is lust: THAT is the Biblical dictum.
In the view of God who invented us, to be unnatural IS inextricably associated with lust. It is not the nature of created affections in this specialised channel, and HENCE is lust. It is an abuse of what has been created and of the differentiation for the expression of love and concern in different modes. It is to make a gaping maw out of a beautiful channel, to expatiate in sexuality, what has a tonality of its own. Sexuality, scripturally, is a platform of beauty indeed, but NOT the MODE of all affection, rather the MEANS of families, and a BOND of togetherness for those who so procreate, with its own intimacies just as it has its own intimate outcomes.
So we read that those who practise all forms of mutual sexual perversion for their lives, are excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven (I Corinthians 6:9, and note 5:11). Accordingly, the apostle legislates in this passage, that such people are not to be received in Christian fellowship (cf. I Corinthians 2:9-13, 14:37, 3:10). In Leviticus 20:13, providing some of the law to focus sin (cf. Galatians 3:19-24), these perversions were visited with death as a penalty, and the law ?
"If there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness should have been by the law,"
Galatians 3:21 - and again,
"the law is holy, and the commandments holy, and just, and good" -
To avoid the confusion which passion of various sorts often arouses, let us hasten to add that this has NOTHING TO DO with care, compassion and help to those afflicted physically, psychologically and socially. It is just that WHILE they choose these forms of self-expression, they are in rebellion against God, whose friends who are at peace with Him are authorised to meet in one particular body called the Christian Church. To live a lie is not a part of it. Those then are the orders. We have met these things before (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.3 ), but here we see them in a combination of topics, which seems suitable for pondering and progress.
Finally, in terms of this arena of topics, let us look in New Life, April 29, to see that numerous Anglicans, indeed some Anglican bishops, are considering the possible necessity of separating into a new communion which will not abide in the perversion and its ambiguities and tolerances and uncertainties, such as the world Anglican body has instituted. NOT GOOD, yet THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE MATTER, is the apparent read-out. Some are pressing and pressuring others to change, to 'tolerate' specifications the celestial engineer has neither allowed for nor permitted, and thus many are now considering this: IF the church cannot or will not commit itself without a flurry of ambiguity, it may be time to separate.
Biblically, separation is long overdue from those forms of association where the Bible itself is for many, in part an option, often rejected on this or that New Testament doctrine, and where the World Council of Churches, the Anglican norm, is itself a forbidden entity for membership, in terms of the Bible. (Cf. Questions and Answers 4 , A Question of Gifts, pp. 65ff..) It was indeed nearly a matter of separation in the Sydney diocese, though this seems to have ... flowed on, when woman priests came in view for its clergy (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri, Chs.10-11). Perhaps this too will pass with other virtually inconceivable anomalies, errors, leaving all 'one' in the vagrancies and resistances to the word of God, which is a far cry from the unity in Christ, the Lord, as defined by Him (Luke 6:16, John 17:8,20-21). Perhaps, on the other hand, however, Anglicanism will soon show that it too, like so many other denominations once Protestant and Biblical in doctrinal outline, is willing to suffer and part and participate in what is commanded by God rather than suffer what is countermanded by man.
the service of the Lord Jesus Christ is something so different from the
artful contrivances of politics and the shameless contrivances of statistical
research into what is to be conceived of as morals, that the severance
from the devices of this world by the church is merely like the use of
wheels on a car, instead of having fresh tar and iron girders for support.
THIS is the way it RUNS. It is a joy to have it so run, and it runs like
the wind, fresh in the hair as one moves on the beach, the skies overhead
in their majesty, the seascapes uninterrupted in their vigour and scope.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Corinthians 3:17),
and there is the beauty of holiness (II Cor. 3:18).