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Existential, Visceral, Visionary,
or Valiant for the Truth
THE POIGNANCY OF THE PASSING PARADE
It is strange how you see
them. They react. Some respond, but to what or to whom ?
Your own psyche is scarcely God; your visceral 'gut feelings', your own insights are not at all truth for that reason; your own being itself is first to be sited and not blighted, before you have any hope of truth, and the site must then admit and allow of its onset amid the insetting of your own mind and heart and spirit. Where can you escape yourself, that dangerous potential for special pleading, subjectivity a là mode, cultural conformity or disconformity ? depending on your will, but movement about those norms, to the right or left, or to the mere negation, as if there were nothing else worthy or capable of imagination! A highway does not provide an aerial view, and a procedure does not evaluate the same. You need the elevation and the actuality, the design and the structure, and above all, the declaration that is not the prey of your own mentality.
Put yourself in some predatory tribe, and try that. It is very superficial, and perhaps flamboyantly rotten.
THAT, it neither gets a rocket to the moon nor a soul to heaven. It is not vested in truth.
But again, there are other types of predatory persons, positions, philosophies and putsches. The commanding individual: I am going to get what I want and destroy what is in the way (deviously, strategically, cleverly or crassly, according to the taste of the maverick), has omitted one significant consideration altogether. WHERE ARE YOU GOING ? You plan to go on your way, regardless, but to what ? You insist on moving at your own will, but into what ? to what end ? either as purpose or destiny!
If you have a sports car which can outdistance many others, and run rings around them, there still remains the question, when all your circling is done, where are you ?
What of these ? They MUST be right, these international forces, the gullible proclaim, and even if not, are rather ... reverential in feeling, helping to delude from the fact of God to the feats of men. Humanism is so puny that its reverential addicts lose all understanding in the end. Evolution ? imagining it, they then imagine man is going somewhere - but why and where ? Where is there to go when God is deducted ? Circling yourselves like giant vultures, making prey of their own selves, you fall to the ground. It did not spawn you, being bereft of means; it does not direct you, being for your oversight. But your own oversight you have forgotten, and lost you lose what you seemed to have. Hence the anxiety of the environmentalists!
This self-abasement at the feet of the idol of mankind, as if his aggregation with organisation spelt truth or righteousness has been popular since the tower of Babel was first built (Genesis 11). Putting man in the centre and at the apex is merely putting the unknown, the delisted, the wandering, the internally uncalibrated, the morally adrift, the spiritually vacant block (except for a few spiritually alien inhabitants which come at times, and assuredly do not improve things), as judge. What however judges man ? Air. It is this then likewise that he speaks.
Let us be clear. The TV, the Radio, the News media, the Web, it all is like some ranting political sect, rating itself continually with as little, yes less, ground than many of the banana republic rulers, rich in power, poor in terrain, enriched by poverty. There is little these cumulative and wholly unconfirmed, riotously irrational, wholly unscientific fiascos do not stoop to attempt. It is not that scientists are a particular propagandising breed, for look at philosophy itself (not the scientific application of it, here in view), at politics, at car manufacturers, whose often idiotic seeming advertisements, closing in on women of elegance, associations of delusion and the like, seek to secure the dollar from those who have that item.
Nor is that all scientists, all car makers, are like that. Nevertheless, within ALL these categories there is a vast amount of hype, ill-fashioned formulation for the purpose of getting votes by dollars, by dollops of social power or by indifference secured by repetition, or conformity where disconformity is the necessary fact for freedom from cant and liberation from mere dreams. Scientific method (cf. SMR pp. 140ff., and the references in the paragraph above) is laid waste in such extravanganzas of anti-scientific zeal, really a religious phenomenon, not surprisingly found wearing a white coat. Not surprisingly ? of course, man is man, and as Lord Zuckerman, one of the most prominent of British scientists declared, science is by no means proof against prejudice. He met it himself to a degree he found, one could say, professionally humiliating, not to his own name, but to that of his profession. You see something of this in "Beyond the Ivory Tower".
The forces of delusion are of course a pandemic at this advanced stage of the world's disaster course, running now most clearly not at some asteroid, but at God Almighty. Its morals, ethics and politics, much of its philosophically inventive science, its academia, anaemic with dreams, is not good for guidance. It is going astray so fast that its best 'plans', being without God, are like acrobatics for paraplegics. It is not merely bad taste and wanton, but witless of its disastrous estate.
Thus we move to an allied realm. Why do so many follow obviously corrupt priests of this or that description (not the class, but the many examples of corruption are in view, throughout the world) in many religions, founders of them here, confounders there ? It is because their religious aspirations are baulked from God, for this reason or that, so they follow man, with his sin, with his limitations, with his vacuity of veracity and evacuation of validity combined, often a saucy little fellow with rather large ideas, reaching to heaven. Alas, the reaching becomes retching when the poison is applied, though with some, it is gradual, like the apparent poisoning of Napoleon by French wine (as surmised with some evidence, in Reader's Digest). It took a while, but the result was humiliating and disastrous.
That is the parallel to Babel builders, but these, they do not perform so much by organisation, as by multiplication. They repeat, they roar, they rave, they insist, they endlessly seek to show that this or that is just around the corner, but it never is (some of this fiasco is reviewed in A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, esp. 1-3).
In addition to this particular type of humanistic, or irrationally unfounded mannish parade, philosophy parading in science as science, and being in fact below science and beneath contempt, there is the babble blaring of philosophy in its many other clothes. Having invaded science in evolutionism, and many religions with psychology, sociology, visionary parades and allegretto antics, with innovatory surmises dressed as vision, it is far from satisfied.
With or without religious
undercurrents and overtones (not really relevant to the claims, but tending
to induce them) being manifest, philosophy has existentialism to its debit
as well, as noted above. Beyond that, there is idealism, which has ideals
hanging in the skies, like grapes without vines. Rationalism worships reason
rather than reality, and finds no relief in method, since the discovery
of God is the true function of reason, normally aborated (cf. SMR Ch.
3), by devious devices; irrationalism cannot so much as give a reason
for unreason, and bathes in virtual incommunicado status. All
these things are expressions of fragmentation.
In my computer, and probably in your own, there is a delightful and interesting little facility known as anti-fragmentation. If your poor old work horse is beginning to feel neglected (I speak as one who used to ride horses, often at the gallop, in 'teen years), with a few burrs here, sweat that has not been rubbed down there, a mouth that needs thought elsewhere, then it is time to attend to him. He likes it and it is good to do. So with your computer, you may get this rather charming little display of all sorts of blocks which are stranded or straddled here and there, and need that nice, systematic, organised, dense packing which is so much nicer. You watch as this fascinating and intriguing work goes on, in the pattern displayed before your eyes. Soon it is done, and one feels, Well, that is better for the poor old thing, it may find non-life easier now!
So in godless life, there is often a degree of fragmentation.
There are ideals (quite proper, when founded in the factuality of God, but often delusive when disjointedly parading themselves without source, base or basement, plan or ground), and these tend without their actual basis, to float about, and to get infected as do so many degraded or disjointed things, often with terrorism these days, or other follies of the individually, religiously or socially vaunting flesh of man.
There are ideas, wonderful things, delightful friends, but needing the discipline of logic, the authenticity of rightly based feeling, the medals of matrix from reality and the testability of truth. These often go about in rich clothes, and people may follow them, to hell, also detached from truth, from which they so often come, and to which so often lead. Ideas without truth are like snakes without shells, coming from below, from some pit, and populating the earth. You need control, discrimination, not mere fascination. It takes only a little potassium cyanide to kill an insect, just a little surreptitious philosophic alogism to destroy the gullible, who, to be sure, are ready to be destroyed, when eating unwarily from that source.
Man often these days becomes like a robot (one lady recently described part of her husband's pathological condition to me, as robotic in this, that there was much, quite complex, which nevertheless was almost robotically predictable). This is so sad, that the undoubted potential of man can be lost in some casing of corruption, in some vector of inane velocity, some passion without peace, some objective without meaning. One has even seen a man pursue a line of thought and behaviour, obviously destructive to himself and one dear to him, a man who has many times the necessary rationality to see this, but who, caught in a psychological groove, runs along it, not finding the Lord who could so readily lift him out of the whole thing.
This is all exemplary of
BABBLE BLARING AND TRUTH'S VALOUR:
and the EXIT PORT
Babble blaring is the same, for the mind and spirit of man, at the social and often the academic level. It is amazing how much of this goes on in the universities, which to this extent, tend to become agents of youth's corruption, though their potential, not always lost, is to be nurses of truth. As shown in It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 9, the invisible is so often ignored that the visible reeks with estrangement from reality, and the world is its calling card. Meet the world ? You would rather not, perhaps. Ah, it is astray, and it is often enjoying its lust for power as - quite like a youth with money and no wisdom - it declines into the deserved and assuredly coming obscurity of disorder, disorganisation and disaster. This is no mere 'doom'; it is a sure, systematic, spiritually deserved, gullibly pursued path, definable and indefeasible, biblically pronounced and humanly followed as if by some rigorous religion!
Even the blind are beginning
to get faint blurs of this situation nowadays, since it is as prominent
as Everest, as notable as the Eiffel Tower and as vacuous as the empty
site of the World Trade Towers.
Do not feel alone. Israel of old was in much the same situation. In fact, you read in Isaiah 42:18-20:
is blind as he who is perfect,
And blind as the LORD's servant ?
Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
Opening the ears, but he does not hear."
Australia is full of invention, like the USA, with many bible-distorting sects, enemies of the Christ they abhor, with many failing denominations once biblical but now inventive, innovative with little if any limit One major one, the Anglican with a Primate who is on record as feeling that the present Age does not need ONLY Christ as the way to God. Modish, but wholly obliterative of biblical truth, such forces have been seen in the Presbyterian area on New Zealand, in their refusal to affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ, in sexual confrontation of biblical, design standards in the Uniting arena, new proclivity for Rome in the Lutheran. (Cf. Stepping out for Christ Chs. 1, 4, 5, 6, Biblical Blessings Ch. 11, With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Ch. 3. See also UNITY in index.)
But does it obliterate it really ? Not at all, only in the mind of the purveyors of this Age-old decline from reality. It was already present as shown in II Cor. 11, those misleading by making some other 'Jesus' out of their own selves. Humanism has many features and facets.
All tend to blare, for how will they be heard, without basis in truth or verifiability, in the Bible or in history ? They need to repeat, to leap, to disport, to display - as did the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand where the author was a crusading pastor in 1966, DEMANDING the bodily resurrection of Christ be acknowledged by the Church; but it did not do so, so one had to leave that apostasising body, after due challenge in Assembly. This led at length, as officially 'promised', to Presbyterial intervention, announced in the local press! The harriers are not left alone in their cross country races, for the human race is crossing the great divide, altitudinous in its rebellion, short of spiritual air, gasping and pretending it will pass. More easily will the sun pass while the earth remains (Matthew 24:35, Psalm 73).
The word of God does not change because of the local press, or pressures of people who depart from the faith. In fact it predicted this now rapidly advancing phenomenon two millenia ago (cf. Matthew 24:11-12, II Timothy 3:13).
us hear some of this, before leaving this survey of some of the spiritual
dysfunctions and fragmentations of man, deplorable substitutes for adoration
of the truth categorically revealed in the Bible, and as Jesus the Christ:
verified, validated and unique in testimony past all competition, and indeed
without any (cf. SMR Chs. 1-3, 10; 4-6.,
8-9 in verification; That Magnificent Rock Chs.
1, 5, 7, 8).
"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.In II Timothy 3, there is this advice from Paul, which one does well to heed, as a head ache; for though the head aches, it speaks, and in speaking should be heard, that the ache should be given an escape by due treatment. And that, in this case ? assiduity and zeal for the trusted Lord Jesus Christ, whose power knows no end, and whose worship is due, whose character is beautiful, and whose praise is just (as in Revelation Chs. 2, 5, 19, 21-22, where He is seen as equal with God, His eternal word cf. SMR pp. 532ff.).
"For if God did not spare the angels who sinned,but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction,then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.
making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—
"They are presumptuous, self-willed.
"They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand ..."
us hear the advice of the apostle, concerning the times identified in Answers
to Questions Ch.
5 and SMR Chs. 8 -
9, as our own.
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:For our present purpose, this suffices, but there is a vast hinterland on this topic, in the Bible, fulfilled to the letter.For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control,
brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty,
lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
"And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
"But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them..."
Again, in I Timothy 4, we find this:
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
"If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed..."
Jesus the Christ, as seen in Matthew 24:24 declared this:
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
Note carefully what this is saying. Such is their temerity that even those who are foreordained to glory would be their butt and victims, if only they could ... The presumptuous arrogance and self-inflated dreams of the spiritually deluded are almost without limit.
This present world is passing away, lost in the turmoils of its own self-invented troubles, ably assisted by the most restrained but very real judgments of God, which grow and mount as predicted (cf. Revelation 6, Matthew 24:22). Its basis and origin, its creator and judge, its maker and Master is still the same. His disciplines grow, as they did on Israel of old; His words take hold as also they did at that time (see for example Ezekiel 12:22-28*1 - the time comes, at last, when the mercy being given, and rejected, the judgment accrues). His mercies, never cheap, being issued to this world at infinite price in the vicarious death of Christ to save sinners, are not for the proud, who are too haughty to consider themselves sinners, for the dreamers, too deluded to so much as listen, for the existentialism which is too self-absorbed to give time, for the predatory, too busy severing jugulars of competitors: but it is for any and each of these WHO REPENT!
Read Luke 13:1-3, then Luke 21, followed by Matthew 26, and then proceed to Matthew 20:28, and 28:19-20 and a pleasant journey may be yours, ending not on earth, but in heaven.
This earth has lived a long time, and has reached near to its end. It is had been very nice knowing it, but it is not lord, but site. In a little, it is gone. Its EXIT port was most costly to provide, and the valour of Christ in moulding it is infinite, by revelation, incarnation, crucifixion as sacrificial victim, bodily resurrection and proclamation of promises.
Those who are His, by faith receiving Him, who follow Him must also seek to be valiant for the truth (cf. Jeremiah 9:3), which is so lovely that no pearl or ruby, diamond or crown could compare, so complete that nothing can be added, and it has been given, all of our need, infallible and gleaming in the sunshine of Him whose it is, immovable, replete with comfort, precise with power, marvellous in scope.
Meanwhile, with Isaiah:
*1 Ezekiel in this passage of Ch. 12 is of great interest. God does not alter; and His word takes hold in its time.
“Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, ‘The days are prolonged, and every vision fails’?
"Tell them therefore,
Thus says the Lord God: 'I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.'"Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
But say to them, 'The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,'
says the Lord God.’ "
'Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, "The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off."
'Therefore say to them, "Thus says the Lord God: 'None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done,' says the Lord God.’ ”