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STEPPING OUT FOR CHRIST
LAMENT FOR THE ROBOT
(cf. SMR pp. 270ff., Allegory at the Computer Face)
We read often enough of the Japanese specialty in robotic manufacture of cars. The 'zeal' and reliability, the precision and program of it all!
You can have it, as far as the ideal is concerned. For manufacture, perhaps; for me, no!
There is one person with whom I often discuss things that matter. She is much older than I, and seems to find that the Almighty does not measure up. It is not that she does "not believe in God"! No, it is rather that like some union member, she has trouble about the management. In particular, it appears she prefers the quality and calibre of cats to man!
Pain! that is
the problem: she was a nurse. We have discussed all this in detail on other
occasions (see for example Scoop of the Universe 55, A Spiritual Potpourri
things to be said about this latter plan is simply that without the 'rest',
where is the
test ? What is of the light comes into it, we learn from the word of God; and the OPPORTUNITY by being alive, to be Christ's is not lost in thought, but found in reality. Since God is not willing that any should perish, we know that it is impossible for anyone of His to be lost, that there is NO BETTER OUTCOME available, only the restraint of love (for God is love) leaving the fatal 'loophole' for a lost eternity. It is moreover, all foreknown (see Predestination and Freewill, esp. Sections 1,3), and there is not even a possibility of any error. History gains much in realims and open attestation of truth, in a system open to the light, forceful in darkness; and loses none, for God finds and keeps His own. (Cf. A Spiritual Potpourri,The Flashing Falls of Freedom.)
Should the wonder of coming to know God, receiving the gift of eternal life, the consummation of creation, and more, the treasure of finding the inexhaustible store of divine love be lost to some because some do not want it ? What sort of love is that ? No one is ever going to be in hell without preferring darkness, and with such a preference, without finding the light intolerable, where it is! It is not there.
pretend, or find consequences foul; but when it comes to the heart, that is the
way it is.
Indeed, and further, if the realities of faith were not tested, then the declaration in the laboratory of history could not be made. This way, there is an open book; the saints are tried and purified, and yes, made white. The ungodly fight for their dis-faith and die in and for it: without reason, without cause but not without liberty so to do. The qualities are evil, so unspeakably malign in such intensity in its highest crucibles and potions, as exposed in such lowlights as Communism, Nazism, Statism, opportunism, sadism, sensualism and avarice, proceeding darkly to exhibit their wares.
Every ploy and
practice of man shows itself, with its true teeth protruding from its verbal
lips; and the ineffectuality of any substitute for God is shown in the practice
of the idiocies - perhaps sometimes blithe, of rejecting God (in the spiritual
sense, for as the word of God says, it is the FOOL who has said in his
heart that there is no God, and reason sings its amens from generation to
generation); while the little gods they make like trinkets for the neck, they
sink into the mist of time, without power, without a word to be tested or if
with words, without test, if with test - most exceptionally - then without
anything remotely like confirmation. The eternities of God will NOT be filled
with the grimace of those calling, "Authoritarian!" and "Prejudice!";
for God has made all things open, even the face of Christ to having the hair
pulled from it, and His back for the floggers whose interest was envy, and
No, heaven is not for notions but people, not for nostrums but for the redeemed, people to whom the Christ is given, and who receive Him. He was crucified and delivered up for us, and we are required to be crucified with Him; and if the first is true (as in Romans ) for anyone, the other assuredly will be, for "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its lusts and affections" (Galatians ).
But none of this is for the robot. Hence this lament. He is built
by engineers, and has no tears, experiences no fears, has no faith, can supply
no splendid vision, originate no world of conception, cannot love. It is true
that some sorts of Hindu quietude (in theory) might come towards such a result,
and some kind of nirvana might contribute something like the nullity in the
mind of the robot. It does not have one: merely the logic chips which chip in
instead, slaves with office work to perform for an unremitting BOSS.
WHAT IS EVEN MORE LAMENTABLE
It is this. While robots are free from the science of fairies, the sort of thing found in organic evolution, the concept that the utmost order and conception, strikingly beyond our best, is really just something that ... is there. It arrives like a Minister without portfolio. It occupies its office. But no one had to build the office, or the equipment in it, the order or the conceptions, the conditions or the code. It is case of fairies for children: Where did that come from Mummy, and why is it there ? The fairies did it, dear.
Robots are delivered from this sensational mindlessness - literal mindlessness. No one images them so; no fairies are brought in; no one calls it a myth that they were made, or suggests it arose from camp fire stories, and thus while such things occurred, these robots trotted up, apparently so fascinated by the excellent story-tellers, that they just HAD TO come into existence, presumably to hear what was being said. Yet, they, even they do not have wills. But then, neither does matter. There is always the problem of fairies, myths, actually told by the spewers of the accusations, MYTHS! perhaps in self-defence. No, it is no myth which makes robots, and they are as NOTHING compared to man. Man thinks. Man errs, it is true, and so pain and tragedy stalk, and judgment has its onset, as the realities of history evidence what is what.
Robots have a maker to answer to and for; so does man, but robots have no haven in the Creator to find. Man is not that sort of creator. He is just a creature of amazing liberties, who very often specialises in just that, taking them; and taking MORE than allowed. It is a sort of spiritual insanity, as you see in Hosea 9:7: "The spiritual man is mad!" - the concept there being that while some do not depart from a concept of God, they depart from the only One there actually is, and so make an irrational noise in the field of religion - a 'madness' in the eyes of the Almighty. And what does Hosea say in that place ? He specifies in this instance, this calamitous pseudo-religious case, two things: "mad for the multitude of your iniquity, and the great hatred." What a phrase! There are hatreds and hatreds, but that unleashed on Christ, the lover who loved to the death, the sinless who smote sin in bearing its sentence SELECTIVELY for those who come to receive HIS absolution (NOT someone else's, someone who does not happen ... to be GOD - I John 1:7, Hebrews 9): it is the classic, the utmost. There is a hatred impossible to better!
To reject the price of life on the part of God incarnate as unworthy of your deliverance from sin, there is a detestation that no spiritual Richter scale measurement of man could touch. It is ultimate and final. But what more ? "the multitude of your iniquity" ! That is it. Sin makes you WORTHY of eternal exclusion from the haven of heaven, which lacks it; but it does not PUT you there, for the SACRIFICE of CHRIST is the buffer, the barrier, the escape (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3, 2:3-4). It is the escape provided by the One who says this: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things that are seen were not made from things which appear!" (Hebrews 11:3).
When the God who made these infinitely more advanced creations, mankind, beyond all robots, sets out to present salvation as a gift, and the 'spiritual' people who haunt false teaching and insist on helping Him on, so that they use some of their own fuel to make it, insulting the standards of heaven, as if their very best could even be near, and neglecting the salvation by faith through grace, and that not of yourselves (Eph.2:8), and man tries to duplicate the ticket by adding his own art work to it, what of that ? It is a multitude of iniquity, it is cutting the heart, it is offensive to the hero, Christ (Phil. 2:1-11), delusive holiness, a ship aswamp in the unspeakable pollutions of an inland sea!
God does not spare: fool or mad*1 ? That is the reality He declares; but He is so sympathetic to those who are not so pure in their own eyes, not working on the basis that God is really a bit much, unless of course they can make their own, which is intensely fashionable and threatens in some places, almost to become universal, a sort of anti-theological flood, using theological terms - precisely as predicted in II Timothy 3:5, II Peter 2:1ff., II Timothy 4:1-2. As the Lord declares in Proverbs 30:12-13:
Self, sensationalism, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, self-regard, auto-sotericism as it is called, write your own ticket, self-made religion, or self-sustaining religions which adorn the self, the self of the nation or the self of nothingness, an inane procedure on the face of it, for what could IT do; or the religion of their choice, as if preference were a creator of truth! - what a list! It is a multitudinous chicanery, vanity, vortex in the end, which sucks down the denizens, to the turbulence which cannot be sustained in the truth. Thus, says I John 2:22: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ!" - the one who is that eternal life of God which became flesh (I John 1:1-4). That is the way it is from the mouth of God. A prisoner rejecting the noble pathway to freedom is doubly incarcerated, for his spirit assents to the plight of his body.
No indeed, matter is replete with laws, and it is eviscerated of any power to make them. Hence its Maker is not material, and it is anything but immaterial that it is so. The Bible has had it from the first. GOD CREATED (Genesis 1-2), the heavens and the earth, and all that is, nothing that is made being made without Him (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15ff.).
It did not make itself: nothing cannot, and what is less is inadequate (The Shadow of a A Mighty Rock Chs. 1-3). This is not happening. Nothing like that is happening. What is does not behave like that at all. That is reflected with intimacy and exactitude in the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy. This first declaration of God is verified in this FIRST LAW.
NOTHING is being created. Much is here. What was once exposed to the act of being created is a PAST PHENOMENON. It HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. The Second Law of Thermodynamics advises that what IS created is RUNNING DOWN. ANY given system (and the universe is one) does this. In the total, there is no more. Then THIS it is which is running down. Nothing is without source or base or power. What is, whenever it is, is arrested. In any system, apart, down is the word. Borrowing does not obliterate, nor does interchange annul. When first into something lesser as one system, something beyond it and above arises, the law, like the logic, is flouted. What does not begin, does not continue. What starts ephemerally, starts to decline; if it COULD start.
What however we have is NOT STARTING. This is not its way. This is not what it does. Building is neither its idiom nor its speech. It does not do it. It is not spawning like some author, never content. This is simply not its way. Philosophy cannot alter it; nor can observation see otherwise. Science, the word of God and logic in magnificent harmony inseparably SHOW one thing. It is the same, each according to the case: God SAYS, science SHOWS and logic DEMONSTRATES.
In 'Nature', then, that is the way of things. This is what is found. Thus, and in such a way, is not the beginning (as in Law 1 and logic as seen in SMR, Repent or Perish 7 et al.). When however a beginning is there, from due source, then ... It must then run down, not up. Orient and organise as you will, you cannot make ladders by borrowing steps and frame and support and design; for that is decisively UP. The system in which all your components are, MUST run down. Intimately and extensively, intensively and exhaustively, this is the way for any system; and the universe! what a system is that. Yet its hands are tied. It cannot write. It is written.
As a matter of fact, that is WHY it is so wonderful.
The Bible said, in Isaiah 51:6, this: "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall grow old like a garment, and those who dwell there shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished."
That is fully verified in the SECOND LAW. Not fairies or myths, and far less so than is the case with robots, have made man. Not religions or philosophies have made man. His Creator equipped with mind and Spirit and power and no limits, the eternal who did not have to arise since He always was - and who indeed, if ever He had not been, would have lacked anywhere to come from, in a non-created void: it is HE.
So too with life, the LAW OF BIOGENESIS. This third vastly important scientifically formulated law indicates a FACT. Life comes from life. It is not found in any other way. This fully verifies the statement that GOD MADE IT. It does not happen now. It is not a function of the visible world about it to produce this "off its own bat." It does not play the game; it is not introduced to cricket. This NON PERFORMING activity of the universe in this area, thus verifies the statement that God created.
One must be aware that the function of SCIENCE is to show what happens and to account for it by adequate causative considerations. There is no limit to the place and site of such considerations. That is for the vanities of impudent philosophy to impose, according perhaps to preferred prejudice. The cause is sought in adequacies, not asinities; in what is equipped, not in preferred pastures. It is sought where it may be found. THIS earth, it is not the site.
Such things are not NOW found to occur. Observation cannot find them. Principles cannot create them. Experiment cannot reveal them. They are null, operationally, now on this SITE, the earth. That is what is found without exception over all history of man. The product produces within its limits, but it does not produce ab initio, one thing. And that ? Itself. Nature does not make nature, and the book of nature inscribed in living things, each in its modality, does not write itself. That is not the nature of code or matter. It requires, quite unrepentantly, what it takes: the formal, logical, causal, textual, architectural,mathematical, synthetic, correlative powers that are exhibited in the interstices and in the operations. (Cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7.)
The source of this spawn, this earth and all in it, is then called, aptly, super-natural. It is not of our confines, of matter with its formats pre-imposed. It is also aptly called spiritual. This, too, it is not some verbalised principle, which ignores the power and the reality in a flight of phrases.
In the case of EACH OF THE THREE SCIENTIFIC LAWS there is one result: THIS is what happens. If you want something else to happen in terms of the created universe, it is not to be found here. This wisdom, the earth has not heard of it, the creatures do not know of it, the seas will not uncover it, the stars do not produce it. Products do not make their producer; it is actually, the other way around. This is what we find. God certainly still acts personally according to stated principles and promises for His people, and in the world. He does not however currently involve Himself in making it, since this is done already.
THAT however verifies the statement of ANOTHER SITE, the directly written. THAT in turn, when one turns to the GOD who was ADEQUATE for the RESULT, has only one entrant. It is all extremely simple, rational and orderly. The writing TO us is like the writing in our cells: in one book. It alone has what it takes to identify the speaker, to attest His wisdom, and divorce His name from the wilful ineptitudes of the human race, moral, spiritual and other, that blight the building of man, guilty of mutual assault and divine caricature.
Indeed, God proceeds with power to emplace a resolution of the infections of man’s heart with the same decisiveness as in the immune system, to protect physically. Each is inspectable, each is observable operationally. Because of sin, there is intense vulnerability, and there is also immense provision spiritually for man, in his spirit.
These things are shown in detail in SMR 1,2,3.
Accordingly, SCIENCE, not surprisingly, has been given a vast contribution by Christians, to whom it is a natural. Truth - why that is Christ! Facts ? these are friends.
Thus it is estimated that perhaps 90% of the founding members of the Royal Society were Puritans (Christians with vast emphasis on the Bible, to be received with humility as the word of God, with a life to match). Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, von Braun, Boyle and many more of the originating spirits in this discipline were Christians, delighted to find what the Maker had made, and assured that it would be accessible to the reason He also had made. It is. That is one more verification - cf. Repent or Perish 7, especially, the Excursions. Logic and science are in perfect accord; one demanding and the other verifying the truth.
Hence if we
lament for the robot because he LACKS so much compared with man, is such a
devotee to the diligence of man, has no life with which to exhibit his
spiritual powers and prowess, no capacity to reject and formulate for himself
(itself will solve that one!), much more do we lament for those who awake to its
mode of manufacture by intelligence and vision and understanding and code and
contrivance and knowledge and power, attribute themselves (implicitly) to
fairies, to false gods or to nothing at all, like the Britisher who is being
modest: Oh! says he, it was nothing at all!
But we all know he did a "dashed good job" and is simply not admitting it. That cricket score was anything but nothing.
This however is not a case for modesty, but rather robbery. The score is being denied. No wonder it is directly declared by God that the one who denies the Christ (who ALONE has credentials which reason is unable to reject as shown in SMR Chs.1-10), is a liar. If there is ONE THING which makes a household intolerable, or near to it, it is lies. One remembers a fine aboriginal lady whose husband almost drove her to distraction with his world of lies, always constructing scenarios, but not performing in them. She had dearly loved him for many years since youth, but this treatment made it all the more atrocious to her spirit. No, no lies in heaven. And man is no robot! If you don't want to acknowledge the only (and necessarily true and living) God who is, then your company is auto-selected.
As to that
company, one would not desire it. One hopes no reader of these words will
desire it either. It is time to step out for Christ, out of the husk of
hollowness, the limitations of other lords, and to leave behind like a
disappearing town, the ways of old.
THE GLORY THAT IS YET THERE, AND THE WAY TO IT
There is one thing, however, which makes the LAMENT for the WILFULLY LOST a little less keen. There is still hope. GOD IS NOT TRYING TO SACK YOU from the goodness and mercy which is His; it is not His wish that any should perish (I Timothy 2:1-6). It is however necessary not to sack the salvation. The first step ? REPENT! (Luke 13:1-3).
Repent of what ?
Of the past:
Repent towards whom ?
Towards God, not some negligent idiot who makes what He cannot, will not or does not know how to sustain adequately, some jangling tangle of discord, insulting justice, lying against truth, aborting His works by sin, blaming Him for the results, despising judgment. Towards God Almighty, in need of nothing, creating all.
But how ?
If you repent, you know it: an abhorrence of what you did, the blindness or conceit or indifference, a turning to righteousness.
But who can DO this ?
God can do it. You ask Him to grant you this grace.
But if I do not want it ?
Then why regret that ? If you do not like pork, do not eat it.
But if this sends me justly to an exclusion from the only One who is unmitigated in goodness, its source and original…
Then that would be so vile that you should repent of THAT right now. If you WANT such things, ask for them.
But what if I do not believe ?
Then you insult God.
But what if I WANT to insult God!
Your choice. It is a malady that is final.
Then if I repent, will He manhandle me ?
Impossible, for God made man and the manhandling syndrome is a human vice God cures.
How would I live ?
What if I do not want to trust in God ?
Then trust in yourself and try to dissect that out from straight insanity, since you can neither determine your birth, genes, death or quality, even pride telling you what you cannot asses.
What then if I simply DO trust in God and DO repent ?
Then ensure that, like the DNA in you, you follow the Book, His written one.
What does this involve in this case ?
It means you repent FROM sin and RECEIVE Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord.
What does THAT mean ?
You recognise that sin is deadly, a cancer of spirit incurable except by ONE, who is the sent one, Jesus Christ, predicted, performing, concluding, a ransom, the just for the unjust to bring us to God (I Peter 2:22, 3:18, Galatians 3:1-13, II Corinthians 5:17-21). You present your sin and yourself to the Physician by faith.
For the former He is the only removalist expert authorised; for the latter, He is the Maker and understands.
Is He alive ?
Useless to repent and receive Him if He were dead. His power and presence is precisely what His people find.
Did He successfully accomplish this mission to do… what ?
Bear sin for all who would receive Him, show life, exhibit deity in human format, break death (I Corinthians 15), manifest His risen body to His disciples (Luke 24), conduct history, add to the Book in the New Testament by His Spirit, appoint disciples, return to where He came from, prepare for the event for which we all wait who know Him (Matthew 24:14, 36ff.).
It is His return after this period of gospel preaching is past, like all the other ages, to rule before the earth is removed like a stage for a production (Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3). Everything has time and place. He makes both as He has planned it.
Will He act for me, to do what I want ?
No, you would act for Him, to do what He wants.
Why should I ?
God is better than you, knows what sort of a being you are, did not make you in order to contradict Himself, and is tender-hearted because it is precisely He who made tenderness: that is why His LOVINGKINDNESS is so often both spoken of in His book, and found in the lives of people like me. His gift of life and liberty is for a purpose, not a deficiency disease. He KNOWS how it is designed to be, and needs to be trusted to make it what it should be. It is without God that you are in trouble, whether from yourself or others.
But would He receive me if I came in reliance on Him according to His book ?
He is on record to this effect (John ).
What if I should fail ?
Irrelevant. It is HIS job (John 10:9,27-28).
Why didn’t I do this earlier ?
Pride of life, joy of flesh, incompetence through sin, lack of grace. It is always a miracle when anyone is converted, since the disease affects the will no less than the rest (Ephesians 4:17ff., 2:1ff., Romans 9:16).
Can I come to Him NOW ?
But of course. If you WANT to do so, then the miracle is already at work.
Such then are the ways.
THE LINGERING LAMENT THAT
IS NOT NECESSARY
BUT WHICH WILL STAY FOR MANY
But if you will
not repent or have not done so,
or your spirit is not repentant ?
One remembers one of our many mockers, people who do not face the creator's work and will and word, wanting to be SHOWN ABOUT RELIGION, but finding it precise and with decisive answers, moving away like a rocket. There was the seed bed, the heart; there was the desire of the spirit. But once it found that it was not a life of laxity in the ways of mind, of thoughts blown this way and that by pleasant zephyrs of Spring (as with the Athenians in Mars Hill, Acts 17, who were so profoundly religious that they even had an allotment for "The Unknown God"): then no horse could well catch him. He fled.
Nor is he alone. Some tamper and tinker for years in sects and philosophies; some make their own and laugh at philosophies from one more hair-brained or arrogant than the others; some decline to be concerned, like someone finding a Rolls Royce in his garage (or hers!) and not really feeling too much inclined to disturb things by wondering about origins... But when once the end is come, and the Christ is rejected - for anything short of receiving and depositing a check, at the court, is a rejection: then what a waste! It is more than pitiful, more than painful. It is appalling in its rudimentary folly, and poignant beyond any ordinary words, a self-hatcheting, a strangulation when a hospital bed was available, a wallowing in AIDS when remedy was at hand, a slow stupefaction by custom, when light was available.
How wonderful on the other hand, that "light is sown for the righteous" and how beautiful that resounding prayer, "Send forth Thy light and Thy truth, let them lead me!" (Psalm 97:11, 43:3). How adequate, how precious, how select, how glorious! What a transport of delight! Emotionalism is what is involved in itself; but this is response to God, who is objectively magnificent, feel what one may! It is necessary to use this light when one has come, to step out of the proclivities of pollution, the ideas of miscreancy, the writhing witlessness of cultural conformism. Light sheds darkness.
However, for the rebellious, the resistant and the soundly sleeping, what pity could stoop to these, and what touch restore to them some feeling, if by any means at last, not yet too late, they might stir and seek and find and know the God who is theirs, whether they know or not; and knowing Him, find that eternal life which is the consummation of and for creation, for man in the image of God!
The robot ?
Alas, those rejecting the salvation that God Himself has freely provided, they
remain wilfully the SERVANTS OF SIN, and what robot could equal that! Robots
never had a chance. Man selecting the sin button in squalid self-defamation, is
in this, worse than a robot. If one laments for that, what then for this ? Yes
there is pity, and the fewer who merit it, the better! It is pity which writes,
it is truth which persists, it is compassion which cries, and where more
beautifully than in Christ (Luke 19:42-44), said to Jerusalem, container unit
for so many:
This reference is to those who have TASTED of the things of Christ, know of
them (cf. Hebrews 6:5, Matthew 13:20-21). Spitting it out is the real madness,
in the Hosea case. For the rest, however, there is still the general situation
without Christ: ‘children of wrath’, ‘alienated from the life of God’ (Eph.
2:3, 4:18). For the love of God in such cases, see The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.4.