“We are all idealists. We picture to ourselves a life on earth completely free from every hindrance, a kind of spiritual Utopia where we can always control events, where we can move about as favorites of heaven, adjusting circumstances to suit ourselves. This we feel would be quite compatible with the life of faith and in keeping with the privileged place we hold as children of God.
In thinking thus we simply misplace ourselves; we mistake earth for heaven and expect conditions here below which can never be realized till we reach the better world above. While we live we may expect troubles, and plenty of them. We are never promised a life without problems as long as we remain among fallen men….
What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them. If we cannot remove them, then we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.” A.W. Tozer Of God and Men, pp. 121-122
King James Version (KJV)
88 O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.
7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
14 Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
17 They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
Always the decisive conflict in religion will be where important concepts are joined in opposition, concepts so vital that they are capable of saving or wrecking the Christian faith in any given generation. At this critical juncture in church history, the real conflict is between those who hold to an objective Christianity capable of being grasped in its entirety by the human intellect and those who believe that there are far-in areas of religious experience so highly spiritual, so removed from and exalted above mere reason, that it takes a special anointing of the Holy Spirit to make them understood by the human heart. The difference is not academic merely. Should the advocates of religious intellectualism succeed in setting the direction for the church in this generation, the next generation of Christians will become helpless victims of dead orthodoxy.
In conversation with one of the better-known devotees of neo-intellectualism in evangelical circles, I asked the question bluntly, “Do you actually believe that everything essential in the Christian faith may be grasped by the human intellect?” The answer was immediate–”If I did not, I would be on my way toward agnosticism.” I did not say, but might properly have said, “And if you do, you are on your way toward rationalism.” For such indeed is the truth.
Having as the High Priest of our profession the incarnation of all divine wisdom and having as our source book of religious knowledge the holy Scriptures, the soundest and saltiest work ever written, why do we tend so easily to become confused about things spiritual? I believe the causes are four, and I propose to state them in this and the next chapters.
The first cause of religious confusion is our failure to understand that the truth as it is in Christ Jesus is a moral and spiritual thing and not something intellectual merely. Let a man approach the burning bush of divine truth with the desire to grasp it in his hand and the intensity of the fire will blind his eyes and cauterize his hands and face to the point of insensibility. Before the awesome vision of revealed truth, the human intellect should kneel and hide its face in trembling adoration. Because Moses was afraid to look upon God, the Lord could speak to him face to face as a man speaks to his friend; but God hides His face from the man who does not instinctively hide his own.
Intellectual pride, then, with its corollary, irreverence, is one cause of religious confusion. Satan’s original doctrine, “You will be like God, knowing . . .” (Genesis 3:5) has been accepted by millions of religious persons through the centuries and commands a big following today even among professedly orthodox Christians. In spite of all Christ said while among men and all His inspired apostles wrote after His ascension, we seem never to learn that the inner essence of truth cannot be apprehended by the mental faculties. We still come at the awesome supernatural reality headfirst.
I wish it were possible to anoint the head of every Christian preacher so that he would never sin again while the world stands. Perhaps some would consider that a happy way to deal with the subject. But, in fact, if any person can be removed from the possibility of sin, he or she can only be some kind of a robot run by pulleys, wheels and push-buttons. A person morally incapable of doing evil would be, by the same token, morally incapable of doing good. A free human will is necessary to the concept of morality. I repeat: If our wills are not free to do evil, neither are they free to do good….A.W. Tozer
From the villain in the C.S. Lewis story “That Hideous Strength”, ”The world I look forward to is the world of perfect purity… What are the things that most offend the dignity of man? Birth and breeding and death..” I would add God into that mix for many. It is as if they are not willing to credit anything for change, those who call themselves “progressive”, are so often the very ones who do all that they can to prevent any real progress for humanity. So often their policies are policies that lead to the death of humanity and a loss of morality to all men.
They treat the environment as if it were sacred and do their best to forbid the ability of any to practice their faith. Especially if it is a faith that say’s that God gave control of the world’s resources to man to oversee and benefit from. These are the same people who promote promiscuity and perversion, and yet condemn those who commit such to the final death. No promise of eternal salvation in their eyes.
One of my favorite authors when I was growing up was H.G. Wells, especially the “Time Machine.” It was fascinating to see different levels of society and when the time machine reached the very end of civilization, there were two classes. One a class of people who could be considered perfect by the standards of the day. Beautiful people who cared for nothing, did whatever they wished, had no responsibility nor any wants. Everything was taken care of for them, but at the same time, they had no curiosity, no desire except to fulfill their physical desires. The catch was that they had a master that they didn’t even realize that they had. This was who provided for all their needs. Unfortunately for them, they were the sacrifice that fed the master.
The gods of today always require a sacrifice but so often many people don’t even realize that they are being asked for one. Promiscuity leads to many things, including disease and pregnancy. Disease leads to death, and pregnancy to them leads to abortion and death for the child created by the promiscuity. The constant pressure to improve your situation in life by buying more stuff, leads to debt that is often inescapable and people wind up with nothing. The search for beauty is a black hole that leads to indebtedness for some, and death for others who are so obsessed with perfection that they are willing and need to go under the knife in order to reach that perfection. We are bombarded with things that we are told we need, when in truth, if we have faith in God, we are promised that He will provide our needs.
The good news is that our God gave a sacrifice for us and that we don’t have to give one on this earth in order to have the opportunity for eternal life with Him. He sent His son to earth to be that Sacrifice and Jesus made it willingly. He gave Himself in order that we could be saved. Unlike the gods of today who insist that we must do things their way, He has given us the opportunity to ask for Him to help us. Nothing is forced upon us and it is offered freely.
While C.S. Lewis’ villain looked forward to a world of perfect purity, and says that “birth, breeding and death” offend the dignity of man, these are the very vechicles of creation. Birth and the bringing of new life into a family or the world is one of God’s miracles and to witness it is to know that it is something special. Breeding, two becoming one and the product of that is also one of the miracles of God’s creation. Death, while something that many fear, is a step to a new life for a believer of God and to one who has accepted Jesus as their Savior.
How sad it must be to think that all that you can expect is here on earth alone and that there is nothing else. It is to say that nothing is important but what you can get for yourself. To not be able to envision the wonder of what God has created.
How sad to think that it is progress to have and use the ability to kill those you think are not worthy to survive. The morality of me leaves little for those in need. And so often while those who claim the mantle of progressiveism, what they really practice is regressiveism. They want man to kill those that they consider weak, ugly, non-intelligent or non-productive. They want the environment protected to the point that man does not interact with it. They want what they want and yet never see the consequences of their wants. They seem to forget that many of the great works of man were created by imperfect people and that an environment that is not inhabited by man is still inhabited and whatever their idea of perfection is, they cannot control God! Man does not control tornado’s, earthquakes, volcano’s, floods or any other aspect of nature. These things will still happen and the environment will not be static and remain in whatever idea of perfection that they have. They may think that by encouraging the abortion of the weak, ill and disabled, or even the euthanizing of them later, that perfection will enter in. They fail to recognize that what they consider perfection is just a reproduction of sameness. They champion diversity and yet do everything that they can to stamp out diversity of everything, whether it is physical or diversity of thinking.
Growing up in the country you learn a few things that perhaps those who never have that experience don’t seem to realize. A tree that is challenged by whatever weather and circumstance that affects it in the wild is much stronger that a tree that is planted in a nursery and nurtured until it is ready to set out in someone’s yard. Drought makes it’s roots grow deeper in order to reach water, wind shakes it and make the roots reach for a better hold. All these things make it able to endure. People are the same way, and no matter how much progressives want to provide their version of equality to mankind, by doing so they take away that very ability to grow stronger and endure the difficulties that will appear in the future. And they will appear, since man is not and never will be God, there will always be something unexpected to come along and if we take away people’s ability to survive, we leave them vulnerable.
Personally, I will put my strength in the Lord and accept His promise that He will provide what I need. I look forward to sharing the future with Him and death is just the doorway that I hope to walk through and meet Him on the other side.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5KJV
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.