Wisdom Cries Out From A Sinking Ship

Wisdom Cries out in the streets… (Proverbs 1)

God’s wisdom is always crying out to every generation, whether it be through the scriptures, the church, or Israel, there is always a Divine witness to truth trying to get people’s attention as life pushes them on to their final destination. I believe that one of the ways God’s wisdom cries out to this generation, is in certain current events.

It is true that for the most part the real message is lost on most people, due to  the cacaphony of other incidents, or the urgency of the mundane. Many of these events are like the writing on the wall in the book of Daniel, people know they are significant but not how to interpret them.

I believe that God is speaking to this generation very specifically through the recent sinking of the Concordia, off the coast of Italy. What a statement it is to us, about where we as a civilization have come from and where we are headed.

The way to hear Wisdom’s message is by contrasting this event with another famous maritime disaster, the sinking of the Titanic, which is just three months short of a hundred years ago,  April 14,  1912. Before we begin, though it is necessary  to banish from your mind director James Cameron’s anachronistic version of the Titanic.

When the Titanic began to sink, and it was discovered that there were half as many life boats as needed, women and children were put into them first, as this survivor recounts,

No laughing throng, but on either side [of the staircases] stand quietly, bravely, the stewards, all equipped with the white, ghostly life-preservers. Always the thing one tries not to see even crossing a ferry. Now only pale faces, each form strapped about with those white bars. So gruesome a scene. We passed on. The awful good-byes. The quiet look of hope in the brave men’s eyes as the wives were put into the lifeboats. Nothing escaped one at this fearful moment. We left from the sun deck, seventy-five feet above the water. Mr Case and Mr Roebling, brave American men, saw us to the lifeboat, made no effort to save themselves, but stepped back on deck. Later they went to an honoured grave.(Elizabeth Shutes,  The Sinking of The Titanic)

The world of the Titanic crew and passengers was yet steeped in a Judeo Christian outlook. The self sacrificial actions of the men on the ship were informed by the chivalric ideal of  the strong bearing the burden for the weak and helpless.  These ideals came straight out of  the Bible, and christianity. Women and children first, even to death!

Again from Shutes,

Sitting by me in the lifeboat were a mother and daughter. The mother had left a husband on the Titanic, and the daughter a father  and husband, and while we were near the other boats those two stricken women would call out a name and ask, ‘Are you there?’ ‘No,’would come back the awful answer, but these brave women never lost courage, forgot their own sorrow, telling me to sit close to them to keep warm… The life-preservers helped to keep us warm, but the night was bitter cold, and it grew colder and colder, and just before dawn, the coldest, darkest hour of all, no help seemed possible…)ibid)

Contrast this with the reactions of our post feminist, post christian passengers on board the sinking Costa Concordia, from an excellent article by Mark Steyn,

On the Titanic, the male passengers gave their lives for the women and would never have considered doing otherwise. On the Costa Concordia, in the words of a female passenger, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboat.” After similar scenes on the MV Estonia a few years ago, Roger Kohen of the International Maritime Organization told Time magazine: “There is no law that says women and children first. That is something from the age of chivalry.”

If, by “the age of chivalry,” you mean our great-grandparents’ time.

In fact, “women and children first” can be dated very precisely. On Feb. 26, 1852, HMS Birkenhead was wrecked off the coast of Cape Town while transporting British troops to South Africa. There were, as on the Titanic, insufficient lifeboats. The women and children were escorted to the ship’s cutter. The men mustered on deck. They were ordered not to dive in the water lest they risk endangering the ladies and their young charges by swamping the boats. So they stood stiffly at their posts as the ship disappeared beneath the waves. (Mark Steyn,The Sinking of The West)

Once again these are people steeped in a Judeo Christian worldview. I am not saying they were all christians in the truest sense of the word, but that the western ideals leadership, sacrifice, heroism, the male as the protector, the female as someone to be protected all come out of the gospel, and the Torah of God’s Word. These virtues are routinely scoffed at by our cultural influencers.

Modern people vainly imagine that we through our science and technology and our recent social revolution, ie the rejection of the old moral and religious constraints,  have constructed for our selves a much more just, equal and compassionate world.

That illusion can be maintained as long as the ship of  life is cruising, the buffet table is open, tennis and yoga classes are in session, and the sun is shining on the deck. But what happens when the ship starts sinking?

There isn’t anything sacred about a women in post christian society. Motherhood is just one option among many, a woman can be anything a man can be, for our cultural shapers have constructed an allegedly ‘gender neutral’ society.

In the new godless society, there will be no more “women in the life boats first”,  it is now “only the strong survive”. As another eyewitness on the Concordia reported, “big, strong men were knocking over women and teenaged girls to get in the lifeboats.

Children also have been debased in this ‘brave new world”. The acceptance and practice of Abortion alone has murdered the sense that children are special and worthy of special protection that Jesus insisted upon in his warning about millstones.

Of course there were in the Costa Concordia some exceptions to the rule, for the Christian ethic hasn’t been completely eradicated. Witnesses observed a Hungarian violinist who took the time to help several crying  children get their life vests on. He was not able to make it off the ship because of it.

There is much more to this, such as the absurd behaviour of the Captain, who sent people to their rooms, knowing his recklessness had caused him to strike the rock that ruined the ship, who ordered dinner as the ship sank, and who eventually jumped ship leaving the ship and passengers to their fate. Could this be some kind of metaphor about our reckless, aprincipled leaders these days?

Perhaps we should consider Lady Wisdom’s full admonition,

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:(Proverbs 1:20-29)




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16 Responses to Wisdom Cries Out From A Sinking Ship

  1. Ana says:

    For me nothing truly sums up what happened with this ship as it relates to the state of our world today as the words of one of the tourists as he describes that he didn’t really notice anything was wrong for quite sometime. “But what about the crash? Not even when the lights went out?” Well no, because they were all sitting through a magic show at time, complete with sound and light effects. When the ship crashed the rocks and the electric system eventually went out, they just assumed it was all still part of the show. Certainly gives credence to the notion the world seems to be aboard a sinking ship but still it thinks the party is just getting started.

  2. Karenlynn Hurt says:

    we have been lulled to sleep time to wake up

  3. I just read this article to Di. Always good stuff being written but this is such an excellent critique of modern society. Have you thought of writing a book on this subject? The value of women does not come from seeing the equality of women to men in every way. I must beat with God’s heart for my wife, knowing that she is a co heir. I am so blessed to have a wife who is able to make the distinction that inequality in role does not mean inequality in worth or standing before God.

  4. Phil Malone says:

    Thank you, Bill for this article. It shows how far we have fallen from our Judeo-Christian beliefs. The Divine order has been displaced 1 Corinthians 11:3. The woman is now equal to man, some are above. God placed man above woman because the man is to protect the woman, the children even unto death. It is time for the age chivalry to return. And for it to return we must return to our Judeo-Christian heritage.

  5. Jana Makela says:

    Pastor Bill you nailed it!

  6. A good sound article as usual. But the West as a whole appears to be slipping towards a mass extermination society in which death as a right will become death as a duty. This is a theme I explore in my book ‘The Exit machine’ at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/R1Publications.

  7. Pingback: Patriots and Liberty » Blog Archive » Wisdom Cries Out From A Sinking Ship

  8. Ana: they were all sitting through a magic show at time, complete with sound and light effects

    Magic has the power to mesmerize, for it speaks of unseen powers and of the possibility of man acquiring powers for himself. The most important figure of the magic tradition is Hermes Trismegistus Thoth. Upon his teachings rest all magic systems, that is, the science of magic from which the West’s modern science emerged.

    Thoth’s key magic teaching is expressed in the phrase, “as above, so below.” Boiled down this means that the entirety of creation is comprised of one-substance of two parts. The part above is the substance of an impersonal god in continuity with the part below ,the animal or material realm. Hermes discloses the meaning of “as above, so below” to his son Tat:

    “The intellect, O Tat, is drawn from the very substance of God. In men, this intellect is God, and so some men are gods and their humanity is near to the divinity…”

    In short, men share the very substance of an impersonal god.

    Our own age is an age of Hermetic magic. From the Renaissance right through to our own, Hermeticism has been at the foundation of Gnostic systems such as Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism and Hitler’s occult theosophy. It has entered the church and is wittingly or unwittingly taught by Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet.

    A short commentary entitled, “Rick Warren and Leonard Sweet Teach Egyptian Hermetic Magic and Chaos” explains:


  9. mercadeo says:

    The warm, colorful, people-loving Christ of Scripture, comfortable with His own body and the little pleasures of life, was replaced by a solitary suffering celibate who fought off sex as well as Satan. The soul-freeing, sin-forgiving significance of His death and resurrection was blurred by long lists of do’s and don’ts, indulgences and sacred relics. The liberating message of Jesus, who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly ( John 10:10 ), was greatly toned down. This joyful wine maker and wine drinker, this friend of sinners and harlots, this divine Man, who healed on the Sabbath and constantly confounded and challenged the religious rules and the showy deeds of the religious of His day, while being cared for by an entourage of worshipful and often wealthy women ( Luke 8:2,3 ), was not the exemplary ascetic figure envisioned by a celibate ecclesia.

    • billrandles says:

      Sister I agree with much of what you said, but Jesus also hates sin and iniquity, rebukes hypocrits, is Holy and uncompromising and died as an offering to God for our sins. Here is Isaiah’s portrait of Jesus, the “joyful winemaker”.

      Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

      2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

      3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

      4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

      5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

      6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

      7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

      8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

      9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

      10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

      11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

      12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

  10. Wayne says:

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: NO man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

  11. Wayne says:

    What point are you trying to make Glynn?

    [The jailer] “brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:30-31)

  12. Steve Pinch says:

    I think that in some sense the loss of chivalry is openly promoted on airlines. Have you ever been on any flight which goes over water? When the flight attendants go throuigh the safety routine about how to put on a life jacket, they say “always put your own on first then help your children and others…” or woeds to that effect.

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