Moralism is Self Deception…eschatology pt 10

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2;1-4)

The godless are going to be without excuse ,when they stand before the Throne of the Righteous Judge of the Universe, because they suppress the truth that God has revealed to them, in their conscience and in creation. Truly the Heavens declare the Glory of God…

But Romans 2 shows us that the moral and religious also, who trust in their own morality and who rightly abhor the effects of godlessness on individuals and societies, they too are liable to judgment and are without excuse!

Paul charges the moralist with doing the same thing as the godless. It’s not that they participate in the degraded excesses that godlessness always leads to, they don’t necessarily become moral relativists, or sexual libertines.

What Paul means when he charges them with doing the same thing as the people they judge, is that they too reject God in their thoughts, but it manifests itself in a different way.

Moralism, “do-goodism” and even religion itself can become a substitute for true spirituality, which is only possible by coming to God as a sinner in need of the God appointed Saviour, the crucified Jesus ,and on the terms set by the LORD, through faith and repentance.

But our text reveals that there is a two-fold self deception that such moralistic people engage in.

1)- And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

The first deception : Because there are people so degraded and debased by the culture of godlessness; reprobates, homosexuals,Atheists, terrorists,etc., by contrast there are the “moral majority”, who play by the rules, pay the bills, hold old fashioned, sound stable values , the deception is that the Judgment is for them, not for us.

Moralism, having “family values”, being a conservative, holding the Protestant work ethic et al ,all are extremely beneficial for this life. These habits tend toward greater prosperity, they are in line with the world as God made it to be, and they tend towards a much happier life than godlessness has to offer. But they are no substitute for salvation! Not even the most moral moralist is able to stand in the day of judgment.

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2;1-4)

The second self-deception is an outgrowth of the first-Because the Moralist has these habits that tend towards more temporal happiness, (monogamy, no divorce, belief and reverence for Creator, thrift, hard work, merit) his temporal life generally tends to be better lived. The self-deception is that this is God’s approval, we must be doing something right,unlike those godless heathen!

But Paul is telling is that those blessings of our lives are the very kindness of God. They aren’t given by Him because we are doing everything right, they are designed to bring us also, to repentance. The kindness is wrongly taken as approval, when in reality it is mercy, and space to turn to God in humble gratitude.

Perhaps even more than the utterly godless, the moralist ignores the urgency to repent, to turn to God and be saved. Because they are “Not as bad as the others”- moralists are oblivious to the fact that every single day is borrowed time, and every breath taken is credit also, for they too are liable to judgment.

But in accordance with your hardness and your 1impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-6)

If God’s judgement will be according to truth, and we know it will be ,(see Romans 2:2), than the standard of it is perfection, nothing less than absolute righteousness.God, we are told, will render to each one according to his deeds. Not even the best, the greatest humanitarian, the most Noble among us would be able to stand in the judgment of the Righteous and Holy God!

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SOLZHENITSYN’s Prophetic Warning to America

By: Pastor Bill Randles

”“Wisdom cries out loud in the streets, she raises her voice in the squares…” Proverbs 1:20
Harvard’s motto is “Veritas”. Many of you have already found out, and others will find out in the course of their lives, that truth eludes us if we do not concentrate our attention totally on its pursuit. But even while it eludes us, the illusion of knowing it still lingers and leads to many misunderstandings. (From Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard address “A World Split Apart”)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winning author, Soviet dissident and a survivor of an eight year sentence in the brutal Soviet Gulag system, passed away on August 4th, 2005  in Russia. The author and famous dissident  had been exiled from his homeland for his writings in 1974, and lived in Vermont until 1994 when he was able to return to Russia.

His passing is being largely noted because he was useful in exposing to the outside world the brutality and suppression of the Soviet system, through novels based upon his own experiences in the Gulags, such as “A DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH”, and “CANCER WARD”. His non-fiction expose, “THE GULAG ARCHIPILAGO” had to be smuggled out of the USSR and published first in France. It was this particular book which led to his banishment from Russia.

What will perhaps not be as appreciated as it should be is the fact that Solzhenitsyn used the occasion of a Harvard Laureate Award in 1978 to offer a warning to the West that was both stinging and timely. Unfortunately the warning largely went unreceived, as always “A prophet is without honor …”. The speech, “A World Split Apart” created a firestorm of controversy, warning the West of its spiritual emptiness and blindness.

President Carter snubbed him, his wife Rosalyn repudiated the speech at the National Press Club, and there were editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others, which railed against the speech.

What did he say that caused him to go from a ‘cause celebre’ to almost a pariah? Among other things, he called us on our failure of “civil courage”,

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature, which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life. (“A WORLD SPLIT APART”)

He warned us that we were losing the courage to defend our own civilization, that especially among our leadership, self serving calculation was taking the place of real conviction and that the outcome would be devastating. Solzhenitsyn warns us,
Should one point out that from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end? (ibid)

Solzhenitsyn then offered us a diagnosis as to what happened to make us lose courage – the false belief that individual freedom would guarantee happiness – as in “The Pursuit of Happiness”, although he warns us that the meaning of word ‘happiness’ has been debased lately –

Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness — in the morally inferior sense of the word which has come into being during those same decades. (ibid)

Freedom without restraint has not given us ‘happiness’. In fact, Solzhenitsyn charged that such ‘freedom’ is the cause of much of the depression and disillusionment that characterizes western society.

Ironically, on top of the rebuttal of our concept of freedom, he accused us of becoming a hyper legalistic society. See if this doesn’t speak to the situation as it stands today-

People in the West have acquired considerable skill in interpreting and manipulating law. Any conflict is solved according to the letter of the law and this is considered to be the supreme solution. If one is right from a legal point of view, nothing more is required. Nobody will mention that one could still not be entirely right, and urge self-restraint, a willingness to renounce such legal rights, sacrifice and selfless risk. It would sound simply absurd. One almost never sees voluntary self-restraint. Everybody operates at the extreme limit of those legal frames. (ibid)

It is this “skill” at the use of the letter of the law in the very face of the ‘spirit’ of the law that has developed into the “Death of Common Sense” as the title of a book written by a Federal Judge decries. How else is it that the enemies of our civilization have even a prayer of destroying us, other than through our courts, and the very ‘legalistic spirit’ our friend Solzhenitsyn warned us of? On this point he rightly concludes that such use of legalism will lead to two evils – the paralysis of true leadership and the inability to resist societal evil.

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, such as motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counterbalanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil. (ibid)

We didn’t have to wait very long to see the words of this prophecy come to pass – within ten years of Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard address, President Reagan’s Counsel on Pornography failed to even be able to agree on a definition of pornography. Do “we the people” really want pornography, gay marriage, abortion or Sharia law? Absolutely not, but unfortunately for us the pornographers, Sodomites, Eugenicists and CAIR are all able to successfully employ legal counsel, in a legalistic system to impose their will to the devastation of our society! Exactly what Alexander Solzhenitsyn warned us of in 1978.

Perhaps it was his critique of our flawed analysis of human nature that stung us the most, our humanism leads us to deny the effects of the fall. Therefore freedom without corresponding sense of responsibility to the spirit tilts towards evil.

Such a tilt of freedom in the direction of evil has come about gradually, but it was evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent to human nature. The world belongs to mankind and all the defects of life are caused by wrong social systems, which must be corrected. (ibid)

No wonder he was so ill received! He was “messing with our religion” of a humanistic Utopian “Brave New World”.

I have no doubt he was rejected largely because he diagnosed our problem as being the same problem the Russian people suffered from, Humanism!

There is a disaster, however, which has already been under way for quite some time. I am referring to the calamity of a despiritualized and irreligious humanistic consciousness. To such consciousness, man is the touchstone in judging everything on earth — imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now experiencing the consequences of mistakes which had not been noticed at the beginning of the journey (ibid)

I am in danger of reposting the entire speech to you but my commentary really doesn’t do it justice – read it yourself at  A World Split Apart and realize that we were officially warned thirty years ago, and for the most part have failed to heed the warning which has been validated by history point by point.

The solution? Solzhenitsyn calls us to nothing short of spiritual renewal, a return to the “Christian roots” of our humanism and a rejection of the “ossified “ dogmas of the Enlightenment. Almost anticipating the current Islamic Jihad, he warned us that without spiritual renewal, the humanistic and Godless west would be rendered “unable to resist the East”.

No doubt another thing that Solzhentsyn sensed was the germination of the same atheistic , leftist spirit which all but ruined Russia, taking root and advancing here. America of 1974 was a very different place from the America we now live in, but this man could see where the trends of thought and philosophy nurtured by our elite were taking us.

Rest in peace Alexander Solzhenitsyn. You warned us.

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Being Moral Isn’t the same as Being Holy…eschatology pt 9

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.(Romans 2:1)

Being disgusted by the squalid effects of the morally ruined, spiritually bankrupt, reprobate world we have created for ourselves and our unfortunate children and grandchildren can be deceiving. It is normal and healthy to feel moral repugnance at the twisted,perverse ,obscene media culture of today, but that does not equate to being Righteous ourselves.

That is the point Paul is making in the first 11 verses of Romans 2.To paraphrase verse 1, ‘Of course there are those of us who hate what has happened, and make moral judgments, but who among us can even live up to the very judgments we make on others?’ In other words the very capacity to make any kind of moral judgment, is going to be a testimony against us on the day of God’s final Judgment.

Francis Schaeffer, the Christian theologian and Philosopher once put it like this;

Imagine that each baby is born into the world with an invisible tape recorder hung around his neck. Imagine further that these are very special recorders that record only when moral judgments are made. Aesthetic judgments such as “This is beautiful” are not recorded. But whenever a person makes such a statement as “She’s such a gossip,” or “He’s so lazy,” the recorder turns on, records the statement and turns off. Many times each day the recorder operates, as the person makes moral judgments about those around him, recording dozens of judgments each week, hundreds every year and thousands in a lifetime.

Then the scene shifts, and we suddenly see all the people of the world standing before God at the end of time. “God, it’s not fair for You to judge me,” say some. “I didn’t know about Christ. “No one taught me the Ten Commandments, and I never read the Sermon on the Mount.”

Then God speaks. “Very well. Since you claim not to know My laws, I will set aside My perfect standard of righteousness. Instead I will judge you on this.” And as He pushes the button on the recorder, the person listens with growing horror as his own voice pours forth a stream of condemnation toward those around him…”She shouldn’t be doing this.” “He was wrong in that”-thousands upon thousands of moral judgments.

When the tape ends, God says, “This will be the basis of My judgment: how well have you kept the moral standards you proved that you understood by constantly applying them to those around you. Here you accused someone of lying, yet have you ever stretched the truth? You were angry at that fellow for being selfish, yet have you ever put your own interests above someone else’s needs?” And every person will be silent. For no one has consistently lived up to the standard he demands of others.

Romans chapter one and chapter two are akin to Jesus’ story of the prodigal Son. The last part of Romans 1 addresses the ungodly, out of control prodigal, longing to eat pig slop and totally lost! But Romans 2 addresses the older brother, equally lost but unaware of the fact, because externally, he’s all right! Making moral motions such as judgment of right, wrong, ugly and beautiful is not the same as being saved! Even moral and good people need to be saved.

Paul says that you who judge the godless “do the same”- what could Paul mean by that? I am not homosexual, I have not ever been a dissolute alcoholic, I wouldn’t consider myself to be one who applauds abortion, homosexual marriage,nor am I a relativist. So in what sense do those who don’t drink the koolaid of godlessness do the same as they?

Remember that those excesses in Romans 1 were outcomes ; horrible and frightening outcomes of sin. The real sin is rejecting the glory of God and trying to find beauty and meaning in something other than God himself. This is what Paul means when he says “You do the same”. In a sense the elder brother of the prodigal son “did the same” , he was far, far from the Father, although he didn’t express it in “wine women and Song” like his brother.

Not everyone is godless, atheistic, given over to excess, hateful, ungrateful, unholy, approving of the culture of death. But everyone on earth ,whether they have preserved some moral sensibility, or sold it down the cultural sewer, everyone has rejected God to some degree, and it is the rejection of the glory of God that is the essence of sin.

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

Everybody needs a gift of Righteousness , from the righteous God and judge, all need to be saved, not just the obviously vile.

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Why The Damned Love Crowds…eschatology pt 8

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.Romans 1:30-31

The last half of Romans chapter 1 is a Divine analysis of the psychology of unbelief. Why godlessness?

The answer is that it is not ignorance or lack of evidence, but rather it is nothing less than a refusal to believe, and that in spite of both external(Creation, and it’s order), and internal (conscience, the universality of such intangibles as Justice and truth) evidence.

God has shown it unto them, we are told, but they did not like to retain God in their knowledge. Because of this, they make three moral and spiritual exchanges- as we looked at earlier.

They exchange the dignity of being made in the mage of God, for something that looks amazingly like one of those evolutionary charts, as an explanation of our origins.

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.Romans 1:23

They also have to make an exchange in the area of philosophy, they give up on Truth and embrace relativism. And finally they end up exchanging the God given roles for that which is unnatural, feminism, and it’ s mutant offspring, homosexuality.

The chapter ends on a note which we are seeing payed out before our very eyes. The godless are evangelical about the effects of their ‘lifestyle’. They want everyone possible to indulge in their practices. Why would that be? Whatever happened to “everybody do your own thing”?

Why is it that sexual deviants are not content with ‘tolerance’, but insist that everybody everywhere wholeheartedly embrace such perversions as “Gay marriage”? Why do those who have won the battle over the legalisation of abortion, still tremble at the slighest idea of any restrictions whatsoever? What motivates those sexual libertines to mock the very concept of abstanance or virginity?

The reason is given here in Romans 1- it is because, “They know(ing) the judgment of God”. They know that what they are doing makes them liable to judgment, they know that their godlessness and the deviancy it has spawned is wrong.

The wicked flee when no one pursues them…”(Prov 28:1)

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1:31)

They take comfort in the crowd, they feel better if they have around them a whole society of equally perverse or even worse people. The more who indulge, the better they feel about themselves. If anyone dissents from these deviancies, or merely doesn’t partake, the godless feel threatened.

The book of Proverbs echoes this sentiment, when it assures those deluded by the very preponderance of those who share in and flaunt their perversity;

Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. (Proverbs 11:21)

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Exchanging The Natural Use…Eschatology pt 7

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient…(Romans 1:26-28)

As a consequence of the suppression of the revealed truth that God has implanted in every man, Paul tells us that three psychological exchanges are made by society in rebellion against God. The exchange of the glory (dignity) of being made in the Image of God, for a lower view of humanity, as just the highest evolved mammal. The current religious devotion to the theory of Evolution is the current manifestation of this.

When God is factored out, the second exchange becomes inevitable, the rejection of Truth with a capital ‘T’ , absolute truth. In its place is relativism, which is the reason for the loss of confidence, moral, spiritual and intellectual, in the West. This exchange of the truth of God for the lie, has resulted in a crisis of authority. What is Truth? Who can say?Who is to say that “your truth” is any truer than “my truth”?

This confusion brings us to the third exchange, the rejection of the “natural use ” of men and women, that is the repudiation of the God assigned roles of male and female. The humanistic rebellion against God always leads to this perversion. Autonomous man will not be “assigned” a role in life, not even a gender! Therefore God “gives men over “to these “degrading lusts”.

It doesn’t start with homosexuality rather it starts with the rejection of the “natural use” of the woman. This refers to the rejection of the God assigned role of wife, mother ,nurturer, caregiver,help-meet. Whenever this emerges as in modern feminism ,the spiritual and moral confusion that follows results in homosexuality in a society.

Feminism isn’t really about womanhood, or being female, rather it is a rejection of femininity, particularly the roles of wife, mother and home-keeper. It has evolved into envy and emulation of manhood, we now have woman combat soldiers, boxers,construction workers, pastors, etc. Women have broken into all previously exclusively male domains.

Men can be feminists also, when they buy into the lie, that the God assigned sexual roles are ‘mere constructs’, and that there really is no difference between a man and a woman, other than the obvious physical ones. Feminism is nothing more than an expression of rejection of he Creator and his order.

Another major aspect of this rebellion is the deliberate divorcing of sexuality from fruitfulness, ie the birth control pill and resulting sexual revolution.”The women exchange their natural use for that which is against nature,”when they have used the power of their sexuality to sell cars and toothpaste.

The acceptance of abortion has furthermore brought us to exchange of the natural for the unnatural,(ie homosexuality). Abortion amounts to the killing, not only of the baby, but of the mother also, in the sense that it is the ultimate expression of rejection of the maternal role. There is nothing natural about a mother killing her unborn child.

These are some of the outcomes, of the suppression of truth, and the exchanging of human dignity (the image of God), absolute truth, and the God assigned sexual roles. The fact that there is so much homosexuality in our society shouldn’t be a surprise in light of Romans 1.

Not only women, but men also, leave the natural use of the woman and become prey to unnatural desires that bring many to the horror of homosexuality. When men quit seeing woman as someone to protect, nurture, provide for, have children with, and when they no longer honor the mystery of birth and motherhood, the consequence for many is homosexuality. The roles have been rebelled at, did we think it would be without consequence?

Even the apostate church follows this pattern. First they deny the God ordained order for leadership in the church, that Pastors should be men, and the husband of one wife….etc . Almost always the ordination of women into pastoral roles in these ‘churches’ is followed by the ordination of homosexuals, or the abomination of homosexual marriages. Thus the apostate church bears witness to Romans chapter 1.

All of this can be traced to something deeper than “Nature or nurture” arguments. Homosexuality emerges in a culture in direct proportion to the suppression of the truth of God as personal creator, and the denial of the fact that we have broken some kind of code, and that we are all liable to a final judgment.

The passage warns of the final stage, which is that God gives them over to a reprobate mind. Reprobation means the inability to distinguish right from wrong, even further it means the inversion of right and wrong. We now live in a culture so degraded, that Homosexuals are celebrated as ‘civil rights victims’ and those who object to it, as regarded as dangerous homophobic reactionaries.

Jesus said He would come when it is as the days of Noah and Lot…Come quickly Lord Jesus!

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Trading The Truth For The Lie…eschatology pt 5

The first chapter of the book of Romans is a Divine analysis of the psychology of unbelief . Man is liable to God’s wrath against sin, because “They suppress the truth in unrighteousness”.

In other words, no one will be damned for what He doesn’t know, rather God’s judgment will be on the basis of knowledge spurned and suppressed. Every human being knows enough about God, creation, right and wrong, and judgment, to render themselves liable to the judgment of God. Jesus put it this way;

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather han light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. John 3;20-21

A necessary outcome of this suppression of truth is that man in his rebellion against God’s revealed truth, subconsciously makes three “exchanges” . Last week we discussed the first one, which is the exchange of the dignity of being made in the Image of God, for a lesser view of human origins, and value. What a difference there is between seeing ourselves as God’s Image bearers, as opposed to just being a highly evolved mammal.

Here is the second of such necessary “exchanges”-

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.(Romans 1:25)

The Truth, that man is a created being, who owes his very existence to the infinite ,personal God, has been jettisoned by this generation. This is the meaning of the Creation/Evolution controversy, man would like to be autonomous, to break off the shackles of accountability to his creator

The Lie is that man can define himself, he can decide for himself what is true, beautiful, good, that we can be whatever we want to be ,with no reference to God! This is a variation of the lie the serpent told Eve in the garden…You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil…in other words ‘You don’t need God to tell you what is good , or evil you can know for yourself, and even decide for yourself.’

Such is the philosophy of our day, toxic Postmodernism. A radical rejection of the very concept of truth with a capital ‘T’, that is absolute truth. In place of it is a relativistic, ‘everyman for himself’ approach to truth. Platitudes such as “one man’s truth is as good as another’s”, or “Who are you to say that your right and they are wrong?” are common place, especially among academia. But as Ravi Zacharias says, even the most committed relativist , looks both ways before crossing the street.

The collapse in confidence in absolute truth, is a direct outcome of the willful rejection of belief in God as creator, and in the concept of sin and judgment. If there is no God, there can be no absolute Truth, there can be no sure standard of truth, one man’s truth is as good as another’s. If everything is true, than nothing could be true, the end of this road is the societal madness we are seeing all around us, in for example multiculturalism, or the fiction of homosexual marriage.

Witness the war on Truth in our own lifetime. “Truth has fallen in the streets…” says Isaiah, and Hosea agrees, that,” there is no mercy and no truth…because there is no knowledge of God”. When God is rejected, shortly after, belief in absolute truth is also inevitably abandoned.

There is a heavy moral , and even psychological cost for holding onto the Lie. Continual resistance to truth exacts a heavy toll as this Theodore Dalrymple quote attests-

When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. ~Theodore Dalrymple

The biggest lie of all, is the denial of God, his existence, our creation by him , and the resulting so-called ‘freedom’ and autonomy of modern man. Coming to Christ is a matter of returning to Truth- affirming it, and submitting to it. It’s a paradox really, that when fallen man wanted to liberate himself from ‘bondage to God’, by embracing the lie, he becomes the most miserable slave of all, but when he goes back to the Truth in lowly submission, he gets set free- as Jesus said –

“… to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”(John 8:32)

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The Ungodly Make Three Exchanges…eschatology pt 4

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things…

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen…

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; (Romans 1)

In our previous post we discussed the fact that Romans 1 is a Divine analysis of the psychology of godlessness. The godless man is conflicted because he is suppressing the Truth that he already instinctively knows, about God, creation, sin and the inevitability of judgment.This is unrighteousness and the wrath of God is daily being revealed against it.

Paul describes the exchanges that are the necessary outcome of this truth suppression. The word in the text , ‘change’ is more accurately rendered ‘exchange’. Truth, we are told in proverbs 23, can be bought, sold or bartered, but there are definite consequences to such transactions.

“Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom and instruction and understanding.(Prov 23:23)

The first ‘exchange’ that man makes when he suppresses truth, is the exchange of the “Glory” of the incorruptible God– for a mere corruptible image, of man, beasts,and even lower creatures. This is a reference to man’s sense of himself, his identity.

In what sense did humanity ever have ‘the glory’ of God ? Just the fact that Man is” made in the Image of God” elevates him into the glory Paul is speaking of here. Glory here is dignity, the idea that humanity is special, and that just being a human being invests every individual with a kind of sanctity.

When man suppresses the truth about God, as the benevolent,personal creator , He rejects the specialness of man. If I believe that every man is a bearer of the Image of God, regardless of how productive, healthy, beautiful, handicapped, intelligent, they are, each individual is worthy of respect. This is what fallen man is said to have ‘traded off’ in his willful rejection of truth.

What did we receive in the swap? An Image like unto corruptible man (humanism- man as the measure of all things), birds,beasts, and creeping things,(evolution,man is a highly evolved animal,a creature of instinct).

This is the new ‘dignity’ of man that we have bartered away the Image of God for. This is the meaning of the coarsening of our civilization, because if Man is just a highly evolved animal, why should human life be dignified above any other kind of life?

It’s the story of the human race, from the beginning until now, although for our purposes it is being graphically played out for us in the degeneration of our western civilization. We have seen this rejection of the ‘Glory’ God conferred upon man, in our lifetime.

The willful acceptance of Darwinism, has resulted in the previously unthinkable cheapening of human life. Darwin’s disciples, first the Nazi’s, then the World wide Communist attempts at Utopia, basically had the theory on the value of human life,that “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette”. Stalin is quoted as saying, “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic!” Finally in our own previously christian nation, the holocaust of Abortion, euthanasia and Zero population growth all testify to what Proverbs told us centuries ago, in the person of the Wisdom of God, “All those who hate me love death!”.

Our generation has become coarse, crude and even bestial because of secularism, the abandonment of God is the abandonment of humanity itself. Without the belief that man is truly a bearer of the Image of God, by what rationalization are there “inalienable rights endowed by our Creator”? Why bear a downs syndrome child, why preserve an elderly, sick relative? What do we do about those who are unproductive, expensive, inconvenient? These are serious considerations in the brave new world of exchanged Truth. to be continued…

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