Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Semi-Random Musings (24)

I have found myself thanking the Lord for some strange things lately. One of them is death. Another is the limits of human memory.

The mind of God is a staggering thing to contemplate. The moment we do so we are almost guaranteed to get something wrong. Nevertheless, enough has been written about it in scripture that we can be confident there is nothing God does not know, no prayer he does not hear, no burden of which he is not aware, and therefore no care or adverse circumstance in which he is unable or unwilling to provide grace.

That’s pretty amazing.

Moreover, God continues to attend to the daily needs and perceived needs of all his millions of children while displaying his love providentially to the eight billion people currently inhabiting this world and attending to the various details of his creation as big as black holes and distant galaxies, and as small as the falling of every dying sparrow (of which there are more than a billion currently).

Imagine the mind-boggling ability to prioritize that must involve. We can maybe contemplate a situation in which God slowed down time such that he could attend to one prayer after another, giving every believer maybe a millisecond each of the divine attention span, but that’s not how it works. God is perfectly able to deal with all of us at the same time, giving each of us his full attention.

You and I are made in the image of God, but we can’t do that. The greatest multi-taskers among us can juggle two or three sets of sensory input simultaneously. I’m good for one ... maybe. So I’m deeply grateful for the fact that many of the less important details of my life, including a great deal of unnecessary trivia, get backburnered regularly by my declining brain so that I can focus on what matters in the here and now. Whenever my son reminds me of things I’ve forgotten, I’m grateful for what I’ve actually managed to remember.

One day, perhaps, the pressing need to prioritize what we are thinking about will be an artefact of another world. In the meantime, memory “loss” is often more blessing than curse.

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I missed out on Bernie and IC’s discussion of the Christian’s arsenal in this week’s instalment of Too Hot to Handle, but one of the “weapons of our warfare” Bernie mentioned is truth. That idea can use a little development.

When the Christian addresses a secular argument, he has this distinct advantage: his worldview conforms to reality. He is dealing with the universe in front of him as it is actually constituted, as opposed to how otherwise-intelligent men and women fantasize about it.

Let me give one example. A friend’s daughter is in counseling. Her therapist believes this fifteen-year-old hellion is essentially a good person, and that the problems in her life are primarily the result of a mother who doesn’t understand her, a controlling father raised in a patriarchal culture, and the failure of multiple institutions to identify and properly address her needs.

Now, while all of these factors may indeed contribute to this young woman’s problems, getting Mom to be more sensitive, getting Dad to lighten up, getting her school to give her a few more weeks to complete assignments that should take a single day, or even getting the police to respect this young lady’s “right” to drop acid in a train station whenever she feels like it ... well, these things are not going to help much. Moreover, even if it were determined these issues indeed contribute to her delinquency, fine-tuning every one of them to her satisfaction is completely out of her control.

What this poor therapist is missing is the fundamental truth that her young charge is a hell-bound sinner resisting God’s established authorities in every area of her life. If you don’t address that, nothing else is going to help. With all her education, the therapist can’t address it. She doesn’t understand it herself.

Christians are not perfect: we don’t know all the truth we should know, and we don’t make perfect use of all the truth we do know. But we do have ongoing access to truth where the secularist does not. That in itself is the equivalent of carrying a tactical nuke in your back pocket when you engage with the world.

*   *   *   *   *

A young man addicted to pornography writes Doug Wilson for help. Doug replies as follows:

“A lot depends on how destructive your habit is. If we are talking about addictive behavior, and that on a daily basis, then you need intensive pastoral guidance and help, up to and including a Christian rehab program. And you should get that before you even think about marriage. But if you are talking about stretches of faithfulness, interrupted with periodic failures, that is a different situation.”

“Stretches of faithfulness, interrupted with periodic failures.” That’s a useful phrase, and describes most Christians in one area of life or another. I believe this distinction between the characteristic and the occasional is what the translators of the ESV were trying to bring out when they consistently employed the phrase “makes a practice of sinning” to translate the Greek ποιω μαρτα (“committeth sin”, KJV) and μαρτνω (“sinneth”, KJV) in 1 John 3. Occasional sins happen, but making a practice of them tells us something is not right with our professed faith.

Whatever may be the areas in which we struggle, I find it useful to remind myself that every temptation, every occasion for stumbling and every opportunity for moral failure is at the same time an opportunity to glorify God and allow him to demonstrate his grace in my life. God did not test Abraham in order to prove him a failure; he tested him to prove him a success (“now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son”). Jesus did not test Peter at all: Peter failed because he insisted on testing himself too early in an area about which he was, at the time, far too confident (“Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!”). When the Lord would finally test Peter’s courage, we can be sure he provided all the resources Peter needed (“This he said to show by what kind of death [Peter] was to glorify God”).

And he always does. In time, those “periodic failures” will become less periodic. We should not forget it.

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Thought experiment: let’s just suppose the crazy conspiracy theorists are right, and the forces of globalism are attempting to use the COVID pandemic as an excuse to end democracy and “reset” the world to conform to their agenda. To go down this road a little way, we don’t have to convince ourselves the pandemic was a con, that Bill Gates was behind the deployment of the virus, or that the vaccines are actually designed to kill and/or compromise the immune systems of significant numbers of those who take them. No, all we have to do is simply read what the depopulationists have written about their intentions and take them at their word.

If the “Great Resetters” are really in the process of resetting, then a lot of weird things that are happening around us become a great deal more explicable. After all, who is better positioned to control the supply chain than 1,000 of the world’s retail, industry and tech billionaires? Who is better positioned to bark out the orders that seem to have all the political leadership of Western civilization suddenly walking in lockstep and issuing the same sort of ineffective and indefensible mandates and policies across the entire world? And why, as more and more evidence is produced daily that the vaccines are neither safe nor effective at preventing or mitigating the effects of the virus, are the authorities doubling down on the need to vaccinate the entire world ... unless something else is going on here?

After all, it’s not like we haven’t been warned there’s a very big lie coming ... something like a God-sent “strong delusion”.

Now, as a Christian, I am obligated to “be subject to the governing authorities”, who are ministers of God and servants “for your good”. When our elected representatives are acting in the interests of their people, they are discharging their God-given responsibilities to lead and are to be shown appropriate deference for that reason.

Here’s the question: What happens when they are not? What happens if the powers that be have decided to take their marching orders from the World Economic Forum and are helping Klaus Schwab and his globalist billionaire pals to “reimagine the world”? In case you haven’t noticed, this new world they envision has a lot fewer people in it.

I’m obligated to obey the governing authorities. But what if the folks we elected are no longer the ones doing the governing?

Just a thought.

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