Monthly Archives: September 2014

All Things Work Together For Good

Regarding this matter of believing that all things work together for our good is just as much a matter of faith as anything else about God, namely, that we go ahead on God’s say-so, not because we can see that what he says is so.  That would take no faith.  Our folly as short-lived creatures is that we get into the bad habit of judging God by the standards with which we operate our own lives and our relations with others.  God says flatly that he does not, cannot lie.  And every human being does, deliberately, unconsciously, or out of ignorance.  So, when he says such things as “everything works together for good” we should simply believe it, keep saying it ourselves, and become confirmed in the belief by seeing how often it actually does; on the basis of our experience in the past we build confidence in the future.  So when we are tempted to think that God is in a “no-lose situation” (heads I win, tails you lose), that’s just His nature.  When it comes to opposition (from us, Satan, or “events”) He simply “laughs”; He never gets “shook up”.  And in the course of time we, His sons, can look back and laugh ourselves, including things that once did have us up nights, angry, fearful, you name it.

In an immediate, direct sense, all the trouble in the world (wars, sickness, death, failed exams, rejections in love and divorces) are the doings of the devil, and it helps us in our attitudes and response to all that if we remember that God is not its author, but is as sorry about it as we are, is on our side in it all, and – best of all – can and will make great good come form every last bit of it for those who see it all this way and cooperate in His plan, by accepting whatever comes their way, suppressing “self” thinking (bruised feelings, disappointment, anger, etc.)  Filling one’s mind and heart with that stuff leaves that much less room for God and His power, peace, success.

So in a way, blaming God, getting angry with Him, for one’s lot if life is like blaming the doctor just because he is the one you go to, in order to get relief.  If the doctor can’t help us (either unable or the treatment doesn’t work) then we want to blame him for our illness.  (Which many do unconsciously – the mind plays strange tricks on us by way of transference, displacement, etc. – by not paying their bills, not taking the medicine he prescribed, or by suing him when they know he did his best.)

The most marvelous aspect of the Fall is that God, having taken the risk and “failed”, did not come up with a second-best arrangement or another chance, but had a back-up plan that was better than the first.  That’s what he had in mind “all the time” you might say, and that is to get
“into” man (those who wanted, were willing, preferred that to “self”) instead of trying to make him good, nice, perfect, godlike from the outside, which is the way we try to change people, re-form them, make them over – by rules, example, persuasion, influence, and even chemicals.

Mark well, I don’t have it all “together”, nor does anybody else.  It is something, I say again, that we have to keep learning and practicing as long as we live.  In heaven we will say about everything, “O, I SEE!”; faith becomes sight.

Meanwhile, we keep plugging away to make our ambitions and dreams, plans “come to pass”.  That’s the making of us and our souls, just like isometrics develop our physical selves.  “No pain, no gain.”

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Abortion

Here are some random thoughts regarding abortions, that very controversial and “front-page” subject sparked by the inevitable reference to it by Larry King and one of his callers last night. Like too many social problems – like obesity, etc. this problem is dumped in the lap of medicine when the “man on the street”, who creates the problem, should (re)solve it.

First of all, the most basic principle is the simple fact that apart from one’s belief in God there is no problem.  The Superior Court said long ago that without “religion”, morals are relative – see infanticide, polygamy, theft, etc in non-Christian cultures.  Larry King was inconsistent (and betrayed his Jewish roots) when he said last night that abortion is a moral question.  The pro-choice person, if consistent, says it is NOT, anymore than the removal of a foreign tissue (appendix, tumor, gallbladder) from the body.  Add the whole hassle about viability (trimester one, two, three) is all as to the question of when does “it” cease to be tissue and become a human being.  In short, apart from “common grace” (general, universal, non-saving) it is a marvel that any non-Christians are pro-life; pro-choice is more objective, scientific, nonjudgmental.

The second big principle is that this (big) question should never exist in isolation.  Bob Dole was dead right when he said regarding the shrill “abortionist” on the phone last night that he can respect “either side” if they don’t make that single issue (apart from smoking, “environment”, war, Russia, lend-lease, the deficit) a litmus test of good citizenship and qualification for government.

What is it (immediately) a (small) part of?  The whole matter of reproduction or birth control.  Any fool knows that family planning exists and possibly should for a number of reasons.  Then comes the important question as to how such “control”, family planning should be done.  And that is the very point at which self-control, real planning, non-gratification, (all of which are lost “arts” in this permissive, instant this-and-that, human “rights” society) should be practiced.  “Choice” should be exercised as to intercourse and its “methods”.  That’s where C. Everett Koop made enemies amongst pro-lifers, by talking condoms, etc.

I think that what I (and Koop) are saying is that what good medicine should try in this problem is to promote preventative medicine, good health practices (which at least in principle is the purpose of preventing AIDs and other sex diseases, fetal alcoholism and other birth defects) but also over-eating, smoking, drug use, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, etc.  On these scores the human race is too prone to regard the medical profession as a fire-escape, picking up the pieces, stamping out fires.  In short, abortion should be a “remedy” of last resort.  But our blame-passing, consequences-escaping, punishment-denying society wants medicine or others to “pay all their bills”, literally and figuratively.  (Here’s where government funding of abortion comes in – and Dole said correctly about porno art:  If an “artist” thinks an obscene subject is OK for painting or photo, OK; but don’t ask others to pay for it.)  There would be less premarital sex if the “fathers” were stuck with the bills.