The following is an excerpt from a message Malcolm Muggeridge delivered at St. Aldate’s Church, Oxford on December 01, 1968.
“Science has seemingly achieved so much: We can travel with the speed of light; we shall soon be visiting the moon and exploring the Milky Way. We can send our words, and even our smiles, flying through the air to be picked up ten thousand miles away; we can turn back rivers, plant our deserts, and abundantly and effortlessly satisfy every human requirement, from potato chips to skyscrapers, from face cream to giant computers. All this has happened in one lifetime. Is it surprising, then, that those who have brought it about should see themselves, not as mere mortal men, but as very gods?That they should take on the functions of a god, claiming the right to decide whose life is worth protracting and whose should be cut short, who is to be allowed to reproduce and who should be sterilized; reaching with their drugs and psychiatric techniques into the mind, the psyche, and shaping it to suit their purposes; re-sorting the genes, replacing worn-out, derelict organs with new ones freshly taken from living flesh, fancying, perhaps, that in the end even mortality will be abolished — as an old-vintage car can be kept on the road indefinitely by constantly putting in new sparking plugs, dynamos, carburetors, as the old ones wear out; even redefining the moment of death to suit their convenience so that we are to be considered dead when Dr. Christian Barnard says we are?
Is it not wonderful? And, of course, that is only the beginning. Writers like Aldous Huxley and George Orwell have imagined the sort of scientific utopia which is coming to pass, but already their nightmare fancies are hopelessly out of date. A vast, air-conditioned, neon-lighted, glass-and-chromium broiler house begins to take shape, in which geneticists select the best stocks to fertilize, and watch over the developing embryo to ensure that all possibilities of error and distortion are eliminated. Where is the need for God in such a setup? Or even for moral law? When man is thus able to shape and control his environment and being, then surely he may be relied on to create his own earthly paradise and live happily ever after in it.
But can he? It’s precisely here that the doubt arises. Let us take a quick, cool look at the world these men like gods have so far succeeded in bringing to pass. It’s a world of violence and destruction unparalleled in human history. Who can estimate the lives that have been lost and uprooted in the ferocious conflicts of our time; the buildings, the treasures of art and learningwhich have been wantonly destroyed; the misery and privations, the degradation of standards of truth and humanity which have accompanied these upheavals. And what about our present situation? Is it worthy of men like gods — with one part of the world glutted and surfeited with an excess of everything they need, or can be persuaded to need, and the rest of the world getting hungrier and hungrier, more and more deprived of their basic necessities? With vast resources of wealth and research devoted to making ever more potent engines of destruction, while in Asia and Africa and Latin America what we call in our Orwellian Newspeak the underdeveloped peoples of the world lack the very minimal medical requirements and personnel? I could go on and on. I tell you in all seriousness that in my opinion posterity will find the utmost difficulty in believing that people belonging to a technologically developed civilization like ours could possibly have tolerated such a situation in the world; still less than that their affairs were in the hands of men like gods. Men like apes, they’ll prefer to believe, and even that will seem rather hard on the apes.”
A follow-up response to this article will be coming soon. Be sure to come back!
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Jesus Rediscovered. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1969.
“The problem with the world is not that sinners are sinning. The problem with the world is that the church is asleep.”
~Trey Kent, Pastor at Northwest Fellowship, Austin TX
God is increasingly awakening His remnant to the revelation of His love. In these tumultuous days we are living in, it is becoming clearer and clearer that before true and transformational revival can come to our cities, our nation and our world, the church has to wake up and step up.
If the church is asleep and stuck in traditions that have become meaningless rituals, where do we expect new believers to go? Such an atmosphere will undoubtedly quench their new love fire. A passionate brotherhood, however, who is experiencing and reciprocating Christ’s continual love and forgiveness will fan such flames into a blaze.
As churches and believers renew their covenant with God and awaken to the passion that is meant to be mutually shared between them and their Creator, we will start to see real and lasting transformation beginning with individuals and spreading to families, communities, regions, nations and the world. But, it starts with the individual’s heart. Is that not how Jesus Himself changed the world?
Following is a prayer for the Church, the Bride of Christ. It was spoken over Gillette, Wyoming but can just as easily be applied to your hometown. It’s time to start interceding for the Beloved!
“Father, Our Father- We know You are always with us. Help us to open our hearts to Your continual guidance and presence. Help train our ears to hear Your whisper.
You are holy, holy, holy! Purer than the virgin on her wedding day; more beautiful than a field of wildflowers; greater than the greatest mountain in all its majesty; mightier than all the mortal kings and emperors combined. In You are power and glory, beauty and wonder unspeakable. Might Your Name be like honey on my lips. Might Your heavenly kisses fall on my face. Might Your deep deep love embrace me. And may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You. May praises arise from my lips night and day for truly You are worthy of it all. May my life be like an incense burned before Your celestial throne.
Awaken o sleeping bride of Gillette (or wherever you live)! Awaken to love. Awaken to your Bridegroom. Receive the kisses from the mouth of your Lover for He rejoices and sings over you! Your first love has grown cold. Do those things which you did at first. As young lovers drink deeply of each other, so your God desires to be delighted in by you. He is the most beautiful and faithful of all lovers. Will you turn Him away? He is fiercer and more loyal than any friend of man. Will you deny Him?
Woe to the bride who rejects her Bridegroom! But, to she who runs to Him, blessings and honor, joy and love
beyond all compare for she has found the greatest of all treasures.
What is life but a breath, a flower of the field? We do not choose our family nor our fates. We cannot number our days. O, but eternity is found in Him in whom my heart desires!
So sleep no more beloved; your Lord is calling you from slumber into glory. Leave your bed and shed your graveclothes, for the King beckons you into His chambers.
No longer shall you be called forsaken. No longer shall you be as a joke and a reproach to the world. No longer shall you be as an orphan. For though you are pitiful and stand condemned, God, your God has washed you in the cleansing flow of the blood of the Lamb shed upon Calvary. Do not despise Him in this final hour. Do not lose your gift of love.
Choose love. Choose life. Let He who spoke the Heavens into being by the words of His mouth adopt you. Let Him father you. His Spirit will fill you and never again shall they call you forsaken. Let Him love and cherish you. Receive the kisses from His lips – those celestial kisses!
Do not think that you alone can bring about your own salvation. There is but One who can save from the inferno flames of hell. And He is calling you. He shall give you a new name. He will remove your soiled garments of shame and dress you in purest white. He will call you to His side, never again to be parted.
God, your God seeks and desires you. He is passionate and longsuffering toward you. He longs to cover you with His Son, to fill you with His Spirit and to come to you as Father.
Will you receive Him?
This day He has set before you: Life and Death; Love and Torment; Freedom and Shackles.
Choose Life. Choose Love. Choose Freedom. Choose Him.
“…when there is no battle for the Gospel it rusts and it finds no cause and no occasion to show its vigor and power. Therefore, nothing better can befall the Gospel than that the world should fight it with force and cunning.”
~Martin Luther, 16th century theologian and reformer
Why Hope? on “Let My People Think” by Speaker and Apologist Ravi Zacharias
“Why Hope?” was broadcast as a two-part series on March 30th and April 6th of 2013. It was part of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) radio program, Let My People Think. Zacharias is an internationally renown speaker and apologist. He offers a thought provoking response to the darkness of the times we currently find ourselves in. He walks the listener back through history for comparison and shares the secrets that empowered the early church to prevail against their own dark days and outrageous persecution. Zacharias’s words ring both with warning and encouragement.
See also, blog response in previous post (below).
May God richly bless and encourage you.
Darkness implies a lot in the Christian faith. We war against the “Kingdom of Darkness” whose prince is the “ruler of this world.” Having handed our own reigning power over to the enemy of our souls, we should hardly be surprised to find great darkness in the world.
However, when we look around us it is hard to believe that times could have ever been worse than they are now. As Christians, our senses are all the keener to the peril we face at home and abroad. We only need skim through our monthly missionary newsletter or the Sunday newspaper.
Last December I received a letter from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that reported how Christian men in northern Sudan were crucified on trees while their wives and daughters were sexually assaulted before their very eyes. In one of his speaking engagements, internationally renown Speaker and Apologist Ravi Zacharias spoke of a woman he had met on a plane. He shared that she told him she was a worker who fought the sex trade and that she had just come from a place where she had rescued an 18 month old baby from the clutches of a deranged mind that had sook to sexually destroy her. I was recently reading a report from an investigative journalism magazine in New Zealand. When they discovered that fetal eyeballs were being used in a college experiment in a New Zealand university, they followed a trail that ultimately led them to American abortion clinics. They discovered that body parts from aborted babies are harvested in the USA for medical and scientific research as well as commercial purposes and even export, all within legal boundaries. It turns out that not only is Molech alive and well, he is also growing fat (see Jeremiah 32:35, also J.B. Hennessey, Palestine Exploration Quarterly )
The darkness – cruelty, violence, selfish ambition, hatred – is now pandemic. Looking at the condition of the world, it is sometimes difficult even to ask God for mercy. After all, why should such deeds be forgiven? Perhaps Jonah’s attitude is much easier to slip into than most of us would care to admit (see Jonah 4). Speaking of God’s love and mercy is wonderful when we see the darkness as some ambiguous force, but what about when we construe the repulsive details? How many of us want to see Kermit Gosnell forgiven and redeemed?
Yes, dark indeed are our days.
So, Why hope?
Darest we even hope that hope be yet appropriate? When we find ourselves in a place where the consuming darkness is overwhelming, it does well to look back over the sands of time to gain some valuable perspective. What about when famine reached such a peak that it drove a mother to cook and devour her own son (2Kings 6:24-30)? What about when the inhabitants of a city were so evil they would rape a visitor unto their death (Judges 19)? Or when Christians were fed to the lions while a Coliseum roared with applause (see http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Secrets-of-the-Colosseum.html, also http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/452499/Perpetua)? And surely there has never been a darker moment in the history of the human race than when men spat upon Redemption and nailed Him to a tree.
But could it be that God, in his great sovereignty and irony, works miraculously not in spite of darkness, but through it?
“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’ The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to subserve his end, not theirs. They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet. They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne. They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in. They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy. They thought they had God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down. He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”
~James Stewart in “The Strong Name”
The world may very well be worse off, as a whole, than it has ever been. However, as Christians, we must never give in to despair, for it is only a step away from apathy, and apathy is a consummate void of hope, utter disengagement. Neither must we allow the world to put blinders over our eyes and lead us about by a bit like some old tired workhorse. Some will tickle men’s ears with suave speech of a people more advanced than ever before in the history of the human race, but we know better. Yes, we sometimes find ourselves like Jeremiah crying “violence and destruction” to unheeding ears, but we are in good company. The first American Great Awakening came about in part because Christians who were “civilized men” realized the barbarity with which they slayed the “savage.” And like Jeremiah, they too often found that the Word of the Lord brought them “insult and reproach” (see Jeremiah 20:8).
We must muster what courage as we can and beg God to grant to us what is lacking. We must be “cities on hilltops” and the “lights of the world” that Christ so called us to 2,000 years ago. Might we recall, that the greater the darkness is, the brighter the light shines.
We may hope because Christ lives. Indeed He walks the very earth within you and I. So, take courage my comrades, and remember with whom it is that we wage war, for it is in an epic battle we find ourselves.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Brothers and Sister, go in peace and be filled with hope. Remember always that we are but foreigners in a strange land; Pilgrims journeying to a Holy City, where our home is being ever prepared for us. May God mightily bless you.
I committed to reading the Bible through in a year. That was almost three years ago, and I am now in 1 Peter. Although I have not always been as diligent as I should have been, it is not for lack of commitment that I failed my original time goal. Rather, reading at such a pace, for me, would have been like digging up a chest of treasure, taking a single gold coin and walking away from riches unknown.
I love to travel, especially internationally. When I first started exploring, I would try to see as much as I could in whatever time restraints I was oppressed by. I soon came to realize, however, that while rapid sight-seeing temporarily satisfied my hungry eyes, true delight and better understanding of my surroundings came from spending time in a single place. In this manner I could peel back the layers of the culture, history, folklore, worldview, customs, traditions and so on of the place I was at. It was like licking away at a Tootsie Pop to reach the heart of it.
Instead of wonder at the Pink House of Argentina simply for its uniqueness as a pink presidential capital building, I came to appreciate all it stood for; the revolutionary Peron era and the Forgotten, or “Dirty” War that pursued. I began to understood why no Argentine is unopinionated when it comes to the infamous Evita Peron. I experienced real compassion when I saw old widows still holding pictures of their loved ones who disappeared under the merciless military regime that ended the Peron reign. Without the culture, history and human factor added in, I saw only a big political pink building. Without knowing the heart of the matter, it only reminded me of Madonna standing on the balcony singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” in the musical Evita. How American right?
What would my travels in Argentina been had I not slowed down to learn the history of the Pink House or to hike atop the Glacier Moreno? What loss would it have been had I left southern Brazil without stopping to marvel at Iguazu Falls? How much would I have missed had I not taken time to ponder the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew? How could I skim the pages of James without being forever changed? How much would I have missed had I not considered the impossibility of the story of Esther? How would my life be different if I stopped to figure in the culture, history and human factor of the Cross?
I am not suggesting that year-long Bible reading plans are inherently wrong. However, were I to do only that, it would be like seeing the Taj Mahal and reasoning that I knew everything about India. I daren’t be so arrogant. Beyond that, it would be like trading chest of treasure, for a measly farthing – And I daren’t walk away from such a prize.
When tragedy strikes, the wise reflect. In many circumstances, as with the Boston Bombing, the tragedy itself is the evidence of a manifestation of something that has been lurking below the surface. In the United States of America, we are seeing the submergence of dangerous worldviews and ideas as well as our own irresponsibility, denial, arrogance and ignorance. We love our land and our country, but wishful thinking alone will not keep her in existence.
We must discern the times. We mustn’t turn a blind eye. We must reflect and act.
Our prayers are with all those who are personally connected with the Boston Bombing. We salute all the brave men and women who responded in any capacity and offer our compassion to those individuals and their families who suffered injury or death. May this tragedy not be in vain.
The below article was written by Internationally Renown Speaker and Apologist, Ravi Zacharias. It was posted on RZIM’s news blog shortly after the bombing. A direct link to the entry can be found at the bottom of this article. Ravi’s words ring with both warning and hope. His analysis is both incredibly insightful and challenging. I pray it blesses you.
Ravi’s Response to the Boston Tragedy
Posted on May 3, 2013 by Ravi Zacharias
It has been a little over two weeks since the atrocity was committed in Boston by the murderous intent of two young men. University students supposedly on scholarships, family on welfare payments, and all the benefits of receiving, with no moral obligation. How sad it is to see the face of that little eight-year-old boy who had just come to have a fun day with his family only to become a part of the death list and a victim of a cold blooded and calculated act. What parent can ever get over that? What country can afford to not stop and ask “why” until we know the truth?
How does one make judgments on such matters? How do we examine our own beliefs so as to deny such people with violent intent their murderous goals?
I travel an awful lot. I visit countries that do not like Americans. With that prejudice in many a country, I am quizzed as to why I am there. In the Middle East on more than one occasion I have been asked to come and meet the Chief of Intelligence and quizzed. This is the way my last quizzing went in Syria about three years ago:
“Mr. Zacharias, we know you are visiting here. We just want to caution you not to get engaged in any political activity or make any comments on politics.”
I assured them I would honor that. Then he went on to say, “But you are very welcome here. We need people like you.”
It was astounding to hear that. Why would he make such a comment when the prevailing religion there was not my faith, nor what I came to preach? For one, he knew the Christians there posed no threat to the regime but were a peaceable minority. The rest of the conversation made it clear. But there was obviously more to why he said that. I asked, “Can you tell me what you think of the situation in this part of the world?”
With beads in his hand as he compulsively scrolled through them out of sheer habit, he quietly said, “I don’t give this part of the world more than five years, and this whole place will blow up.” Rather taken aback by such a drastic pronouncement, I asked him what he meant. It was clear that they knew of rebellious forces working to topple the government and spread turmoil in that area. Ironically, when it all happened, including his own assassination, our media naively branded it “The Arab Spring.” Really? Is that what we are witnessing in Libya, in Egypt, in Iran after the Shah? Is that what spring looks like politically?
This ignorance or deliberately distorted way of thinking, supporting bloody and ruthless acts to supposedly topple dictators, is precisely what that part of the world is now experiencing. Suddenly, revolutions are the “in” thing and any establishment is at risk, as forces that destabilize are gleefully supported by the media elite, the intellectual elite, and the entertainment elite. We pontificate without the slightest understanding of history, religion, or of cultural distinctives. The average citizen is once again sacrificed at the altar of demagogic factions each seeking the power to enforce and dictate.
This abysmal failure in the media elite, to understand history and worldview, now puts America facing possible extinction herself. Those are not overstated words.
When one gets on to a plane, you hear, “Your safety is our first priority.” Evidently, in the journey of life itself, our power brokers don’t feel the same for their citizens. A visitor’s rights seem to be the first priority; those who seek our destruction are given greater privileges than our children who enjoy and love this land.
Something is wrong. Dreadfully wrong. Our definitions are at an all-time confusion, our values at an all-time low, our fiscal policies at an all-time danger, our beliefs at an all-time peril, and yet we want to tell our young people that we are building for their future.
Do our leaders ever sit down and read the primary sources to understand what lies beneath these worldviews to which we are pandering? We brand a religion “peaceful” or “great” without even reading its text. Only an uninformed person can make such sweeping statements. This does not assure us that our safety is a priority.
There is so much one can say on what needs to be done to provide for our safety. I simply resist the temptation and will not go into all of that, but rather respond in two ways. First, we must ask our political representatives to convene a formal study on this particular worldview of millions who have explicitly or implicitly screamed for our destruction. Adolf Hitler told the world what he was planning to do. The naïve of that time did not take him seriously. It took one of the bloodiest and most senseless wars in history to stop that genocide orchestrated by him. What will it take for us to wake up to the avowed threat of our time?
Second, I suggest that the rights we give our immigrants must be granted only by strict means of scrutiny. I went through that when I first moved to the west. My brother and I were quizzed thoroughly. I respected that. But that was over four decades ago. We are now politically correct and politically endangered at the same time. As I write this, I am about to depart for one particular country. I will be there for five days. To get a visa, I had to list all the countries I have visited in the last ten years. That was a task and a half. Did I object? No. They are protecting their political system and they have a right to demand of me disclosure that they feel is necessary to keep their values intact. Anyone without subversive intent will not be afraid of such scrutiny.
But in our homeland we have become so all-encompassing that the only thing we don’t have any more is “values.” Interestingly, that was a term coined by the nihilists and existentialists to replace absolutes. When absolutes went, values came. When counter values came, our own values went. When our own values went, we watch a little eight-year-old boy blown to bits and the ones doing it tweet to their friends “LOL.” Such subversives do not fear our legal system. They know the perverse way in which their defenders can use it.
When hate can laugh, decency is crying and America stands at the crossroads of choosing the path of Right or else to bury what is right in the ever-shifting quicksand of so called “rights.”
This is a sad day as we mourn the decimation in Boston. But sadder days are ahead unless we understand what we are dealing with here. What happened in Boston was a deadly atrocity. Our failure to stem the rot will be a suicidal tragedy. We have confused what is lawful with what is legal.
Chesterton said it well: “For under the smooth legal surface of our society there are already moving very lawless things. We are always near the breaking-point when we care only for what is legal and nothing for what is lawful. Unless we have a moral principle about such delicate matters as marriage and murder, the whole world will become a welter of exceptions with no rules. There will be so many hard cases that everything will go soft.”
This is America today. We do not know the essential difference between what is lawful and what is legal. Our moral reasoning is dying before our eyes. Nobody knows this better than the lawless.
Read the post from its original source by clicking the link below: