16 July 2010 (Sheshi/Kippur)|
Day #123, 5934 AM
Walking with a Clear Conscience
After awakening this morning I felt a sudden urge to watch the movie of the funeral of Winston Churchill. I remember watching the same event in 1965 on an old black-and-white TV set whilst I was a boy at boarding school and being strangely moved. As I watched it again I reconnected to that experience and with the benefit of hindsight many decades later could see in all its startling horror the moral degradation of our nation in all its coarseness, carelessness and vulgarity. A generation has forgotten the greatness that their fathers once owned - a greatness defined so eloquently by Churchill himself when he said:
We have become a degraded people, wallowing in sin, selfishness and sensuality, stripped of most of our moral virtues that we owed to our faith in our Christian heritage, however imperfect, however removed from the standard that we aspire to today. And yet I wonder if even that comparison is not a little arrogant, for how many of us who call ourselves believers cling to a true conscience before Yahweh, walking with honour and integrity?
"The only guide to a man is his conscience, the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes. But with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour" (Winston Churchill).
We need not suppose that just because we have made a profession of faith and attend this or that church that we have suddenly earned ourselves a place next to the great men and women of the last generation. We have not. There is a vast moral deficit to be replenished. There is a life of integrity to be walked constantly. There are battles to fight that most others shirk because they are either too lazy or don't see the urgency of the battle. Theological correctness is not a substitute for integrity. Zeal does not equal rectitiude. We have much that we have to do.
"We are often mocked by the failure of our hopes," said Churchill, and I think the more so as we walk in this difficult maze of corridors called mortality. That mocking may come from within ourself, from other people or from demons, but irrespective of its source, provided we have walked with sincerity and rectitude in our actions, we can weather such mockings and pass them by. And if there are things we have done that we regret, it is important that we come to terms with them, acknowledge our failings, do what we can to make things right, and then move on. We serve no one's interest, least of all our own, by allowing ourselves to remain paralysed and ineffective because we will not accept that what is done is done, and so refuse to move on. Past defeats need not cripple us. Perpetual self-condemnation and punishment, when we have done all we could to straighten things out, never originated with Yahweh.
Just as people ignore daily Scripture study at their spiritual peril, sometimes people hide in the Scriptures to excuse themselves from not taking the actions they need to. If we are not in the middle of the Way but have strayed to one side or the other, we can and should re-establish our equilibrium.
A new peril is raising its head not only in Europe but in the whole world. You know of whom and of what I speak. The mettle of men and women is to tested once again as they were in the last world war, revealing the goodness and wickedness alike. We need to acquire the courage of the British who withstood Hitler's assault on our tiny nation and of the ordinary German soldier who heroically defended his fatherland against the rapine savagery of the Bolsheviks. We need to acquire the courage of the Polish shipworkers who stood up against the communist tyrrany in their midst, and of Czechs and Hungarians who did the same. We must learn to ready ourselves for the emerging tyrrany of the EU and Obama Soviets raising their ugly heads. Now is the time to get ready to be bold again. Now is the time to truly cling on to Yah'shua the Messiah and go where He sends.
"I'm not sure if I agree with Churchill on his statement... With saying the shield of the memory is what someone believes to be the sincerity of their actions, I'm reminded of where Scripture says there is a way that seems right unto man that leads unto death, and that the heart is desperately wicked, who can know it? Where someone may believe that the were doing right or their motives were right when they weren't... that the true shield the person needs is the shield of faith, that if Elohim *does* show that person sinned, even purposefully with a wrong heart, that they need to depend on Elohim's atoning work with Yah'shua at the cross and His raising from the dead. That it is enough, that He became our sin that we may become His righteousness.
So much, I think of the self condemnation often goes back to where a person goes back to where a person doesn't believe as they should in places that this is Emet (Truth) ~ that they have really been forgiven and not being held against them, that their sins really have been done away with or covered, that it was really enough. Becuase someone may believe in the sincerity of their actions, but so fall in the trap of trusting and relying on themselves rather then Elohim, and not want to receive that they really had sinned. If Elohim says they walked right with a right heart, they should hold on to that, but also to the truth that they have righteousness apart from Elohim... that it's by His grace they have ever walked in any way righteous or pleasing before Him" (DP, South Africa, 16 July 2010).