Radical - Radical
Deception and the Cultures of Death
Part 6.3 - The Voice of the Radical - The Divine Encounter
By Ron Panzer
October 29, 2019
I am unworthy to write about the One we speak of here the one Root of all Life the only Radical who is like no other but simply is, Who inexplicably and amazingly exists as He is (Exodus 3:14).
Of course, none of us is worthy enough to write about Him, though many do and are compelled to do so because of their encounter with that awesome Divine One. Anything that could be said about Him would be and is infinitely incomplete and inadequate. Nevertheless, He has given evidence of His nature through all of Creation and through the use of His gift to us reason we can make some conclusions about Him.
He also has given us direct communications through the revelations, dreams, and visions given to those who are among the blessed, and of course, His message given in coming to us and living among us to share His grace with us all. Our capacity for faith in Him is the most precious gift given to each one of us and opens a door into a world of endlessly blessed days (Song of Solomon 2:16-17)! What we do with that gift is up to us!
Are our eyes open to see what is all around us? Have you ever wondered how it is that all of Creation praises Him without needing to make any effort to praise Him? Simply by being as He made them to be, the animals and plants and all that exists around us praises Him! ... beauty made manifest to our eye!
Our problem as humans is not what we would say about Him that could be worthy of Him, but whether or not we are as He made us to be or wishes us to be. Do we dare to be that? Do we remember a time when joy's light sparkled in our eyes? If we even begin to walk along such a path, we cannot help but praise Him! And that requires us to choose to will ourselves in His direction and to abandon the paths that others urge us to take.
Do we dare to use the unique gifts each of us have been given? Do we dare to love completely? Or do we try to protect the tiny bit of something whatever it is that we so mistakenly think we "possess?" We don't permanently possess anything, so therefore, nothing is really ours. Everything everything absolutely is His!
Yes, even our own lives belong to Him. He knew us before we were born and He can take us from this Earth whenever He wishes (Psalm 139:16). Physicians may predict when a patient will die but they are frequently so notoriously wrong. Sometimes, those thought to be healthy die suddenly and those thought to be on death's door suddenly recover. Each of us has a unique path to walk, our own story to tell, and that story is not to be ended until He closes the book.
None of us is exactly like any other and no society or culture is exactly like any other. This is self-evident, even though we live in a time when there is a widespread effort to imperiously reject the most self-evident of truths and to embrace anarchy, chaos, and utter illogic in how we think about and perceive the world. It really is a type of insanity the fruit of a dark spirit, a rebellion against what objectively is, and certainly is a rejection of and flight from the divine One.
Animals do not need to be told to eat, drink, and seek shelter or warmth. They do not need to be told how to dress, think, or what beliefs are acceptable or confirmed by objective observation. Instincts and drives shape animals' behavior while higher animals parent their young and teach them in many respects just as we do.
Instincts and drives shape our world, too. But for those who still recognize self-evident truths, man is set apart among the animals. Even if our behavior often does not reflect the best use of this difference, we are intended to be and made to be the rational animal. Even when man does evil in the world, he has a reason for it an uninformed, misinformed, poorly, or even evilly motivated reason.
We were made to be His children, but does how we choose to live our lives reflect His nature? Do we honor Him in all we do? Do we praise Him as all Creation does? Or, have we rebelled and said to ourselves, "I don't trust Him! I don't believe in Him! I will do things my way. I will not be constrained by any of His instructions or commands. I know better!" Human history reveals our continuous dismal failure to live as He would have us live.
Do we really know better? Do we do better doing things when we do it our way? We believe our way is better but in the end, as a species, year after year, generation after generation, our efforts result in continuous crime, disease, famine, and war somewhere around the world.
So much needless suffering: man against man, tribe against tribe, nation against nation, race against race, religious adherents against those of other faiths or none, and even women against men and men against women. After any harm done, year after year very few forgive the others and the cycle continues endlessly. Isn't it clear that the feuds, crime, hatred, and wars of aggression never result in a stable peace that lasts?
The only consistent trend on a global scale is that generation after generation the powerful move multitudes against others and lead so many to certain death while they seek to enrich themselves! Greed for wealth and power has cursed us all, but not all value these fleeting "treasures." Some hear a higher voice.
Yes, there are so many differences among us all, but that is as it was meant to be. Are all of us the same? Are all cultures the same? Certainly not! Not one of them is "equal" to any other. The idea of "multiculturalism" promoted today suggests that all cultures are equal, but they are not. Every culture is like a tree bearing differing fruits. Some are good to eat, but some are pure poison.
They and we are unique. Some people are routinely brutal, callous, and inflict pain and death upon others without any understandable reason, and they harm others without feeling the slightest remorse or consideration for the suffering of their victims. Terrorists who behead, torture, rape, and enslave others, or even impose death upon the unwilling can never be equated with those who care for, serve, and love others!
The blessed live in a different experiential world with one foot in this world and at times, one foot figuratively in heaven or in contact with the divine. Such a blessing allows them to see things differently, reason from a different perspective, arrive at different conclusions, and live in the world differently.
What they do may seem quite questionable, bewildering, or even foolish to many (Luke 12:53), but there is a purpose in what they do. Noah was such a man who built an ark on dry land. Everyone thought him a fool until it was too late, and he was proved the wise while they were proved to be the fools (Genesis 6).
Because the blessed see differently and more completely, they suffer what others do not suffer. All of us are called to see differently and more completely, and to care more completely and perfectly. In that, we are called to enjoy the blessings of loving and serving, but also to shoulder the burden of suffering in knowing the suffering that is unnecessarily brought upon ourselves and to be brought upon us, to know and actually feel the pain of others, and to care about them deeply.
It is a mysterious joy and a mysterious pain He grants those who open their hearts to Him, but the full nature of His Being is an even greater mystery to all!
Anyone who thinks or says God is not a mystery does not really know Him. Even the greatest of the saints cannot know Him fully in His perfection because the infinite can never be fully comprehended by the finite.
In mathematics and philosophy, a problem results in a paradox. Sometimes referred to as Zeno's Paradox, a re-phrasing of the problem asks the question: "If a frog jumps halfway to a wall, and then continues to jump halfway to the wall from where it is, will the frog ever get there?" In calculus, engineering, and in general mathematics, the answer is, "For all practical purposes, Yes! The frog reaches the wall!" However, even if the distance is infinitesimally small, if our hypothetical frog (with an ever tinier size each jump) truly were able to jump half of the distance that remained each time, it would not really get to the wall. It would always be some tiny distance away from the wall.
On the other hand, we can imagine a frog jumping ever increasing distances. Would the frog ever reach an infinite distance? For mathematics and calculus, the answer would be, "Yes." But in reality, the infinite which characteristic only belongs to God can never be reached by anything or anyone who is finite. Only God knows God.
What seems infinitely large to us is just as tiny as we are compared to the actually existing infinite Being!
In our time, rather than the example of a frog jumping to a wall, we might consider the supposedly "infinite" knowledge of what some consider the "godlike" knowledge to be acquired by an artificial intelligence with the power of a "super" computer. However vast the knowledge of such a programmed or suggested self-programmed and even supposedly "self-aware" artificial intelligence, its knowledge would be nothing compared with the God who is truly God!
Though transhumanists would protest, its existence would never be an actually living being that God alone can create! Such a proposed advanced "artificial intelligence" would merely be a modern version of a "golden calf" worshipped by those who do not know Him at all. We might also consider that with the flip of a switch or removal of a battery, that such an "intelligence" or man-created "god" would cease to exist.
Unlike anything man may ever fashion in this world, the Divine One exists without any support and depends upon no other! Therefore, when Moses asked Him, Who should I say sent me? God answered, "I am that I am (Exodus 3:14)." The words "I am" communicating most accurately: One existing perpetually. Beyond that, any words are inadequate. He is the Radical One the Only.
What He does is for Him to comprehend, and what He made us to be may be a mystery. For man in the world should he be fortunate life itself is a strange journey whose meaning is revealed bit by bit and seen clearly at times like sunlight peeking through the clouds. The blessed have the clouds removed for them at times and even frequently, while most of us live our entire lives through cloudy or even stormy days!
Pity those who forget the moments the clouds were lifted and they lose their way!
We finite, mortal human beings live in a world that also is finite and surrounded by a vast and amazing universe filled with not only billions of planets and solar systems, but billions or more than trillions of galaxies far beyond our ability to even imagine. What we can know about the Creator of all that is, that infinite Being who has no cause but Himself is more than extremely limited.
Any revelation, vision, or message given to a prophet and any teaching shared only conveys a message, an understanding, or even a spirit of understanding that can never equal the One true root of all that is (1 Corinthians 13:12). That is as is should be and must be, because we are the created and He is the Creator. Understanding our position is the beginning of humility and authentic reverence for the divine Lord. And, what He has given us to understand is a great blessing to us all.
All Creation reflects His hand, and we reflect His hand. It is no accident or coincidence that every one of us seeks to be loved and to love. It is no accident or coincidence that every one of us seeks justice in how we and those around us are treated. And, it is no accident that when we seek love or justice not in Him but in the world, we are bound to eventually be terribly disappointed, disillusioned, and left wanting.
These two love and justice are two ways we can describe His nature, but He is perfect love and perfect justice that pre-exists Creation. Reason and revelation can show us that it is out of His very nature, Love1 another name for His Being that He willed all Creation into existence (1 John 4:8; Psalm 145:14-17).
And reason shows us that all that exists obeys the laws of Nature that He determined to be and upon which scientific exploration and discovery is based and even made possible. The order found in the universe consistently affirms the laws of Nature that our scientists have from time to time discovered. Even that which mistakenly appears to be random activity is later and will be understood to depend upon some law of Nature.
There is no actual chaos or violation of the laws of Nature within Nature as these laws are created by Him.
In addition to laws governing the material world, He revealed the divine moral law that answers the age old question, "How then shall we live?" The prophet Moses and others later shared in part that law with us. That law is based upon both God's undying love for us and His desire that we act justly during our lives.
What constitutes "just action" is debated by those who hold differing views and values. At any moment in time, that disagreement among men can cause bitter enmity, violence, and even war to break out. Would that we could embrace what He has shared with us!
The dear Lord tried in so many ways to awaken within us a decency that would avoid all of that. He still tries to reach us and speaks to every one of us, but do we listen?
Many believe that Jesus' activities in the world are restricted to those things we can read about in the Bible. But John says very plainly that it would be impossible to list everything else He did. If we think about it, it is also clear that from the beginning of time, He has never stopped working to save and uplift man.
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down,
I suppose that even the whole world would not have room
for the books that would be written. John 21:25
God is eternally and unchangingly existing otherwise He would not be the uncaused Cause and glorious Creator of all that is (Malachi 3:6). Even if we can only understand Him in a very limited way, the nature He demonstrated at any one time must be and is the same nature He would always demonstrate. Although He is omnipotent, He cannot be other than He is (Exodus 3:14).
The dear Lord spoke to Abraham several times and even visited him (Genesis 17, 18). He appeared to Isaac (Genesis 26:2) and even wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:24-32). He chose to and chooses to reveal His voice to those men and women He touched and then made into those we know as apostles, prophets, saints, and sometimes unnamed and unknown simple individuals among us.
Thousands of people have reported seeing Him in the past 2,000 years. Why wouldn't they? And why wouldn't He continue to interact with those He chooses? Just because we should not add to the Bible does not mean that God suddenly stopped His work or would never appear again to any of us (Joel 2:28)! While it is wise to "test the spirit" of what some report, there is no doubt that He is a living God and not dead to the world today (Jeremiah 10:10)!2
The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17
Is this message any different from the one the Lord communicated everywhere He went?
... For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst. Luke 17:21, Matthew 3:2
That statement of fact is just as true today, right now with you and me as it was then! However, can any kingdom exist without its king? Yet, one thing Jesus never did was to be part of a political movement on the Left or the Right of His time. He never sought worldly position and wasn't a politician at all.
You may have heard that those who search for and follow Truth walk a path as narrow as the razor's edge or enter through a narrow gate ( Matthew 7:13-14). They don't turn to the Left or the Right. They don't support those who only seek to tear apart and rebel, and neither do they support those who rigidly and coldly follow the dogma of their time and place. Some call these the extreme Left and the extreme Right the rebellious and the authoritarian traditionalists but both end in the chaos of violence and tyranny.
Both demand obedience and crush the human spirit, because both have turned their backs on the Light and embrace more darkness and hate. Those who follow Truth are utterly of a different sort, and therefore, though they love because they refuse to join those who demand obedience they are hated even more by those on either side (John 15:18-21).
The well-connected and powerful do not understand them, and those who betray them and attack them do so because they don't share the same motivation. Their heart is not of this world but belongs to God alone (Luke 9:58)! Their actions never work to bolster the institutions men habitually create in their efforts to impose their will upon the world. They do not seek to be part of the power structure even if it is thrust upon them, and do not find pleasure in the fame of being known, respected, or well-received by others.
Some "armchair pro-life leaders" may entertain readers on a weekly basis, but those authentic pro-lifers who pray outside facilities where human beings are killed do much more!3 Those who comfort and help the suffering, the abused, and the desperate do much more. Those who share the truth and do not lie about or deny the epidemic of stealth euthanasia in our healthcare system do much more. Courageous high school and university students who stand up to intimidation and violence, and share scientific truths about the beginning of human life do much, much more!
Those who possess reverence for life look around and see that all of Nature is God's cathedral and expresses His glory. Do you know any place on Earth where God's Creation does not shine and reflect His splendor?
When they look at man and all he has done in the world, they understand all the good that could be done, the good that sometimes is done, but weep at the terrible evil that does not need to be, but due to man's wrongheadedness, is, has been since the beginning, and will continue to be so long as man looks upon life with disdain.
This unintended evil shows itself in many faces of different times. Today, two fierce "tigers" prowl the streets of this world in a gathering storm that has created and will create even more terrible violence and chaos. They stalk their prey and attack as they can, but more than anything, they despise those who expose the hollowness of their vision and the corruption that permeates what they do.
Convinced of their own righteousness, they tell everyone what is good and what is bad, but they fail to honor the God who is God and never recognize the holiness only given by God's grace that is needed to really do anything that He would determine to be actually good.
Some shout about "love" but never begin to think of sanctity, purity, forgiveness, humility, and modesty in what would constitute loving interaction with one other and before God. Love without respect for God's will and moral law is meaningless and certainly not love at all!
Arrogantly convinced they are right and puffed up in their pride, they are enraged that anyone dares to question their supposedly superior understanding of how things ought to be. Hollow within and lacking wisdom, they take in followers any way they can and use violence when any resist. They enlist these unwilling followers though they obey solely through coercion. Wherever they roam, they work to make the whole world obey, while those who authentically follow the dear Lord never impose their will on anyone at all.
Those hollow men and women misuse every human capability, emotion, logic, and power, though every one of these characteristics and abilities of man can be and was intended to be applied positively for the glory of God and benefit of others.
Those on the far Left challenge traditional authority and reject the power and existence of God while working to establish an impossible human-inspired utopia. They deceive themselves and others into thinking joy, happiness, and even ecstasy can be had apart from Him. They wallow in violence and licentious perversions that swiftly yield only disease and an unnecessarily early death (Romans 1:28-32).
Those on the far Right are the legalistic, unbending, unloving, and glum who eagerly condemn anyone who veers even a little from their self-created prison-like dogmas. Both extremes unite in their hatred for those who subscribe to neither of their hate-filled fanaticisms. They fear those who shine even a little light that can threaten their power, wealth, position, or authority. Therefore, they routinely choose to destroy those who honor God but refuse to bow before them (Nehemiah 9:26).
These few who honor God tell us that we are called to a higher path a royal path that shines with a brilliance like the Sun and is filled with never-ending love. This is the foundation for a culture of life that honors God and all His Creation, and necessarily involves authentically caring for all human life from the very beginning of our developmental process till our naturally-occurring end of life. It means caring for the one right in front of me and you. This is our duty!
When we open our hearts to God, we fulfill the dear Lord's wish that we turn away from the self-interest and pride that is the cause of so much suffering in this world. May we accept His glorious invitation to enter the kingdom of Heaven on Earth (Matthew 4:17)! May we feel palpably the Spirit of God's presence with us and around us and know His peace (Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 14:27)!
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalm 55:22
1. St. Thomas Aquinas, "Whether Love Exists in God," "Treatise on the One God"
Summa Theologica PP, Q 20 God's Love, Article 1 Back
2. Kevin Porter, "Jesus Miraculously 'Appearing to Muslims' All Over Middle East, Says Christian Apologist,"
June 22, 2016, ChristianPost.com Back
3. Staff, "40 Days for Life" Back