To all who profess Godliness:

The below is a compilation made from 3 letters written as answers to a challenge to the physical security of the saints while in the world, and their liability to temporal remedial judgement for their sins and their sinful dispositions. What I find so difficult to understand about the reactions I get to the presentation of this matter, is that every one of you who read this both consciously and unconsciously exercise yourselves with all diligence to escape loss and harm every minute you are awake. You do believe that you can DO SOMETHING to escape loss and harm. You watch where you step, you don’t eat spoiled food, you observe the traffic before you turn, you don’t let your children play with sharp knives, you dress warmly in the cold, YOU’LL EVEN READ AND OBEY A BOOK ON DIET -all because you believe that you CAN do something to escape tragedy. BUT….when someone comes along and suggests that “right religion” is also a defense against tragedy – are you offended?

Prov 11:31
   Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

Many professing Christians seem to want to allow for some Christians to sometimes be the “hapless and innocent” victims of “things that happen”.

The “purpose” for such things is supposedly hidden within the secret counsels of God, in which God works out things from His wisdom in ways that we do not comprehend, and may not comprehend until the end of the world.

For examples: your wife suddenly dies (TRAGEDY); …. but your mother in law get’s saved at the funeral….(secret purpose).

You are crippled in car wreck (TRAGEDY); …but now that you’re confined to a wheelchair you begin to write great sermons or devotionals (secret purpose), which otherwise you would never have gotten around to from being over occupied with other matters.

I insist that these “benefits” are incidental to the main cause and purpose of the tragedy, and are under the general governance of God, “Who worketh all things together for good”. The only other view has it that such tragedies are sent for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of creating these benefits: and thus, we must regard ourselves and our own happiness as incidental and disposable in the sight of God while He goes about His business. Thus a conception also utterly annuls the direct and personal nature of the promises which offer long life, health, joy, and peace to those who “trust and obey”. In my view, such a conception also intrudes on the vicarious sacrifice of Christ: the only one Whose loss and death was of IMMEDIATE personal benefit to the rest of us.

Christ died for OUR sins…we die because of our own sins.

Most people will not adamantly disagree….but still they seem to want to allow for the “case” where the victim of tragedy (i.e. you fall off the house and break both your arms) is not guilty of deserving, causing, and inviting such an event by their own sins. -All for some “higher-good purpose” (they say), that we may never know until the end.

We are then called upon to ask ourselves whether or not we are willing to have our spouse killed if that will provoke the conversion of the mother in law. Check-mate.

If you’re NOT willing to lose your spouse for the sake of your mother-in-law’s conversion, this supposedly proves that you love someone or something more than God.

If you ARE willing, then the promises of protection for you and yours are made unsure and void for you by these “unknown considerations”.

God’s faithfulness then, has to be redefined, so that it’s not faithfulness to the promises with their conditions; but faithfulness only to a set of rules and plans known only to Himself; in which our lives, our hopes and fears, our capacity for pain, and etc., are regarded by God as incidental. Anyone who doesn’t like this picture is accused of not “giving all”, and God becomes to us (in fact) an indifferent despot, made right by might.

I fail to see how anyone can love a god who would treat us like this, and in fact, I don’t believe that anyone does love such a god. Rather, this notion is THE “GOSPEL” OF RESIGNATION (see chapter 13 of THE GREAT DREAM): in which our hope in these promises of blessing and protection is subject to such an infinite list of unknowable exceptions, that they are finally relegated to being possibilities instead of promises: just one possibility among many. Who can have any confidence in such as this?

Furthermore, life in THE “GOSPEL” OF RESIGNATION becomes a contest between our faithfulness and God’s: in which our “great faithfulness” under trial is in fact conspicuously offered to the world as a contrast to God’s (apparent) indifference to our suffering. God’s love and faithfulness becomes a hypothetical, while OUR love for God and OUR faithfulness is daily demonstrated. The endurance of such trials “with a smile” becomes our proof of righteousness and devotion to God, and thus displaces our faith in Christ as the only source of justifying righteousness.

1 John 3:21
   Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

1 John 3:22
   And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Shall it be supposed, that we dare not ask God to preserve us and ours, for fear that we may be asking against His perfect will? And if our prayers about such things are meaningless because we also say “Thy will be done”, then why are we invited to ask?

Shall we ‘in fact’ conclude that faith and obedience GUARANTEES NOTHING but escape from eternal hell in the end?

As I said in the preface to THE “GOSPEL” OF RESIGNATION – this subject is likely the root of all heresy, infidelity, and apostasy: for if God cannot be depended on to fulfill those promises in a way that we can see and appreciate, we WILL deny Him any right to expect us to fulfill His commands in a way that He can see and appreciate.

Thus is the life of a classic Cessasionist: it is one long testimony against God: he does his duty (in his own mind) “so faithfully”, while God does nothing but watch. He is therefore more righteous than God in the actual, while he allows God to be ultimately righteous only in the hypothetical. He is therefore DEMONSTRABLY “more righteous” than God.

When the day of judgement comes, and inquiry is made into his fitness for eternal blessedness: he pleads on the basis of how much he put up with. He is therefore, in spite of his Protestant confession, attempting to be justified by his own works, and we know the end of that. But when a man accounts his miseries and sufferings as only his just desert, mediated through the mercies of God, Who also condescends to our low estate, he has nothing to offer God in the day of judgement but the name and imputed righteousness of Christ; both of which we received as “gift”.

The main problem that real Christians have with the truth in this matter is not in regard to themselves. Most are rather quickly willing to confess that they earned their problems through their sins. The REAL PROBLEM is the fear of their friends, family, and the world. For when you proclaim God’s perfect equity and justice in all such matters, you in fact have accused the starving children of sin. You have accused grandma with her Alzheimer’s disease of sin. You have accused grandpa who ACCIDENTALLY ran over his own grandson of sin. You have accused all the people on the crashed airliner of sin. They then, turn on you with the old “You ain’t got no love” or the “Judge not” songs; and if you will not recant, off to exile you go.

The fact that we are not authorized to make particular inquiry into the sins of everyone who suffers tragedy does not mean that they did not sin; and earn, NEED, and deserve that tragedy. It is to prevent us from being labeled as false accusers in matters that are hidden from us (by God or the victims), and to protect us from being held responsible to resolve the mystery of suffering for everyone who has a heart full of secrets that only God knows. After Jesus healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda, He said to the man, “Go, and sin NO MORE, lest a worse thing come upon thee”. Jesus didn’t tell the man what his sin was. He left that to the man to figure it out for himself.

YES, this is an infinite subject, for there is an endless list of “What about’s?” that can come to mind. To me, they are resolved under “The curse causeless shall not come” (Prov 26:2).

We know that God shall sort out and judge all the things we say and why we said them all. I hope to be preserved safe and well until Jesus comes, and so I preach, believe, and live according to this doctrine.

Genesis 4:7
   If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door……….

The subject of this discourse has been a cause of controversy with many in the past several months. Everyone wants to find a way to prove that we, (from right now, beginning at this moment) have no assurance that we can escape from any or most of the rot and ruin that descends upon humanity daily in our sight. You all (all of you who argue for this gloomy prospect), make your case from your observations and experience, and not from scripture.

Here is The Word of God:

Psalm 91:7-10
   A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. {8} Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. {9} Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; {10} There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

You can tell all the sob stories you want to, my Friend: but know that I probably have just as many as you do, and I’m sure they are just as sad.

Someone tried to tell me that even Jesus stubbed his toe, and therefore, we may “stub our toes” without having earned that by sin:

Psalm 91:11-12
   For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. {12} They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

All that Jesus suffered in this life, he suffered at the hands of men. I’m sure He was blamed and beaten by His parents when He was without fault. I’m sure He was picked on and abused by the other kids. But NO, Jesus never had a cold, and neither was He stung by a bee. The OT promises regarding safety and welfare had to be completely fulfilled in Him, or He wasn’t sinless. To suggest that Jesus perfectly fulfilled OT righteousness without receiving the fullness of the promises is to make God into a treacherous liar, even to His only begotten Son.

And if you are prone to confuse persecution for righteousness sake with falling off your own roof and breaking both your arms……you haven’t weighed the matter soberly.

Being hated for righteousness sake is NOT the same thing as being rejected because you are a bore, or because you have bad breath. Being slandered for righteousness’ sake is not the same thing as being denounced for arrogance, stubborness, and pride. To suffer and die from cancer is certainly a “trial”, but it is NOT “matryrdom”.

And I a have stern warning for all who say that God does not protect the faithful:

Matt. 9:29
   According to your faith, so be it unto you.

You go ahead and assert that your willingness to seek God and obey the truth guarantees NOTHING but “heaven” in the end, and God may well let you have the fruit of your own doctrine. Look around you – at how frail and vulnerable you are – look at your spouse, your children, your own frail body, and everything that is near and dear and necessary to you, and ask yourself how you will manage to keep and protect these things intact? Or will you now dare say that it doesn’t matter to you whether or not these things are taken away from you (because “all you need is God”)? Are you being sober, or cavalier?

1 Peter 3:10-12
   For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: {11} Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. {12} For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Your tongue is speaking evil when you say that God permits ruin without justifying moral cause.

Quote from the author of the hymn, “Amazing Grace”

“I can hardly recollect a single plan of mine, of which I have not since seen reason to understand that had it taken place in season and circumstance just as I proposed, it would, humanly speaking, have proved my ruin; or at least it would have deprived me of the greater good the Lord had designed for me. We judge things by their present appearances, but the Lord sees them in their consequences. If we could do so likewise we should be perfectly of His mind; but as we cannot, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us, whether we are pleased with His management or not; and it is spoken of as one of his heaviest judgments, when He gives any person or people up to the way of their own hearts, and to walk after their own counsels.”

John Newton

Psalm 139:16
   Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Isaiah 45:9
   Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

Now, my Friends, however so many of you call yourself my friends, I am going to put a contentious matter to rest. I will not flee from the frightful questions, but I will ascribe righteousness to God my maker: not in any craven flattery that spews out cheap flowery adjectives for your ears or God’s, but in fact.

We are told above, that God’s hand is in on the “forming” of our “members” – the parts of our bodies. If God’s hand was in on this for David….then my friends, God’s hand is in on this for the deformed child. Shall we challenge God’s wisdom and goodness, by denouncing Him because the child “Has no hands”?

So many of you, in contending with me about the premise of THE “GOSPEL” OF RESIGNATION, have introduced that blind man in John 9 as the proof that tragedy (apart from martyrdom or persecution FOR Christ’s sake) “just happens”, and is not accounted for by God’s view of our personal sins or our personal sinful condition. I have decided it is necessary to answer to these challenges. These challenges, friends, are not challenges to me: they are challenges coming out of your hearts and from your lips against the fairness and equity of God.

But….you will say……”God is just for making this man born blind”….but what kind of justice are YOU talking about? The justice of the cruel tyrant?

Will you call it “justice” in God, what would be called a heinous crime in a man?

What kind of king are you accusing God of being? Does God get to be called “just” in your sight, ONLY because you fear He will torment you in Hell if you complain about anything? Will this kind of craven and cynical submission ever be received as “worship and adoration” in God’s sight? If ANY MAN subjected you to sufferings and losses JUST TO PROVE TO YOU THAT YOU COULD TAKE IT, or to see if you would complain about it: you, and the rest of the population would be eager to hustle that man off to the gallows. But God, you say, can do this kind of thing, and it’s OK? Do you not know that you are ever conforming to your image of God? What then, my friend, ARE YOU BECOMING?

Do not parents put their babies in a cage (crib) to prevent the child from doing harm to itself, or damage to others? Do we not restrain the criminal, and the dangerously insane, lest they do something terrible? Do we not force our children to learn things they care not for, which we know will be for their good? Cannot God restrain a predestined soul from the fullness of the evil that they would do, by limiting their capacity to sin? Do we not know, that the child with no hands is not likely to be the bully in the school? Do we not know, that the homely child is not likely to be the “popular one” in school, even though they lust for it? Do we not know, that a child born into poverty, is restrained from a great deal of sinful vanity?

I know and remember my own childhood: had I been 6 inches taller, I would have been the worst of bullies, the worst in the world. But being small, and even smaller than almost all the children in school, instead made me into THE VICTIM of bullies…… instead of a bully. Thus, the particular evil proclivity of my own depraved human nature was restrained; choked; denied. Thus, by God’s fore-ordination in respect to my predestination to salvation, I was restrained from those acts which would have accumulated (in me) to the end of a deadened conscience and the act of reprobacy. God has seen fit to take away all my money several times; He has seen fit to plunge me into poverty, shame, and want: WHY?……just because “He felt like it?” What are you accusing God of? No, my friends, for later on I saw myself: vain person that I was; accounting myself better than others because I had new sports cars and expensive clothes. I may yet be “paying” for being that person that I was; but I also insist that when I have “reformed” sufficiently, I shall no longer have to fear and sweat beneath the threat of poverty. Perhaps, because of my former ungracious and prideful attitude, I must endure a certain amount of want, that God may display His perfect EQUITY and justice to THE REST OF THE WORLD. Maybe if you could have looked into the secrets of my life when I had all that money, you would have been so outraged at my attitude that you would have written my sentence yourself! The scales will be balanced, dear friends. You didn’t have it any harder than I, and I didn’t get “preferential treatment” over you.

John 10:10
   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

But does God also “steal, kill, and destroy” in the same way? What difference, pray tell, if God does not find NECESSARY moral grounds for the limitations, losses and hurts that He MUST send upon us?

NO, the boy with no hands, if a True Saint, doesn’t have it any harder than I, either……

Luke 12:48
   … For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Do we not know, that we expect less from those handicapped, than from those of sound body? Cannot God, in Whose presence is “fullness of joy”, requite that person in a way that makes their life full, and blessed, EVEN IF they are not allowed to escape that handicap for all of this life? But does that mean that there was no justifying moral cause IN THAT VERY PERSON for their being subject to limitation or deprivation? Does that mean that there is NO ESCAPE POSSIBLE from the limitations and weaknesses we are bound by? NO!….for the scripture says:

Hebrews 10:36
   For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

But WHAT PROMISE? Can you not see that EVERY PROMISE is in view, each considered on their own, and according to how they relate to us? If, my dear Friends, you will not seek and do WHATEVER the “will of God” was in the matter, you’d best not complain about failing to receive the promise!

1 Corinthians 11:32
   But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

NOW HERE, we have that little verse that I keep quoting in all my correspondence on this matter, which none of my detractors seem to pay any attention to. The chastening we receive of the Lord is PREVENTIVE: it prevents us from sinning unto that state in which God could NOT justify saving us while sending the rest to hell. Without that chastening, we would or could, my friends, be “very ugly and bad Christians”. We are chastened, SO THAT we shall NOT BE CONDEMNED with THE WORLD. This definitely implies that there is GUILT AND WARRANT in us: for only a monster would punish a man for nothing, or just to see if he would cry out or complain about the pain.

AND LASTLY: in view of eternal life, it is understood that God ultimately wills no saint to suffer, and no saint to be crippled or impoverished. If it can be God’s “perfect pleasure” for you to be sick, or maimed, or impoverished WITHOUT JUSTIFYING MORAL CAUSE now, why will it not be God’s “perfect pleasure” through the thousand ages to come? In that blessed future, those SAINTS who have suffered the loss of present earthly pleasures, even if for their sins and disobedience, will be filled to the full with the same, and it will be revealed that there was PERFECT EQUITY in God’s dealings with all men.

IN CONCLUSION: I am aware of the endless list of objections that may arise in your minds as you read this. I declare that I COULD answer to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM; one at a time. But, my Friends, if you will not take heed to the grace of God that has condescended to answer to your slanderous suggestions about God’s fairness and justice thus far, then I could spend the rest of my life arguing from scripture and plain reason on this matter, and you would still have more objections and quibbles. You who are contending with me on this matter are contending with God. STOP NOW, lest you be “chastened” by fulfilling the evil prophecy that is implicit in your God-slandering insinuations.

1 Pet 4:19
   Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.