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I’ve made my bed, now what (1)

And since they did not see fit to have God in their thinking, God gave them over to debased thinking - to produce what they ought not. Having become filled with all injustice, hurtfulness, desire for more, and desire to injure, they were caught up with envy, killing, rivalry, deceit, malice, and detraction; they became false accusers, haters of God, injurious, pre-eminent, inflated, contrivers of evil, rejectors of authority. Discerning nothing, breaking contracts, loving no one and without mercy, these, although they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1: 28 – 32
 
I’ve made my bed. Now I must lie on it. Must I?

What’s my bed like? Look at the extract (in bold above) from the very first sentences of a letter of Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, writing to Christians who were living in Rome around AD 60.

Paul’s main point has been (see Info for Islanders for the past two weeks) that the things that exist all around us – and the creatures that we are – provide ample evidence of a God of eternal power and divine nature.

Paul goes on to say (and we now have nearly 2,000 years of man’s inhumanity to man to back this up) that, because this evidence is internally suppressed by all (and fiercely denied by some), God has given all truth-suppressing humanity over to the outcome of their suppressions.  

My bed? I didn’t want there to be a God in my life. I saw the evidence – outside me and within me - of an ever living and all-powerful creator God. But I decided to “do it my way.” Apart from anything else I had, in this way, begun to allow within myself the ability actually to know one thing and at the same time to do things contrary to that knowledge. I’d do them if they were good for me.

 
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‘The world is all appearances, like our clothes: the truth lies underneath.’ (Thomas Carlyle, historian, 1795-1881)
Paul says that God gave me over to this debased thinking which I had chosen. In my bed there is no “vertical”. Wonder of wonders, horizontally I am free also.

I had no idea that God the wonderful Creator had given me over to the horror of my own will. Why should he allow me to see that? It might awaken me.

My will is now my bed. I have made it my bed. Let me, therefore be honest with you. On my bed, I know that justice is kind-of-right but I also know that it doesn’t really matter. That’s why some things I do can be regarded as “injustices”. Yes, “hurtfulnesses” as well. And, yes, I do “desire more”, and I do “desire to injure”(yes, not only w hen I’m opposed).

Some folk (like Paul above) claim that I’m “caught up with envy, killing, rivalry, deceit, malice, and detraction.” What’s wrong with envy? And when folk do me harm should they not be killed? As for rivalry, that’s only another word for this world’s beloved competition. Then deceit - show me one person who can manage without it. Detraction? Surely it’s right to detract others if it’s true – what’s so wrong when it isn’t?

I’ve made my bed. Paul wrote that things in one’s life grow and grow – especially when God has given one over to one’s own thinking, one’s own morality, one’s own light (as it were).

 
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'There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.’ (C S Lewis, writer, 1898-1963)
(Paul says that I’m going to become someone ("they became"). I’m going to be “someone” – a person of authority, respected, even feared. It seems to me that Paul had a good grasp of what all human authorities are like – what beds they’ve made for themselves.  They became false accusers (like those whose only answer to truth is to call the speaker of truth a liar), haters of God (like invective atheists), injurious (like highly repressive coup-repressors), pre-eminent (like power retainers at all costs), inflated (like certain African leaders), contrivers of evil (like ISIS), rejecters of authority (like vote manipulators). 

Please. I don’t want to hear that this is my bed. I'm only a minor player in these matters. I know that I’m beginning to deserve to die. But, "given over"? I have no other way to live than this way. "Discerning nothing, breaking contracts, loving no one and without mercy, these, although they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

And don’t tell me what to do. Everybody’s like me and I’ll see to it that all of us are respected and highly thought of. I’ll change laws so that people like me don’t feel guilty – never mind whether they are or not.
 
Sinner Syvret

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