Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This feature causes the most irritation when I go through the normal ritual of searching for my wallet, keys, and phone before leaving the house. There's always a fifty/fifty chance when I dial my phone that it will actually ring and give away it's whereabouts, or silently vibrate; which incidentally sounds kind-of like nah na nah na nah nah.
Life is good, when these are our complaints, wouldn't you agree? Before being able to afford a cell phone I probably couldn't have imagined being so easily irritated once I got one. And I can think of a hundred things that could happen that would make these complaints seem not worth mentioning, which of course they are not, even if nothing did happen. So there; have a nice day, and be thankful!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
An all-time favorite book of mine is Pilgrims Progress. For those who might not know, this is a book written mostly in a jail cell by John Bunyon in the seventeenth century. It is an allegory of a young man named Christian and his journey along the path of life from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Wikipedia shows this book as number six on the all time best seller list of books. One reason for the book's success, I think, is because Christians easily relate to the story as well as to characters such as Faith, Love, Obstinate, Vein Hope and others which the character Christian faces in his sojourn. Also I think many Christians find the book comforting because the allegory aspect of the book causes its encouragement to be timeless. The reader finds solace knowing that the struggles he is experiencing are no different than those who have gone before him; that he is indeed surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
My own path out of the City of Destruction began fifteen or so years ago in Nashville, Tennessee. The path seemed like an up hill climb at the time as I studied scriptures, listened to teachers, and attempted to apply what I had learned to life. I had not read Pilgrims Progress at the time, and never anticipated the fact that the journey was just that; a journey. I can remember looking forward to the day when I would become a confident and competent Christian and the path would level out and be smooth and easy. Of course this has not happened, nor do I any longer expect it to. Sure there have been periods of rest just as there were with Bunyon’s Christian, but for the most part this walk has proved to be fraught with traps, snags, and dangers that lurk beyond every bend and crest.
Some might ask, then why take the path at all? To answer I will cite one of my most beloved events in Scripture. It can be found in John chapter six. Jesus was telling a crowd that to have life; they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. These words caused the crowd to disperse quickly leaving Jesus alone with his twelve disciples. Then Jesus asked them, "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Then Peter responded, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Peter’s question is one of my most favorite scriptures of all. I love it because I have asked the same question many times, “to whom shall I go?”
There is one more thing I’ve learned about this path that Bunyon doesn’t’ mention. This is the fact that at each step, the path behind me crumbles away. No matter how many steps I take forward up the mountain, so to speak, it is always only one step backward to the bottom. There are no intermediate destinations along the way where one can drive in a steak and say this is as far as I’m going, and it is far enough. No, the Christian walk is one that is for life, and one that has a destiny that is not of this world. We fix our eyes not on what we see, but what we do not see, a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God himself. But one of the most precious things we can know about this walk, whether it be during a difficult stretch, or a smooth one, is we are not left here to go it alone. The Author and Perfecter of our faith is always there to lead and guide us, and though we may occasionally fall, we are not cast down, for he will always uphold us with his hand.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Never-the-less, there they are, on the banks of the Mississippi River proclaiming that if we were not at war, this bridge wouldn't have fallen; and what ever else may ail you wouldn't ail you; and your dog would still be living; and your tooth wouldn't hurt; and on and on and on...... ad nauseam. All the while we hear no ideas, vision or plans, only impossible platitudes such as increasing spending and lowering taxes for the poor; living happily ever after, and oh yea, did I mention bashing president Bush?
Monday, July 30, 2007
While at the conference I picked up a copy of A Bountiful Blessing by the Eden String Quartet. This is a documentary on an ensemble of four sisters raised on a farm near a small town in Illinois who were educated at home. While viewing this film I found myself inspired to be the best Dad I can be, and for this reason I highly recommend adding this DVD to your library if you're a parent, or if you're not. To see previews click here for a You Tube clip. Lest one think that this is a wealthy family, the mom mentions that they had to borrow eight hundred dollars to buy a piano for the oldest girl to take lessons when she was young. The film also attempts to drive home the point that it was never the parents goal that the children reach for fame and fortune. I say all of this to make the case that these ladies are not who they are because of money, but because of what was instilled into them by their parents; namely the fear of God.
Watching this film the family appears reminiscent of nineteenth century wealth and prestige as these girls, dressed in their gowns, preform in some sort of hardwood music hall or church. I think that perhaps during that century, given the same social status, these girls would have probably been relegated to only tending to children and the homestead while such activities as seen on this film would be limited to the privileged and wealthy. What an interesting twist to the modern feminist movement. Meanwhile today it seems that the privileged and wealthy are expending much of their wealth on lawyers and publicist as they attempt to keep their children out of jail and in rehab. Also, honor and duty, once a mainstay of the privileged class, now appear to be foreign concepts for them as well, while it appears to be alive and well in this family.
Of course this is an obvious anecdotal comparison between the likes of Paris Hilton, Lord bless her, and a relatively obscure family of home schoolers from which arose four beautiful and talented musicians. For sure not all homeschoolers grow up to be Ladies and Gentlemen, and not all rich children grow up to be spoiled brats. But it would seem that the current trends beg a question: Do these four ladies and the Paris Hiltons of our age conduct themselves in accordance with, or in spite of, their up-bringing?
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
If your opponent becomes flustered at your emotional attacks, this will provide a wonderful opportunity for retreat with the two of the one-two punch. This is accomplished by accusing your opponent of being a very angry person as you withdraw from the debate with an announcement of your unwillingness to debate such hostility. If there is any sign at all of frustration, this is sufficient for your scheme if you draw enough attention to the frustration.
If this method begins to fail there's a flanking maneuver which I call the "duck and jive". This is where you change horses mid-stream because the horse you're on is drowning. It is accomplished by dumping a previously held position mid-debate, and taking up a new one . You might have seen this in Abortion debates where one suddenly finds himself debating capital punishment, or the virtues of freedom, or some such thing as that.
It is best to never take up a defensive position. But if you actually have a position, and its worth defending, there is a position that appears to be a defensive one but isn't. I call this the "faux defense" and its best employed along side the "fat line center" tactic, which I'll discuss later. This is best used when your own position is being challenged and is accomplished by charging your opponent with being judgemental and intolerant. This causes him to retreat from an otherwise offensive maneuver, and to again take up a weaker position of defending his motives rather than advance a strong argument. In the mean time you continue harassing attacks on his character under cover of a faux defense. You will be aided in these attacks by the notion that your opponent's defensive position implies there is something to defend; all the while portraying yourself as taking a stand against judgemental bigoted attacks. You can catch an example of this on the floor of the Senate or Congress just about any time there's a debate. It's also prevalent in political campaigns.
In conjunction with the faux defense, the so called "fat line center" is a wonderful way of keeping everyone confused. Otherwise know as a faux-neutral, it derives its name from the axiom that there is a line of demarcation delineating positions in a debate. To take advantage of this technique one "fattens the line" so to speak, to enable himself to ostensible position his argument as a neutral one rather than "taking sides". Often labeled "moderate" this gives the appearance of neutrality thus shifting the playing field in such a way to make the opponent's position appear extreme. It also allows one to couch all his arguments from the perspective of "reasonableness". This is a very powerful position from which to better relate to the subjective thinker who has only himself as a reference point; and so is always neutral. This method will draw on his emotions and elitist tendencies proving very effective in the ultimate goal of his persuasion.
For the finishing touches use what I call "ice the cake", so named because it sugar coats what is actually a final jab as you end the debate. You accomplish this by summarizing your position by employing the two words "I Just". This perhaps is the most sneaky little trick that the modern debater can employ, and it's effective too because those two words have a way of armor plating your opinion. It really is quite amazing; you can actually say anything you want following those two words and there can be no response. Take the abortion debate again for example, a final statement could be: "I just don't think its right for an old rich man in Washington to be able to tell me what I can and can't do with my body". On the war in Iraq one could say: "I just think that we should all get along", "I just don't think its right to kill"; or on immigration: "I just think that if someone wants to make their life better, we shouldn't stand in their way, that would be mean".
Once the debate is over always declare yourself the winner. If the matter comes up again, refuse to debate it while claiming that the debate is over then continue to advance your position as if it isn't. Then harp on the need to move forward and stop waisting time with endless debates. Remember that if conventional wisdom-whether real or imagined-supports your position lean on it. If it doesn't, claim it a gray area, and then lean heavily on the argument that "we can't know". It always helps to add urgency to your argument so that you can advance a weak position simply by declaring: "what if I am right?".
One last word of warning. Do not ever engage in private debate, for that would be a waste of your time. To convince an opponent is never the purpose of a debate, but rather to persuade the subjective spectator. You will find all these tactics quiet effective to the end of persuading subjective thinkers, and there is more than an abundance of them to persuade. And you have not won until they are persuaded. Happy debating.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Incidentally, I found myself as a Christian agreeing with him more than I ever thought I could. This is so because his arguments are, by his own admission, against religion. This makes sense because as an atheist that’s all that remains. I am not an atheist and I don’t have respect for religion, so I’m sure as an atheist he has even less.
I've only read two chapters but there’s nothing surprising so far. All such books, as far as I can discern, are about the same thing: power. The main thrust is that religious people should not vote because they are deluded. I think it was Voltaire who said “if there is no God, all things are permissible”. If there is no objective basis for morality, then the only question that remains is'n't what is right and wrong, but rather who gets to decide? The secularist then finds democracy problematic because of what he sees as the deluded ignorant superstitious religious voter imposing his beliefs of right and wrong onto society. In the end it all comes down to amassing raw power. While reading this book I put letters in the margins to aid in later research; P for power, R for religion, and E for evolution. The P’s already outnumber all the other letters put together, and I suspect this trend will continue because P is all that’s really left if there is no God.
1. I went scuba diving on a coral reef off of Cat Island in the Bahamas. I didn’t know they were fragile and probably killed a half mile of it.
2. I did four static line skydives in Jackson GA.
3. I lived on a houseboat for a year and had a sail boat on the same dock.
4. I lost the sailboat off the coast of Georgia when my mask broke after capsizing. The coast guard came out and hovered over my friend and I for awhile, and I could see the rescuer looking down at me shaking his head like I was a moron. Then they flew away and we washed ashore.
5. I spent a month living on San Pedro Island in Belize where I volunteered for an organization called Wings of Hope. while there I had only one free day and I sailed a catamaran from San Pedro Island to Caye Caulker and back. I thought I wasn’t going to make it back before dark and was contemplating beaching on the south end of San Pedro.
6. I flew a Cessna 172 down into and out the side of Mt. St. Helens, and a Piper down into the Grand Canyon before doing so was outlawed.
7. The most wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced is being married to my wife and watching my children grow up!
Friday, June 15, 2007
But my heart hearkened back to an era when the smoke would have elicited a different response from me. A time when the smoke would have drawn me to the scene, not as a sight seer, but as a much needed hand in fire fighting, or to assist in some other way. After extinguishing the fire there would've been an opportunity to assist in other ways and there would have probably been a house raising as well. Today if I had gone to help I would've been told by the fire department professionals to stay behind the yellow tape. The house will more than likely be rebuilt by an insurance company, so there won't be any house raising. That will be done by the professionals versed in construction and the myriad details of building code. So ultimately I can happily go about my business without having to be bothered by it at all.
Such is the luxury of living in the modern world in a modern culture. As a society, for the time being anyway, we have successfully put suffering at arms length. But I can't help but wonder if the price humanity has paid to avoid suffering is not higher than the price of suffering itself. Even as I consider this article, my honest response is telling. I cringe and recoil at the thought of being bothered and imposed upon by my neighbor's woes, and I have no youthful fantasies about suffering with my neighbor either. I also know enough about suffering to understand that there's a reason why modern man goes to great lengths to eliminate it from the realm of his existence. But still this event has given me cause to feel somewhat plagued by the loss of something; something that can only be gained, I fear, through suffering.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
Francis Schaeffer addresses this issue in his book Escape from Reason. He blamed the communication gaps between speaker and listener on what he called differing "thought forms". This gap occurs when the words being used by the speaker have different underlying meanings for the listener. According to his book, the thought forms that challenged the Church in his day were those of thesis, antitheses, and syntheses. He admonished the Church in his time to understand that the Gospel must be presented in a way to penetrate that kind of thinking.
Present day I am of the belief that the Gospel is often being derailed in this same way, by the relativistic spirit of this age. George Barna's research would seem to confirm that belief as he cites an amazingly high number of Christians who see their religion as only true for themselves. As I gladly evict the Rajah from my head and thoughts forever, I will refer to him one last time. If the Church of Jesus Christ is to be the salt and light it was called to be in our day, the Rajah must also be evicted from the Church and the door diligently guarded to prevent his re-entry.
Beyond the obvious absurdity of this statement, if widely accepted, it can also prove to be dangerous. According to Josh McDowell, the most often quoted scripture from the Bible fifty years ago was John 3:16. The most oft quoted scripture today is Mathew 7:1, "judge not lest you be judged". I will talk more about the church next time, but this trend is indicative of the culture as a whole and it's inability and unwillingness to judge. In this age of terrorism, this cultural weakness is made to order for an enemy born out of, and codified, not by a nation state but by a religion. There can be no doubt that Mohammad Atta was committed in his religion, and that that commitment puts the Rajah in a predicament from which his lack of judgement has him ill equipped to extricate himself.
Where there is no revelation, the people perish or cast off restraint.
If history teaches us nothing else at all, it teaches us that it teaches us nothing at all. The writer of Ecclesiastes was correct when he said "there is nothing new under the sun". It would seem that all nations rise only to answer the Siren call to their destruction. Today that call is "there is no truth", or better yet: "all is true", which is the same thing. This statement, which permeates Western culture, embraces blindness. Although allowing for the casting off of restraint for a little while, it has a simultaneous effect of diminishing a culture's ability to resist a strong and confident culture from imposing itself. This point is proven as the flagship of secularism, Europe, finds itself more Islamified year by year through Muslim immigration . As this religion gains more prominence and power, multiculturalism will be no obstacle for Islam's refusal to except it's multicultural designation as "a" religion. It appears apparent that Islamic advancement will not be a peaceful one. For this reason the road ahead is fraught with many dangers, but perhaps the most insidious danger of them all is the folly of the Rajahs.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Visiting the Rajah six blind men, upon entering the palace courtyard, encounter an elephant for the first time. Examining the elephant with their hands, each describes it according to the part he is touching. One says "the elephant is like a tree" (the leg), and another: "the elephant is like a rope" (the tail), a wall (it's side), and so on. The blind men soon begin to argue loudly in their disagreement over the nature of the elephant. The Rajah, awakened by the commotion comes to his balcony and informs the blind men that they are only examining a part, and that they must examine the whole animal to know what an elephant is like.
Though the fable is useless in revealing any truth about God, or religions for that matter, it does inadvertently reveal some truth about the person who would use it to that end. This can be seen by considering the positions and attributes of the players and who they represent. There are the blind men arguing in the court yard; they represent religions. There is the elephant who silently stands there being large; he represents God. And there's the sleeping Rajah who is elevated above the fray, and of course, can see all. He's not suppose to represent anybody, but he ends up representing the relativist.
The thrust of the fable is suppose to draw our attention to the blind men because of their closed-minded, and stubborn refusal to accept all religions as equally valid. But I'd like to divert the reader's attention away from the blind men and toward the person using the fable to make his relativistic point. As one listens to the story, the first question that should be asked is: who does the story teller most relate to? The answer of course is not those dogmatic blind and intolerant religious people arguing down in the courtyard; but rather the reasonable and seeing Rajah standing in his elevated balcony. This is the very reason the fable fails in making it's point. No person has ever escaped the bounds of our existence to be in a position from which religions can be objectively observed as they seek God. So claiming to be wise, they become fools. This is also the reason the fable makes it's unintended point: that those who think all religions are valid are the real narrow-minded blind men. They are blind to the fact that if differing religions disagree, only one can ultimately be true; they are narrow-minded in their lack of willingness to consider the possibility that any one can be true, and true to the exclusion of all others. It also reveals their utter ignorance on matters of religion, and their hypocrisy in the fact that though they themselves are blind, they accuse others of being so.
It has been said that ideals have consequences, and I would add that as of late, so do worldviews. In part 2 I will discuss the dangerous consequences for society of the real narrow mindedness illustrated by the Rajah.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
I believe that most have experienced what I will call "an episode of clarity" when, for whatever reason, the fog in one's head clears for a few seconds to reveal a morsel of truth previously obscured. I experienced such an episode while visiting my in-laws many years ago. It was three against me as my wife and her parents, (for all of whom I have much respect) endeavored to expose the bitterness that had overtaken my heart concerning my employer. I was standing ready to defend my ground to the death when it occurred to me that all three of my adversaries loved me and were not trying to win an argument, but were trying to expose a blind spot. As it happened, this was one of the many three second or so "episodes", magnified in the annals of my mind thus becoming much more than a blip in time. As it turns out, it was the beginning of a veritable turning point. To be sure they didn't win the argument, as such, for it was never their aim. But through their efforts I began to realize that they were seeing something that I could not, and this scared me.
To illustrate why this scared me, I'll use Carl Jung's* four- paned window. He used this window to divide knowledge about ourselves into four categories. Each pane represents one of the following:
- That which we know about ourselves that others know too, i.e. I'm not a sports fan, I love sweets.
- That which we know about ourselves that others will never know(nope, still not telling!)
- That which we don't know about ourselves and others don't either, i.e. our subconscious.
- That which we don't know about ourselves, that others do know.
Number4 is by far the worst, for if others knew good things about us hopefully they'd tell us. For this reason I think it safe to assume the attributes in pane 4 do not reflect the positive or good. This was what my family was attempting to convey, but were having a dickens of a time doing it. Had they not loved me, I doubt whether they would have persevered as the conversation was filled with emotion and was somewhat unpleasant. But they did persevere. Real learning took place when the door was opened in my mind to the possibility that I needed to learn; that in fact, I was missing some pearl I really needed to possess.
Building on the previous post I think this is an example of how we can grow in Christ through his Body. It was not "my family" that was challenging me as much as it was the Body of Christ. They could have perhaps joined with me and said just as truthfully "Yea! Those C.E.O.'s are just a bunch of greedy jerks". As for me, I'm glad they didn't; I'm all the better for it.
*Carl Jung was the person my junior high teacher told me was the creator of this illustration. I have since been told that it was Voltaire, so now I'm not sure who's idea it was; any help would be appreciated.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I have since come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and so have come to view him as a courageous brother in Christ. And even though, like every other single person I've ever met, I found things about him with which I disagreed, I grew to have great respect and admiration for his vision and audacity. He was a man of incredible courage and fortitude. As many in his day were content to remain safely within the confines of their church buildings, he realized the importance of Christians being salt and light to a dieing world and challenged Christians nationally concerning the very meaning of those words. The vision of the Moral Majority was built on the belief that the country was not suffering collectively from a lapse in morality as much as it was a lapse in understanding within a majority of otherwise moral people. (I hasten to add here that it is a testimony to how right he was that we now so cringe at the name then chosen for that organization. The word moral now, unlike then, has an entirely different and negative connotational feel.) What was taking place in the culture, and indeed in the spiritual realm then, was the beginnings of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan D-NY coined: defining deviancy down. Sadly what was then a slip is now a free-fall; but one is confronted with the fact while remembering Falwell that this free-fall is in spite of his efforts, and not due to a lack, or because of them.
God bless you Mr. Falwell, you will be missed.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
It is imperative that the French, as well as the rest of the free world see this for what it is, which is an attack on freedom. The nation was warned that if things didn't go a certain way in the then up-coming election, there would be consequences, and the resulting minority made good on their promise. It's important to consider that these things are not done by the entire minority but a very few. The masses that make up the minority, one would hope, understand the concept of democracy sufficiently to realize that there is always the possibility of finding oneself in the less powerful minority party. There should also be a realization and solace for the minority party at this point in the importance and meaning of the word "republic". However for those hungry and lustful for unlimited power who also have been gratifying that lust unabated for some time, the meaning of such a word is probably minimized, and offers little if any solace; for their objective was never the betterment of the republic as much as it was the betterment of themselves. This thinking lends itself to some degree to the reasons behind their ability to trample on the rights of others by making threats and destroying property if the gratification of that lust is threatened. For those members of the now minority not so disposed to create chaos and burn their neighbor’s car to the ground because their ideals didn't win in the marketplace of ideals, it is time to wake up and realize just exactly the kind of thinking that they have attached themselves to.
It is my fear that if the socialist tide here in the U.S. is ever seriously threatened we will face the same or even worse. We are a nation medicated by entertainment and soothed into complacency by the nanny state "safety net" to the point that we don't even notice the socialist agenda attached to it. My question is this: what is going to happen when this culture of death society, devoid of a moral compass is told that the federal coffers are empty as the Ponzi-scheme that is our current welfare state finally reaches its inevitable conclusion?
Friday, May 4, 2007
"The reason we often cannot speak to our children, let alone other people's, is because we have never taken time to understand how different their thought-forms are from ours. Through Reading and education and the whole modern cultural bombardment of mass media, even today's middle-class children are becoming thoroughly twentieth-century in outlook. In crucial areas many Christian parents, ministers and teachers are as out of touch with many of the children of the church, and the majority of those outside, as though they were speaking a foreign language.
So what is said in this book is not merely a matter of intellectual debate. It is not of interest only to academics. It is utterly crucial for those of us who are serious about communicating the Christian gospel in the twentieth century."
Sadly there doesn't seem to have been much change since these words were penned in 1968, but I do think I see some stirrings in the Body of Christ... perhaps.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
One would think that the WFEA would be a good model for the DOE, but sadly it is not, for the DOE I do believe has been hi-jacked by the NEA, the ACLU, the ASCS, and anybody and everybody else that is sufficiently anti-Christ and thinks they know a thing or two about raising our children. But never fear, for the WFEA is well versed in all the subjects important to these groups. It might even be said that perhaps the WFEA is a little too well versed on subjects like so-called: Global Warming, Earth Worship, Evolution, Diversity, Tolerance and Islam to name a few. Rest assured; if there's a hot button subject out there, the WFEA is teaching it with clarity. And not only this but as an added bonus, the WFEA also teaches reading, writing and math; and all of this at the low low price of zero dollars to the American tax-payer. Furthermore, since we still have to pay the taxes that would have otherwise been spent on government employee's generous pensions, that should be at least a couple of bake sales that can be foregone in the ever-present funding activities of the current governmental "education system".
Many criticize administrations like the WFEA as being intolerant, narrow-minded, and anti-social. They insist that children should be sent out of the home and into an environment with their peers under the tutelage of a gagged teacher in a system where all religion except Secular Humanism, and its BFF, Islam, is not tolerated so that they can learn to be more tolerant. But I'm not feeling the "tolerance". So instead I've decided to include tolerance, not stupidity, instead.
In the WFEA approved schoolhouse, our children will learn how to seek wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and virtue according to the last few thousand years' understanding of those terms instead of last years' fluid and ever-morphing understanding. Character is a central theme in the WFEA as well, character that is also based on something besides last month's cause-celeb fads. Meaning in life beyond YOLO, or get-all-the-material-stuff-you-can-get-and-flaunt-it-for-all-it's-worth-while-you've got-it meaning. Gender rolls 101,202,303 and 404 will also be demonstrated and taught. Failure will also be an ongoing subject as the administrators fail before the students and demonstrate, as best they can, humility, perseverance, patience with self and each other as well as forgiveness.
In short, I think that the WFEA is one of the best schools anywhere, and it's not alone. Schools just like it dot the countryside. There's probably one between you and that fenced-in compound known as the statist school just down the street. But you'd never know it, and you could create one to your own liking as well... if you wanted to.
I know that there are many fine and wonderful people who slug it out day in and day out inside the belly of the beast which is the modern day government run education system. This post is not in any way meant to slight those honest and hard-working individuals. My hat is off to you all, God-speed.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Now the first rule concerning sin is that it doesn't exist outside of your own life and the reality of that said life. This is true for all people, and binding so as to prevent any personal moralities from being imposed on another person that might not want that morality; because we know that would be immoral. As with all rules however, there are exceptions. The first exception is this: since something that is wrong for you is not necessarily wrong for someone else; It’s forbidden to forbid. There are exceptions it seems to this also in a general sense. The first exception is that it is forbidden to judge. Again there are exceptions to that one too. It is OK to judge people that do judge as being intolerant, which is a bad thing and so makes it immoral, which is OK I guess because to be immoral would require an overarching, objective reality, which will not be tolerated because it doesn't exist; which is why its forbidden in the first place, and so judged as oppressive; because overarching, objective realities don't exist, that is except for those exceptions fore-named, which are to be tolerated so that intolerance won’t be forbidden. Wait a minute... intolerance is forbidden, which means that not only can judging be forbidden, but also intolerance, which means that forbidding, and intolerance find themselves in the exception clause of the do not forbid rule above; making it OK to impose on another a non-existent non-objective and overarching morality; because since those things don't exist, i'ts OK to impose them, which makes it OK to judge those that do impose them as intolerant, and so also bigots.
But above all we are to love one-another and not hate. We know that hate is the result of intolerance and that only those that do try to impose their morality on others are ultimately capable of hating, unless the morality imposed is that we should love and not hate, which judged by the exceptions fore-mentioned would be impossible because of the prerequisite of an overarching morality; which is known not to exist, and so therefore is forbidden; thus will not be tolerated lest one be judged as a bigot; which I can't think of anything worse that that could happen to anyone, can you?
You see, its all very simple; so the next time you see any intolerant behavior suggest to that intolerant bigot that he be less hateful, and maybe suggest that he or she read this post so that perhaps he or she can get his or her mind straight!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
- The only thing that I find shocking about this event is the shock that is expressed when people act as though life is meaningless.
- How is this going to be blamed on George Bush?
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
One might conclude, with perhaps an element of truth, that the media doesn't want to miss a chance to paint "preachers" in a negative light; in this case as a hypocrite. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think the world still seeks and desires truth and righteousness; an anchor onto which they can moor their lives. Mechanics are not in the business of pointing to these things no more than are doctors or bus drivers. So never mind the media's intent if in fact their intent was to malign because as a Christian I am glad that her husband being a preacher is still worthy of a headline.
But what about this preacher? What could the wife, or the Body, have done to prevent this from happening, providing that her claims are true. I can't believe that the whole body was involved in pornography, nor that they believed that this kind of behavior was acceptable for a husband, much less a preacher. This brings to mind two points:
- Accountability-I'm also assuming that this preacher was under authority. If he wasn't then it brings to mind the proverb that says "there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end leads to death; in this case literally. But if he was under authority, that authority should have intervened, to the extent of bringing in law enforcement, or at the least to have provided restoration for the preacher if he were truly repentant. There is also an asumption that here that there were indications; which brings me to my second point.
- A place of refuge-This is a little more difficult, and points even more to the failures of the modern church. The preacher that stands in the pulpit on Sunday morning and feeds the sheep is the "Man of God". As the Body I think there is a reluctance to think that this man could be struggling with the sin of pornography and spousal abuse, or any egregious sin for that matter. Perhaps that's why this deteriorated to this point. But as believers, we must grasp and hold the understanding of the complete depravity of man, including the "man of God" if we are to be a refuge for the suffering in our midst. We have to understand that not one of us-man of God or no-has been spared from sin, and so is above confrontation, especially within our own midst. We can't build our world on "preachers", and I believe that a good preacher now would be saying amen, because the preacher was not built to handle such a load. We have to be open to possibility that our preacher is in need of loving restoration, and provide a place for him to confess and repent, as well as a place for his spouse to seek refuge from him if he doesn't.
So now the preacher's dead, the wife could go to prison, and the three children are orphaned, a tragedy in our own ranks that should cause us to rip our clothes and heap ashes on our heads. May God have mercy on us, and the nation we are here to preserve.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
So try this at home and let me know how it goes. There's no charge unless it works, in which case you can make a large donation to my account via pay pal.
Monday, April 9, 2007
Our Fathers which art in Washington, Honorable be thy names.
Thy judges come, thy will be done in the land, not as it is done in Washington.
Give us this day our daily desires.
And forgive us our trespasses, as you forgive your trespasses against us.
And lead us not into responsibility, but deliver us from any responsibility for the decisions we have made: For thine is the power, and the coffers, and the nanny, forever. Amen.
Friday, April 6, 2007
To understand this hatred, one need look no further than the Cross of Christ; Christianity's one distinguishing element as a religion. The Cross is foolishness to man, yet is a central theme to Christianity. It is repugnant and reeks to those who are perishing, but to the Christian it is beautiful and sweet. The Cross is indeed the crossroads at the intersection of man and God. At this crossroads, man will either embrace and cling to it, or be repulsed and reject it, depending on who he sees crucified there. If he sees a good teacher, a historical character, a religious leader, or just some historical man, he will rightly turn away. But if he sees an unblemished sacrificial lamb, a savior, indeed God incarnate, his heart will be filled with gratitude and there will be a demanded and necessary response.
A man's (or a woman's) heart will ultimately be the lens through which he will make this distinction. The cross tells man that he can't bridge the gap between himself and God, and he never will. This is somewhat palatable but it doesn't stop there; It goes on to say that man is depraved, hopelessly and desperately wicked, and there is absolutely nothing in him that is redeemable, and his ultimate and just reward is eternal tormenting punishment, and in fact he is already dead-dead in his sins. An inner war ensues in the heart, between the flesh and the spirit-between pride and humility- and in the end there is either a revelation-or recognition-of the basic and fundamental truth of his condition before God; which casts him to his knees at the foot of the cross. Or, his pride will reject this reality, the need for salvation, and along with it the only atoning sacrifice available to redeem his soul. He thereby places the yoke on his own neck and joins the throngs of slaves working, working, working; working off the bad and earning salvation, all the while cursing those who dare point out the vanity of it all.
When strangers ask me how I'm doing I generally respond "better than I deserve". Rarely but sometimes this elicits curiosity. In explanation I ask the rhetorical question: When you stand before God on that day, are you going to ask him to give you everything you deserve? This always causes uneasy reflection, and is never answered in the affirmative.
We know don't we? We know the truth, and as the Bible points out, we are without excuse. Let us know it in a new way this weekend, as we look on the one we have pierced.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
After a few moments: “Folks, your Captain speaking, the best plan is to to continue on our present course which will take us to Salt Lake City, it’s the closest airport.”
Feeling a little better the passengers began to relax until another voice came over the PA: “Hi folks, this is the First Officer speaking, I must inform you that I do not agree with the Captain concerning Salt Lake, but I think Sacramento is a much better option. Considering the winds aloft right now, Sacramento is actually a little closer, and is not surrounded by mountains, so we’re going to turn around and head for Sacramento.”
Needless to say this did nothing to ease the passengers’ fears. They were looking around nervously when the PA came to life again. “Folks, your Captain again. I have twice the experience of this First Officer, and I must say that on one account the First Officer is right, Sacramento is not surrounded by mountains, but he has failed to inform you that between us and that airport is the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, the largest and highest range in the contiguous US. On one engine we are not assured that we can even clear that range, so we will be continuing on to Salt Lake!”
As the aircraft began to turn back yet again the passengers were filled with terror. As they looked frightfully toward the faces of their flight attendants for some assurance the PA came to life yet again. Folks, the First Officer again, I’m telling you right now that if we try to make it into Salt Lake, our chances for survival are slim. The Captain’s right about the Navadas, but what he’s not considering is our current decent rate on one engine. We’ll be well clear of those mountains before we’re forced down to an altitude below that which would preclude our crossing. Once past them, we’ll be in a much better position, and will have many more options.”
The airplane rocked back and forth a couple of times as if the two pilots were fighting over the controls, when suddenly the remaining engine coughed and blew long flames out of the tail pipe. At this point the PA began to blare again. “Folks, your Captain again, I’ve given you my thoughts on the matter, and the F. O. has given his. Since we are in total disagreement we have adjusted our course dew north so as not to distance ourselves from either option while we take a vote from you all. The flight attendants will pass out a piece of paper to everyone and on it you are to write either Salt Lake or Sacramento.” As the Captain finished this announcement, the remaining engine gave a large yawning sound, coughed and belched black smoke and fire. The cabin deteriorated into complete chaos, which the flight attendants had to quell before taking the vote.
Most of the passengers knew nothing about airplanes, and the ones that did knew very little. As the attendants passed out the papers, there began a debate in the cabin between those that had at least some knowledge of flying, although the trustworthiness and extent of their knowledge remained in question. The debate soon escalated into a shouting match, which delayed the vote even further. Shouts like: “Those who think we should go to Salt Lake are causing disunity!” and “Everyone vote for the co-pilot, he looked more intelligent” and “how could the government allow this to happen?” and still yet, "on a matter this important there should be a super majority!" could be heard above the fray. One person even said in a fatalistic and passive tone, “it’s all a conspiracy”. Which given a more peaceful setting would have begged the question “to what end were the conspirators conspiring?"
As if there were not enough problems, what with the fighting, screaming and crying, smoke began to fill the cabin.
This is how I feel as an American after 9/11.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
In their defense they've done a spectacular job of making a wonderful tourist attraction. I'm glad they were able to pull this off. It does cost something to go out on it, but I don't think it's very much. I'd heard about it, but I didn't realize it had a glass floor. This has to be worth the trip! Three cheers for the Native Americans!
* These pictures can be found on the home page of Cox Communications in Arizona, and are the property of AZcentral.com
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Interestingly, this was while I was still in my pre-redeemed state. I had no basis at the time for thinking that homosexuality was a sin, but that didn't stop me from thinking it repulsive. Also, given my words were premeditated; it wasn't as if I hadn't considered what the reaction might be. But I couldn't help but believed that those reactions would quickly give way to contemplation of something so currently foreign in this overly sexualized world as one man’s deep love for another man.
Now however, as a Christian, I am very much at ease with the concept of loving another man, because within the context of Christianity it is normal and natural. What is not normal are the walls that men feel they need to erect lest they be thought “gay”. It has not always been taboo for men to share a bed, greet each other with a kiss, or to love one another. It has always, on the other hand, been decadent for two men to have sexual relations.
One of the real tragedies brought on by the normalization of homosexual relationships is the retardation of normal male relationships. When the attempt is made to force normality into something as intrinsically abnormal as homosexuality, it is folly to think that there will be no consequence. One of the first casualties of this social plow, uprooted with hardly any notice, was relationships between men.
The release of Brokeback Mountain was one of the more recent blows to masculine relationships. More tragically still, it wasn't as if one had to actually watch the movie to fall under its influence, for I’m convinced that few actually did see it. That's because the power of its influence didn’t come from its storyline. Indeed, on that account it was just another love story. Its real power came from its presumed acceptance, exaggerated and magnified by the media. This of course gave way to the unforgettable pictures that permeated the checkout aisles, video stores and news stands, of two handsome young men inserting homosexuality into what had always been an iconic symbol of male masculinity, the American cowboy. Nothing less would have done.
But worse than this is the brick and mortar this movie, and our brave new world, has provided to men for the building of their personal fortresses wherein they increasingly find themselves alone and isolated.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I was living on a houseboat, another achieved goal, and had a sailboat parked in a slip just a few feet away. There were several people living on their boats on this particular dock, and lots more that were there most of the time. Since boat life required one to be outside, neighbors were always assessable and that fact lent itself well to fellowship. It was impossible to not get involved in the affairs of the people of your particular dock, which was mostly a good thing in the sense of community.
There was much consumption of alcohol during that period. I might go so far as to call myself at the time a social alcoholic. I felt the need to feel the effects of alcohol to enjoy myself, but also detested the feeling of being drunk. Also, this seems to be as good a place as any to insert the fact that I was not at all happy. This was a distressing reality for me because I had done everything that the world had to do in order to achieve happiness, but there I was running out of green hills to conquer in my search for it. It was one beautiful day that I was wondering around on the dock, beer in hand, interacting with neighbors when I suddenly saw myself as I was, through my neighbors.
I was younger than most of them, and we had all set ourselves up in a world of diversion. Their whole life had become about boating, drinking, and talking about how wonderful it was to live on a boat. However, for me there seemed to be a moment of clarity this day where the veil of diversion was lifted up momentarily to reveal the misery underneath. Their unveiled faces begged the question over and over again: is this all there is, is this all there is? I would never see them or myself the same again.
As I survey this short life that I’ve thus lived, this was without question the first step toward life, and not only that but abundant life, though it would be a couple years in coming.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
It's the same old same old, an atheist is trying to somehow say that religion, and most specifically Christianity is evil, because of the "mental terrorism" that he says the prospects of hell cause. But as usual this man wants it both ways; he wants to remove any foundation onto which to build his case, namely the existence of evil, and at the same time, claim that that same foundation is evil. Ultimately, by proclaiming that there is no God, he is reducing every thing he is saying to opinion. So he is not living up to his own standards, for if evil is a matter of opinion, then he, who is nothing more than a complex machine, is attempting to impose his opinion of right and wrong onto other machines.
He implies that it proves to youth that they can deny the Holy Spirit and it will be OK. Sadly for his disciples, the only way they can know this is to deny the Holy Spirit then kill themselves. I can't help but to wonder what kind of response he would receive if he were to try and hock this garbage to the terminally ill.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
As a Christian, are you plagued with that bothersome alien feeling? Well follow these ten easy steps and you’ll be feeling right at home in this culture in no time at all. Promise!
- Watch lots of T.V.
- Make sure to always take in the latest and hottest movies.
- Watch lots of T.V.
- You'll find the morning drive time radio station personalities can be a treasure trove of wisdom in alleviating this problem.
- Watch lots of T.V.
- Never take prayer and Bible reading too seriously, those things are best left to professionals on Sunday.
- Watch lots of T.V.
- Be closed minded concerning the existence of Objective truth.
- Watch lots of T.V.
- Listen to lots of AC/DC.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It takes no will on my part to abstain from the news, unless you count the will one possesses to avoid pain, for it is truly painful for me to be exposed to what appears to me to be leftist propaganda. This said, I do not think that those who present the news could ever admit that this is what they’re up to, because they’re ignorant of it. Try as they may, I don’t think that they or I, or anyone else for that matter, could be totally objective, even if their lives depended on it. This is due to the filters through which we view the world. I watched the Terri Schiavo case for example, through a set of lenses that causes me to perceive all people as created in the image of God. Contrary to the news stories I saw, which portrayed a political battle between two parties, I saw a young woman being murdered by starvation, while a few in the government tried to save her. Due to my worldview or perspective, even though a political battle did take place, I would have reported that part of the story as a back drop to the fact that an innocent human being was being murdered with impunity. Interestingly enough, I would have then been accused of being biased for doing so.
To make a point using absurdity, what would the reaction be today if a news agency printed a story presenting slavery in a positive light? Society would baulk at the notion, but it hasn’t been that long since such a story could have been published without concern. On the other hand, one could rest assured that any story published by an abolitionist would have most certainly been a negative one.
So what has changed concerning slavery in a century and a half? As far as I know it is now universally condemned? So what has changed regarding objective journalism? I contend: nothing at all if it is not worse! One must remember that the prevailing worldview at that time was modernism, and with its flaws and failures, at least there was ultimately a prevailing belief that right and wrong, good and evil, and the nature of truth itself was objective.
I did watch Fox News a few times and there does at least seem to be an attempt here to realize that news cannot be objective. Consequently the forum seems to endeavor to give “both sides of the story”. Many it seems like to hear both sides of the story and they believe that the “truth” is probably somewhere in the middle? Try applying that reasoning to the slavery debate. I do suppose that this is a step in the right direction, but I still don’t watch it because of the pain it causes me to witness things like the murder of babies being reduced to some silly debate.
What about talk radio, someone might ask, aren’t they biased? The answer to that question is that normally they unabashedly are biased. Furthermore they make no pretence about it, but it’s folly to assume that just because a network, or newspaper, or reporter does not claim to be biased, that they in fact are not. I believe that any claims of objectivity while reporting what happened, or to be current with our times, what is happening, especially when it deals in the realm of political power, should be met with skepticism.