Friday, May 25, 2007

A Lesson Hard Learned

My wife married a union advocate, and as such bore the brunt of much ire concerning the evils of his employer. The CEO, or so I thought, was getting rich off the backs of good folk like myself, and I was angry about it. To say the least my wife was not happy with the embittered heart of her husband and (surprise) this caused some discord; but this would not continue.

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:

  1. That which we know about ourselves that others know too, i.e. I'm not a sports fan, I love sweets.
  2. That which we know about ourselves that others will never know(nope, still not telling!)
  3. That which we don't know about ourselves and others don't either, i.e. our subconscious.
  4. 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

When Men Speak Well of You

Jerry Falwell was a self righteous intolerant bigot who wanted to impose his morality on the whole country; or so I once believed. The fact that I believed this, yet knew not why, attest to the insidious affect of being an uncritical consumer of mass media. My first real memory of "the man" was on a televised debate in which he was the moderator. Being a non-believer at the time, I was struck by his courteousness, gentleness, and the sound arguments forwarded by what I knew to be his side. This seemed odd to me at the time because it so conflicted with what I "knew" to be true about him.

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

A New Feature

Well its not totally new, but I'd like to draw your attention to the "My Favorite Post" links at the top right. What you will find there are posts from various blogs that I think interesting, and that say things that I'd like to say, and say it better than I ever could (which is pretty much always). Also there might be some of my own that I want to "hang on to" a little longer. I just added one on being an evangelical which I totally agree with, and also covet the author's skills in communication. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Peaceful Advances, Violent Losses

The history of socialism is not a pretty one. Its path through history is strewn with hundreds of thousands of bodies. To be sure, those that consider themselves socialist seem to be nice enough people as long as they find themselves in the majority, and so are not only in power but are advancing a socialist agenda against freedom, but they don’t seem to handle setbacks very well as the aftermath of the elections in France will attest. Amazingly, it has been socialist organizations that have organized and funded most, if not all of the anti-war and anti-American protest around the world, ostensibly due to their pacifist inclinations, but one would be hard-pressed to conclude very much passivity as they watch flames leaping from their car.

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

Escape From Reason, Francis Shaeffer

I just finished reading this book and was taken by Shaeffer's admonition at the end:

"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

On the Wright Family Education Administration-(WFEA)

My wife and I went to a promotion ceremony last night that was organized by a WFEA accredited homeschool group where our children were officially promoted to the next grade. As I sat in the WFEA approved sanctuary, I was reminded that the whole concept of "grades" was yet another word that I had been trying to eradicate from my vernacular. To be sure, we do tell our children what grade they're supposedly in so that they can relate with the world on its level of thinking, but the WFEA does not in any way, shape, or form see the children placed within its care through the lens of a one size fits all "grade level". Our children, like all children, are marvelously complex in their abilities, needs, learning styles, attention requirements, etc., etc., and so on; and the WFEA adapts the curriculum, hours of study, and a whole host of other variables to meet each student's specific needs.

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.