Friday, June 26, 2009

Government, An Unreasonable God

It's absurd, so it is said, to believe that some "being" creating the material world, or a man named Jesus was raised from the dead. Such thinking is considered unreasonable. Of course the answer to such criticisms is that it is not at all unreasonable to believe that such feats were performed, if they were performed by an all powerful, transcendent and eminent God.

But such a God is unacceptable to the "reasonable" these days. So the one
true God is exchanged for a scaled down man sized version. Having disposed of any concept of eternal accountability, reason then finds its own existence in jeopardy as well.

Who was our God?
In describing the attributes of God, the same God to which this nation was once beholden, Christians use words like these:
  • Jehovah-Jireh,(God my provider)
  • Jehovah-Rapha, (God my Healer)
  • Jehovah-Roi, (God my Shepherd)
  • Jehovah-Shalom, (God my Peace)
Who is our new God?
Using these same words, on the other hand, one can also determine, regardless of lip service, who actually fills the position of God in one's life. A little contemplation on this may reveal how government has taken on God like status in our current state of affairs. It looks a little like this:
  • Gov.-Jireh, (the government that provides for me)
  • Gov.-Rapha, (the government that provides health care for me)
  • Gov.-Roi (the government that tells me what to do)
  • Gov.-Shalom ( )
One would think that with the affinity for "reason" those who attack creation claim to possess that they themselves would be reasonable. But the opposite is true as it turns out. Since unreasonableness is the natural consequence of the absence of god in a society's thinking, government assumes a God like posture in the modern mindset. For example consider the unreasonable and God-like attributes the people now expect from their government:
  • Changing of the global temperature
  • A life free from worry
  • Increased spending with less taxation
  • National security without a strong military or intelligence gathering
  • A moral economic environment without moral standards
  • The power to change the sea levels
  • To teach that even though life evolved from nothing and is heading to eternal nothingness, it is ultimately meaningful.  
  • Creating wealth by printing money.
  • The expending of infinite amounts of fiat-"wealth" so that the people can be assured of sowing as they desire without concerning themselves with what type of harvest will spring.
  • The creation of new energy sources simply by the denial of access to old ones, sort of like cutting off ones legs believing that wings will grow without considering life without either.
On Reason
It would appear that the appeal to reason is only legitimate when used to deny the legitimacy of an absolute standard existing outside of man. Beyond that, reason takes a holiday. The fact is however, that since God and Creation are both true and reasonable, the arguments made from the opposite sides of the political, moral and economic perspectives are consistent with the foundations upon which they stand. Let me explain. It is no more unreasonable to assert that:
  • as a man sows, so shall he reap
  • man was created by an all powerful God
  • that their are eternal consequences to our actions
  • that life has meaning
  • there are limits to what government can do to absolve us form our actions
  • there are absolute standards by which we must live in order to have an abundant life; both individually and corporately as a nation
-than it is reasonable to have faith that the opposite of all these are true. Furthermore, it is also a reasonable observation that, as the view of God has diminished in the national mindset, ungodly behavior such as crime, corruption, suicide, fatherless children, child abuse, CEO corruption and apathy has increased. How reasonable is it to assume that any of this will be stopped by now increasing what caused it? Not reasonable at all actually.
The brave new world we are entering is akin to the re-invention of the wheel. Scripture says that there is nothing new under the sun. We will prove this by unnecessary human suffering as we cast off all we know to grope around in the dark in search of a better way, only to rediscover that we are hopelessly trapped in our sinful man-ness, with only one way out: surrender to our maker, and accepting his terms for reconciliation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mark Sanford

As the controversy swirls around Mark Sanford, the Govenor of SC, and his affair, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind:

  1. It will be painted as Republican hypocrisy. This is not true. It is Mark Sanford hypocrisy. It would be Republican hypocrisy if Republicans go out and defend him, or worse yet, if the Republican constituency votes him back into office. Does anyone remember Tom Foley or Larry Craig?

  2. There is a double standard. This is also not true. If Mark Sanford were a Democrat this affair would be no problem for they have no standards except that they remain in power and the constituency's checks don't bounce. Does anyone remember the late Gerry Studds? He had an affair with a 17 year old boy after which he was re-elected six more times.

  3. There is a media double standard. This is also not true unless one differentiates the media from the democrat party, which would be pure folly. If the love fest media health care circus didn't convince one of such, then the advantages of one being convinced enter into question.

  4. It is also folly to trust with enormous power a man who will lie to his wife and children. If this nation is unable to produce a leader unable to be trusted by his wife, or her husband, then I suppose it is safe to conclude that the grand experiment is over; we have failed; man can only expect to experience mere moments of fleeting freedom; here are our hands; go get the chains.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Pepsi Boycott



Speaking of Pepsi, a "Boycott Pepsi"movement has been making its way around Facebook. The link comes complete with a petition to sign, several clips from the Pepsi sponsored "Gay Anger Pride Parade" in NY, some homosexuality and Pepsi promoting ads, and an... how do I say this... unsavory clip from "family guy" (I think that's the name of the cartoon) which Pepsi sponsored.

Why would Pepsi do this? Why, when there are so many worthy and non-controversial causes to support, would Pepsi support this? At first glance it doesn't seem like a wise course of action, but consider a few points:
  • To be against the sanctioning of sin is a distinctly religious position. That would, in the U.S., be a position held predominately by Christians.

  • While outspoken Christians have called for boycotts in the past, they are seldom carried out with any success. My reasoning for this is that boycotts are more successful when the boycotters are motivated by hate. This is the reason that no business wants to be the target of a homosexual boycott; which is something that Pepsi can now take off it's list of things to worry about.

  • In an amoral culture, recognition of any kind, even controversial recognition, is a good thing so long as the controversy involves a strain against a moral code.

  • Pepsi, by being a large multi-national corporation, is seen as inherently evil in the modern eye. By winning the favor of the Hollywood elite, and the filthy rich elite, and the news media elite, and the intellectual elite, they will more likely be forgiven for their "big business" status and portrayed more favorably in all sorts of media. In other words, don't expect CNN to be pasting Pepsi's involvement with men wearing short skirts and bras marching down the street yelling obscenities all over the six O'clock news cycle.

  • They know that the overwhelming majority of people who consider themselves Christian are a naive and gullible bunch who's knowledge of the world is based on what is revealed to them by their television sets.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Wish

My wife asked me to think about what I wanted for Father's Day. Hint Hint:
(No time? Watch first 36 seconds then fast foward to 2:35)

It's only about five million bucks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Loving Your Neighbor Politically

Several years ago I was posed a question from myself. "are you so interested in politics because you are convinced that conservative policies will make your life better, or are you generally interested in the welfare of people in general?" This question was troublesome for me. It caused me to realize that my answer was not the proper one in the context of my professed beliefs. It, of course, was a question of motivation, and as such, even if what I wanted was a good thing for myself and others, I realized that without the proper motivation I would be unable to have a positive impact. Also, the blinding effect that bad motivations would have on me could cause me to be led astray easily.

As I wrestled with this question I began to realize that politics had become personal with me. They had become about winning, period. And since no one ever really "wins" in politics, the next logical step was an embittered heart. This would lead to a heart filled and motivated by hatred, which was a state of being that I realized I must begin to fight against. We've all seen the cars laden with arrogant and hateful bumper stickers, making their proclamations against hate of course. (click here for better picture)I did not want to become like that. But such reveals a very real danger faced in all our hearts. With the original intentions-regardless of the political philosophy through which they are hoped-being "the betterment of mankind", men are able to justify a darkened and hate filled heart because of the ends those intentions hope to achieve.

Such a problem is understandable for the non-Christian because of his lack of a reference point, outside of himself, from which to judge good and evil. But for the Christian it is evidence of his failing to fight the good fight in the war that is constantly being waged between the members of his body and the law of his mind.1

All of this said, I am no less adamant about politics. In fact, in many ways I have become even more adamant, for how can I love my neighbor and not want for him the best system of government under which to conduct his life. The person not interested in politics beyond government hand-outs does not "love" his neighbor-a reality that would come as quite a shock to his sensibilities were they not dulled by hatred or indifference. This is because those "hand-outs" come at a higher price than the actual hand-outs he is receiving. They are but a decoy which obscure other socially and economically destructive policies that are causing our neighbors more suffering. This results in a self-perpetuating need for even more hand-outs while obscuring even more destructive policies.

As a Christian I am commanded to love my neighbor. This necessarily includes making an impact on the policies adopted by our government. It also necessarily excludes actions, regardless of the goodness of the goals, propelled by improper motivations.

(1.) Rom 7:21-2521 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. NIV

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Schaeffer's Commentary on Evan Thomas

An excerpt from Francis A. Schaeffer's "How Should We Then Live" speaking on the fall of Rome:

"Because August established peace externally and internally and because
he kept the outward forms of constitutionality, Romans of every class
were ready to allow him total power in order to restore and assure the
functioning of the political system, business, and the affairs of daily
life. After 12B.C. he became the heard of the state religion, taking
the title Pontifex Maximus and urging everyone to worship the "Spirit of Rome and the genius of the emperor." Later this became obligatory for all the people of the the Empire, and later still, the emperors ruled as gods."

As a student of history I am many times taken by the thoughts and actions of historical people. Nowhere is this more so than men desiring themselves to be bestowed with the attribute of divinity, and even more-so still, with those willing to bestow it. Being of the thought that man never changes in his basic being, I surmise that if something has ever happened before, it can happen again. Evan Thomas has proved my thinking correct. So here it is, this "progressive" has given me some modern insight into historical events that have been, for this modern mind anyway, hitherto baffling.

Hear his words, if you havn't already, on this 37 second clip:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One Man's Rebellion Is Another Man's Revolt

While committing the sin of shopping at Walmart this morning I noticed some clothing decorated with Peace signs.

This reminded me of a time when this symbol was a favorite of rebellious youth in the sixties. Except those guys back then were real rebels, and were bucking a real system, along with all the injustices which they had projected upon it. But for today's youth it seems to be more of a sign of a sheep mentality. This is understandable given the state of modern society because it would appear that the only thing today's youth have to rebel against are the mere ghosts and shadows of by-gone eras. They have a pacifist president, no draft, no old and out dated traditions being forced upon them; and-even though they don't realize it-they have prosperity. So the only thing left is to simply dress up like their old granddad in his young and rebellious days to exhibit a sort of faux rebellion.

But for those who have not been sedated by our popular culture, there is still something against which one can rebel, and in so doing, draw on that naturally rebellious spirit bound up in the heart of the naive and idealistic young. Still, given today's youth their due, they are in a more difficult position in their rebellion, for at the heart of "rebellion" is an ultimate rebellion against God. So what are today's youth to do? If they follow their natural inclinations of rebelling against God, they are robbed of the socieital sneers and confrontations once experienced by their rebel grandparents. Yet to rebel against ungodliness almost seems counter-intuitive, even oxymoronic. But rebelling against everything else is akin to rebelling against nothing. There's no fun in that.

For a glimpse of rebelling youth check out these three You Tube clips.
Alfonzo Rachel
Steven Crowder

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Against Men Who Suppress The Truth"

Romans 1:18:

  • The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who "suppress" the truth by their wickedness.

  • Suppress-NT:2722katecho (kat-ekh'-o); from NT:2596 and NT:2192; to hold down (fast), in various applications (literally or figuratively).

This scripture has always reminded me of a coil spring being actively forced from its natural state at the expense of energy; a state to which it will return once the force is removed. For the one expending this energy, in the end he will eventually exhaust himself and will be left to watch as the spring naturally returns to its preformed shape.

For the last few decades, Romans 1 has been of particular interest as pressure is applied to natural law in order to deform it. We seemingly helplessly watch as what was once unimaginable and aberrant behavior transposes before our very eyes into culturally normal behavior. This pressure comes at an enormous expense as resources and energy, which could be put to better uses for the betterment of man, are diverted to buoy the notion of an alternate and impossible to achieve utopian universe. The quest of such a universe can be summed up in the history of man as a Sisyphean Task as he pours his essence and energies into rolling a rock away from its natural point of rest only to watch it roll back again.

Proposition 8, for example

In a truly poor country where people generally are more interested in their next meal than redefining words, events like the recent Proposition 8 campaign in California would seem absurd. Such is a luxury enjoyed by wealthier cultures that have resources to waste. A study of the resources gobbled up by prop 8 is telling. According to a report by KCAL:

"Ten days before the vote on Proposition 8, campaign finance records show
that total contributions for and against the measure have surpassed $60 million,
according to an analysis by The Associated Press"

"The figures for each side are actually higher because these totals do not include most donations under $100 and contributions under $1,000 since Oct.

And this was but one campaign, albeit the most expensive, of many similar ones. The amount spent nation wide on this one issue, if known, would no doubt be positively staggering. Moreover, these numbers are in reference only to the proposition campaigns themselves. They do not take into account energy expended in the form of time and money for such activities as ensuring that pro-homosexual content remains in nightly TV programming; or the production of TV programs, magazines, and documentaries with their sole purpose being the presentation of homosexuality in a positive light, and/or the opposition in a negative light. Liberal churches, government education institutions, unions, community organizations such as the PTA and Girl Scouts of America, the Democrat Party and homosexual organizations proper who expend time, talent and resources for the purpose of disseminating and maintaining a deception also cannot be ignored. And then there is the cost of incessant polling to test how the media propagated deceptions are coming along in the minds of the masses. All and all, the resources and energy amassed are no less than daunting.

Ultimately the opposition to homosexual marriage is dwarfed in comparison. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization, was the single largest contributor in favor of Prop. 8 in California, along with a handful of other conservative organizations, but by far the most powerful opposition came from conservative churches, or more truthfully put, by the people who attend them; for contrary to what it would seem most believe, Sunday mornings are not weekly gay bashing sessions. As for the pro-ponents of same sex marriage Kcal reported:

On the No side, wealthy individuals making million-dollar gifts account for
all but one of the gay marriage ban's top six opponents. The California
Teachers Association, the state's largest teachers union, is first, having
pledged $1.3 million to fight the initiative.

With the disproportionate amount of resources and energy expended in favor of homosexual marriage, especially when considering the ancillary support enjoyed in recent history from leftist entities such as the news media and entertainment industry, the fight was exceedingly lopsided. Yet the State Supreme Court ruling that pulled the right for homosexuals to be married out of thin air, was overturned by way of constitutional amendment demonstrating that truth applies its own pressure naturally. But the defeated are not deterred. They are now looking for ways to apply more pressure, or find another way to override the will of the people, which doesn't seem that important when the will of the people is contrary to the will of some. So the pressure will be notched up at the expense of even more resources. We will be told in one form, shape, or another repeatedly through every medium possible that this is best and those who oppose it are bad people.

It is at this juncture that the homosexual marriage movement finds itself linked at the hip with what would appear to be every other leftist cause. Tyrannical regimes must take and control all dispensation of "information" for good reason; the truth must be actively and constantly held at bay, or perhaps more aptly put, the lie must be maintained. There should be no surprise, then, when leftist activist find themselves encamped with some of the most unusual of allies. Cognitive dissonance becomes the order of the day as self-deception becomes the first step in the lock-stepped march toward the ever illusive utopia.

As for Prop 8, for what purposes were these resources and energies expended? There were no laws which outlawed homosexual behavior. Furthermore California is a state which recognizes domestic partner benefits. So are we to believe that this was all for a piece of paper; a piece of paper ironically ignored now by most heterosexuals of similar liberal mindset? And when they do win, by the only way thus far they have been able to win anything-by judicial fiat, or oligarchy-are we to believe that they will simply return happily to their homes, piece of paper in hand?

The answer, of course, is no. Their inexorable march will continue, and with each victory on each front their march will draw them ever closer to their real enemy, which incidentally is not ultimately "truth" per se, but its Author.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Liberty and Tyranny

Ignorance is the quintessential American luxury. For decades knowledge of exactly why millions are risking life and limb to come to this country has not been necessary for maintaining its status as destination of choice for the world. For citizens in general, this exceptionalism has become an entitled and expected way of life with no regard whatever paid to how or why the quality and standard of life for them are the envy of the world. Such has been a luxury we were able to enjoy. Those days are gone.

Concealed in the darkness of mass ignorance there is a thriving ideology, stateism, that has been eating away at the foundations upon which this great county was set; foundations laid by our founding fathers for a prosperous and free society. Mark Levin's book, Liberty And Tyranny, is an easy and quick read in which he breaks this ideology down historically, issue by issue, and liberal institution by liberal institution. In a format resembling an outline for a much larger and in depth expose, he presents in a concise, organized and compelling framework the major problems facing America.

These times demand that Americans educate and inform themselves beyond simply what is being presented to them in the news cycle. This book is an excellent starting point for the person insistent on not sitting idly by as his county, way of life, and liberty fades into history like the setting sun.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tiller's Christianity and the Crusades

Regardless of what one thinks of Dr. George Tiller the fact remains that he died while serving as an usher in a Christian Church of the Lutheran variety. So this little blip of an episode that played itself out last Sunday amidst this interminable and horrid epic of abortion violence is consistent with the atheist's and anti-Christian's constant refrain, "remember The Crusades".

The words "The Crusades", it seems, are used ad-nauseum to paint all Christianity with a broad brush as a bunch of blood thirsty murderers at heart, and are normally the unthinking reflexive response by many any time the word "Christian" is mentioned. The problem however is that one of the Christians at the heart of the tragic event this Sunday past was Tiller; a defender to the death of the most sacred of all sacred cows for those who hate Christianity-abortion. This would, it would seem, make him a veritable hero-a martyr even-for the sacred cause of a woman's right to choose; while at the same time, a Christian. So it would only seem to follow that that would actually make Tiller a good Christian, one would think. So, since it is possible that some Christians are actually good Christians, who's to say that the "Christians" who purportedly inflicted the Crusades on all those innocents nearly a millennia ago were not similarly "good" Christians?

Who knows, such possibilities might recast The Crusades in a totally different and affirming light. But then again perhaps not. The Muslims probably wouldn't go for it; even though Tiller now fits even the Muslim's definition of a "good Christian".

One Hundredth Post

The adventure of blogging

I had no idea when I started blogging a little over two years ago that I would learn as much, and be changed as much as I have. I began with a chip on my shoulder of sorts, thinking that I had all the answers but not realizing that I was the unconscious incompetent.(1) It didn't take long however to become the conscious incompetent. But this isn't really a bad place to be when you think about it. I heard once that the man who knows not that he knows not is a fool. So, if nothing else, I did escape "fool" status under that qualification. As the "about this blog" states, the reason for this exercise is the dire need I feel to be sharpened in my ability to engage the world, a world in which my family and I must exist.

These two years have been a love/hate experience. I can't tell you how many times I've quit, only to come back with another post. I keep reminding myself why I’m doing it, which is to learn, and to become sharper. My reasoning was affirmed recently as I listened to a local radio talk show hosted by Andrew Tallman, who admonished his college students to not only listen to the debate going on around us, but to also be engaged in it. By doing so, he said, we learn that it isn’t as easy as it looks and that we have to learn how to present our arguments in a cogent and succinct way, and to take the more difficult step of defending them against what may, on surface level, seem like legitimate assertions and responses. One way of doing this, he said, was blogging.


I had always held virtual relationships in low regard. I assumed that there was something wrong with meeting people on line, people that I would probably never meet in person, and becoming friends. So the last thing I expected was to actually meet people that would eventually become what I would consider friends. One of those people, Jon, I recently did a tribute to for graduating from seminary. Another person my wife and I both have grown to love is Susan from Penless Writer. Somehow we met her blogging in the beginning and I’ve always looked forward to her comments ever since. We have exchanged email conversations and even though I’ve never met her in person, I’m sure that if I were to one day knock on her door, it would seem we were old friends. Such is this new world of blogging and some of the benefits that were unexpected. There is also Nancy who used to correct my spelling. (If you’ve been hanging around here any time at all you know that spelling does not come natural to me. In fact it is atrocious. There have been times that I couldn't even get words close enough for Google to figure it out.) Thank God for spell check. Perhaps one day that tool will even be able to decipher between the correct uses for sew and sow. Thank you so much Nancy, for your ever watchful eye. These are two women that have become closer to our family, than I ever thought possible in cyberspace.

There are many others listed on the “my favorite blogs” to the right including my wife Kathy and Field Lily as well as many other friends whom I know personally and many that I do not. There is Terry D, one of my favorite reads but who has never linked to my blog (wink wink), and Larry, both excellent writers I think. The only person that has transitioned from blogger to personal friend is Stan from Winging it. I learned while reading his blog that he was not only from Phoenix, but was actually my neighbor. We’ve been meeting over coffee and it’s been quite a refreshing time. There is also Neil at the 4Simpsons’ blog at Eternity Matters that I’ve been visiting lately and will hold him to coffee if I’m ever in his neighborhood, which is a very real possibility because we have family that we visit there. Reading these two guys I gain much insight in fighting the good fight on the battlefield of ideas.

Barney and The Bumbling Genius

When I first began blogging my wife suggested The Bumbling Genius as a title. I thought I'd use it as I gave blogging a few dry runs thinking that later I would come up with a more serious title. As you can see, that never happened. I personally have never felt comfortable with the word Genius in the title but the sub-title, I think, kind of takes the edge off to a degree. Anyway, it now is what it is. As for the profile photo, I was watching the Andy Griffith Show one day and as I saw Barney trying to be someone that he wasn't, which was almost always the case, I related with him in a weird sort of way. This gave me the idea to use Barney as a quasi mascot photo. The one here came in a close second place to the photo I choose for my profile page. I thought it matched The Bumbling Genius title pretty well.

Around The Corner

I honestly could, and would, love to write and post every day. But most of my posts come at quite an expense in time; time that I feel prudence would demand is often better spent with my two children. That said, I have begun to feel a certain niche which has given me a clearer direction. This has begun to settle the biggest dilemma I’ve faced in blogging: who am I writing for? Although the answer to that question is still very vague, I believe I am clearer on it now than I was for the first eighty or so posts.

I want to thank everyone who reads this blog for stopping by whether or not you leave comments. I also want to say thanks to those who have left comments, and especially those of you who do so often. Thank you for the much needed encouragement, and even corrections. I would love to respond to all of them, and I try to, but many times I am simply unable.

If you're still reading, know that I’ve allowed myself this personal post for this my (finally) one hundredth post. Thank you for indulging me and happy blogging.

(1) This refers to a list of four levels of competence:
  1. The unconscious incompetent-someone who is incompetent but doesn't yet realize it. This is a person who has only watched something done and is fooled into thinking that it is easier than it actually is
  2. The conscious incompetent-someone who finds out after attempting something that it is actually more difficult than it looked and realizes that he is incompetent.
  3. The conscious competent-someone who after practice has become somewhat competent but still must concentrate and pay close attention to be so
  4. The unconscious competent- someone who is so competent that it is second nature to him.