Category Archives: Christianity
Ann Barnhardt Speaks Cold, Hard, Truth. The Kind We Should be Hearing from the Pulpit – But We Don’t.
From Ann Barnhardt: http://www.barnhardt.biz/
Isaiah 59 King James Version (KJV)
59 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.
1. Two hard boiled eggs, diced. A little mayo. A little sour cream (if you have it). Pinch of salt. Tablespoon of pickle relish. It’s the simple pleasures in life.
2. Paraphrasing a quote from Nicholas Cotoner, renowned as the father of the modern study of human anatomy: “It is essential to dissect the dead in order to heal the living.” Indeed. Pass the chainsaw, and lower your splash shields.
3. Yeah, it’s happening again. ZeroHedge has this up today. And I see that KD has picked it up, too. CYNK, a social media start-up (whatever that means) with one employee, no website, no revenue, no product, and no assets, is now booking a market cap of nearly FIVE BILLION DOLLARS. This is going to make the 2000 and 2008 crashes look like your sixth birthday party at McDonald’s.
4. So, yeah, in the interests of making sure everyone is arguing from TRUE premises and not FALSE premises, the whole Mexican border dissolution thing is 100% intentional and pre-planned. Saw it coming even before Obama officially usurped and the Republic was overthrown back in ’08. There are three main objectives achieved by this: 1.) Feed the Cloward-Piven overload and collapse of the FEDGOV by adding millions to the entitlement teat 2.) Expand the proletariat, which will agitate for and deliver more power to the oligarchy in return for empty promises of free shit 3.) Enable unfettered access to former-U.S. territory by musloids, with whom the Obama regime is saturated and explicitly allied with against Western Civilization. This is all exactly, precisely what they want and so therefore thinking that they are somehow embarrassed, ashamed or have any desire to “correct” or mitigate any of it is either dishonest to a gargantuan degree, or just flat stupid. You’re sitting around waiting for psychopathic arch-criminals who have taken over the largest economy and military in human history, and who are achieving absolutely every single one of their satanic goals with zero resistance, to slam on the brakes and voluntarily cease and desist because of an appeal to their conscience? Really? REALLY?
5. Yeah, I saw that bonehead Catholics are now working with the FEDGOV to traffic aliens into the country. Here’s what you have to understand. Most of the bishops today are stupid. I’m talking dumber than a bag of hair stupid. And, not surprisingly given that and given the Communist infiltration of the Church in the 20th century, most of them have Marxist leanings – even the so-called conservatives like Chaput in Philadelphia. Chaput agitated HARD for ObamaCare, even going so far as to force every parish in Denver to read a letter from him in which he declared healthcare a RIGHT. Rights come from God. Physical and service commodities are not rights, unless you subscribe to a materialist, Marxist worldview. But Ann, but Ann, I read Chaput’s book, “Render Unto Caesar”, and it wasn’t Marxist. Of course not. That’s because Chaput’s ghostwriter isn’t Marxist. She’s a very good Catholic lady, who delivered a fine book indeed to the Archbishop.
6. Oh, and yes, the “dumb” and “Marxist” labels apply fully to the Bishop of Rome, and Vicar of Christ, too. Francis is a Peronist-Fascist who is quite a dim bulb who has been built up from nothing by a fawning Marxist media – not at all unlike Obama. Listening to Progressive-Conservative (ProgCon) Catholics try to explain away the “Communists stole our (Christianity’s) flag” quote from last week is simultaneously amusing and nauseating. Communism, which reduces human beings to economic object/units, which it then slaughters by the millions, is just Christianity under a different “flag”, huh? I cannot put into words what an abomination and desecration of the memories of the millions of martyrs to Communism that statement is. The Communists who tortured Cardinal Mindszenty were not “closet Christians”. The torturers of the Romanian and Vietnamese Catholics were not “closet Christians”. Believe me, when I call Pope Francis stupid, it is from the bowels of charity, because the alternative is that he is malevolent, and for full disclosure, I bought an at-the-money call option on “malevolent” within minutes of his election.
7. Remember, Our Lord is angry with us. Very, very, very angry. And so, it is time for this again:
“The most evident mark of God’s anger, and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world, is manifest when He permits His people to fall into the hands of a clergy who are more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. They abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world and, in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people and is visiting His most dreadful wrath upon them.” –St. John Eudes
From Ann Barnhardt: http://www.barnhardt.biz/
The Search for Religious Relevance (or How I Missed my First Anniversary)
Written by Nick B. Steves
In May of 1990, I was away from my wife on the first anniversary of our marriage. I had, or so it seemed at the time, more important things to do. A group of “leading men” from our little country church were traveling to Barrington, Illinois for a church growth conference at Willow Creek Community Church, which had been founded 15 years earlier by Bill Hybels. La Wik hints at the psychological roots of Willow Creek’s founding:
After 300 youth waited in line to be led to Christ in a service in May 1974, Hybels and other leaders began dreaming of forming a new church. They surveyed the community to find out why people weren’t coming to church. Common answers included: “church is boring”, “they’re always asking for money”, or “I don’t like being preached down to.” These answers shaped the group’s approach to the new church.
If you want to sell more product, then giving your customers what they want is bound to be a successful strategy. And if you’re selling Jesus, why let accidental aspects of Christianity get in the way of his essence? Our small, introverted, and pietistic Bible Fellowship church was about to undergo a massive transformation in the direction of seeker sensitivity. Twenty-four years later, the results of this transformation live on in one of the most hip and relevant churches Lynchburg, Virginia has to offer. And in the evangelical Mecca of Lynchburg, home of Liberty University, becoming that is no small achievement.
A Brief History
The search for relevance did not begin in 1974 with Bill Hybels and his fellow “youth group” leaders. Evangelical Christianity has never not been a search for relevance—a way of taking the Gospel message of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, uncluttered by cultural baggage, directly to the people—often anti-intellectual, embarrassing, and decidedly unprogressive cultural baggage. There is a reason that the 95-year-old Billy Graham, confidant of many Presidents, remains one of most admired, well-respected figures down to this day, whereas the name “Bob Jones” is an epithet: He never let political controversy get in the way of the message of Jesus. Graham was an anti-communist when it was popular to be one, and he was a social justice warrior when it was popular to be one.
Another way to put that would be: Billy Graham never let the message of Jesus get in the way of political controversy. And if getting folks to “accept Jesus into their heart as personal Lord and Savior” really is tantamount to the Great Commission—Jesus final command to his disciples to go and teach all nations—then there’s not a thing in the world wrong with it: Jesus… with no strings, no Church, no culture, no normative practice attached.
Religion has been historically a cultural anchor. Yet the Evangelical form of Christianity denies this. Not really so much denies it, as it deems cultural anchorage as unimportant relative to the weight of carrying out the Great Commission. In simplifying the Gospel Message down to a core of propositions to believe, in making the process of conversion as simple as responding to an altar call and praying the Sinner’s Prayer “Just give me Jesus” is a profoundly invigorating principle for church growth. It is immediately and almost infinitely adaptable. If “Christian Rap” is going to fill the pews, so you can give them Jesus, why should some old fuddy-duddies stand in the way? If pews are too old-school, why not “do church” in a comfy movie theater instead?
The formula works. America is among the most “church-going” first world nations, and it leads the first world in moral and cultural bankruptcy.
About that cultural anchor…
Evangelicals and Mindedness
As Mark Knoll noted almost 20 years ago, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Knoll was wondering why Evangelicals contribute so little to intellectual scholarship and high culture and how his Evangelical brethren might turn that trend around.
I think the problem goes deeper than Mark Knoll wished to probe: There really isn’t much of a single, univocal Evangelical Mind. It isn’t that Evangelicals are stupid. It is that their system of religious thought doesn’t lead to many broader cultural implications. What clear implications does “leading people to accept Jesus into their heart and pray the sinners prayer” have upon the role of women in society? Upon traditional family structure? Upon free trade? College education? Suburban sprawl? Media Influence? Foreign Aid? Immigration? Support for Israel? Revolution in the Ukraine? The Role of Religion in Public Life?
“Just give me Jesus” is quite indifferent to all of those… “Just give me Jesus” doesn’t even very much care about what type of church you go to… so long as you go… to one that feels right… to you.
So the endless search for religious relevance in America has led to a prevailing religious expression described in 2005 by sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism—a form of Christianity so devoid of normative content as to be indistinguishable from baptized narcissism.
Oprah Winfrey didn’t become a billionaire by building railroads or cornering the market on crude oil. And Bill Hybels and the host of mega-church pastors like him didn’t build their massive ministries by anchoring the Christian faith in traditional culture.
America is “deeply religious,” yet on-demand abortion and gay “marriage” are the (presumptively settled) Law of the Land. America fills her pews like no other nation on earth, yet the Overton Window glides ever leftward. And lest anyone think I’m picking only on Evangelicals, please understand that this tendency to strip the gospel message down to make it palatable for the broader culture has thoroughly infected the entire social order. Even non-religions like my local public radio station are getting in on the act. Making a message culturally relevant—whether that message be about Jesus or democracy or condom-use or toleration of sexual minorities—has become indistinguishable from plain old American cultural hegemony.
In spite of Evangelicalism’s low-brow status, we’re all Evangelicals now.
So how about that cultural anchor?
Let’s unwind this. That seeker-sensitive church growth ideas work is undeniable… for some values of “work”. But is that the work that Jesus intended the Church “Christian Community” to do when he gave the great commission? Or does “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” mean more than kneeling to pray the Sinners’ Prayer under the maudlin strains of Just As I Am? What is it exactly that we are to “teach all nations”: Be nice and feel good about ourselves?
How Things are Supposed to Work
The 800 pound (363 kg) gorilla in the room is that Christianity is supposed to affect the culture. Christianity admixes with genetics and environment and other memetic residues to produce certain kinds of culture. Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism produce different kinds. Everyone expects this. And what kind of culture is American Christianity producing today? One in which “Gay Marriage” can go from a funny joke to a self-evident sacred right in less than a generation. An entire generation of “Youth Pastors” is quite busy making Jesus look incredibly cool and could not be reached for comment.
Forgive me, but I don’t think that’s how Christianity is supposed to work for meaningful definitions of “work”. Well, why the hell not? The first reason is theological: Go ye therefore and teach all nations presumes a position of cultural superiority. Christianity is not just a propositional gloss that can be painted over an extant, formerly pagan culture, leaving it unchanged (except that now they’ll get to go to Heaven when they die). Certainly Christianity can add local customs to its own nature (cf. pagan winter solstice and spring equinox customs), but it cannot water down its universal call to repentance and holiness and kinship within the Church.
When it does, it ceases to be authentic Christianity. The relevance-minded Christians who imagine Jesus’ Great Commission as being about just getting people to pray certain prayers therefore sell the real gospel short. Conversion is a lifelong result of a lifelong commitment to a lifelong process. The signs of true spiritual conversion may be seen far more clearly in the reduction of various social pathologies than in the number of hands raised “with every head bowed and every eye closed”. Faith without works is dead.
The second reason I believe that Christianity drives culture is historical. Christianity came and changed the course of empires. Kings and princes and emperors once depended upon the Christian Church for their legitimacy. In return for the favor, secular rulers enforced Christian norms in their domains. For example, when the faith spread to England, cousin marriage soon died out and that nation experienced dramatic growth in well-being and collective power. Christianity played a crucial role in establishing science, the university system, modern economic and legal practices—virtually everything we associate with Christendom.
The End Whenever Christians try to make their religion hip and relevant to the wider culture, it reveals instantly a wider culture that wears the pants in the relationship. Christianity adopts the role of the supplicating special pleader. It is not a masculine Christianity. It reduces religious practice to a source of entertainment or therapy–at most a curiosity to place alongside all the accouterments of a life otherwise untouched by its life-giving, culture-bestowing essence. You might get attendance figures or increased donations, but you’ll never get a transformed culture. You’ve already given that up as unnecessary cultural baggage.
So the question really never was how to make religion relevant to culture, but how to make culture relevant to religion. If people cannot make themselves relevant to religion, then the problem lies with them… and, by the way, they know it. Whosoever is the coolest doesn’t need to qualify himself to others. If you are tempted to attend a church growth conference that conflicts with your first wedding anniversary, just say “No”. Please stay home and cherish the company of your wife instead.
1. Sautee a mess of onions until caramelized. Season with salt and white pepper. Add a mess of chopped, seeded, and (ideally) skinned, tomatoes. Let it simmer for a spell. Add enough beef or chicken stock such that the ‘maters can have a nice swim. Let it simmer for another spell. Whiz it until smooth in batches in a blender. Careful. It’s hot. Add the whizzed-up slurry back to the pot and dump in a bunch of heavy whipping cream. Add a fistful of chopped fresh basil. Heat it back up, season to taste with salt and white pepper, serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Cooking without a precise recipe, as with the tomato soup above, builds character, self-reliance and the ability to think and act on one’s feet. To paraphrase the old saying: Instructions will not be provided. Neither will permission.
If you can’t make a darn tasty pot of soup out of tomatoes, onions and cream without dependence on a disembodied voice telling you what to do and how to do it down to the minutest detail, then you better check yourself.
Be a man. Quit’cher whining. Figure s*** out. Get s*** done.
2. More on food and “picky eaters” of various stripes, this time from Orwell in “The Road to Wigand Pier”, circa ARSH 1937:
For instance, I have here a prospectus from another summer school which states its terms per week and then asks me to say ‘whether my diet is ordinary or vegetarian’. They [Socialists] take it for granted, you see, that it is necessary to ask this question. This kind of thing is by itself sufficient to alienate plenty of decent people. And their instinct is perfectly sound, for the food-crank is by definition a person willing to cut himself off from human society in hopes of adding five years on to the life of his carcase; that is, a person out of touch with common humanity.
Yup. Tru dat.
3. In case y’all poor, deluded folks who still think that there is hope for Washington D.C., specifically in the person of Ted Cruz, I’d like to go ahead and bust your little bubble – not that you won’t just blow a new one. But, here goes. Repeat this over and over again until you understand:
Ted Cruz’ wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs executive. Ted Cruz’ wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs executive. Ted Cruz’ wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs executive. Ted Cruz’ wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs executive. Ted Cruz’ wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs executive.
A position to which she ascended immediately after coming out of the Bush-Cheney White House, specifically a seat on the National Security Council. The same Goldman Sachs that is carrying over $48 TRILLION in derivatives exposure against an asset base of $89 Billion – levered up by a factor of over 500X. She VOLUNTARILY associates herself with this.
No, I’m sure you’re right. I’m sure Ted Cruz is DIFFERENT. I’m sure that the fact his wife is a Goldman Sachs executive has NO BEARING ON ANYTHING, and that he is as pure as the wind-driven snow. Youbetcha. EYEROLL.
3A.) In review, The Barnhardt Axiom:
Today, seeking and/or holding office, especially national-level office, is, in and of itself, proof that a given person is psychologically and morally unfit to hold public office.
4.) Yes. I saw that Nancy Pelosi “instructed” the Archbishop of San Francisco to NOT attend a pro-marriage march. The archbishop declined to accept her instruction, but he’s no hero. The fact that Pelosi has not been publicly excommunicated is a testament to how truly far-gone the episcopacy, and most especially the post-American episcopacy is.
This action of Pelosi (and the rest of the oligarchy) now openly attempting to command and intimidate prelates is YET ANOTHER analogue to the actions of the satanic proto-Marxist French Revolutionaries which I covered in my video presentation on the genocide in the Vendee region of France and its analogues to the current kleptarchical regime now ruling the former-U.S. landmass. I cannot name ONE bishop in the U.S. who I am confident will stand firm against these people. Not one. There has not been a single excommunication. There has not been a single denial of Holy Communion. Even conservatives, like Bishop Conley of Lincoln, NE, were immediately pushing the it’s okay if you capitulate, as long as you don’t LIKE it and do it under protest meme. (I would link to the Denver Catholic Register column from August of ARSH 2012, but it has been scrubbed from the ArchDen.org website.) UPDATE: A clever reader found the reprint at CNA. Bishop Conley outlines the “compliance under duress” option. Give me a break.
5.) And, in a related vein, Cardinal Timmy Dolan, who is an unmitigated jackass, has indeed slated for closing the THRIVING Holy Innocents parish in midtown Manhattan (fabulously located just off Times Square at West 37th and Broadway). This, after Dolan forcibly expelled a South African priest who DARED give a sermon at Holy Innocents in which he simply exhorted the congregants there to not view themselves as an underclass within the Church or allow others to paint them as such because they love the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered as it had been, with reverence, beauty and solemnity, up until ARSH 1968.
Dolan HATES, HATES, HATES the Mass of The Ages and all those who love it. Why? Well, see HERE for an explanation of that. Dolan is, most assuredly, one of those “cool kids who don’t actually believe any of that shit”, and like Judas Iscariot after the Eucharistic Discourse, is embarrassed by it to the point of sputtering, red-faced rage. How can I say that? Oh, I dunno. Maybe because Dolan can’t grovel to the satanic political class with any more boot-licking gusto?
Look at ME! I’m POPULAR! I hang out with FAMOUS PEOPLE! Evil, schmeval! Hell, schmell! Church, shmurch! Eucharist, schmucharist! God, schmod! Me, me, me. me, me, me, me MEEEEE!!!
Maybe because Dolan not just tolerates, but openly supports and encourages Masses that CELEBRATE THE SIN OF SODOMY at St. Francis Xavier parish across town? At 5:35 Dolan cheers the introduction of a group of unrepentant sodomites. Don’t kid yourselves. UNREPENTANT. Because, you know, PRIDE. BRAVO. GOOD FOR YOU, and all that.
If you click over to their parish website, right this second the top headline reads “Upcoming LGBTQ Events”, the first of which is a “Pride Mass”. As in “we are PROUD that we insert our erect penises into the feces-laden descending colons of other men, and then use said descending colons as the point of masturbatory friction.” I’ll spare us all the lesbian version of that. Or, stated another way, “we are PROUD to commit one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for God’s vengeance and thus we are PROUD to scourge and nail Jesus Christ to the Cross, are not the least bit sorry, enjoy it, and define ourselves by the fact we enjoy it, are not only entitled to do so but demand that you approve, and actively encourage and recruit others to do so with us.”
St. Francis Xavier parish has Masses in which wicca rituals are inserted into the Mass at the urging of LESBIAN WITCHES. I have readers who have EYEWITNESSED THIS on multiple occasions. Also, St. Francis Xavier parish openly encourages and facilitates within the church building itself, the practice of BUDDHISM. Buddhism denies not only the existence of God, but the existence of reality (which is the same thing, really). It is diametrically opposed to God and His Holy Church. So, yeah. THIS CRAP goes on in NYC with Dolan’s ENTHUSIASTIC support, but the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered as it had been for centuries upon centuries upon centuries MUST BE ELIMINATED according to Dolan. Oh, don’t be fooled by Dolan. He will continue to sell out God Almighty and His Holy Church for a tinker’s dam. When the cameras aren’t on, you either play ball with the “Timmy Dolan: Superstar” project or Dolan will END YOU. Although, I cannot understand how anyone could be fooled by him, because the guy is so transparently phony, his mannerisms, faux-hyper-sincerity and “aw shucks” demeanor so utterly rehearsed, and is so clearly a self-aggrandizing, sleazoid politician – but, apparently many are.
6.) False premise check. Obama is never going to be impeached because the government of the former-U.S. was overthrown years ago, and thus even if they wanted to impeach him (which they don’ t – there’s another false premise), since the Constitution and Rule of Law itself is no longer in force, there will be no impeachment, much less a conviction. Like I said, every 36 hours or so you are given a new vector for your “outrage”. When I wrote that piece it was the VA scandal. Hey? Remember that? Seems like ancient history already, huh? Yup. Because in just that short time, you have consumed the outrage porn of Bergdahl (over that already, too) and have now moved on to the capture of Iraq by the ISIS (aka Muslim Brotherhood) … oh, but wait. That’s old outrage porn now, too. NOW we’re on to the IRS “losing” those emails….
7.) Hey! Let’s blow another false premise! The IRS didn’t lose anything. They have everything, are lying without compunction or shame, everyone knows they are lying, and there will be no disclosure of any of these emails because they don’t have to do shit and they know it. There is no Rule of Law. All there is is thuggery. The IRS is an operational arm of the regime that has overthrown the United States, specializing in intimidation and enforcement. Thinking the IRS will hand over anything to Congress is like expecting Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering to hand over correspondence with Hitler in the summer of ’43 to the Vichy French. You know. Because we suspect there may be some *untoward and possibly illegal* activity going on here. Give me a break. Listen to yourselves.
8.) Let’s do one more! The Obama regime WANTS the ISIS (aka the Muslim Brotherhood) to overthrow governments and reform the islamic Caliphate. Obama hasn’t “lost” Iraq due to incompetence. THIS WAS THE OBJECTIVE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.
9.) I’m on a roll, now! The Obama regime HATES Christians, Christianity and primordially God Himself because the Obama regime is PURE EVIL, and thus not only is it unmoved by the genocide of Christians by the ISIS (Muslim Brotherhood), it is HAPPY that Christians are being wiped out. They’re not going to do anything to stop it because they WANT Christians exterminated on general principle.
10.) I can’t stop! The Obama regime has had as a specific objective the dissolving of the U.S.-Mexico border and the ensuing chaos. Remember Operation Fast & Furious, the ARMING OF THE MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS? I’ll repost the piece I wrote on July 30, ARSH 2011 on this tomorrow. It’s creepily uncanny. Here’s a snippet of the seven objectives I outlined three years ago that would be accomplished by Obama dissolving the U.S.-Mexico border:
So, we would have:
1. Completely open borders 2. MILLIONS of refugees streaming into the U.S. 3. Global insistence that the U.S. accept these refugees 4. Instant de facto amnesty for both pre-Zeta and post-Zeta Mexicans in the U.S. 5. Obama cast as savior of these Mexican refugees 6. Millions of new welfare-dependent Obama voters 7. A lawless Mexico, wide-open to unlimited muslim and Chinese staging
11.) One more? Oh, okay. The Obama regime WANTS oil prices to surge, thus crippling the economy even worse than has already been done, thus driving more people out of work and presumably onto the government teat. Why? Because the Cloward-Piven strategy, the execution of which we are now squarely, undeniably in the throes of, dictates that the only way to fully collapse the power structure of the former United States and establish an open, Marxist tyranny is to consciously overload the government from within with welfare and entitlements, drive the populace into poverty, use the resulting orchestrated poverty to “prove” the failure of free market capitalism, and then use the useful idiots and media to agitate the unwashed masses until they demand their own enslavement in exchange for a mess of pottage, and perhaps a tepid, albeit lying assurance that they will be killed last. And so shall it be.
From Ann Barnhardt: http://www.barnhardt.biz/2014/06/18/tomato-soup/
Americans are missionaries, not imperial mandarins.
America cannot ignore the Middle East
because it has critical interests in the region, including the free flow of hydrocarbons, but it cannot fix it. It tried to fix Libya, and traded the nasty regime of Muammar Gaddafi for a Petrie Dish of jihadist militias; it tried to fix Egypt, and traded the miserable regime of Hosni Mubarak for the Muslim Brotherhood, and the inevitable return of military rule in the face of the twin threats of terror and starvation; it did not even try to fix Syria, which has collapsed into sectarian division. It spent US$1 trillion, 5,000 dead, 50,000 wounded, and several million disrupted American lives trying to fix Iraq and Afghanistan.
From AD: http://americandigest.org/
The only time liberals will show a sincere interest in Christianity is when they see an opportunity to subvert it in order to destroy it. They have been making headway:
The most visible Episcopal church in the U.S. is hosting its first openly transgender priest this month.
The Rev. Cameron Partridge is set to give the June 22 sermon at the Washington National Cathedral in Northwest.
Dean of the cathedral, the Rev. Gary Hall, said in a statement that he hopes Mr. Partridge’s presence sends a message of support for the transgender community.
“We at Washington National Cathedral are striving to send a message of love and affirmation, especially to LGBT youth who suffer daily because of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” he said. “We want to proclaim to them as proudly and unequivocally as we can: Your gender identity is good and your sexual orientation is good because that’s the way that God made you.”
Sin is good because God made you prone to indulge in it. I must have missed that lesson in Sunday school.
The fallacy is so crude and obvious, it seems absurd to go to the trouble to point it out. But as George Orwell said,
“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
Here goes with the obvious:
The liberal argument is essentially that we are defined by our behavior, and all people are equal, therefore all behavior is equal.
This same argument could be applied to any other behavior proscribed by the civilized norms that have served us so well for the past 2,000 years. I steal things, therefore I’m a thief. Thieves are equal to honest people, so let’s celebrate theft. God loves thieves too, right?
The gay rights agenda is driven not just by sexually deviant activists but exceedingly aggressively by the entire liberal establishment because it is not actually about equality, or even about homosexuals. It is about destroying Christianity, a traditional bulwark against statist tyranny.
Christian bakers and photographers being forced to take part in morally repugnant parodies of Christian ceremonies is only the beginning. Once the Supremes declare homosexual “marriage” to be a constitutional right, anyone whose faith prevents them from revering it will be subject to legal persecution. That includes literally all Bible-believing Christians.
But it doesn’t include Episcopalians, whose church has been thoroughly subverted by the Left and now serves to advance an anti-Christian agenda. Getting back to the story:
Mr. Hall also announced that the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal priest, would be presiding the same service with Mr. Partridge. He retired from his post as a bishop in New Hampshire and now works at the Center for American Progress.
Here we get to the root of the matter. CAP is a Soros-funded radical left-wing organization for which the only imaginable god is an all-powerful oligarchical collectivist government.
The service caps off two weeks of LGBT advocacy for the cathedral. It participated in this year’s Capital Pride events, and Mr. Hall said the service would include readings by local LGBT community members.
The technical term for a church involving itself in these activities is blasphemy.
On tips from Dean D and Bodhisattva.
From MB: http://moonbattery.com/
CLEVELAND: ‘Biggies’ Gas Station & Convenience Store decorated with virulently anti-semitic murals by its Palestinian Muslim owner
Imagine what would happen if these murals were similarly anti-Muslim.
Contact information for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson: http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Government/MayorsOffice
Cleveland Action News 19 via EOZ (h/t Liz) At first glance, you may not notice what’s painted on the side of Biggie’s gas station and convenience store at the corner of E.55th and Cedar. Amongst other religious and political commentary, is one image that’s so disturbing, so grotesque, we have to blur it out in order to post it or use it on TV. The picture shows a priest engaged in a sexual act with a baby. There’s writing on top that says, “Talmudic priests in Church. Sex with minors permitted.” It’s an image that Biggie’s owner Abe Auiad told us – flat out – he stands behind.
The owner is trying to say that this is actually an image of a priest doing a circumcision on a baby. The problem is that the wording up above says, “sex with minors permitted.”
The owner of Biggie’s, Brahim “Abe” Ayad, a forty-something Palestinian Muslim who lives in North Olmsted, once explained to Douglas Guth of the Cleveland Jewish News that the murals represent his “protest against ‘evil-doing Zionists’ who, among other offenses, he claims, took away his Palestinian father’s land to make way for the state of Israel.”
Ayad further explained that “[t]he shocking imagery on his walls are his way ‘of fighting fire with fire,’ and that ‘[i]f they want to insult me, they should know how it feels to be insulted.’”
“I have a problem with the editing, so any interview I give, I will give live,” adds Ayad. Ayad says he, himself is disturbed by the image, ” Yes, I am – actually, I am very – but that is all I have to say.”
One other disturbing element about this mural is that the gas station sits right across the street from the George Washington Carver School for grades K-8 and their playground. The image is on the side that is in plain sight of students.
The stomach-turning image is there for everyone to see. 19 Action News viewers called into our station complaining. People living in the neighborhood like Prentice Edwards are shocked when they notice the mural. Afterwards, he continued walking along the sidewalk, but insisting on staring straight ahead so he wouldn’t catch even a glance.
“I know that people don’t want to see that or even hear about anything like that. Other than that, all I can say is that is sad, and it doesn’t make sense,” says Edwards.
Cleveland Police are investigating. Previous complaints about the murals have gone nowhere.
See Video Here: Cleveland Action News 19:
From BNI: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
New King James Version (NKJV)
Praise for the Lord’s Mercies
A Psalm of David.
103 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.[a] 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
New King James Version (NKJV)
God the Help of Those Who Seek Him
A Song of Ascents.
121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
“He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.” ―Saint Augustine
Found at mm: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
Found at mm: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
The rotors are spinning at full speed, the manure is loaded into the trebuchet and the slack is out of the firing trigger.
Nervous? Troubled? Afraid? Don’t be. There is Someone who is thoroughly in charge. And no, it ain’t Valerie Putin or Vladimir Jarret. (Yes, you should be laughing. It’s okay.)
Deep breath. Read this and remember it tomorrow and next week. Your sanity may depend on it.
And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not.
There are 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) stars in our galaxy.
It is estimated that there are 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) galaxies in the universe.
That means that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 sextillion) stars in the universe, or so I estimate.
Our sun, which we will consider an average star, burns 607,000,000 (607 million) tons of hydrogen per second in fusion reactions.
If we take the 10 sextillion stars in the universe multiplied by an average hydrogen burn of 607 million tons per star per second, we get a universal hydrogen burn of:
6,070,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (6.07 nontillion) tons of hydrogen per second.
1 gram of hydrogen contains 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (602 sextillion) atoms. Remember “moles” from chemistry class?
There are 454 grams in a pound.
There are 2000 pounds in a ton.
Therefore, there are 908,000 grams in a ton.
If we take the 602 sextillion atoms in one gram of hydrogen and multiply that by 908,000 grams per ton, we get:
546,616,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (546 octillion) hydrogen atoms per ton.
Multiply the 546 octillion atoms per ton by the universal hydrogen burn of 6.07 nontillion tons per second, and you get:
3,317,959,120,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (3.318 novemdecillion) atoms of hydrogen consumed every second in the universe.
Because every fusion reaction is fusing 2 atoms of hydrogen into one atom of helium (plus an energy yield), we divide 3.318 novemdecillion by 2 and get:
1,658,979,560,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1.659 novemdecillion) fusion reactions per second in the universe.
God is specifically and infinitely conscious of every single one of those fusion reactions because He is the cause, driver and sustenance of every single one of them. If He doesn’t will it or permit it, it doesn’t happen.
This is the same God that spends every nanosecond of your life in a state of burning, aching, consuming love for YOU. Correction. He didn’t start loving you when your life began. He has loved you FOR ALL ETERNITY. There has literally never been a “time” when He didn’t love you. This is the same God that is so desperately and – dare I say it – pathetically in love with you that He died for you. In fact, He let YOU kill Him, because that was the only way that His love could be consummated. It had to be. And He knew it had to be that way from all eternity. And He still willed you into existence and knit you together atom by atom, cell by cell, in you mother’s womb WHILE He was driving 1.659 novemdecillion fusion reactions per second – just so you could maybe look up into the night sky and see this:
The Perseus Cluster. Every point of light in this image is NOT one star, but one GALAXY.
From Ann Barnhardt: http://www.barnhardt.biz/
The sour Leftists who anoint themselves our elite:
“No wonder they hate Christianity so. Not only does it deny everything they are; it pulls the mask off them and calls them what they are and have always been – merely more fallen men sunk into wickedness.” – - Ahead of the World | John C. Wright
From AD: http://americandigest.org/
Noah: “Think Days of Our Lives meets Waterworld.”
I’ve also heard some “Christian leaders” endorse this steaming pile of heretical horse manure.
I’m tempted to accuse them of being cowardly, dumb, or dishonest, but I’ll just give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they slept through the most troubling parts — like the part at the beginning, and the end, and all of the parts in between. I’m a Christian and I think ‘Noah’ deserves a four star review | The Matt Walsh Blog
Found at AD: http://americandigest.org/
This isn’t a story about right and wrong. In the terrains of tribe and clan that the murderers come out of, whether they are raised in a village with two goats and a well or a mansion overlooking a major city; Right is power and Wrong is not having power.
A man is right because he has power. A woman is wrong because she doesn’t. A Muslim is right because he has power. A Christian is wrong because he doesn’t.
When a woman has power and a man doesn’t, the man has been dishonored. When a Christian has power and a Muslim doesn’t, the Muslim has been dishonored.
There is only one answer for dishonor, death. Kill the one who has dishonored you so that you may feel powerful again. The men with the magnifying glasses will call it extremism, but it’s so much simpler and so much more complicated than that.
The powerful need not compromise. They have honor. Those who have no power but do not compromise also have honor. The extremist does not compromise whether in power or out of it. Therefore he always has honor. The extremist is willing to die for the power and honor of Islam.
Islam is never powerless, but is always compromised in some way short of perfect purity.
Perhaps it fails to drive out all the non-Muslims and doesn’t force women to cover their eyes. Or maybe it tolerates chess and kite flying. Even the crudest Salafist finds some human norm short of total and complete extremism. He compromises and the seed of that compromise gives birth to a movement that will not compromise even on that.
Each Islamic movement carries within it the seeds of its own extremist counter-movement and that movement too will carry its own seeds of death. The Islamic revolution devours its own children forever for honor’s sake.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Absolute honor is the search for absolute power. A power so pure that it transcends the human means necessary to achieve that glorious end. A purity so total that it will elevate the smuggled cocaine, the rapes and murders, the torture and the broken oaths, to the golden truth that the ends of Islam justify all its mangled means.
The murderer kills because he wants power. He goes on killing for honor’s sake. When the blade slips or the victim pulls a gun, then the murderer skulks off into the night nursing his grudges and pledging that he will return or his children will return or their children, for the sake of his honor, on and on through the ages.
This is what the media calls a cycle of violence, but it would be more accurate to call it the cycle of honor.
The whole thing may have started because the murderer wanted a goat, a gold coin or a wife, but it continues because it is now a matter of honor. A moment ago the murderer only wanted a gold coin, but having failed to obtain it, he will not leave off for all the gold coins in the world. Murder transmutes the gold coin into honor. The motive no longer matters. It is all about the end now.
The more the murderer is resisted, the angrier he becomes. The failure to kill forces him to take refuge in myth. He begins inventing glorious stories of his battles complete with poems and epic battles. There are sacred deaths with drops of blood falling like jewels and doves ascending into the sky. Every man becomes a lion and every enemy a monstrous eater of children. Eventually the story becomes his whole reason for being. It is a tale that is passed down through the tribe until countless of the murderer’s descendants derive their identity from the story. Until they are all murderers.
Having been thwarted, the murderer cannot stop. The failure to kill has left him powerless, no better than a woman or an infidel. It causes him to doubt the worth of his religion and his people. It robs life of its sweetness. The only way to heal his trauma is to finish what he started. The only way for him to be at peace is to be at war.
Speak to him of peace and he will not listen, except as a ploy for finishing the unfinished murder. Peace is for the powerless. To desire peace is to admit to weakness. It is to give in to the prosaic mortality of the ordinary life. Before he began to kill, the murderer might have been satisfied with the ordinary life, but it is no longer good enough for him.
Nothing will do but the knife and the blood and the screams.
The murderer will lie about wanting peace, but he will not make peace. To lie in order to kill is honorable, but to live in peace is not honorable. Peace narrows the borders and closes off horizons. What was once a green territory that the grandchildren or great-grandchildren might overrun in a hundred years is suddenly forever lost and forever foreign.
How can he be asked to make such a terrible concession?
You might as well ask the sailor to stay on the land and the explorer to put up his feet in front of the fire. The murderer isn’t a mere murderer, he is a romantic at heart, and whether he lives in a mud hut or a tacky palace decorated with giant portraits of himself, in secret he imagines himself a sultan or an emir. And if not him, then his children or grandchildren.
The land he sits on is merely land, he wastes it for the most part. He may write poems about the beloved land, but it isn’t the land he loves, but the idea of conquering it, killing for it and dying for it. And when there is no need to do any of the three, then like an amorous adulterer of the soil he goes seeking for other lands to conquer, to kill and die for.
This is his story and the myth that governs his life. He is not a builder. In his part of the world, it is the slaves who build. It is the men who have no power and no honor who work a set schedule, lifting bricks and arranging girders.
Nor is he a farmer, that too is work fit only for serfs. He makes a decent merchant, cheating and being cheated in turn in a ritual mercantile combat. In a pinch he might be a shepherd, wandering the hills aimlessly, and watching his flock nibble the sparse desert grasses down to a wasteland, killing and eating them when it suits him like a little grubby god.
Whatever his profession, he fancies himself a warrior and the kind of war that he prefers is the raid. Village against village. Riders against caravans. Hijacked planes against skyscrapers. If he wins, then he gains honor. If he loses then he gains honor by vowing vengeance, for even the worst of losers can always hang on to his honor by threatening to kill the winners.
And that is where the murders become a mystery, at least to those detectives whose little magnifying glasses can make out the grooves on a thread, but not the distorted rage on a murderer’s face. The more they try to convince the murderer to stop, the more he kills. There is a pattern here, but unlike carpet fibers and footprints, it is not one that they can understand.
The men with the magnifying glasses want their lives back. So does the murderer. And the only way he can get it back is by taking theirs. The institution of the feud has lapsed in their world, but it is the defining one in his.
Both detective and murderer are trapped in a cycle, but the murderer has a way out. All he has to do is kill them. The detectives cannot do the same thing. There is no room in their rational world for such a crude solution.
They try to break the cycle with words. He tries to break it with bombs and bullets. And the cycle of violence continues.
Failure goads the murderer. The more he fails at killing, the more he aspires to it. On his tenth attempt he is ten times as motivated as on his first attempt. Like all people he has his ups and downs, but he always keeps on trying harder.
Each time he fails, he tells himself that the game wasn’t fair, the other side broke the rules, rigged the contest and undermined him. He spins complex conspiracies of spies and saboteurs in which the mind of the enemy is as convoluted as his, and that only fuels his outrage. How dare his victim plot so cleverly to undermine his own murder! Outraged, he spins his own convoluted plots, playing Wiley E. Coyote to an oblivious Roadrunner who is occasionally baffled to learn that he is alleged to have controlled every major public figure in the Middle East or seeded the Nile with trained sharks.
“Sure,” says the murderer. “You didn’t expect him to admit it, did you? I wouldn’t in his place.”
The murderee takes on an outsized importance until he represents every obstacle that the murderer has ever faced in his life. Whatever crimes the murderer commits, he is certain that the murderee has committed even more of them. The murderer’s dark side steps out of the shadow and takes on the role of his victim so that the act of murder becomes an act of purification that purifies nothing for the dark forces that the murderer tries to kill are still inside him even while his victim bleeds on the floor.
Eventually the murderee fills the world. Rushdie was only a minor writer until a series of random events caused his name to come to the attention of a shaky Iranian leadership looking for a scapegoat. And then Rushdie became an obsession for the Iranian regime. Rushdie filled their world. Likewise the average Muslim did not spend any time thinking about the Jews, who were always despised, but like most non-Muslims, weren’t of consequence. Having conquered their lands and their persons, they could go about ignoring them, aside from the usual thefts, murders and assorted cruelties.
But then the honorless Jews, the sons of apes and pigs, defeated armies far stronger than them. The murderers were robbed of their honor. And when the murderer is Muslim and the victim is non-Muslim, then the honor of the murderer is the honor of the whole Muslim world.
There can be no peace now. Not tomorrow or in a thousand years. Not with the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the Galilee and the grimier parts of Tel Aviv. Nothing will do but for the murderers to finish what they started, the aborted murder, the unfinished crime and the unconsummated honor killing to end all honor killings. Nothing will do but death.
A murderer will forgive many things. You may kill his son and rape his daughter, so long as the blood price or the honor price changes hands. You may do the same with all of his many relatives and their relatives, as is so often the case in these dirty little wars that are really packs of murderers roaming and raiding, firing at each other and falling back, and then waiting for the mourning women to come out and wail over the bodies of the dead. You may even cheat him as much as you like, for he will probably cheat you worse, even while you fancy that you are coming out ahead.
But what you cannot do is take away his honor.
Do not mock the murderer’s gods, for they are his power, or refuse his hospitality, for it is how he shows that he has more than you, or make him feel small and weak. Do not give him charity or show him mercy, for no matter how effusively he thanks you, in his heart he feels the sting of the humiliation that you have inflicted on him.
Though he may smile afterward, he will never forgive you for it, the insult will go on chafing his heart until it overflows with that species of black blood that tastes of bitterness and death.
The House of Saud has never forgiven the House of Washington for helping aid its power. It draws a blood price from it every year, but it cannot rest until the House of Washington falls. So too all alliances with infidels must one day end in betrayal or death. There is no room in the green country of the horizon for two tribes to rule. Nor is there room in the inner palaces of honor with their bejeweled tapestries and arabesque curves for a helping hand. The Sultan and Emir, like Allah, can have no antecedent. Like Mohammed, he must be the final revelation of power over a powerless world.
And the murderer? He cannot sleep. The man he tried to kill has filled his world. Once he wanted gold or goats, but now it is honor he wants.
In his bed, the murderer dreams of killing a man whose who humiliated him by refusing to die. The murderer rolls over and smiles.
Tomorrow, he will kill. Tomorrow, he will regain his honor.
Unsurprisingly, the parents have a problem with this.
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A parent is speaking out after she said her daughter’s teacher rejected a rough draft of her paper. The subject, her hero, Jesus.
Heather Watts said her daughter attends second grade at Cerro Gordo Elementary School in Columbus County. Watts said the teacher asked her 8-year-old daughter Ryleigh, “can’t you write about something different?”
“I think she should have freedom to write about what she wants to write about,” the disgruntled mother said. “If she wants to write about Jesus, she should write about Jesus.”
Watts said this question is threatening her daughter’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
From WZ: http://weaselzippers.us/
From Theo: http://www.theospark.net/
The Prayer of Java (From the Archives of The Doctor is In Blog)
April 4th, 2008
Been quite busy of late, so I’ve resurrected an OBG (Oldie But Goodie) in lieu of actually writing something new and intelligible. Back soon, God bless.
Recently, in an e-mail exchange, Gerard Van der Leun brought up the issue of prayer, and how it was a difficult learning experience for him. Like so much in the world of web logs, a seed gets planted which starts you thinking. Well, Gerard’s been thinking — and writing — while I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts box for a month. Seems like one of those pokes in the ribs that awakens you when you’re in the blessed arms of Morpheus — and snoring…
The subject of prayer is a fascinating one for me in many ways, not only because of its effect on my life, but because — as a logical-sequential scientist by profession and disposition, I want to understand how it works — and I don’t, and I can’t. But it does. And that cognitive dissonance drives me a little nuts.
Billions of words have been written on prayer, by foolish and wise, scholarly and simple. For the secular skeptic, baptized into the random meaninglessness of a life accidental, it must seem odd — if they stop to think of it, which I suspect they rarely do — that mankind throughout eons and cultures has devoted so much time and energy to a pointless litany of words directed to the non-existent. Even among we who confess to the existence and significance of a Being higher than ourselves, prayer confounds and frustrates us, as we search for some formula, some talisman to garner the attention and blessing of the invisible, inscrutable deity.
But this does not keep us from trying. The drunk asks God to help him out of this jam, promising not to drink again. The agnostic pleads with God that the biopsy not show cancer. The unhappy spouse prays that her husband change to her liking. We pray for money, for success, for jobs, for relief from emotional agony and physical pain. We pray ritualistically, hoping that by repetition an indifferent or annoyed God will throw some crumb our way to get us off His case.
Prayer, perhaps more than anything else, reveals what we think about God and about ourselves in relationship to such deity. If our God is remote, abstract, indifferent, then our prayers will have the character of whistling through the graveyard — hoping against hope that the very act of addressing this unknown force will ward off fear of some greater evil closer at hand. If we serve an angry, judgmental power — vengeful and quick to accuse — then we will pray from fear, pleading nervously for mercy while recommitting ourselves to the required perfection we have no hope of achieving. If we worship Santa Claus, then endless lists of self-gratifying demands will appear, as we hope we have been less naughty than nice. Like nothing else, prayer reveals the smallness of our god and the poverty of our souls. It lays forth the preconceptions which rule our lives and the limits which bind us — if we will but take the time to examine them. Gerard, in his thoughtful meditation, says the following:
In fact, whole elements of religion are centered around having you find and keep a personal relationship with God. But just because you have a personal relationship with God (and you should), doesn’t mean God has to have a personal relationship with you. He is, after all, God and He’s got a whole universe to run. It’s a big place and He’s just one God and He’s busy.
Far be it from me to disparage a friend’s worldview or theology (and this is most certainly not my intent) — my own will likely be the standing joke at the Pearly Gates. But his depiction — intended to be humorous, if I read correctly (in risio, veritas?) — nevertheless strikes me as a nearly-universal presumption, a governor principle on the engine of God. This understanding of God — called theism by those who put names to God-ideas — has just never made a lot of sense to me. God — whose presumed job is to handle very big enterprises — sets out to create a spectacular universe of unspeakable complexity and beauty. At the high point of His craftsmanship, He creates a being a lot like Himself — capable of thought, reason, passion, beauty, love, creativity — and gives this creature a glimpse of the spiritual, of that which is beyond time, place, and limits, beyond the physical, in a universe without dimensions. He endows this being with a relational spirit, made whole through interaction both with Himself and with others of like kind. Having crafted such an extraordinary masterpiece, the blind watchmaker then supposedly just walks away — too busy polishing the instruments and arranging the sheet music to listen to the symphony He has created. I for one find this concept of God implausible, unfulfilling and even cruel — to say the least.
A God who can craft a universe of unspeakable vastness and beauty with but a word, who designs galaxies and gamma particles, black holes and hummingbirds, is not stressed out by its administration. We have no grasp of the infinite — after endless accomplishments, there are endless more yet to come: there is no exhausting the infinite. There is only one limit on His limitlessness: the limits I place by believing He can’t, or won’t, or is too busy, or not interested.
So what then of prayer? Is it the missing nucleotide in the DNA of evolution, as Gerard postulates? A cosmic post-it note? Perhaps, although I prefer to think of it rather differently — it is, to my mind, the coffee house of another, non-dimensional world, the spiritual world. A world not bounded by time or space, limits or liabilities. It is friends — not equals, mind you, but close, trusted friends — sitting together over too-strong brew, sharing odd thoughts, mulling questions, venting frustrations, angry, remorseful, laughing, weeping — melding hearts, two into one.
It is in many ways an odd but satisfying conversation: I speak, He listens — yet somehow I know what He is thinking, and He most surely knows my thoughts. It is decidedly non-linear. The questions I ask, the problems I present, are answered — always. But not in words, almost never at the time I speak or ask. But I know they have been answered — although the fruition, the language, the form of the answer may be hours, months, years away. It may arrive as circumstances, or in a conversation with a complete stranger in another time and place, or in an entirely unexpected — even unwanted — change of heart or inner peace about some deeply troubling or puzzling dilemma. Yet I know it is God’s answer — the answer He gave me back at that table, shootin’ the breeze and guzzling joe. It is a conversation freed from time and space — bizarre, but strangely more real than that which we unwisely and hastily call “reality.”
Now the skeptic will ask — including the skeptic in my own head — how do you know? What proof do you have that these occurrences, these thoughts, these conversations and situations, have anything to do with God? Are they not mere chance, wishful thinking, psychological crutches, neuro-endocrine surges that my highly-evolved cerebrum maps into culturally-molded thought patterns?
Of course, the skeptic’s challenge contains a presumption — one rarely recognized, in fact: that everything which exists, all that is real, can be measured, tested, analyzed, proven, and recorded. But much which is human — perhaps all which makes us uniquely human — is beyond such simple means of measurement and proof. How much does love weigh? What are the dimensions of courage? What is the deceleration velocity of a failing marriage? What color is hope? What formula predicts despair? Why does a rose smell exquisite, but a rotten egg horrendous? Sure, we can speak of neurotransmitters and aromatic organic compounds, but such things touch on the spirit, and the tools of the physical realm are wholly inadequate as inquisitors. The disciplines which come closest to addressing these matters — psychology and social science — are at best mediocre observers — and miserable failures at repairing the damaged spirit. Don’t believe this? Ask your friendly secular psychologist to explain the phenomenon of evil — then sit back and enjoy the blubbering blather of psychobabble which results. Evil will be alive and well — and wholly uncomprehended — when he finishes.
I do not point this out to dodge the question of proof, or disparage a profession, but simply to illustrate the inadequacy of physical science — or reason handcuffed by concrete presumptions — to measure the real yet intangible realm of the spirit: you cannot measure your shoe size with a Geiger counter. But the evidence is there, in abundance, if you know where to look. Medicine is near-miraculous at healing the body — and miserable at healing the spirit. We can cure cancer, but not save marriages; give you new kidneys, but not flush the impurities from your mind or the hatred from your heart. But prayer can — and does — do just that, a work far more miraculous than a wonder drug or robotic surgery. When a hopeless drunk, an avowed atheist, starts to pray out of desperation to a god he doesn’t believe in, and loses the compulsion to drink, it is an aberration; when it happens to two drunks, a coincidence; when it happens to tens of thousands, it begins to look a lot like evidence. What cure will you seek for unhappiness? (Hint: it’s not a new car, a younger, trade-in wife, or a diamond-shaped blue pill). Medicine can kill the pain, but not cure the spirit; prayer can do both.
Of course, it is not the prayer itself, but the power it unleashes, which accomplishes such things. Gravity worked the same for Cro-Magnon man as it does for a modern physicist; understanding the force changes it not one wit. But you say: I prayed for this or that — many times, even — and it did not happen: prayer does not work. And here’s the rub: the power behind prayer is not an inert physical force, but an infinitely wise and caring God. Whether you believe in Him or not, He exists, He listens — and amazingly (given our reprobate nature), always has our best interest at heart. As I look back at my own life, were I to have received a tenth of the things I asked for in prayer, my life would be an unmitigated disaster. God knows when to say “no”, where to say “wait”; He knows how to listen to what I ask for and give me instead what I really need, and truly want.
There is one secret ingredient to make prayer work: trust. Gotta have it. Can God work without your trust? Sure — the rain falls on the just and the unjust, as the proverb says. Our problem is we want to understand God before we trust Him. We want Him to strut His stuff, lightning bolts and miracles and the like, before we’ll acquiesce and maybe give Him a break. Sorry, that’s not trust — just the opposite. But God cannot be understood — even in a limited way with our most enfeebled minds — until we first trust Him. Sounds like a bum deal, a Catch-22, but that’s just the way it works. Get over it — you won’t regret it.
And one last thought in this long-winded essay: If you’re new to this prayer thing (or even not so new), start small. Praying for world peace or a cure for your cancer is fine, but a bit grandiose for starters. Pray about your misplaced car keys, finding a parking spot, the wisdom to deal with that difficult patient, or co-worker, or child, or situation. Then open your eyes, your ears, your heart for the response. You won’t hear it every time — but I bet you’ll be surprised how often you do, and you’ll learn something about God, about yourself, and in some small way about how this spiritual world works.
And set aside a little time for a cup o’ joe with God — good news is, He’s already picked up the tab.
From The Doctor is In Archives: http://docisinblog.com/index.php/2008/04/04/prayer-of-java-2/
Found at American Digest: http://americandigest.org/ which linked to this article
The Spark Gap
I’ve long had a theory about why prayers are answered, but answered rarely. I think that God, for all his omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience is pretty much nailed to the present as far as humans go.
Yes, I know all the arguments for predestination and preordination but those strike me as a one-way street to Dullsville even for God. If, as God, You let Yourself know everything that was going to happen everywhere for all time (Not that You couldn’t if You wanted to.), what’s the entertainment value in that proposition? Slim to none, if you ask me.
We don’t know much about God. Indeed, there are many among us who make it a point to know even less — until they are proud, damned proud, to know nothing at all. Once they achieve this brainfade, they encourage the rest of us to follow suit in a paroxysm of self-willed ignorance. Today there are fresh new scriptures attesting to this revelation. There are traveling preachers of this gospel. There are even congregations, support groups, jewelry, and t-shirts. It’s a religion. Of sorts. A religion in which you collectively as individuals agree to worship Zero, and to carry the gospel to others. Seems like a waste of life to me.
In fact, we are probably not yet wired to know much about God. If the Smart Monkey survives itself, evolution (Great and brilliant tool of God that it is.) will probably finish the deeper neural nets of our brains at some point in the aeons to come, and we will slowly come to descry the faintest shadow of a clue. About all that is. About the fundamental nature of the miracle. For the present, most of us remain in shadow, looking at the noema from without; running on the insights of the genetic spiritual sports that appear on Earth so rarely that their lives are remembered forever.
At the present time, most of what we know about God comes from assumptions built on revelations. These are backed-up with a sheaf of incomplete, poorly translated notes from chance encounters.
The Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate that, to date, our record keeping is spotty and our storage methods poor. If you think that any future chance meetings or memos are going, in the long run, to be kept any better than the Dead Sea Scrolls, please tell me what’s on that six-inch floppy disc at the bottom of the fourth box to the left on the third shelf from the top at the back of my garage.
Nope. The problem is not knowing the will and laws of God. They are pretty simple, straight forward, and seem, for the most part, to be embedded in the cerebral cortex of most before birth. In addition, there are lots of memos in every language and no shortage of interpreters — AM/FM/SW; network and cable; 24/7/365, forever and ever, amen, can I get a witness? Even so there have to be thousands of memos that, although sent, we just didn’t get. Indeed, even working with the memos that we did get, you’d have to admit that we are very poor at carrying out the policies they announce. It probably has to do with us not being finished just yet.
To read the rest of this article go to AD: http://americandigest.org/
The eradication of Christianity from American culture and history proceeds:
A humanist advocacy group [the American Humanist Association ] has filed a federal lawsuit to remove a cross-shaped World War I memorial in Prince George’s County [Maryland], alleging the display violates the First Amendment.
The First Amendment actually protects religious expression. Next authoritarian moonbats will use the Second Amendment to justify seizing guns.
“We are certainly recommending coming up with a monument inclusive of all religious groups,” said Monica Miller, a lawyer with the association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center.
Yet again we see that in liberal upside-down world, “inclusive” means “exclusive of Christianity.” Counting all the Americans who ever lived, well over 90% have been Christians. Dictating that Christianity can be no more in evidence than hostile alien religions like Islam is the same as excluding it.
The 40-foot-tall concrete memorial was erected in 1925 by the American Legion to commemorate the 49 men of Prince George’s County who died during World War I.
We’ll see if the government they died for will defend their memories by defending the memorial they lie under.
If liberalism prevails, people born today may live in a world where Americans know no more about Christianity — which substantially provided the foundation upon which American civilization was constructed — than they do about Zoroastrianism. Except of course they will know that it was bad.
The more you try to figure out liberals’ dedication to erasing Christianity, the more it will send chills up your spine.
On a tip from Wiggins.
From MB: http://moonbattery.com/
March 4, 2014 | Author: LAF Editor
Less than 48 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their case, sentencing them to almost certain deportation, the Romeike family has received a reprieve.
The Home School Legal Defense Association confirmed today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted the German homeschooling family “indefinite deferred status,”allowing them to remain in the United States as long as they want.
“This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God,” Michael Farris, the HSLDA attorney representing the family, wrote on the group’s Facebook page.“We also want to thank those of [you] who spoke up on this issue—including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made this possible while God delivered the victory.”
Read the rest here.
Found at: http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/
Tracked from RR: http://www.rural-revolution.com/