Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Logic of P.C. Popularity

If you carefully choose a bogus opening premise, you can arrive at all sorts of neat bogus conclusions. Say that you start with: "I need to be one of the cool people, so that other cool people will approve of me and I can get attention at parties." From there, you may "brilliantly" conclude that:

                                                                 
1) A man can just _say_ that he's a woman, and this _makes_ him a woman.

 2) Children suffer no loss by being raised in a home where one sex of parent is intentionally excluded, presenting a daily message that men and women _don't_ belong together.

 3) All wealth and economic assets just fall out of the sky, so distribution is the only factor to consider.

 4) Although the Earth has had climate fluctuations for as long as it has existed, the most _recent_ fluctuations are caused by evil American oil corporations.

 5) Persons with dark skin cannot ever be wrong on any subject, unless they are Christians and/or conservative patriots.

 6) The entire New Testament was made up in the fourth century, never mind the much-older manuscripts.

 7) A Christian expressing _spoken_ disapproval of something is far worse than a Muslim actually _killing_ people dead just for disagreeing with him.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shedding light ONTO Scripture helps us receive light FROM Scripture

Even before Jesus made atonement and carried us beyond the Mosaic Law, prophets operating _within_ the Law were aware that "the letter of the law" was not everything. They were able to deal also with people's character and motives.  

                                                                                                     
 Here is a bit of background on the Herod family. We know from the Gospels that Herod Antipas (a son of the evil old phony king) had a wife named Herodias; but no one asks why someone who married _into_ the family would have such an obviously derivative name. The explanation is that Herodias _didn't_ marry into the Herod family, she was _born_ into it. She was a granddaughter of the first Herod. I forget which of the many sons was her father, but I'm pretty sure her first _husband_ was Herod Philip. Thus Herodias was married to her uncle; and Antipas who stole her was _another_ of her uncles.    

                                                                                   
 Now, the Law forbade sex between an uncle and a niece, or between an aunt and a nephew. So by the letter, Herodias' marriage to Herod Philip _wasn't_ valid in the first place, that John the Baptist should have bothered caring about its dissolution. But John doubtless understood that the Herods, who were part Arab, were not big on Mosaic observance anyway; and in their ignorant world, an uncle-niece marriage might be perceived by _them_ to be valid. Therefore, _within_ that worldview, there would still have been some vestige of moral virtue in Herodias deciding "I'll be faithful here," and in Herod Antipas deciding "I won't intrude on that." But since Antipas and Herodias _didn't_ follow the relatively high road, John the Baptist got on their case EXACTLY AS IF the original marriage had been legitimate in every way.
                                                                                               
   
 It would be cheap and easy, at this point, for Christians to oversimplify by saying: "None of that matters! All that matters is that the Herods were unsaved sinners, which means that _every_ possible action of theirs would be _exactly_ as bad as every _other_ possible action!" But John the Baptist, who I think did have some spiritual authority, cough cough, _didn't_ act or speak as if every possible action by a sinner was the same as every other possible action. He acted as if it would in fact have been _better_ for Herodias not to have left one uncle for another uncle.
                                                                                     
   
 There was a reason for John's attitude. Of _course_ Herodias would not have been eternally saved by the mere fact of staying with her first husband, even if the inbreeding had not been an issue. But if she _had_ been faithful, God could have _used_ this choice on her part as a spark of light-- part of the process of awakening her to spiritual truth. In "Mere Christianity," Mister Lewis writes: "Virtue, even attempted virtue, brings light; indulgence brings fog."
                                                                         
   
 The next shallow dismissal would be to say: "No action matters! God either chooses to save someone or _doesn't_ choose to save that person!" But no matter how super-duper-sovereign God's work of grace is, it still _reaches_ us through particular experiences. We created beings live among the particulars.
                                                         
   
 Unless we think that God's sovereignty means we should go to bed and never DO anything in His service, it is fully appropriate for us to try to understand other people's feelings and wishes. Surely our understanding of our fellow mortals can be at _least_ as useful to God as our being utterly clueless would be.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Crunchy Gesture

    I have    in recent times been annoyed with the Frito-Lay Corporation for falling into line to praise homosexuality. But they made considerable amends on Super Bowl evening, with a commercial which bore a pro-life subtext. Accordingly, today I set out on a mission to BUY DORITOS in multiple stores.  
 


Now, it's hard to be sure about this, but it seemed to me that in each store I went to, the quantity of Doritos was less than it might have been. So maybe others also decided to give the Frito-Lay Corporation some positive reinforcement; Even a PARTIAL move toward truth should be encouraged.             
                       
                           
                                       

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Increments as the Instruments of the Insolent

The word "mining" in the military sense derives from the ore-extraction sense of "mining." When a medieval army besieged a strong castle, one useful method of attack was to dig a tunnel, just like a mine shaft in the sense we would think of, extending under the castle's outer wall. When this tunnel was made to collapse, the stone structure directly above it could not help also collapsing. (It was only much later that the noun "mine" began to mean a distinct physical object that was essentially a type of bomb.) But of course, this ancient UNDER-mining took time, all the more so because the besiegers would rather that their own men avoided being killed by a premature cave-in. So success required patience. As in medieval warfare, so in the modern war of ideas.                                  
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                In all of its major strategies, that which is generally known as "the left" operates by increments. And no, I'm not saying that literally everything leftist on Earth has one seamless, unified human command structure issuing orders to every totalitarian liar everywhere. But for people who desire to see an all-controlling monopoly government ruling everyone and everything, without reference or reverence to the Creator of everyone and everything, it comes naturally to be gradual and methodical about destroying basic elements of civilization.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                             G.K. Chesterton wrote that only those for whom the home is sacred have moral ground from which to defy the state. Loyalty to a family competes with loyalty to a government. Sometimes the family is in the wrong, but sometimes not; and worshipers of centralized government want to remove the very possibility that anyone might ever say, "Wait! I can't obey this command, because it would cause needless and undeserved harm to the people I love!" Jesus warned that we must not love father or mother more than we love Him; but collectivist tyrants don't want us loving a distinct, self-directed family AT ALL. Which is why the Soviet Union and other dictatorships have encouraged the peasants to inform on their own relatives, as well as on their neighbors, for actual or imagined rebellion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

    Therefore, the creation of Soviet-style regimes calls for the value of a family to be eroded in people's minds. But like the undermining of a castle, this can't be achieved all in one stroke. So it is that in the West, the brainless admirers of Communism, as directed by their soulless opinion-makers, have eroded the family without admitting that they were doing so.... by gradually introducing the notion that ALL associations between people equally are families. And in the words of the animated character Syndrome, when everyone is super, no one will be.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The process was built into the very start of secularizing society. If there is no God to define things, well, then the progressive geniuses must "reluctantly" shoulder the noble task of defining human relationships, no applause necessary. Human desire and sentiment became the whole reason for marriage. This first pill went down fairly easily, since of course romantic love is not bad in itself; but the Rousseaus and the Marxes wanted love to be without any transcendent rule to guide it. From love being the cause of marriage, they went on to argue that love made marriage unnecessary. A nice, easy step, still remaining heterosexual. Marriage was an artificial construct, while the reproductive urge was natural, so of course let's prefer the natural -- and get busy fornicating. Everybody else is, aren't they? Already in this early phase, anyone objecting to promiscuity could be vilified as "intolerant" and "hateful."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                   
I am not hateful, esteemed reader. I know my own failings, and so am obligated to make allowances for other people's failings. But contrary to leftwing dogma, having compassion on human weakness does not mean that we should throw away the model which God provided for us to strive toward.


                                                                                       
 Heterosexual promiscuity was dishonestly touted to women as liberating them in particular, because they could assume the initiative instead of just hoping a man would call. But in actual practice, the sexual revolution liberated the selfishness of those males who had rejected God's standards. They wanted to play and not pay --wanted to drink the milk without buying and feeding the cow. Millions of women found themselves used and discarded; so it was necessary for the left to make an adjustment, before moving on to the gay-marriage phase. Women were encouraged to be justifiably angry at men who used them selfishly. Only, this anger must not lead to the restoration of the value of marriage; instead, it must lead to contempt for men as men. Hence the increase in television comedy shows whose male characters were useless morons who couldn't find their noses with both hands in daylight unless a woman helped them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                             Here, a divide occurred. The left was never going to persuade all men to accept being seen as feeble clowns; thus, they must be allowed to enjoy James Bond movies and other entertainments, where males could still be strong, smart and successful. But these heroes no longer were looking for marriage. So in one lane of the broad highway we saw men who weren't losers, but who weren't ideal-father material either; and in the other lane we saw men who would still get married, but who had almost nothing to offer to their goddess-like superior wives. What the leftwing culture didn't want us to see was men who did things God's way, combining strength with tenderness as Jesus would do.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


This much damage done cleared the way for the "normalization" of homosexuality and then same-sex marriage. Fortunately for the purposes of the left, most Westerners were paying no attention to history, or else they would have noticed the pop culture doing a one-eighty. Back in the Sixties, we had been specifically told that we must forget an artificial construct in favor of what was natural. But in order to set up homosexuals as the new victim-group aristocrats who could do no wrong, it was necessary for pop culture to forget what was natural, in favor of an artificial construct.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                 
The transgender delusion, coming after all that went before, is like a mopping-up campaign, crushing the last pockets of resistance. Even with homosexuality being praised as the ultimate in love and beauty, at least people still agreed that there were such things as men and women; but now, the transgender movement insists that there aren't even any definitions -- only self-absorbed blank-tablet human spirits, who are whatever they say they are. All the previous phases of cultural sabotage entailed changing values and rules; but the transgender fantasy, an integral feature of post-modernism, is calculated to collapse the very structure of thought itself, so NO ONE CAN any longer discuss coherently what might have gone wrong and what should be done to remedy it.                    


                                                                                                                 
When a population is deprived both of saving faith in Jesus Christ, and of the ability to think logically, it is even more defenseless against enslavement than a population deprived of weapons for physical self-defense. And that is where we have now arrived.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Love By Itself Does Not QUITE Conquer Everything

Some Christians, although they are not at all cowards where facing death is concerned, are in a sense afraid of ever having to TAKE SIDES in any conflict. As regards the present worldwide crisis of Islamic aggression, they maintain that literally NOTHING is required BUT loving the terrorists, forgiving them and praying for them, "just like Jesus and His Apostles." Yet there is a distinction between our situation and the first Christian century.                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                           
  When the Apostles and other first-generation disciples went forth to proclaim the good news, although it was a cruel pagan world they faced, NOT ABSOLUTELY EVERY PERSON THEY EVER MET was dedicated specifically to a program of killing Christians. By contrast, Islamic terrorist forces ARE consciously dedicated to killing Christians, along with killing Jews and other non-Muslims. Try telling a fanatical Sharia enforcer that you love him and forgive him, and he will just laugh at you and murder you -- not necessarily in that order. Then he will keep right on waging jihad, not the least bit troubled in his deadened conscience.                                                                                                    
                                                                   
There has to be some DEFENSE against the expanding Muslim empire, or else we will simply all get killed off before we can reach even one Muslim in a thousand with the gospel of Jesus.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Book Review That Never Got Written

  I keep having to explain things again, because so many people just want to go on believing what makes them _feel_ good. For some of my fellow Christians, the dirty secret is that they actively _desire_ to feel superior to, and angry at, non-Christians generally. Accordingly, they _want_ the first chapter of Romans to have the most relentless application conceivable, so they can say to _every_ unbeliever: "You really _know_ I'm right, you're just being stubborn because you're so evil!"

But part of the answer to this is looking them in the face, always _has_ been looking them in the face, even if they can't read Paul's original Greek text. Romans one speaks of people turning homosexual in a way EQUALLY AS UNIVERSAL-SOUNDING as the part about clearly seeing God's presence in creation. Therefore, if all non-Christians everywhere are already _fully_ aware of God's existence, then it is _equally_ true that absolutely every non-Christian in the world, with NO exceptions ever, is a practicing homosexual.

Add to this the fact that *I* did not "always really know" God was real. As a boy, I was cast adrift, left to _wonder_ every night whether there was a God or not, whether death was total annihilation or not. I laugh bitterly at smug evangelists who claim to know what they're talking about when they say that ALL unbelievers fear death specifically because they know they deserve God's judgment. *I* was afraid that there _wasn't_ any God to do any judging. Because I had this experience before coming to know Jesus, I can communicate with lost people who are as I was in that respect.

None of this, however, is meant to say that there _aren't_ plenty of unbelievers resisting truth! People who are aware of God and just don't want to obey Him are obvious enough; but there are also people who exist in the zone of uncertainty, and _become_ dishonest by insisting that there _isn't_ any reliable truth to be found. It could be plain laziness, a wish not to be obligated to search out the truth.

I have the impression that writer Anne LaMott is a case of this. A while back, I picked up a copy of her book "Plan B: Further Thoughts On Faith." I had in mind reviewing it in depth, but real life just has not _allowed_ me to have time for every such project I would like to have carried out. So all I can do is say what her attitude _seems_ to be, based on the small amount of her book that I found time to read.

Without passing any definite verdict on Mizzzzzz LaMott, I believe that she is one who prefers not to believe that there could be some firm, authoritative doctrine already available to be followed. She says vague things about God in her book, notably saying she isn't sure whether to call God a He, a She, or an It. If she believed Jesus to be God Incarnate and therefore infallible, she would realize that He would not have lied to us about God's nature. That is to say, Jesus would not have _called_ God "Father" if there _hadn't_ been something about God's nature which made it appropriate to call Him a Him.

So, at best, Anne LaMott is not Biblically sound. But I really can't say _how_ far estranged she is from the facts of God's Word. She might be starting from a point of extenuating ignorance, and actually be slowly moving _toward_ a saving knowledge of Jesus. Maybe someone else will critique "Plan B" in my stead. I simply do not have the time for that job -- nor even the _space_ in my cluttered house to keep my copy of her book. It is about to become recycled paper, but this does not mean that I feel any hatred for her.                                             
                                       
                                         

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vandalism By Diversity

When a vandal draws mustaches on paintings, he doesn't need to use any imagination. It was the artists who did all the work of creating unique portraits; the vandal can simply make the same defacing movement for each and every picture. Yet the vandal chooses to delude himself that somehow he is being clever.    
                                                 

That's how it is with those who "vandalize" God's design for human affections. God did the work of creating a system which would actually function, a system upon which whole viable societies could be built. Those who deny God's design don't have to make the effort (really impossible anyway) to create an alternative system which would work equally well; they can simply contradict God, over and over, like drawing mustaches over and over, and choose to agree among themselves that they are being clever.        
                                                               

The world of live-stage theater in America has long been heavily populated with moral anarchists who want to deny God's plan. So they do deny it, over and over; but no matter how many times they make the exact same denial, they compulsively insist that their LATEST redundant denial is "a daring breakthrough." Recently in Denver, a theater company produced a musical play titled "My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding." The same old thing, denying the real God and His natural order YET AGAIN as pop culture has been denying it for most of my lifetime; but the newspaper announcing the show predictably called the play "unusual." It was in fact just one more superfluous mustache scrawled over God's artwork, identical in spirit to the other defacings.                                                                                                                          

It will of course be argued that fiction or drama about normal relationships must be many times more overdone and redundant than fiction or drama that praises deviancy. But normal relationships are many times MORE NECESSARY to humanity than chaotic "alternatives," and so are that much more worthy to be depicted. I say this as one who believes in cutting all possible slack for sexually abnormal persons, as when a woman goes lesbian because men raped her and left her literally unable to feel any desire for a male. But the mustache-drawing vandals are not about merely making allowances for hard cases; they are about fighting to destroy ALL standards everywhere, so that they personally can either feel good about their own crazy self-indulgence, or be LIKED BY other persons who are crazy and self-indulgent.