Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
- Jesus, from the tenth chapter of Matthew
A continuing survey of the ways temporal government addresses its concerns often brings nifty new insights into the way Cain's agency functions. One such incident arose during the budget debate in Congress at the end of July when intractably strident interests turned up the volume on their resolve.
Turns out there is an obscure section in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution that ensures that any attempt to deny borrowing to the U.S. government is prohibited. The text: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
During the "crisis," some more widely published pundits got the itch that Barack Obama should "impose" this part of the law upon Congress to compel its members to keep spending money in their dutiful service, which has always been to convince their constituents that they are their brother's keeper.
While many decried raising the debt ceiling as yet another example of unsightly profligate fiscal behavior, it is really just a way to say, "We, the present officers of duly authorized federal governance, are officially making pronouncement of full activation of all constitutional powers at our disposal to move the workforce to keep them generating returns for the entrenched value extractors."
This is a perfectly legitimate operation. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment was put into effect right after a huge swath of the population exhibited the most rank insurrection and rebellion—eleven whole states to be exact—and the feds simply responded in kind. Effectively: "Any and all moneys spent in any and all amounts are fully justified to crack heads of the liars, cheats, and murderers who ask government to provide the service."
This is not just a legal relic from the American Civil War. It is precisely what the Agency of Cain does, God made it that way, and most perversely, World inhabitants like it.
As I thought about this convenient provision highlighting the gargantuan expense of sin management, I wondered, how much could that get to be?
Yes, it turned out the beginning of August did see the debt ceiling raised. And yes, the U.S. government rushed right in to borrow gobs more money, a lot of it used to pay off people who'd be in violent revolution otherwise. (Take a peek at what's been happening in Greece and most recently London to get an idea of this at work.)
Again, how much will be excised before the country breaks under the weight of the required debt load? I honestly think it could go as high as there are people who go right along with it all, no matter how much some elements appear to zealously protest (Tea Party anyone?)
Now, how many people is that?
The United States has a largely Catholicized population. They instinctively desire head-cracking officials to corral the moral rottenness of not only their neighbors but themselves. And Cain was given seven-fold power over all insurrectionists and rebels, and seven-fold force does require ungodly amounts of cash.
On the other hand, it has been said that a country simply cannot survive a 90% ratio of debt to GDP, and depending on what factors are used, the U.S. is easily around that mark at this point in its history.
So is it possible that enough people will continue to be convinced that the U.S. government is able to crush the will of enough laborers and keep them enslaved for the purpose of institutional value extraction?
After all, one of Cain's close direct descendants, Lamech, announced that after a serious offense against him he would exact seven plus seventy times the vengeance. Ooooo, scary...
I make fun, but the value is important.
For how much and for how long can the reigning value extraction managers convince the American people: "We will be taking care of you!"? It is axiomatic that historically any country collapsing under the weight of such promises is eagerly replaced by another one better at lying and cracking whips. The lesser-known much more significant truth is that the legacy of Cain not only survives through the transition but is supposed to sustain its divinely ordained hegemony within each version.
All of this may be hard to understand, until you can see how the General administers the affairs of the World System.
I've recently been poking my eyes in and out of Join the Club by Tina Rosenberg, in which she introduces the significant principle she calls the social cure. It is none other than the profound effectiveness of peer pressure, and if harnessed and directed properly it can be a wonderful force for good in society.
I was particularly taken by the chapter on Otpor, which was name of the Serbian resistance movement working to topple genocidal dictator Slobodan Milošević in the 1990's. Otpor utilized all sorts of cutting edge techniques to discredit the regime, including the staging of clever theatrical events intended not only to bring attention to the cause but to rally support for it.
The double strength of dramatic presentations and the vibrant peer interaction cannot be understated. I'd love to delve more into Rosenberg's narrative here, but two items relate to the inexorable power of the group.
She says a key principle of the social cure is that "information rarely motivates people; identification is much more effective." I don't think information can be so readily dismissed as a factor, but it can be impotent if not accompanied by good, smiling, welcoming people.
Everyone wants to be in the club—in fact not just in, but near the top identifying with the top people. One look at the virulently growing power of social networking says a lot—how many Facebook friends do you have? Even more importantly, how many are "players" who genuinely solicit your input in the "club's" progress and success?
Related to this was her citation of the key way to mobilize people from top military psychologist William Darryl Henderson. One of the questions for the ages: "What can you do to get a guy to charge out of a foxhole?"
His tremendously veritable and strikingly simple answer: "The only force on the battlefield strong enough to make a soldier advance under fire is his loyalty to a small group and the group's expectation that he will advance."
For the whole of society this remarkably potent force comes in the form of the echo chamber, which really consists of a number of chambers. The largest are the political ("Pay taxes without question," "Say the Pledge proudly," "Vote or die") financial ("Get into debt," "You deserve more than that," "They owe you") and religious ("You are good enough," "Just get absolution and you'll be fine," "Pay tithes to earn God's favor")
The key element of all the humanist propaganda fed into these chambers is that it gets there through the auspices of one authority honorably charged with the duty of faithfully supervising the Agency of Cain. The way his minions carry out those designs always involves the most imaginative theatrics and innovative social coalescing.
On October 13, 2008 the General's work was on display in bright, bold colors when the United States Treasury Secretary asked the Federal Reserve Chairman, President of the New York Fed, and FDIC Chairman to join him in an extraordinarily unprecedented meeting of the nation's nine most powerful banking heads.
The nine were all lined up across the table, and while a bit of arm-twisting was employed to get them there, they all knew the stakes.
The economy was rapidly imploding. Bear Stearns had to be lifted from descent into oblivion, Lehman Brothers had just evaporated, Merrill Lynch was on life-support, and countless other supposedly stalwart financial entities were being pulled under with them...
Secretary Henry Paulson essentially told them, "Take federal dollars, all of you. If you think you're solvent, you're not, and the FDIC will prove it."
The key was in why he insisted on unanimity.
It wasn't an issue of nationalizing the banks; they're already nationalized and always have been. It wasn't an issue of whether or not the banks would pay it back; hey, they're banks—and "too big to fail" at that.
It was because they all had to be together on this because if they weren't, the impression that they weren't would eviscerate the nation's confidence in its credit.
This wasn't about actually producing anything but another manifestation of The Lie, spoken through every blowhole of the Megaphone's many chambers.
With the social cure weapon in their hands, it was only about feverishly shoving money in the faces of worthless people. Buying up toxic assets, or with a smile, "Cash for Trash." Interminable guessing at the highest levels of value assessment to keep the extractors ecstatic and the extractees extant.
"We knew we were wrong, but tried to convince ourselves that we were right." is the classic "keeping up appearances" line, this one from financial writer William Fowler about his circle of speculator acquaintances, as far back as 1870. That may seem like a long time ago, but it's all been humming along for millennia (with the standard economic temblors every dozen years or so).
We all know Washington-enabled Wall Street predictably operates this way. What is less understood is that it is done for the purpose of human sacrifice.
It is spiritual at its core.
Remember when Cain said he'd been given seven times the power over any usurper? Remember when Lamech said he'd exact seventy-seven times that?
The power of the World System, it's a lot.
But there is the power of the Kingdom.
Remember when Peter asked Jesus, "How many times should I forgive someone who wrongs me? Seven times?"
Jesus replied, "Seven times seventy."
I truly believe this is a direct response to Cain and Lamech's claim of World dominion for the expressed purpose of dwarfing its value. Lamech is about seventy plus seven.
Jesus is about seventy times seven.
The World will indeed exact as much as seventy-seven times the productive capacity of it's people to prosecute lying, cheating, murdering. The theater is the heavily showcased "debt ceiling" crisis, the "social cure" is the incessant bleating that "we're all in this together." That 77-fold magnitude is stratospheric to the World...
The Kingdom has one dynamic the World lacks.
True, authentic, giving, sowing, communal, charitable agape love.
That is the social cure—the eternal and infinite social cure—and it only comes through Christ.
He is The Social Cure.
The World has its counterfeit Christs ...and its counterfeit communities.
The Kingdom's community has those who give everything for another, as many times as it takes, because Christ already gave everything of His. They have nothing to lose, and have already gained everything.
They are gaining Him. Gaining those with Him in the Kingdom. Gaining the Kingdom and everything rapturously glorious about it...
And just Him.
These were effectively the very last words in the Thursday October 27 2011 edition of the Los Angeles Times, right there on the lower right-hand corner of the last page of the main section. They end Timothy Garton Ash's piece on the summary financial implosion eviscerating the world right now. It began with "Untangle this knot, if you can." I love these challenges!
I have the answer! I can untangle that knot!
But I'm no big shot, it is not just me who can take it on successfully, and really, without much difficulty. Anyone who has Christ in his or her heart has the answer. Indeed they have The Answer. Sadly, millions through history under the spell of a counterfeit Christ have claimed to have the answer, including the World System operatives themselves whose job it is to promote such an idol.
What is more tragic is that after the first human sacrificer was expelled from the place where he would truly know That Answer, it is impossible for any who follow him to find it. It is not surprising then that so many spend so much time in a pathetically futile effort to get it.
The interesting thing is that Ash's plaint is so often shared quite openly in a variety of ways by those who cry out about the way of the World. Right now Europe is convulsing under the weight of some of its more irresponsible members and their spendthrift ways. Lots of shouting drowns the truth that it is all done simply to facilitate human sacrifice for all those who can't know The Answer.
Probably the most striking admission of this chronic exasperation was shared in a speech from Dallas Federal Reserve Bank president Richard Fisher. He curiously spoke about a sign that greets visitors to a meteorological and communications station on Jan Mayen, a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. It reads:
"Theory is when you understand everything, but nothing works. Practice is when everything works, but nobody understands why. At this station, theory and practice are united, so nothing works and nobody understands why."
Indeed amusing, but quite a phenomenal opening by a top bank executive in a speech that predictably does nothing other than confirm how much Fed policy mirrors that sentiment. It is quite a confession from ivory tower dwellers given over to World System administration but are oblivious to who is pulling their strings.
Or... is it more insidious that they do know who the puppetmaster is, but are doing their best to keep their value extractees in the dark so they will always return for their prescribed dose of exploitation? Sometimes I think people like Fisher and Ash are a bit too obsequious with the brutal transparency regarding their ignorance. These guys are highly paid spokesholes for the World System, after all.
Well, let's get right to it. No reason to keep waiting. Here are those answers. It is actually a single matrix answer, with each stratum introduced in the order that demonstrates the answer's verity.
The World inhabitant doesn't just neglect to understand this, he is violently repulsed by it. Should he actually draw his attention to it, attempt the slightest intentional grasp of it, it would look and sound like the most vulgar swearing in a really strange foreign language. Not only completely incomprehensible, but downright nasty. Who wants to hear that?
But it is the answer.
Every problem on the planet originates from the conditions described above. Every one. From the anxiety about the value of the billions in sovereign wealth funds and derivatives speculations, to the more common worries people have about tax breaks and retirement promises, all the way down to the jittery aggravation of Occupy Fill-in-the-blank Street activity and the typical agony of a meager paycheck-to-paycheck existence.
Everything is explained right there.
Oh sure many will spit up the standard idiocy.
"Jesus, huhmpf, he's just not part of who I am." Never mind that they're thinking of the Catholicist Jesus so deftly slotted into their brains by experts keeping them chained to the System.
"All of that is just a fairy tale." Never mind that philosophical naturalism is an entire mindset with the flimsiest of logical foundations, and was itself put in place throughout the higher education system to draw people from Truth.
"But I believe in Jesus! He's a great guy, I'm with you on that!" Never mind that so many who say that do nothing to actually nourish the relationship they claim to have with Him. It is really Him or one of a hundred other Jesuses?
Here's one of my favorites, "The United States government would simply never do anything that evil." Never mind that those sworn to it must be expert practitioners of evil so evil would effectively be prosecuted. Even more important is that this is the way God arranged it to fulfill His purposes among people who are always making excuses about not turning to Him.
A few days ago Libyan dictator Moammar Kadafi was gunned down after being discovered in a drainage pipe in his home town. The 1,000-point headline across the top of the Los Angeles Times in the next day's edition was "Free Of Kadafi." (Hey, we started with the last words in the Times, let's finish with the first.)
I thought for a while about those three words. Hmm, I pondered, why are they free from this guy now when he was run out on a rail weeks earlier? The dude was scurrying from sewer to sewer, no better than a common rat.
Why was he still commanding any kind of sway over anyone?
It is simple.
He's a clone of Cain, and there are thousands like him who populate every part of the globe. Sometimes they happen to be designated exceedingly unpopular, as Kadafi was, disgraced as Cain Wanna-Be's I guess. But every bastion of power—political, commercial, financial, ecclesiastical, religious—processes the most appealing human sacrifice for all who demand it.
Anyone not abandoned to the rule of Christ in their hearts will absolutely look for a Kadafi, which is no different from looking for a Romney or similar spiffy Republican challenger, an Obama or similar bureaucratic pencilpusher, a Benedict or similar charismatic organizational figure, a Bernanke or similar top bank executive charged with handling their clients' retirement money, even some idiosyncratic non-conformist like a Ron Paul who seems to be quite popular among the most principled libertarians.
They're all part of Cain's legacy, all trying to make good by waving around the law, marketing their peculiar version of it, and provoking more fear and loathing of people not on their side. Come on, if the Libyan people are free from Kadafi, are they really now free? Really? Those people waving around guns are truly free? It'd be comical if not horrifically tragic.
Try this. Instead of "Free of Kadafi," think of it as "Free of Cain." What would that be like?
Succeed as a rebel and actually break from his grip, then some murderer stronger than you takes you out. Guess that's sort of a freedom.
Remain in his clutches and you just put yourself under his screws paying tribute to him and his duly authorized racket. You'll still be murdered, just a bit later.
Then there is "Free into Christ." That means walking through the narrow gate into the Kingdom, there for anyone who wants to experience sublimely authentic and rapturously real freedom. Flesh and bones people reside there, right now, today. They aren't highfalutin religious nuts—there are enough of those in the System's churches. No, even though these people know all too well about the World's idiocy and they insightfully understand just how abjectly wicked it can be, they step up and do something the World just can't figure out.
They love those who are given over to it just the same.
They'll even walk up alongside someone who keeps whacking himself on the head with the metaphorical large iron mallet, the one who keeps muttering "Answers, anyone? Answers anyone? Answers anyone?..." They provide The Answer with a smile, a prayer, a blessing, a soft comforting voice of assurance they themselves get from The One Who Is The Answer. Even when the answer-less mallet whacker turns on them with the deepest disdain and dismissive sneer...
And still love with That Real Love.
I look but there is no one—
Our school recently asked the faculty to provide the librarian with their favorite books, for the purpose of getting the students to see that all of us teachers love to read. They took photographs of some to make posters of us smiling while holding our books, and then they put them up around the school.
I was curious to see what books the other teachers chose, and one of them had Crazy Love by Francis Chan as his fave. It is one of those "God is crazy about you, He really is!" kind of tomes, and while I don't object to the idea, I kind of chafe at the thought that so many Christians must be so often reminded with such pukifyingly smooshy language.
While I was peeking around on the web to know more about Francis Chan (from what I gather a popular, with-it, postmodernish pastor with whom young believers are quite enthralled), I came across a piece from The Huffington Post that was a good loud rant against Chan's declaration that hell is real and bad and should be regarded seriously.
I'd otherwise not give much attention to such a screed; The Huffington Post itself pretty much just splats up there whatever anyone anywhere writes and which remotely agrees with their philosophical bent. The guy who wrote it is John Shore, an über-blogger who apparently fancies himself quite the curmudgeonly muckraker on Christian things.
The reason I've brought it up here is (1) many people hang their intellectual constitution on such an argument, (2) it is plainly written out making it easy to take apart, and (3) I love apologetics. Since I'm mostly Irish (a class of people who stereotypically always seem to have a healthy preoccupation with hell anyway) I am addicted to contending in just about any endeavor, especially for the faith. I thought this time out I'd sink my teeth into a juicy argument, and perhaps even share how much the World System perpetuates such nonsense for the purpose of keeping as many as they can from the life-saving grace of Christ.
This one goes something like this. Everyone really hates hearing about hell, so why in the world would a Christian speak of it to a non-Christian? The Christian is not going to hell, so why should he piss off those he thinks are going there by spewing it at them, which ironically sabotages his own efforts to save him? Let's just get along and we can do that simply by avoiding any of this hell talk.
Shore even breaks it down into a simple syllogism he feels is ironclad... except his ineptitude with logic and his incapacity to understand what he is saying is stunningly evident. Here it is exactly as written:
Now here's the argument with the necessary logical corrections and clarified understandings.
His first premise: Rejecting the Christian God condemns people to hell.
Right out of the gate he presumes there is a plural number of gods, intimated by his identification of the "Christian God" as opposed to all the others. Yes, it is true, there are other "gods," but they are either demons, powerful individuals in a society, or figments of the imagination. Often those figments are held in the minds of many people in very large nations!
There is only one God who can actually be The God, however. This God, "maker of all things, stretching out the heavens and spreading out the earth by [Him]self," so intimately cares about His creation, the centerpiece of which is man, that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He did this because of "how long and wide and high and deep... [is His] love."
The most important truth here for these purposes is something completely foreign to his argument. It isn't just this group or that group who are the "chosen" ones...
Everyone goes to hell.
Everyone. You, me, that guy over there. There is no greased slide or down elevator — oh that we'd have that. No, each and every one of us is in free-fall, a mere millisecond away from landing real hard. While falling, however, each of us has a kind of "virtual reality" headset on through which we only see the diversions of life that keep us from the truth of our predicament.
With that in mind, there is indeed only one way out, and that is The One Way Out. To elaborate on the metaphor if you'll allow me, this One known as "God Saves" (ahem, in Hebrew Y'shua or translated into the Greek, Jesus) reaches His nail-scarred hands out to grab every single person falling.
Where is gets dicey is what the issue here is: Whether or not you allow Him to snatch you up. Whether or not you really want to be rescued.
And so yeah, I guess Shore is right. You do choose to reject God's grace. But it isn't the rejection of God that is dropping us into hell. He's just there ready to display His overwhelming mercy.
It is us that is the problem, and our rank, putrid wickedness. That is what keeps us from Him, and in hell. Every one of us.
His second premise: A Christian who is wrong about hell goes to heaven anyway.
Ahh, I get it. Here Shore gives away what the real issue is in his mind. He assumes that hell is not real after all. So that's it...
That hell is just a fairy tale anyway.
He observes a whole planet-full of Christians out there convinced they're going to heaven no matter how wrong they are about everything, so he wonders why they're telling us a bunch of wrong things. That's really what this is about then, isn't it?
Logically there are only two possibilities, either hell exists or it doesn't. It is either/or. Sure there may be things we don't know about a thing or not-thing, but that fact doesn't obviate the truth that we can know some things about it, and the logical principles still remain to be either used or abused. Shore relies heavily on them by claiming to know a thing about hell whatever that is.
I think what's going on is that Shore fears that he's wrong. I mean, he really doesn't look like he wants to discuss the matter. Some of it might be the conception now very common in a postmodern world that if you just say you believe or don't believe in something then that in and of itself lends credibility to your case.
There are two kinds of belief, however. He employs the first, the one most people think of when asked, "Do you believe in...?" This involves intellectual assent to a supposed truth. "Two plus two is four." "Butter pecan is yummy." "No one can know about hell." Sure these can be further distinguished between normative and positive statements, but these are still facets of the first kind of belief, considered the only kind by those steeped in the erroneous idea that there is only a rational thought or an irrational thought.
Way fewer people comprehend the second equally important definition because they habitually devour a nutritionally empty diet of humanism. This condition of belief refers to the trust one puts in someone to effectuate a thing. "Do you believe in those who built that bridge to make it sustain the weight of your automobile?" "Do you believe in your boss and his immanent decision to give you a promotion?"
"Do you believe that Jesus Christ can and will grip your soul after your body dies?"
This has to do with trusting in someone to follow. Everyone must do it with someone, and many simply don't choose Jesus ultimately to be that individual. There are hundreds of good reasons to trust Christ in this belief situation: factual, evidential, truthful reasons that make Him worthy of our trust. I can't get into all of them here, but hell is an imperative part of the gospel.
Someone always chowing down the slop the World feeds them is bound to dive right into one of two default non-hell positions: universalism, which has absolutely no place for Jesus, or materialism, which has no better prognosis for what happens after death than hell.
His third premise: Preaching about hell significantly contributes to people rejecting Christianity.
Again Shore speaks from the presumption that you've got your religion and I've got mine and ne'er the twain shall meet but let's just get along anyway. He can't see that it isn't about competing religions but about the sin that hopelessly infects every single human being. His real contention is that sin, hell, Jesus, salvation, the devil — all that is hokum, a position that has the flimsiest of support. Lots to get into there, yes, but we must save much of it for another time.
Let's assume, however, that he is believing all this to be true, and he still says, "Don't preach at me because it'll just drive me away from you and whatever it is you're selling."
Really? If I "preached" at you that I know about the tumor that is the cause of your stomach aches, one that I can easily remove on the operating table, is it true that you'd be so offended that you'd refuse to consider what I'm telling you, even insisting I shut-up about it?
I hear people submerged in humanism say this all the time. Someone makes a lucid moral argument against pretty typical rotten behavior, and it spills right on out like a mantra: "I just don't want to be preached at."
I happen to notice the healthiest and wisest individuals are those who consider everything someone says, especially if it is the most penetrating and painful moral assessment. Sure the speaker could be full of it, but I want to hear the breadth of the entire claim and be able to cogently challenge falsehood. Otherwise, if it is truthful, let me have it! Preach it to me, baby!
And then let's look deeply at what is truthful about a thing.
His conclusion: Evangelicals should shut-up about hell.
I really think Shore is afraid of hell, actually. Come on, if hell meant nothing to him, why is he going all out writing about it, posting it at The Huffington Post? Thing is I'm sure there are millions out there who feel exactly the same way.
It's simply because they've spent their entire lives intently listening to what the World Operatives have told them.
The words of John Lennon's song have been tamped down firmly in the soul of the entrenched World inhabitant and it just festers there. "Imagine there's no heaven... no hell below us, above us only sky."
Just before Christmas this year my daughter was watching some old Looney Tunes, and one of them featured a Jacob Marley Bugs Bunny doing the whole censure bit with an Ebenezer Scrooge Yosemite Sam. He said if he didn't shape up he'd take him to see the guy with the red suit. Sam became frightened that Santa would see his naughtiness and act accordingly, but Bugs told him he was speaking of the other guy in the red suit.
"No no no!" exclaimed Sam with even greater dread. "You mean the guy down there?!" "Yhee-epp! replied Bugs.
I thought, ya know? You would never see that in any cartoon today. The World System machinators have done a fantastic job of eviscerating the concept of hell from the vernacular. I then considered that even if "the other guy in the red suit" was mentioned anywhere in any popular culture dissemination channel, very few in today's young generation would even know what that would mean.
Speaking of old Christmas tradition — which in the history of mankind was surprisingly not all that long ago — when the Santa Claus legend started catching on throughout Europe in the mid-1800's, the jolly old elf was frequently accompanied by a gruesomely monstrous fellow, yes, one with horns, a tail, and a long imposing tongue.
He even had a name, Krampus, originating from an old German word for claw. This demon was always depicted behind the door, in the corner, always in step with Santa waiting for the bad boys and girls to be left for his clutches. It was all designed to keep those potentially wayward children on the straight and narrow.
How many times do you see this in today's representations of Santa? Right next to the North Pole get-up there at the mall is a fiery pit with a guy dressed as Satan — not that anyone would be waiting in line, it'd be just to have it there, to make the point.
No, there is no more hell. It is a vestigial blip in the scientistically dominated discourse of the day. It is even axiomatic that any current depiction of hell's features is most often merely a caricature employed for comedic effect.
In that sense I really don't know what Shore is worried about. Who the hell knows what hell is today anyway? How many people out there actually care? How many are just living on the benighted idea that belief is just your own personal preference: "If you want to believe in a fantasy like hell you just go ahead and do that. I believe in me, that's what I believe in, yeah..."
Just how many people look at that statement right there and fail to see just how miserably narcissistic it is. That's a hell in and of itself.
The amazing thing in all of this is that hell is actually pretty good to have around. Huh? Come again — Hell is a good thing?
I'm sure the logical benefits of hell have escaped this guy. His error lies precisely in the answer to this question:
What about me?
Yeah, me, impenitent purveyor of the most abusive hell language? Doesn't John Shore have some hope that there is something to be done with me when I stalk him to the ends of the earth and mercilessly regale him with the bountiful vicissitudes of hell?
I ask this because it seems quite obvious that he doesn't particularly like people talking about hell. What if I hovered over him incessantly singing the praises of hell? Anyone who has heard me sing knows how unbearable it is. I imagine John Shore is perfectly fine with being kidnapped, tied up in some dark closet, and having headphones strapped over his ears with my song blaring at 150 decibels. And looping!
The point here is that there should be a place to put someone who'd do that. If there is no hell, which really, when you think about it, is the final repository for the full requisite execution of justice, then who gives a rip about John Shore and his melted eardrums?
What makes his plaint so hypocritical is that Shore knows that too. He'll just as readily bark about how bad Nazis are, as well as child molesters and suicide bombers and rich cheating bankers and those creeps who run that awful taco place that made him spend the night wrapped around the toilet.
Here on earth the place for people like that is prison.
For eternity that place is hell.
And don't get me wrong, as I've said before, I'm just as bad as the worst of them. It is only until we realize our wretched condition and the harrowing hopelessness that comes with it can we humbly and sincerely say to Christ, "I am nothing. I've done some terrible things for which I deserve whatever justice requires." This is the essence of repentance, merely rejecting the pretense that I am anything and honestly turning away from all the iniquity that comes with it. Only at this point can I have the wherewithal to allow Him to grab me at the ankle a millimeter from the yawning spewing blowhole entrance to hell.
The wonderful thing is that Christ presently speaks through His ambassadors, and while I do want to offer up a masterful apologetics response here, the most important thing I can do is pray Shore would meet someone who is Jesus with skin.
And that gets at the heart of what is the real problem with evangelical efforts today. It isn't that Christians talk too much about hell, it is that the things they try to say are so pathetically lacking in spiritually meaningful rigor. Much of that is because virtually every church considered "Christian" is really just a state-governed organization with a stunted message of platitudes that may tickle quite a few jaded World inhabitants, but accomplish little more.
Essentially, there are simply so few of those ambassadors out there who effectively share the truth. As it is, pastors slough off their message on hell as a once-a-year occurrence, endured as a chore in order to avoid offending too many dutiful tithers. How many times have you heard a pastor work his audience to keep the till brimming by spouting about the passage in the third chapter of Malachi that speaks of misuse of the tithes? A million? I'd say that's about right. Maybe two million.
How many times have you heard a pastor preach on the second chapter of Malachi, about failing to provide meaningfully truthful instruction? No? You never have? That's because if the state-church pastor did, he'd be fully indicting himself.
Now if he weren't contractually obligated to the World with his 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit status — if any follower of Christ weren't tied to the System through all its rigid entanglements with the law, then he'd probably be able to speak powerfully and graciously about truthful things, even hell. This is why it is understandable Shore is so fiercely antagonistic. He only knows of mean unpleasant Catholicists working gallantly but failing horrendously to share truthful and gracious things.
Shore needs someone living in the Kingdom, whose sole devotion is to Truth and Grace.
Once more, it's not just John Shore who needs that person.
There are so many who do.
Oh that there would be those who would actually be Jesus with skin to meet with them, and do one of the most loving things they can do...
Tell them about hell.
One of the best known jokes among economists is this one.
A physicist, a chemist, and an economist become stranded on a deserted island. After a while they notice cans of food washing up on the shore. Very hungry they each start devising ways to open the cans.
The physicist begins an elaborate explanation about what he proposes to do. "I believe we can assemble stones in a particular way and move them so the force opens the cans without destroying the contents..."
The chemist offers his dissertation on the problem. "I think it would be better if we put together a concentrated heating mechanism, using a mixture of fire and plant chemicals I can find..."
The economist says, "How about if we just use a can opener?" The physicist and chemist are delighted. "A can opener?! That's great! Let's do that!"
And so the economist furrows his brow and begins his solution with, "Assume a can opener..."
The reason this joke so resonates with economists, as well as with everyone else who pays attention to what many economists say, is that virtually everything in experimental economics is based on assumptions that are not necessarily veritable. They try to be scientific, and many times they do succeed, but far too often they assume things that are are not themselves questioned or scrutinized.
One new and popular field of economics study in which this condition is particularly applicable is behavioral economics. I myself am fascinated by it because I love to look at what these guys are coming up with, and then find the can opener.
There are so many.
A recent book that splendidly dives into the history of behavioral economics is Priceless by William Poundstone. It is an anthology of just about every behavioral economic test, study, theory, hypothesis, and experiment there has ever been. For those unfamiliar with what behavioral economics does, it could probably be narrowed down to the idea that people make decisions based on value assessments that come through a variety of means. What behavioral economists do is try to figure out those means, and how and why people make their decisions based on them.
In short, it is the study of value assessment, and it is why I am so captivated by it.
How on earth do people assign value to things the way they do? Worldly behavioral economists are always asking this question that way, with that incredulous tone. I do too, but for different reasons. In a sense, I further ask, "How do these behavioral economists make such assumptions about the way people value things?"
Or, again, how on earth can they assume so many can openers?
Let me share with you a fine example of this with a classic experiment that has been arranged and adjusted and manipulated in dozens of different ways. Much of behavioral economics is simply a variation of this.
It is called the ultimatum game, and it begins with an experimenter confronting two subjects with an proposal. He explains that they may each split ten dollars, and he assigns one of the subjects to be the one who decides how much the split will be. The only way they may be allowed to have their share of the ten dollars is if they both agree on the split.
The decider can certainly say, "How about five dollars for me, and five dollars for you." That would be an even split. But the hypothesis has always been that the decider is going to want to try to get as much as he can from the ten dollars, so he may go for six dollars (offering the other subject only four), or seven, or even more. The thinking is that the one considering the offer would take it, simply because even if his share was as low as one dollar, he would still have a dollar more than he had before.
What studies have found is that the average offer accepted is rarely less than three dollars, meaning a 6/4 split is accepted in most cases, but a 7/3 split is much less so. The average is about $3.50, in that range.
The plain observation is that people don't like seeing that someone else is unfairly getting more than they are, even in instances when they'd have money they didn't have before. Many behavioral economists conclude that this is irrational, and continue with all kinds of theorizing about why and how and all the rest of it.
Briefly before I offer my take, an interesting twist on it was when the decider was told he could give the considerer a choice of offers, as in, "I'll let you decide between $3 and $2 as your part of the split." Most people accepted the $3, an interesting development since most would refuse the $3 if that was their only option!
Economists do more mental handstands and somersaults over this kind of thing, but they never seem to look at the one variable that explains the most.
What about the can opener?
In this case, where on earth did the ten dollars come from?
The thing labeled Ten Dollars isn't just some ancillary Petri dish instrument. It is a critically concrete element of the experiment. Ten dollars represents something of value, so subjects are very rational in thinking, "What exactly is the ten dollars?" Certainly most subjects just presume it's just there (like the can opener) and rationally wonder why someone else should have any more of this windfall when both are expressly presented with its existence and the real possibility that they both share it.
But couldn't they just as reasonably ask, "Is that my ten dollars, representing something of value I did? Furthermore, why does whoever the decider is get to be the one deciding? Does he have some special say in this because its value is more a reflection of his value? Or is he unjustly given that authority and exploiting the another individual's rightful value assignment?"
The more profound aspect is that this "assume the can opener" approach to value assessment doesn't just reside in an interesting experiment. It is the basis of why all the real-life considerations of value assessment are so whacked out. From the Parrondo Paradox to the Black-Scholes Model to any and every way financiers work the system for their generous slice of the massive value extraction operation they administer—
They always employ the assumed can opener.
And in a World System that uses seven-fold power to keep the whole gigantic ruse thriving—
There are always human sacrifice victims lying on the altar.
This isn't just a mildly entertaining novelty to bring briefly heartening amusement to the dinner party. It is a significant part of the human sacrifice practice into which all World inhabitants must immerse themselves.
A number of years ago I realized that there isn't a thing in human decision-making that is irrational. It is all rational. Even if one is mistaken about something, the premises upon which he makes a decision are perfectly rational if you'd look closely enough at what was being decided. I've even added to this webzine a page with my epiphany about that fact.
Even when people employ the most heinous, even institutionally sanctioned deceit to extract wide swaths of other people's value, it is extraordinarily rational.
It is just immensely unrighteous.
I recently watched the film Moneyball, and I thoroughly enjoyed it mostly because it had to do with two things with which I am quite enamored.
Baseball and economics.
I knew the movie would be about those two things, but I was even more thrilled to see that it was exclusively about those two things. It became one of my favorites, one of those rare films that made my soul sing (and this is something because as a Giants fan, I don't even like the A's!).
Yes, it did have those vibrantly personal elements — relationships among execs, coaches, players, colleagues, family members... but you know something?
Those things are all economics.
"Oh my!" I hear you say. "How can you be so cold as to so narrowly define relationships in economic terms?"
Sorry, but everything is economics. What did you just see in the above take on behavioral economics? We all assign value to things and make choices based on those assignments, and we do it with people just as much as with things.
The real question is whether or not you're doing your economics from the Kingdom or the World. The real issue is how you are making your value assignments, by the standards of Christ or the ruler of the present age?
In fact, that kind of dichotomy was prominent in the film. One striking scene featured the Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, confronting a team scout who vehemently dislikes Beane's new method of assessing the talents of ballplayers.
The scout drones about how much work he's done and how the old way is just as good and how presumptuous Beane has been and so forth. Beane listens respectfully, and then insists on having his turn. He replies,
"You don't know. You think you do, but you don't. You go to those young ballplayers' homes and tell them a lot about what you think you know, but you don't know. You don't."
At which point the scout patronizes him, Beane reacts forcefully, and the scout responds with a fierce "F--- you." Beane then fires him on the spot.
How many people are like that scout. They work their asses off and think they know. They are so full of it you want to puke. Many of them have the highest, grandest positions of power in the World System, and the most heinous thing about their influence is the vast number of people they make sons and daughters of hell.
Even Poundstone joins the chorus of those who have giant World blinders on, boldly spewing the pathetically typical claim to know that you can't know. He ends his book criticizing the assumption of "a fictitious mental exactitude in which there are sharply defined and context free 'true values.' There is more evidence than ever that this is not so."
Um, upon what value does he justify this? His assumption that there is no true value is the biggest can opener of all. And it isn't that this isn't perfectly rational, it is just that it is wholly unrighteous.
The actual truthful evidential fact is that there is a True Value, and you can know Him.
Just like Beane felt he found a way to know how well a player can perform that was thoroughly outside the reigning orthodoxy (a way that other teams immediately picked up on and even used to win World Series titles), anyone can know what the true value of an individual is by looking through the Kingdom lens.
And that lens is Jesus Christ.
When he said His last words to His disciples in the 28th chapter of Matthew, He told them to put His commands into practice — all of them. Of course the gospels, indeed all of Scripture, contain His words, but I'd like to share just five of them, five words that Jesus shares from the Old Testament and He does so at two different places, as cited in Matthew.
"I desire mercy, not sacrifice."
The first time God shares it in the sixth chapter of the book of Hosea, in a conciliatory response to the people of Israel making a commitment to simply know God. Mostly it is God's bold rejection of the woefully benighted but all-too common thinking that you can just do a lot of crappy things and later just "offer up the sacrifice" to take care of business, make things right again.
Jesus speaks about it first (ninth chapter of Matthew) in the setting of those questioning why He dines with tax-gatherers and sinners. He famously replies "It is not the well but the sick who need a physician." He then mentions the quote from Hosea and adds "Go and learn what this means." Wow. Go and understand what it means to assess value by the Kingdom.
The second time Jesus brings it up (12th chapter of Matthew) is in a totally different context. Righteous-appearing people were jumping all over food gatherers for violating the Sabbath. Jesus explains a few things but then adds, essentially, "Had you known about the whole 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice' thing, you'd understand."
But you don't. You don't know. You really don't.
The meaning for our times is that you can know, and you can see the distinction between the way the World does things and the way the Kingdom does them. The World fosters human sacrifice of others, mostly by sustaining an environment where all World inhabitants extract value from some faceless group of people they've laid on the altar and appropriating it for whatever ends the extractors desire. It is all about seeing individual earthly pleasures are protected, guarded, and advanced.
The Kingdom way is so radically different that it is wholly unrecognizable by most. It involves giving up your self and allowing God to take you, completely broken and humble, and turn you into a sower. That is, He wants the seed that is your soul, your mind, and your heart to die to Him so it can grow into a giant oak tree, in which the roots are truth, the trunk is His Word, and the branches and leaves are mercy, grace, and forgiveness. The fruit of the tree which everyone around you see are love, joy, strength, kindness, gentleness, and many other things God can cultivate for amazing Kingdom work on behalf of others.
At the end of Moneyball, Billy Beane is in his vehicle, driving to some scouting appointment after having lost a crushing playoff series. Into his car stereo he slips a homemade CD with a song recorded by his daughter, Casey, played by Kerris Dorsey.
It is the same song she'd sung to her father earlier in the film, but this time Beane hears the whole thing, to the end. She is singing "The Show" and the lyrics are exactly as original artist Lenka sang them except for the very last lines. Casey changes them from "I want my money back, I want my money back, I want my money back, just enjoy the show," to
You're such a loser Dad, you're such a loser Dad, you're such a loser Dad, just enjoy the show.
There are a number of considered reasons why she sang that to her father. Could be she doesn't want him to leave for Boston to work for the Red Sox and she really wants him to stay around for her, could be just drippingly ironic. I'm not going to get into all of them, but they're all fine reasons. (Remember, nothing is irrational.)
What it means to me is that Casey wants her dad to just accept things in life the way they are, and enjoy what you can enjoy. The Show, referring to the game of baseball and all the "thrill of victory and agony of defeat," is just a great ride in life. So just live in it—
After you let go of yourself.
Thing is, it's meaningless unless you let yourself drop into the arms of the One Who Loves You. You can't truly understand mercy until you acknowledge that, really, in the grand scheme of things, you're just a loser. Out of that comes deep insight into what every single other person is working through in the depths of their souls as well.
And this is where you'd see the precise behavior of a genuine follower of Christ when he or she plays the ultimatum game. Just see how different it is, and you'll get the idea.
With nothing to lose, completely in the hands of His Lord, committed to gladly serving others, and the entire Kingdom already his inheritance, he would be fine with deferring the choice of any earthly value such as ten dollars to whoever is making that decision. Even if he gets zero, he accepts zero graciously and contentedly.
He already knows his worth in the love of God as demonstrated by the infinitely valued blood of His Savior.
And if he does get anything, a dollar, two dollars, then his commitment is to double it — remember, he works today as a sower, using the talent given to him from God to make more from the original investment so all in his community may share in His bounty.
Furthermore, he insists that he joins with that other ultimatum game player over there, the one who is an expert at organizing things, and that one over there, the one who is a wonderful encourager, oh, and yes, that one over there, the one with the gift of merciful caretaking — and he firmly requests that he work with at least three others committed to using their gifts unfettered by all the Worldly constraints that smother the witness of the Kingdom among desperate and dying people.
You can read about those seven gifts in the 12th chapter of Romans, by the way. They're all there, and if those who say they're God's would only truly turn to Him, meaning altogether abjuring the realm of 501c3's, W-4's, tithing burdens, government enabled rent seeking vacuum hoses — all the things that merely make the World's contemptible human sacrifice more palatable.
If they would merely
Lose 'em, lose 'em all...
Then they would do mercy.
And what an enjoyable show that is.
A few weeks ago millions of moviegoers began swarming to see The Hunger Games, an extraordinarily popular book turned into a major motion picture now famously known as the melding of American Idol and the classic short story "The Lottery."
A few days ago an edition of the renowned PBS journalistic television series Frontline premiered with much less of an audience, but I'd say quite a few still got a good dose of more reasons to be enraged at Wall Street.
A couple months ago, far fewer paid any attention to the news report about the summary displacement of 200,000 people in the African nation of Mali for the purpose of yet another summary implementation of shariah law.
Right now I'd venture to say that the fewest of all are reading this home page piece, a place where the critical truth about what all this means is elucidated. I humbly confess I'm no genius—this isn't very revelatory, really; that truth is not mine, it's just there. You could easily figure it out yourself by reading the Bible in light of even the most widely disseminated current events. It's just that the work of the authoritative operatives from the World System is so effective in keeping people deep in the darkness they so gruesomely embrace.
For some years I've been writing about this quintessential truth, one which is rarely ever seen for what it is because so many are habitually immersed in socially acceptable murder and deceit that it is virtually impossible for them to see their behavior for what it is. No wonder. They're not only in it, they must do it by necessity.
That truth is nothing other than the pandemic execution of fully stratified contemporary human sacrifice.
This isn't any new thing at all. Since Cain started doing it millennia ago, it's been practiced in hundreds of different forms, enabled by all World operatives through the ages for the benefit of the hundreds of millions of World inhabitants they manage in virulently myriad ways.
Here's a new one.
Two British teenagers were caught snatching up over a million dollars in fees from people wanting to get the boys' stock-picking robot to help them add to their retirement funds. Observers chuckled, dupes blushed, but only the most perceptive saw this as another instance of large numbers of people seeking to commit rank value extraction against others.
You'd have seen it all arrayed in its most luminous glory on the Frontline episode "Money, Power, and Wall Street." A conga line of experts—business managers and executives and financial analysts and journalists appeared and either candidly detailed the brazen iniquity of standard extractive practices or sheepishly pled nolo contendere to it all. Most did both.
The title could've just been "The Futile But Rabidly Ongoing Attempt To Invent Riskless Credit." It was all about how everyone from Ivory Tower to Sewage Drain were working like crazy to figure out what to do with systemic risk. The grail of financial innovation is quite elusive because they don't really get that systemic risk is simply the toxic sinfulness rife in each of our souls. They all look so aggravated about it, but I actually think they like it because it keeps everyone clamoring for those who can appear most like rescue heroes.
It's fun to sneer at that nebulous entity "Wall Street" for being so loutish, but everyone still drops gobs of cash in the hands of those heroes to keep on extracting. Think the stock-picking robot is a hoot? New investment firm start-ups boast about employing the latest I.T. and promising their robot will do everything just right. Brett Arends' goofy quote at the beginning of the piece pulled the best from the films Star Wars and Wall Street to poke great fun at it.
The insane thing is that there is Wall Street, and there is what is happening in much of the rest of the ravaged world. The Mali incident was just a brief story on the margins of news coverage. The world shrugs, ehh... not worth much attention... happens all the time in Africa... why should we care... it is so far away...
Just FYI, from what I gather, these people in Mali have been used as weapons by militant rebel groups for the cause of advancing rule by shariah law. There's a reality for you—people with guns, numbers, a cause, and a name (Ansar Eddine is the latest version there in Mali) behold the awful things that people around them do to one another, and rush maniacally into the only way they know to solve it: shove awful law enforcement down their throats. I simply can't get into the whole shariah law debate right now, but I will point out that Muslims consider the word shariah to mean, literally, "the divinely-sanctioned path to salvation." Many others passionately revile it. Neither of them have to do much to have their sentiments broadcast widely to the masses of their persuasion—how splendidly harrowing is that culture war battle.
At about the same time all of this was transpiring, this editorial cartoon appeared in my Los Angeles Times. Kudos to John Cole of the Scranton Times-Tribune for his exquisitely succinct illustration of the truth about human sacrifice and the abjectly contemptible dismissal of that reality.
They are hard to find, but I happened upon a couple other places where human sacrifice in its actual manifestation is mentioned. I don't know if this web piece from something called the Costa Rica Times was a generally distributed piece or it was written specifically for the webzine, but after the appalling murder of French children by a politically zealous Islamicist, Martin LeFevre laid it all out there, "Human sacrifice is not a thing of the past."
Catholic priest Robert Barron added his say about how much things are gravitating toward human sacrifice, addressing its more notoriously unsavory moments and intimating that it may be winding its way toward us.
The problem with both is that they are insidiously manipulative, products of the System that keep World inhabitants in the dark despite these expositions. LeFevre doesn't say much other than "There's really nasty evil right there!" —foolishly dismissing the crucial supernatural element that provides the only reason the murders could be meaningfully considered human sacrifice. Barron is simply an industrious Roman minion doing his duty in a partial hangout, defined as a media-showcased coming-clean from some ostentatiously portrayed bad thing for the purpose of keeping a much worse thing hidden. In his piece he only hints at the possibility of human sacrifice, subtly insisting that as long as he and other valiant knights of Catholicist goodness are around it will never get that way.
This leads us to The Hunger Games, which Barron himself says initiated his remarks. It is clear, however, that Barron is sworn to avoid sharing the deepest meaning within the brutal metaphor that is this film, to insist this silly thing human sacrifice only swirls annoyingly in our imaginations.
One reason has to do with the definition of tribute. Tribute as portrayed in The Hunger Games was the sacrifice of those young contestants, but it is exactly the same thing in real life. The federal government demands taxes, the Roman ecclesia insist on tithes, and the banking system requires interest, all payments consisting of individual value tendered to the powerful racketeers who are asked to regulate the wickedness of their constituents. This is all perfectly legitimate, even divinely ordained. But accurately identifying and carelessly broadcasting today's standard for tribute as today's institutionalized human sacrifice only serves to gunk up the gravy train.
I told each of my classes of 17 year-old students that I'd seen the film and considered it a unimaginative predictable bore. Some objected, but some agreed. We discussed it a bit, but in my last class of the day I asked a very simple question. Before I share it with you, a brief preface for those not familiar with the story.
The "Hunger Games" take place in a distant dystopian future when randomly selected teenagers—24 "gladiators" in all—are picked to fight to the death until one is left standing. They come from each of twelve districts, which interestingly mirrors the arrangement of the Federal Reserve banking system. Just before the actual contest begins, they stand on pedestals in a circle facing a large cornucopia-looking storage unit with lots of weapons and supplies. Once the countdown ends, they're off to start taking out opponents. It is all televised for a rapt audience.
Now, the question I asked my class was, "What would happen if a contestant simply stated well before the games, 'I won't hurt or kill anyone, I won't aid anyone in doing so, and I will do my best to care for the well-being of anyone who needs it'"?
One very intelligent young lady eagerly responded with a couple of thoughts. First, she'd said if I'd read the book it would all make more sense. But then she rattled off a number of qualifications that would make it hard to do that. My thoughts are added after each.
One, "They've all lived in this post-apocalyptic world for their entire lives. It has been done like this for so long—it is just the way it is. Everyone accepts this."
And why have they accepted this? Who has had so much sway over them that they've allowed this barbaric practice to continue? And if they decide to reject it, is violent revolution the only answer? (I'm told this occurs in a subsequent book of the Hunger Games trilogy.)
Submission, revolution, or alternating convulsions of the two are the only things people trudging through the darkness of the World know. Any semblance of democracy will always be a pithy marketing tool to further nourish the autocratic elite administering the World System.
Two, "There is no religion at all in this environment."
Does religion equal God? Why do so many presume that? And what god would they believe on? The one the highly-paid propagandists promote for at least some effective control of the populace? Or would it be One who insists on genuine self-sacrifice out of gripping, authentic love for another?
The World System quite deftly employs religious extravagance and its cunning machinations to enable other-sacrificers to thrive. Particularly diabolical is the frequent claim that adherence to no-religion excuses one from moral responsibility. World operatives labor to get gleeful commitments to the secular to keep them just as religious as anyone else.
Three, "Refuse to cooperate? They would do things to force you in, even subjecting your family members to the most ghastly tortures."
If any individual or organization tortured or murdered others because you refused to be manipulated to commit an evil act, whose fault is that? Who is committing the moral crime here? How would you respond to this command: "Go murder someone else's child in order to keep us from murdering your own"?
How many in the World would do this! And how many don't think for a second about it! I love my children like crazy, but this is much more about insightfully understanding the breadth of God's justice as well as His mercy.
Finally, a statement that did not come from the student but one that I believe would easily follow: "When faced with that choice in reality, you simply wouldn't really choose to stubbornly refuse to cooperate in something like the Hunger Games. You just wouldn't."
And I would for only one reason.
Jesus Christ already gave His life as the sacrifice for me, simply so I could live with Him for eternity because of His rich abiding love. By giving up trying so hard to keep this life by doing awful things to those I love—even those who'd run me through with some painfully sharp object—I gain His inheritance, His Kingdom, and Him.
It is utter folly to think that puttering around to try to kill others and avoid being killed will gain you anything of lasting value. Yet this is what World inhabitants do all the time without Christ. No, they don't regularly take the entire life of any given individual, but they do other-sacrifice merely by appropriating another's value in whatever way they do that. I've put together an entire page with some of those ways.
I should add briefly there would most likely be the presumption I would only be doing this to try to become some celebrated martyr. How worthless—it defeats the entire purpose and is itself quite the Catholicist thing to do. Indeed, if the authorities knew of my intentions, were convinced I'd make a poor contestant, and quietly made me disappear long before the event—then so be it.
Should I be allowed to participate after all, I must say I definitely would like to see others follow His lead. Can you imagine? 24 young people turning the tables on the exploiters—building a community together or, if necessary, boldly accepting whatever evil they may do to them—all 24 living or dying with the name of their Savior on their lips, gently accomplished with humility and grace not just toward one another but even toward the exploiters and their enablers.
I just wonder—however naively but still firmly, leaning on Scripture—what if we did that with hundreds? Thousands? Even millions?
That Frontline episode featured a brief clip of John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, during one of the delightfully entertaining but ultimately pointless Senate grillings of real-big-shot financial ne'er-do-wells. He said this:
"It is simple. The regulators and the industry need to look at the complexity."
It is actually quite a profound statement. Frontline followed it immediately with another clip of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein spewing incomprehensible financialese that served the show's purpose: "See, we know you're doing it we just don't know what you're doing," is the idea.
But it is what World inhabitants want them to do.
So what of it?
Yes, look at the complexity.
The complexity is the lie.
And look carefully.
The human sacrifice is all in it.
Not just in a whimsical albeit provocative film, but everywhere right now in every corner of every place that pushes away The Light.
This webzine is all about contrasts, as you see just below the title of the whole enterprise on page one. Here is the contrast, right here:
You will have either the murderous complexity of the World, or the beautiful simplicity of Christ. You are either incessantly grasping for the newest latest trendiest ways to get yours, or vibrantly sowing Christ, the Kingdom, and His provision into the lives of others. Either you are following the priests, scholars, financiers, and bureaucrats enabling your other-sacrifice, or you are following
Over the years I'd been noting with some interest all the advertisements that tell us how we should be living, and how much better our health would be if we adopted their recommendations. The typical ones involve the dangers of smoking, and I've always thought, what if they put up ads about the dangers of idiotic ideas?
A legendary one had the guy cracking an egg in a sizzling frying pan and telling us this was your brain on drugs. I've always thought, what if he said "This is your soul." ::Crack:: "This is your soul when you believe in the idea ___." [Fill in the blank with some widely-held nonsense.]
Whereas they can really hit us with the smoker taking a cigarette toke from the breathing stoma in his throat, why don't they do the same thing about people with already charred souls still imbibing folly like, "There is no such thing as truth" or "Gold is the only true measure of value" or "Mainstream media newscasts are truly objective and impartial"? The list of these is stunningly long.
The most recent one has been broadcast by some beverage business group encouraging us with the news that they are making smaller portions. I scratch my head because a smaller portion of poison is still poison—which is really what processed sugar in brown bubbly water is. They show clean-cut delivery guys hauling the crates to market, gleefully putting the smaller cans on the refrigerator shelves and standing up proud.
I'm not so much surprised as I am saddened by how many millions of World inhabitants schlurp up this stuff. It's one thing to drink it, it's infinitely worse when the words of the Authorized Influencers contaminate their souls.
I came across this YouTube video, and in the interest of trying to bring more multimedia features to the webzine, I'm sharing it with you here. It's about twelve minutes long, not too long, but it does a fantastic job of illuminating this very common practice.
The video was produced by notorious "tax protester" Larken Rose, and its best feature is how profoundly it demonstrates the effects of Sun-Tzu techniques utilized to keep people in bondage.
Straight away I must extend this disclaimer about Rose. While his work is extraordinarily telling, he can't quite grasp that the World System operates this way because it is supposed to. He gets embroiled in the woefully typical remonstrations against the standard practices of Cain's legacy, and as such he gets hammered by the Feds' law enforcement or the Society's rank marginalization.
Rose is best known for introducing the 861 argument about true tax liability. I will also disclose here that along with Diogenes I too am looking for an honest man especially with regards to the truth about tax liability. I am certain, however, that whether it is about claiming to be a nonresident alien, serving as a federal employee, or simply ponying up the choicest slab of one's productive value to Caesar—any proclaimed tax liability is always about tribute.
Sure the whole tax system is a convoluted mess that church-minded folk just don't want to deal with. They just comfortably slip into that 501c3 status, chalk up nice tax discounts for everything, and shut up. They sure make a squawk about how desperately they want to endorse their favored political candidate and still keep the non-profit goodies, but their witness for Christ and the Kingdom is abysmally muted.
The truth is that genuine Kingdom people don't pay taxes they don't owe and in turn use that value assessment to industriously and joyfully sow bountiful truth and rapturous grace into the lives of others. On the other hand, World inhabitants pay taxes with fierce devotion to make sure Caesar continues to mitigate the fear they have about the sinful behavior of others, even themselves for that matter.
They tell Caesar "Here's my money now leave me alone" and then retreat to their little enclaves to maximize their own deplorably puny "lifestyles." Kingdom dwellers instead say "I rejoice that I may use the full measure of my wealth to be available," and then step out all together effusively pouring out their gifts to share Christ with others in desperate need of Him, in whatever way Christ enlists them to do so.
Amongst the masses bumbling to figure it all out, I find the truest foundation about tribute in the 17th chapter of Matthew and the 13th chapter of Romans. The first speaks clearly about Kingdom dwellers being not merely "not liable for taxes" but wholly "tax-free." This affords them the pleasure of paying for any services they do use, and by fully living by the Kingdom they readily employ the wisdom to know what that is in order to give no offense to any authority with whom they have to do. The second merely points out that if one does good, the ruler notes this, commends the individual, and accepts the words and actions standing on their own as the best tribute a Kingdom dweller can offer a temporal potentate.
Furthermore, the principle of tribute is at its core about your own formal declaration of who is your lord.
If your lord reigns within the World, you'll either be an dutifully obsequious loyalist to the Roman venture or an exasperatingly cantankerous protestor against it like Rose. Doesn't matter, both are pounded by the weight of the System. Sadly, as dead-on insightful as he is with "The Jones Plantation," Mr. Rose just as much heeds the words of Mr. Smith as the others. He too screams "Leave—me—alone!" and considers he must continue his turgid railings against a power who'd have nothing to do with him if he truly lived by the Kingdom.
People who only know World governance in every area of their lives are quite bewildered by what that Kingdom would actually look like. They simply don't have any idea what life would be like in a community of those who don't have to fear evildoers in their midst or the Caesarean forces established to crack their heads.
It is interesting that Elinor Ostrom passed away recently. She won the 2009 Nobel prize in economics for her work on communal living, where she essentially addressed the question: how could people actually live in "the commons" without destroying one another and the resources required for all to thrive in such an environment?
She came up with a number of design principles for building "institutions" that would allow "collective action" to meaningfully "evolve." In other words, she was convinced that if those things happened, people could actually live together! Lots of them! For a while! And for a time period a bit longer than just a little while!
This list of things is all oriented toward the law: rules and boundaries and sanctions and modifications and authorities and enforcements and... Whew! All of these include detailed explanations about how collective action can be lasting and meaningful to avoid the famous "tragedy of the commons."
She forgot one critical ingredient, and that was Christ. Sure her conditions are phenomenally important, the law is a very good thing. But the law ultimately only shows how rotten we all are—no wonder communal living by the World is always a hell, and a nation fooling everyone into thinking they all just need to try reeeal hard to be good can only be a greater hell.
I am all over the idea of "common pool resources," but they will never be truly effectual unless Christ reigns in the hearts of those administrating them and more significantly benefiting from them.
As the gargantuan Ponzi scam of an entrenched entitlement social structure continues to be the global train wreck that it is, I read financial pundits incessantly calling for a new model. Hey, I thought Ms. Ostrom already solved all this! Yet they still bleat loudly and pitifully for someone to more sweetly lie to them so they can feel better about things—or maybe they just want everyone to stay in agony so they can keep writing about it.
I mean, really, the Plantation's Mr. Smith could just as easily be saying, "Listen up, you're no longer poor but rich. There's wealth that's there for you, it's yours, just because! Just claim it, brother! With very little cost you will now be somebody."
Or he could be beaming, "You're not bad, worthless people anymore. You're good! If you feel bad, just come to us and tell us about your issues and we'll absolve you with a splendid penance that'll be fun, too! And it's not that expensive!"
The model that has been the Plantation—The World System At Work—can easily be exposed for what it is, if you'd just look. But even if you do see it, it cannot be improved by challenging it, provoking it, or prodding it to be something it can never be. It's not going anywhere right now because so many still need it.
Stepping completely out of the Plantation is only meaningful if one has another place to go. Interestingly, the model for economic prosperity that is radically different is already here. It has been around since the first human sacrifice millennia ago, when "man first called on the name of the Lord." He promises that those who genuinely seek Him will be satisfied.
At that point all one needs to do is just walk into that model:
First, Christ: His forgiveness, healing, and salvation.
Second, worship: gather with others to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Third, love: address others with His self-sacrificial sowing love.
Fourth, accept: meet together and prayerfully, insightfully, and actively consider the critical differences between the World and the Kingdom.
And fifth, discern: understand that the World System is merely a footstool of God's, thriving only until it is destroyed on the last day. It only now serves to make it so His purposes will be accomplished among His faithful, chiefly to constrain the evildoing of those who insist on staying in the World. True worship assemblies can only effectuate the Kingdom by thoroughly abjuring themselves from the World and completely relinquishing all its enticements.
Only then can this virulent infection of truth and grace spread out into the world and the common pool of resources find its fullest expression. Yes, it does require wise, thoughtful people who are skilled in law, management, accounting, and finance—individuals who must be integrally reclaimed from the System to help make this happen.
Sure we still may be laboring for Christ with the Plantation all around us. The Israelites did it for 400 years in Egypt before God liberated them. The crazy thing is that today That Liberation is already here. "The Kingdom of God is within you!" Jesus declared, even as the wheat grows with the tares for the time being.
True freedom is not found in smashing your head against the wall to try to keep the World operatives and their puppets from doing their legitimate business. It is in being free from your own sin and Caesar's need to grip you with the force of the law. Each of us is a slave no matter what—the question is what is it to which you are enslaved: your own sin and by default Caesar and the Plantation, or God's righteousness through Christ. The only way that message of authentic liberation can be meaningfully conveyed is if The Truth has actually made the messenger free.
One last picture of this so resonates with me, and I want to share it with you now.
The Academy Award-winning film Hugo is about an intensely thoughtful boy who is trapped in the cruelest parts of "the Plantation" but desperately wants to soak up the richness of life. He begins to discover the wonders of imagination from a cheerful new friend and an irritably jaded old filmmaker whose visionary spirit has also been crushed.
At the end of the story he embarks on an exhilarating errand of mercy when he is apprehended by an obsessively authoritarian security agent who thinks he's finally ended the boy's reign of larceny.
Hugo has indeed been pilfering food to survive, but no one knows that he has also been consistently keeping all the train station clocks running perfectly for the past few years.
Nevertheless, he's considered a disgraceful thief and juvenile ne'er-do-well, and must suffer the punishment. As he is being firmly horse-collared, Hugo says something that is so striking that I must include it here. He said to the officer in the most penetratingly plaintive voice,
"You should understand."
You should understand.
I find myself saying that to millions of people, in my head, all the time.
Jesus kept talking to people with that in mind, even in light of the brutal truth in the sixth chapter of Isaiah, repeated in half-a-dozen places throughout the New Testament—simply that people are going to be spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind no matter what you tell them.
But Jesus still told them. And eventually some got it, there in the tenth chapter of Luke. The kids who wear the cutting-edge "Obey" line of clothing get that they're being hosed by the best value extractors, but they still don't understand—they're still captivated by the World and what it graphically splashes in their faces them for them to hypnotically gaze upon. Oh, they'll trust their own eyes all right...
Larken Rose and the legion of anti-Caesar fomenters, Obey merchandisers and their legion of youthful enthusiasts equipped with the finest functioning bullshit detectors, even the legion of eggheads and wanna-be eggheads who shimmy up to the Elinor Ostroms of the world—they all fancy themselves in one form or another quite the brashly perceptive gentleman at the end of "The Jones Plantation." They rant and rave only to relentlessly get back an earth-shattering "So?"
And just as the video shows, they're really just dead.
They simply can't see that they're no different from the prophets and kings through the ages who longed to see but couldn't. Even today the most extraordinarily powerful executives and financiers and bureaucrats think they see but they can't either. They're all Cain's, completely out of the presence of the Lord.
But you can see if you're Christ's. Just walk up to The Model. Go be in His presence. Call on the Name of the Lord and ask Him.
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on October 30, 2011