Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
- attributed to the Buddha*
The most popular place at the mall is the Apple Store, at least by the measure of how many pack themselves into it. There's the clothing shop, a few mill about. There's the ice cream place, a couple stand at the counter. There's even the sports memorabilia stand, with Pittsburgh Pirates key-chains and Miami Dolphins tumblers collecting dust.
But the Apple Store? Packed, every time we walk by. Yes, we ourselves go in there about every other time we visit the higher-end mall.
This last time we went in I caught something I hadn't noticed before. Call me woefully inattentive because I'm sure it's been there forever, forgive me, but along the back of the store was something called the "Genius Bar."
It was really happenin' there. Anything you pondered about your reality augmentation device could be addressed, and after consulting with said geniuses you could straight away move forward on more dynamically riveting reality augmenting. Woo-hoo!
Of course, I always think about the nature of the reality that these folks are peeking at. For instance across the back of the genius bar was a huge screen upon which were splashed definitions of the most relevant but perhaps not-as-understood I.T. terms, you know, jargon like "dashboard" and "interface" but more obscure and relating to the idiosyncratic nature of changing mobile information acquisition.
Even farther from the consciousness of the average info-glomming individual is the stuff of the information. Really, those things that are actually worth knowing about to begin with. Terms like sin, salvation, service, justification, redemption, grace, repentance, agape love. Oh sure I'd say most Christianly-minded people would kind of grasp a bit of what those things are. But what about ungrafted, Catholicist, World System, value extraction, abjuration, sowing, Kingdom? What if the Genius Bar was actually genius enough to put up a few words related to meaningful truth? I'd like to think most actually want to get at that, right? Otherwise what good is a spiffy information bilge pump?
Nah. I've still been thinking about disinformation, the subject of my last home page piece, and the gruesome fact that most people want anyone even remotely considered any kind of powers-that-be to blissfully lie to them. Feeling good about the lie is far more important than genuinely confronting the obvious truth.
I've also considered sticking a lot of things I've learned recently into this version of the Catholicist Nation home page piece extravaganza, but I'm tired. Sorry. I'm not giving up, no, but really, most of what I see and hear and read is the same pap, all the same abject incapacity to see past the nose on your face. Or should I say on your soul because that is what is most important in all of this.
In the mix there was Niall Ferguson's The Great Degeneration. I do really like his eloquent exposition of World affairs, and for a moment he splendidly uses the famous quote from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about shooters and diggers to elucidate the truth that powerful forces (both humans and the institutions they sustain) commit the gravest human sacrifice against those they can place on their altar. Of course Ferguson can't bring it all together with that verity because he's so lost in Cain's vast distance from the truthful things inherent within it, but hey. At least he adds to the overwhelming evidence.
Where he gets derailed is in his putridly typical presumption that government is to blame. "We're overregulated" he screams, and even this treatise is disappointing coming from such a fine writer. The truth is the "great degeneration" happened one time — when you ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil knowledge. No, not when Adam and Eve did, but when you did. Sure biblical expositors love to just lay it on those two, but each of us is guilty of already being horrifically degenerated. All that's happening now is we keep seeing it revealed in all its wide diversity and delightful glory.
People like Ferguson regale us with it yet again, just using a bit more rhetorically fancy prose, but it is all the same unless you come to Christ.
When this happens you are now not only eating from the tree of life, but — wow, amazing, what a concept — you begin to see. You begin to realize that Cain does his job as he will; it isn't Cain that's the problem at all, as wretchedly evil as he is. No, it is the sin pustulating through every orifice of World institutional activity. Caesar is just there as God's legitimate instrument of justice through the institutions bathing in Cain's desire for human sacrifice and getting deep into both constraining sin and provoking its expression. The stunner for many is that any organization that signs up with it through agreements like 501c3 non-profit incorporations are merely a vital part of the body of death.
Among the other stuff I caught over the last couple of months is this small item from Mark Driscoll's Doctrine, another thing I simply must share. Driscoll is the popular pastor of the Mars Hill Church, and he wrote a book with a colleague apparently to make sure we're all up on the newest hippest version of systematic theology.
He has a chapter on each of the most basic basics of Christian doctrine, and in the one on worship he addresses idolatry a bit. He points out some of the latest kinds of idolatry in a postmodern age, and one of them is this one.
Hmm. Let me think about that one for a minute.
Yes, I think there could be something that is actually "truth" idolatry but only if one of two things are in place. The first is that there is no grace involved, meaning some people ruthlessly spew truthful things with no consideration of when, where, and how those truths are best comprehended. But this isn't really truth idolatry but grace deficiency. Truth is truth, it just is and we're going to see it or we won't, or worse, we'll see it and abuse it to harm others (see last home page piece).
The second is that people betray the principle "knowledge puffs up but love builds up," meaning they take too much pride in what they know. This, however isn't really truth idolatry but knowledge idolatry. I actually think just as bad is something you might call truth conception scarcity. I mean, doesn't it seem more and more intellectual laziness these days results in more and more rank pride about the most egregious distortions of truth?
No, outside of those minor qualifications, there isn't really such a thing as truth idolatry, because in the end Jesus Christ is Truth. If you are authentically worshipping truth, you are merely worshipping Him, which is what those whose faith is in Him do. Sure you can worship a distorted truth, or a misrepresented Jesus (how many of those are there!), but then that's the simplest kind of idolatry isn't it? Worshipping a god you think is god but isn't?
Sadly Driscoll mentions none of this. Yes, he may be a fine pastor leading many to Christ and helping many maintain vibrant Christian lifestyles, I cannot judge his intentions. But all he does with his take on truth idolatry is use it to light into people who write things on the web. I have the feeling Driscoll doesn't much care for people misrepresenting things, but I believe constricting truth itself to dismiss them demonstrates too much of a commitment to Cain's legacy through his incorporated obligation. Yes, bazillions of people have their own websites and write all kinds of things, perhaps even some critical of Mark Driscoll.
The question is, however, are those things truthful or not? If they aren't, then let's go look at the truth of things. Driscoll just tells us he doesn't like personally distressing truthiness on the web. That's it. I can't help but keep thinking about the truth of this discovery: that everything is truth, it is just whether we can see it or not, or whether we use it to manipulate the sentiments of others by misrepresenting that truth and in what form.
And hey, how about this:
Whether or not people can even get that truth?
Aaghk. It is true: So few get it. Really, doesn't matter whether it is Ferguson or Driscoll, secular or Christian, non-profit or for-profit, Caesar or Cicero — they are deaf and blind, the plainly evident truth about their distance from Truth. Hey, Jesus knew that too, so He only spoke to His listeners in parables. Oh that I could do that.
As it is I have this. My web work.
A modest place where maybe I can put a small lamp on the simple life concept that we do all want to feel good about things and we'd like to think that those things are somewhat connected to the truth. We also have to acknowledge — even knowledge idolaters know this somewhere in their dark souls — that it is impossible to fully know everything, and that we do struggle mightily to find a way to protect ourselves from the most dangerous malicious misrepresenters and disinformation disseminators.
Many just ride along with Caesar, and to their credit it can be very comfortable. Cain's Genius Bar is extraordinarily proficient at messing with our perspective of the Degeneration, as well as The Only Way Out. There are a few who do turn and call on the name of the Lord, the one who is Truth and by whom one can fully be protected from the wiles of the devil and the flesh and the World System.
It is He. It is through Him, and one's belief on Him, one's faith in Him, which is the fully assured way to see, know, understand truth in light of our limited capacity to get things. It is through viscerally getting the whole principle of Righteousness by Him that protects one from what could be called unrighteous behavior idolatry. Really, isn't that what it's about? Trying to get that down?
Maybe I'm wrong about the fact it is so few who get this. I hope I am. I always pray that I am because I see so many, so Catholicized. I furthermore simply pray for others that they'd be free, feel joy, and know truth. Maybe I am wrong though and there are indeed many more who do truth, and grace.
Live out Truth and Grace.
For we cannot do anything against the truth, only for the truth.
- II Corinthians 13:8
The latest craze enjoyed by all the cutting-edge value assessment wonks these days is the bitcoin, a currency that has its value storage purely in cyberspace. It gets some modest attention because there are a few who believe this is the answer to the stability of value problem for sustained economic interaction. If we can just get the tool out of the hands of fallible or nefarious bureaucrats and put it where it can just be that one, real, trusted, secure, solid, true measure of value, then we've reached the holy grail of standardized monetary accounts!
Recently some news was made about its introduction in this or that financial arena, I don't know. What I do know is that computer programs and whatever bits that comprise the information within them—even those which can be officially proclaimed to be useful instruments of economic exchanges—are still governed by what fallible and nefarious men do. Furthermore if one website says it can control the issuance of its vaunted currency and thus firmly gird its value, what keeps another group of people from coming up with a website full of their own version of bitcoins effectively sabotaging the value stability of the whole batch of them?
For any value assessment to work you must have one individual making the final decision about whatever value assessment happens to be at that time, for that purpose, applicable to all in an economy. Because things change, and more significantly because the way people perceive things changing, the value of the measure used to assess people's value changes as well.
Wow. What to do. But, well, no worries. Smarter wiser more enlightened men have been wrestling with this and getting themselves in the wildest bother over this very thing for centuries and centuries and centuries.
What they fail to grasp is that the one sworn operative who does the ultimate value assessing for World inhabitants is someone they'll most likely be unable to identify, but he is as real and powerful as anyone who's a bit more visible, you know: pope, president, central bank chairman—or soon-to-be chairwoman.
That individual is Cain's top minion, carrying on his legacy of sin management for those who demand his services. And while he does do the legitimate work of assessing value so folks don't get too upset about how their labor is considered, much of the unseemliness of his efforts relate to two common practices.
One, slosh that money all around with grand authority to continue his determined mission of ferociously convincing people he can be his brother's keeper, and two, lie about it a lot, in other words surmise the value of things then turn up the volume on the PR machine so people will buy it.
The crazy thing about this is that he doesn't really have to do much. He's so expertly adept with Sun-Tzu's arts of war that he's already got the program up and running so proficiently that millions summarily execute it with barely a blink. All that stuff with the pope president central bank chairperson? They're just the talking heads of the spiffy show. Plenty of priests and bankers and government officers do the best work as deputized Jesuits performing the very necessary tasks mandated by their unknown superior.
This is fine, all fine and right, it is. But...
There is another way.
Yes, the other way does have to do with a realm far, far removed from this one. Thing is, so much of what people think is that realm is disguised as a brilliant counterfeit. Looks Christian, walks Christian, talks Christian. That PR machine, it is humming, always has been.
A very well-received book is The Poverty of Nations, written by Wayne Grudem, an eminent theologian and a giant in the evangelical world. He joined Barry Asmus an economist of note, to elaborately proclaim that if poor rotten bad countries would just do the things the Bible says to do, then everything would be ever-so nice. Forgive me, I do speak extraordinarily sardonically about this kind of effort, merely because a new primer on the beneficial effects of the free market, the simple protections of private property, the wonderful pretense of democratic governance, and a dozen other splendid things just doesn't really say a whole lot that's different. These are the things the World System should be doing anyway to make things, well, nice.
But they don't make people live.
Only Christ can do that. And while nice things are nice, they are completely, thoroughly, abjectly meaningless unless they are connected to Christ. The instant you join well-meaning scholars like Grudem and Asmus to tell any administrator of any System polity, "Here's what you need to do to try to make the World more like the Kingdom" you declare him lord over you and your affairs. You empower him to exercise routine disassessment of your value, and as such you become a vibrant part of the institutional enablement of human sacrifice.
Grudem, Asmus, and millions of well-meaning Catholicists are naïvely oblivious to what Cain's dutiful agent is really all about. He isn't really interested in making the best society. He'll humor these guys, be cheerfully ingratiating—he's been doing it for millennia—then he'll turn around to keep the grotesque cycle churning: provoke evildoing then constrict it, provoke-constrict, provoke-constrict, in perpetuity for the slew of people who ask him to do it.
Or, it could be Grudem and Asmus are willfully doing their bidding as the deepest covert operatives there could be—hey, the best Jesuits are the kindest, sweetest, sharpest-dressed Christians on the planet. Wouldn't put it past them. What better channels to feed their insatiable hunger for legitimacy than to engender more rebellion against the ordained powers-that-be.
It is one or the other. They're either egregiously clueless or they're exceptionally clued in. Whichever one it is, they are on the payroll of those who erect sensationally spectacular façades obstructing the entrance to the Kingdom.
Another book out I'd been reading is Infiltrated. I was very interested in this because it was written by evangelically minded Jay Richards, who's made a career of going to the mat in boldly defending a Christian world view in the public square. This book gets deep into the causes of the great recession of 2008 and beyond. He spouts the typical conservative line that it was about government enabling shoddy lending practices particularly in the housing market, and if we all just told those dastardly government people what's what about what then everything would be back to being pretty nice right here in this country.
The key problem here is again the myopic dismissal of the fact that there are two governments, the World's and the Kingdom's. Richards' approach is not as much Christian as it is Catholicist. What's the difference? It isn't that complicated.
Richards says what most Catholicists say, essentially, "U.S. government is generally wholesome and righteous, but there are these baaad elements in it and we've just got to fix 'em, so get going all of you people-in-a-democracy and make some waves!" Richards smartly articulates the way the World behaves, then offers all kinds of suggestions for how to get in there and tell them what they should be doing. For the Catholicist that's customary procedure—the System is all there is, so let's jump through lots of hoops to get people being good!
The Kingdom dweller knows this: That the government is through-and-through evil to the core, and it is supposed to be in order to accomplish its task of merciless prosecution of those who do evil. He knows as a follower of Christ he is to pray for those who do their work there and understand how God uses it for His ultimate purposes, but he must be extraordinarily careful about how he enlists in its service lest the power of the gospel is emptied of its rich impact. The better way is to be sold out to Him, live your life from the Kingdom, and sow into others' lives so they'll be not just good but alive.
One last book I really like is The Physics of Wall Street. While not directly connected with any religious considerations like the ones just mentioned, it tries to get at the core of what's what by introducing the idea that if we could get at genuinely accurate value assessment scientifically, mathematically, then yeah!
Nice things all around.
It's actually kind of a crack-up. Author James Owen Weatherall does get into some of the turgidly arcane thinking behind a fiercely Feynmanesque enthusiasm for finding that elusive formula to just damn well know what the hell value is. The farthest he gets is something called gauge theory, designed to utilize scientific principles to get a better feel for some generally accepted conception of the value of a thing, but alas, just having a theory with the nifty word gauge in it doesn't make it anything.
What's even more amusing is his introduction of the "New Manhattan Project," as if the product of such an ambitious program would be like the discovery of handy uses for nuclear energy, only for economics. He writes wistfully about an actual meeting of all the top economic minds, you know, all those Nouriel Roubini types, those guys everyone likes because they just seem to know so much about economic things. At this meeting they were going to go right at it, take their zealous focus on getting at the gauge and then find it, conversing and schmoozing and hobnobbing about it, and... and then... AND THEN...
They got nothing.
They got nothing because they don't understand. They don't know God. They don't know the only fully accurate pure value assessment there is, Christ and the expression of His love for us.
All of them, the whole bunch of supposed experts to whom we bow, we gaze at all of them convinced they know what's best, and yet, nothing happens outside of the standard World activity: try really hard to make rotten people feel a bit less rotten. That's really it.
That Other Way, the One That Is Christ? How foolish to believe that there is any other way, really. He has everything as it is. Those highfalutin quants in the Wall Street skyscrapers, trying to portend the next bubble in fearfully rapt anticipation?
Everything is a bubble.
The whole thing is one big God-held bubble.
It is all God's and you only have anything you have now because He said so. He could pop it in an instant, and someday He will. In the end everything melts. How many fools still think they can take it all with them. Even more brainless is the refusal to grasp that you're now being basted on the human sacrifice spit by those very people convincing you they've got your back.
All that talk about having a stable measure of value is only about ways to mitigate human sacrifice. Anxiety reigns no matter how much gold you pile up in your mattress or what the Federal Reserve does with its money spewing. Buy bonds, not buy bonds? Should you hold, sell? What about cybermoney, yeah, that's something!
Doesn't matter in the end.
There is a limit. I like to call it the Brutal Reality Limit.
Some people just call it death.
A few weeks ago I watched some of an old Hawaii Five-O episode. As I watched Jack Lord play the role of Steve McGarrett, top crime investigator law enforcement dude, I thought about how impressive this guy is at thinking things through and going after the bad guy. Really, this guy is good. Watching him operate I've always felt robustly content with the confidence he'll get that guy no matter what.
Then I thought, where are the Steve McGarrett's of the Kingdom? Where are they? Where are those who can think deeply and act courageously from the bounty of the gift God gave them to advance the Kingdom? You don't have to be a CSI genius, just do your thing the way God wants you to do it, and join with others who're doing their thing.
See what happens.
The Wayne Grudem's and Jay Richards' of the evangelical world—I know of so many more—would blow people away with their Christ-like vision and Kingdom-oriented industry. You could watch them, they'd be a hundred times better than Steve McGarrett, they really would.
Think about it. The Kingdom Steve McGarrett, circling around in his office intensely pondering the case, his underlings Danno and Chin Ho absorbed in his insightful unveiling of the situation.
"Gentlemen, let's go over this again. The World puts on a smiley face and works hard to make people good and wholesome, but look around. Still—people behaving as rotten as ever. We've tried being a part of the System, talking nice to it, paying it a lot of our hard earned money in tribute, making it seem like we're with them, but all that does is make us as much a product of the brutality of law, its merciless enforcement, all the pathetically fake grandstanding about it—from everywhere, churches, schools, businesses, media.
"If we are truly Christ's, why don't we behave like it? All of us? Why don't we fully arrange the expression of His truth and grace from a place that's totally different from the World? Taking the entire breadth of what He's given us, empowered us to do by the very strength of The Spirit, and captivating people with the overwhelming charity and rapturous joy that is His? Do the things we know are righteous, that stuff we anxiously try so hard to tell the World to do, and do it instead from the Kingdom? What would you say if we tried that?
"All right then, here's what we need to do..."
Can you imagine being in that office? Can you imagine thousands of those offices filled with followers of Christ courageously saying those things and acting on them? Today much of it can even be communicated and organized in social media networks.
Sadly, most of those offices and networks are empty. All the Wayne Grudem's and Jay Richards' choose to wallow around in the World. I imagine there is a divine purpose for all that. Cain's agency does serve its ruthlessly severe function, and I guess use of the finest looking Christians is an indispensible part of it.
There is just That Better Way.
This particular home page piece, "On Bullying," has its own page. You may link to it here.
The best comic strip out there now is Pearls Before Swine, and one of the latest featured Rat and Goat climbing the holy hill to meet the one who effectively reigns over all modern-day tribal interests.
I always suspected as much. Willy, the Word Decider is indeed dutifully ensuring that our inalienable right to be righteously unoffended is fully protected.
The passion for keeping people unoffended has reached epic proportions with the latest outrage about an NBA basketball team owner telling his girlfriend that he'd rather she not hang around with folk he particularly dislikes, to the extent that his punishment is a mighty declaration of comprehensive ostracism from all NBA oriented things. Never mind that this owner and far too many of the ferociously offended ballplayers themselves are brazenly notorious for sexual exploitation that would make Wilt Chamberlain blush.
No one says a thing about it.
But that's kind of the point. There are all kinds of rotten things people are called which are perfectly acceptable for common usage. Don't like those who speak boldly about the truths that U.S. President Barack Obama's natural citizenship status is at best questionable? You're looking for a "birther." Don't like those who speak articulately about the 9/11 attacks birthed from the womb of American deep politics? You're hunting down a "truther."
Don't like those who speak clearly and cogently about the crime of one abusive individual committing a sodomous act against a wounded and confused individual of the same sex? You're after a narrow-minded bigoted homophobic Neanderthal. The pursuit accompanied, of course, with the gushing anxious assurance you're protected by the certified zeitgeist construction company.
Because we must make sure everyone is properly classified to assuage any fears that anyone would hurt someone by stepping outside the boundaries of the political correctness safety zone, an entire Willy the Word Decider industry is devoted to registering and rationalizing the proper derogatory language. It is so easy to call someone a racist now that many find themselves prefacing everything they say with "I'm not a racist!" Ever notice?
What's more, if there are "truthers" and "birthers" and "backwoods bucktoothed Neanderthals," then the good wholesome people better make sure exactly who should be called what is effusively trumpeted so we'll all make sure we've got things straight — or, ahem, should we say, inclusive if you're not exactly, you know, straight.
The most notable of the first such authorized labels was LGBT, which seemed to cover it pretty well, for a while. Then people said there's got to be a "Q" in the mix for those who're questioning things. But then what about those who may be considered out-of-the-ordinary but shouldn't be, so let's add another "Q" for queer so they're considered acceptable as they should be. But then what about...
It seems the most acceptable classification now is LGBTQQIAAPS which must now be so resolutely ensconced into the good wholesome people's nomenclature that it is pronounced by the letters in the acronym. Yes, there is apparently an individual who is a luggibteekiyapps — the most inclusive person of them all! That "S" at the end of it, by the way, refers to "straight", so now we're all inclusive! Are you a luggibteekiyapps? You can't help but be! Splendid!
Of course, this begs the question.
What is the point?
For one thing, it really isn't to begin with. If all sexual proclivities are to be included for the most thoroughly inclusive inclusivity, then where is the extra "P" for polygamist? Another "P" for pedophile? The "N" for necrophiliac? What do you have against them? Or does the "P" already there, for pansexual — meaning you fall for anyone and anything — include them?
It is easy to see why such sanctimonious proclamations are reviled. They should be, they're idiotic. But it isn't because we don't or shouldn't classify people in our minds to try to understand them better. We do and we should. There is a place for that. It's just, from where do you take your cues about the classifications?
Those who justifiably sneer at those who foist them upon us and seethe with grave animosity at the attempt to change their sentiments are just as viciously spiteful as the thought police deputies. They're just as fearful about being tarred with an unjust label as those doing the labeling.
Don't mess with my natural autonomously selected sentiments.
Ahh, the blessings of a raging culture war. I mean, how twisted is that — it's bad to be a truther, but good to be a luggibteekiyapps.
Those who live by the Kingdom, on the other hand, have an insightful understanding of why all of this is happening. By trusting in the only One who has the power to save them from the oppressive weight of having to live up to the authorized brandings, they no longer obsess over which is which — Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, this kind of person or that kind of person — check it out in the third chapter of Galatians. It isn't that our minds aren't cogitating reasonably about these distinctions, it naturally does so. It is that to Christ they are far less important than what we do with Him and with others with whom we have to do based on His love.
Those living only by the World have no conception of this kind of freedom. They engage in a postmodern tribalism derived from the natural desire for an individual to belong, and since postmodern theory categorically posits that the only reason people do anything is to exert power, then it follows that those attached to the most powerful are the most accepted.
I want to be accepted!
Who then are the most powerful to whom World inhabitants gravitate?
God knew about this phenomenon millennia ago. He established the World Power Hegemony early in man's existence, when Cain made manifest the first temporal exertion of power by sacrificing his brother in a futile attempt to appease a God who'd summarily send him out of His presence to exert seven-fold power over all other human sacrificers. All World activity power commissions are acts of human sacrifice over those who'll allow them to be put on the altar.
Every one of the virulently incessant maneuvers employed to establish positions of the most lucrative power exertions are simply the insanely depraved culture war skirmishes. It is an innate feature of a World inhabitant to rage and rail in such an environment because gratification for the reprobate soul can only come through human sacrifice. Frequently unsatiated, it is a never-ending quest.
"Let me be my brother's keeper, let me be my brother's keeper! Which brother can I find to bend him and break him into my image..."
Or even better, baste him and bake him into a nice roast beast.
Funny, there is an entire organization that is presently assigned this very task. It is the extremely fervent and breathtakingly proficient militant operation holding the mantle of Cain's legacy, deftly using Sun-Tzuan arts of war to seduce World brokers into doing its bidding on behalf of the most devoted extractors at the price of the loudest, brashest power wanna-bes. How ironic that when people blame "society" for its ills, it is indeed the Society which is making these things happen, very deliberately, very purposefully, and very authoritatively. Why do you think Jesuit-trained Pope Francis declared, as he did recently, that he takes full responsibility for the child sex abuse scandal?
How do they do this?
It is simple. The Society of Jesus dominates the two most influential institutions, the academia and the media. Look closely at where all the certified classification terminology originates. It is fabricated within the humanistically entrenched university system and given the most pronounced broadcasting through the World megaphone led by august mouthpiece organizations like The New York Times. It is thus programmed into the psyche of a populace slavering over the most hypnotic highs from embracing and in turn being embraced by The Grand Glorious Crusade For Redressing The Nobly Righteous Grievance.
The Jesuits are experts at manicuring the most delightful rent-seeking avenues and maintaining the most spectacular rent-pumping facilities. Notice there is really no longer any meaningful discourse, just name-calling. Find the rent-girding institution that looks the most muscular, shimmy up to Cain's good-buddy proprietor, and have at it. Careful thinking about Biblical principles is dismissed as fairy tale folderol carried on by — here we go again — crazy superstitious fundamentalist ignoramuses.
It is done, again with God's permission. That too is simple.
Kind sweet malevolent people hiding behind the most stridently benevolent tribal creeds need constraints, and Cain does his job of providing them, manipulating them, and ultimately enforcing them so ruthlessly that some who want their eyes opened to it will see it, and turn to Christ. Sadly, so many don't open their eyes — they've got them shut real tight. Many of them shiver and scrunch inside the most Christian looking non-profit tax-exempt church organizations. They think they'll remain sufficiently plucky there, because they've got their little World power plot to hold and cherish and defend.
No. I'm afraid they're just being tenderized.
It is standard procedure: many of the most severe penalties, indeed those resulting in actual physical internment, come from the worst Word Decider word usage violations. Hate crimes laws are in the books to stay (the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled them constitutional) and always rigorously considered when prosecuting.
Think about it. Jesus was convicted on the basis of a hate crime law. What did the dominant religious tribe call Jesus? For those who insist "Hey! There you go! Religion there, it's guilty!" the truth is all tribal offense exploitation is religious. Atheists and humanists across the spectrum seem to enjoy bragging that they are the most tolerant and inclusive and all the rest of it, but they too are in a tribe with Their Own Jesus and an imposing list of word usage offenses, just like all the others.
Through this swirling cloud of dust and debris, they simply cannot see the One who is Freedom.
In C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia story The Magician's Nephew, the lanky crotchety Uncle Andrew finds himself in Narnia at its inception. He is so intractably obsessed with his own power retention that this place is excruciatingly harrowing. In fact, he can't even recognize that the animals here talk, and when they speak to him it is just the noises and grunts animals ordinarily make in our world. The animals graciously extend their helping hands, but he only sees them as wild beasts bent on assaulting him.
When people habitually live by this fear and go to the silliest extremes to ingratiate themselves to the most smiley power brokers, they often end up doing quite foolish things. I think of this one popular song, I've heard it a number of times in various places, I don't even know the name of it. But it takes a line from Elton John's Your Song, "You can tell everybody..." then follows it with, "I'm the man I'm the man I'm the man." After listening to this I thought, hmm, I'd heard a while ago that the disaffected wanted to fight the man. Huh? Which is it? Do you want to be the man or fight the man?
How about if you gave up trying so damn hard to keep from being distressingly perplexed by a world that wants to drag you on the altar of their human sacrifice by strapping you to the benighted disconception about what's really going on? What do you think would happen if you put your ears, your eyes, your mind, and your soul in the hands of Christ?
I'll tell you what will happen. He'll make it so you can hear the beautiful music of the Kingdom. You'll see the glory of a God who loves with His life. You'll understand the wonder of a vibrant relationship with the One who made you. You'll experience the rapturous reality of reveling in the embrace of the One who is your true Father.
And wow, the most wonderful thing about that...
It is available to anyone classified as human.
Otherwise, hey, no worries.
Willy the Word Decider is right there to keep you attentive to the brutal power voices blasting through your skull.
Sometime before you're stripped, sliced, and your value extracted.
For some time.
I guess there's that.
This particular home page piece, "On the Reality of Meaningful Scientific Inquiry," has its own page. You may link to it here.
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on November 4, 2013