Perhaps you have heard the old hymn:
There’s a wideness, in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
Too often we extend our private faith in ways God did not intend, and does not support.
It’s one thing to state your faith, clearly and directly. It’s another to offer none of the same mercy God offered you. In pursuit of “wise as serpents, harmless as doves” we don’t try to remake the world in our own image. Keeping yourself unstained by the sin of the world does not mean forcing your morality on others by means of state authority. Any attempt to use the leverage of the state makes us sinners automatically in all cases. If you must go that route, you first have to institute tribal government as the only proper context for God’s Laws.
This is where the distinction between Law and Grace, between this realm and the one above, is critical to understanding Christian conduct. We cannot extend the Laws of God, by our own hands, beyond the circle of volunteers who share our covenant. I can demand a certain amount of order within the reach of authority God has given me, but the ways of the state cannot work the righteousness of God. My authority ends with anyone’s whim to cooperate (except minor children).
It is art and spirit to draw the line. There are some things I simply cannot help you with, but the Spirit of the Lord requires a liberality there. I won’t help you do some things, but I’ll provide whatever information I have to offer all the world. So if I am a bakery chef, though I openly confess homosexuality is a sin in all cases, I’ll make your gay wedding cake, because it won’t defame Christ. It’s just a cake with figurines. I won’t rent you a room in my private home for your honeymoon, any more than I would for any other couple. When we do commerce with the world, we do commerce. There is no such thing as “Christian commerce” in that sense; all commerce is politics and politics has no bearing on anyone’s eternal destiny. Your demons won’t gain a foothold in my life simply because I sell you something I would sell to anyone else.
The boundary is covenant. I’ll make covenants very carefully, but business includes no such thing. There are places where such distinction is hard to discern, and conscience is everything, but I’d rather take the chance because grace and mercy are mightier than all the hosts of Hell. In spiritual terms, I can invade Hell with a water pistol and win every time, but Satan has no authority on my turf. If I walk in God’s justice within the limits of my God given authority, everything else is covered. It won’t stain my soul before the Lord. Indeed, it’s more likely the justice in my life will provoke your conscience. If I refuse to deal with you, how can I expect to speak truth to you? Christian commerce is simply using the system of this world to speak that truth.
Stop the silly boycotts and buycotts. We have to invade the world with grace if we expect His glory to shine.
There is so much crap going on, it’s hard to keep track.
So this past few weeks I’ve stepped up my workouts. At a minimum, I figure my VA pension will go “POOF!” in the all too near future. That means however much disability I can overcome and pretend I don’t have is in my favor, since I’ll have to find some other way to make up the loss in income. Granted, VA pensions are more sacred than Social Security, but your sacred cow can be eaten by someone who worships a different god.
So I brought back some of the high tension exercises in the afternoon on walk days. At the same time, I added a jolt to the walking. Road marching is all about long strides pushing fast as you can go. Bending the elbows for a shortened arm-swing allows the feet to move faster, though it really wears on the arms. I’ve been carrying a big sports bottle in each hand, so it’s a bit of work. Still, I reduced my 6-mile time by ten minutes on the first try. I’ve also been riding a bit harder and cutting time off the biking, too.
So while I will never be the athlete I was in my youth, maybe I can be more athlete than most people my age. That’s because I have no idea what’s coming, in terms of specifics. You may recall I warned in a previous post you can’t really prepare for any one scenario because there is way too much competition going on among the plutocrats whose plan wins. There are hundreds of things shaping up at once, and when one or another is stopped, there’s plenty more you can’t stop because you had to work too hard on the things you did stop. There is no single plan, just a general effect which places everything totally in the hands of a tiny few.
I can’t advise you what to do. I can’t even advise me, just obey the powerful impulses which don’t come from my own mind and body, but some other place in my soul. I don’t think it’s unfair to extrapolate what I take as the command of God for me as a sign of things in general.
Whatever you feel compelled to do, crank it up.
From time to time, the conversation seems to lose track of fundamentals. People make all sorts of mistaken assumptions and we end up talking pasts each other. Let me restate a quick summary of what I mean by God’s Laws and His view of justice.
The Ten Commandments are an expression, set in a cultural matrix. They are not universal, but a historical manifestation of something universal. Jesus’ Two Commandments are very nearly universal in expression.
And one of them, an expert in religious law, asked him a question to test him: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:35-40 NET)
Oddly, He quotes snippets from the Covenant of Moses, to show the universal principles were always there. In Matthew’s narrative, Jesus goes on to explain in the context of His day, and for the needs of His audience, how most people didn’t understand the meaning of “neighbor.” He does this by standing the whole thing on its head, reversing the roles most people would have expected, showing how a presumed enemy could easily be a neighbor by making the right choice. His religion, race and politics aren’t the issue, but how he extends God’s mercy into your life. You never know when you’ll encounter that, so you have to create in your soul a neutral space for every first encounter, and offer to be neighborly.
The fundamental issue is, here on this fallen earth, people are the most important resource. You do what you can to avoid externalizing the costs of your life onto others, but you expect a certain amount of common welfare seeking. Life after the Fall stinks, and things will never be really nice for everyone. You are required by God to avoid making it any worse, when possible. Instead, you are prepared to exert some effort helping ameliorate the sorrows. You do so with the calculus on what you have and can do, not some balancing act for which you cannot possibly see all factors.
But the starting point is acknowledging God first. Any criticism of human behavior starts there. Not only the behavior of others, but our own first. Jesus and His Apostles warned this is a variable, in the sense not everyone will do it. We who know Him cannot avoid it, but we realize the tension between holding the world accountable to His Lordship, even as we recognize in any given context we will have to proceed under the assumption they don’t accept that accountability. We hold that in tension and focus considerable energy on the second issue of common welfare. We do so because we take the first issue so seriously. We hold up that shining light, but realize few will reach for it, as they must do so voluntarily.
We still have to deal with a majority of humanity in an unredeemed context. The expansion of that common welfare should demand of us giving people a break now and then, regardless of what we may think they deserve, and whether they will even bother being grateful. That Sabbath Law was more about giving living things a rest and trusting God for the difference it might make in lost productivity. One day in seven is given as an absolute in that sense.
Honoring your parents is shorthand for a command to live in tribal harmony. This foreshadows my assertion no other form of government is just in God’s eyes. You might perceive injustice possible from a tribal patriarchy, but God says that’s better than any alternative we can dream up. The greatest social stability possible is in the ancient Hebrew feudalism. No one should have much say in your daily affairs who isn’t related by blood or covenant. This the shepherd government.
This government will keep order, and the bears the burden for deciding when something is a capital offense, a threat to the social order. But it’s not possible to define a system where it always works perfectly, so God offers the principle murder is wrong, while killing in itself is not. Moses went on to discuss in detail how this works out, but the underlying principle is still clearly stated in Noah’s Covenant. Again, you can’t externalize the sorrows of your life onto others. You don’t interfere with the family relations of others, and you don’t take what you want simply because you gotta have it. Sex is one of the harshest absolutes God expressed, and sexual fulfillment is not at all a human right. If you can’t be satisfied with what God delivers into your hands, you are wrong already. You won’t have proper standing to take faith and struggle for something better. Nor do you steal the truth, but adopt an open honesty about everything. Who wants to live where you can’t rely on anything people say? Yes, we have cultures where hyperbole is built into the language, but an attempt to deceive is wrong.
Expansions are endless, as endless as the variations of life itself. For example, the business of sabbaticals and credit Jubilees are more than a mere cultural expression, but fundamental to the earth and life itself. People need to stop periodically and reevaluate, give God time to speak about changes necessary as we age and things around us drift along. We can’t possibly all agree on the details, so we are bound by divine necessity to keep open negotiations with everyone. It’s about people, not rules. As commonly used, “rule by law” is an abomination to God. Somewhere in the details of every context, you have to expect a net loss of things you can measure and a net gain from the moral principles of the universe in terms of things you cannot measure. That is, be patient and let God do His work, and you’ll be better off in the end in the here and now. He promised what you lose will not be unbearable, and what you gain will be as good as it gets.
In the end, it all points to something much higher, ineffable, and infinitely more important. Honoring that Ultimate Reality by how you live here promises miracles now and later. If you lose that, you have nothing at all.
A predator will eventually get his fill and rest, but the mouth of Hell opens onto a bottomless pit. Micah warns the leadership of the entire nation was more inspired by demonic powers than any spirit of justice. The fundamental theme: Everything the leadership does is colored by corruption. Every part of the ruling class is for sale.
The ruling class had a divine imperative to understand God’s justice. Everything they did was perverted, a twisted mockery of good and justice. To them, the people they ruled were so much cattle and sheep, existing only for the feeding of those who ruled. When the day of trouble comes, and the rulers cry to God, He won’t be able to hear them for the cacophony of their sins.
The prophets were no better, and would be more useful dead. So long as their bellies were full, everything was fine with God. Fail to cater to their whims and God is angry with the whole world. In other words, their spirits were already dead, incapable of hearing from the Lord. The only god giving them any message was the god of their own appetites. So when the day comes they were desperate to hear from God, there would be only silence for a message, and darkness for insight. If they rolled the dice, they would never get the same numbers twice.
Micah was as full as they were empty. He had boldness from a commitment to God’s justice, and could speak a word from God by reflex. No need for mumbo jumbo and divination to figure out what the single greatest problem was: Israel was in open defiance of the entire Covenant. So even Jerusalem itself was built from violence, blood mixed liberally in the mortar between the stones. It required a bribe just to walk down the street.
Meanwhile, they were just so sure nothing could happen to them because they lived in the city where God’s House stood. He had found the place too foul to stay around. Because of them, the city would be a heap of ruins, with a plowed field replacing the vast pavements. God would bring invaders to tear down His own House because it was unbearable to Him.
Joy is inside you. If you don’t find peace and love within, you won’t find it at all.
Luxury is a lie. It has nothing to do with the actual amount, and there is no real standard at all. It’s all perception. So no matter how much we have, we will always want more. It’s not possible to fulfill the luxury demands of the world. There are systemic limits on production. The only real progress has been in terms of moving information, not actually doing much. (Are we not back to the Tower of Babel?) Sure, we can produce more stuff with less, but as soon as a certain minimum threshold of production is crossed, a certain satiety of demand sets in and the product must be made cheaper in order to move it. Thus, mass production guarantees you’ll end up with less because what you have is junk. If they don’t make it cheap and wear out quickly, you won’t come back for more. Then you have to work in the disposal factor, because recycling seldom works out as imagined.
The only people thinking in the broad aggregate are the predators. The people who understand all this best are the folks who would rob you at gunpoint if it wasn’t so much trouble. They devise schemes to take your wealth systemically. The current global recession-depression was planned, foisted upon us by people who knew it was coming. The majority in any such scheme will never have any idea where things are headed; they’ll believe the lies they are taught because they have no external point of reference. They don’t see beyond their own immediate world. So most of the frantic gaming of the lending system, developing derivatives (fancy mathematical calculus) which justified skimming the accounts, was carried out by folks who actually believed it was honest business, even if not popular. The bottom fringes of these useful idiots have already begun losing their jobs and the whole thing will continue to unravel, as does the entire system. And we as consumers with a bottomless demand are participants in this lie.
It’s based on the fiction of credit necessity. The whole thing was sold to mankind on the assumption you can work to build a fortune by borrowing and investing and making more stuff to sell. More is not better. You can most certainly grow a bigger and better economy without credit, but it would be slower and less destabilizing. There would be few sudden profits and precious little room for predators to operate.
How many verses would I have to quote here to underscore this: God says credit is evil. When under a covenant of laws you make a loan to your neighbor in need, you don’t expect to profit. You expect to maintain social stability, and willingly take a loss because people are more important than stuff. You tolerate a certain amount of cadging and begging because you realize that’s how it goes in this world. That sort of “loan” is not credit, strictly speaking. It is in my best interest to expend resources on my neighbors. The moral fabric of the universe absorbs the loss and repays me in ways I can’t calculate. The give and take of social stability and kindness is what life is about; it’s the whole purpose. It goes to the core reason for staying around on this plane of existence.
There is not a single war in human history which did not arise from greed and hatred. None. Somebody wasn’t willing to let their neighbor be. They weren’t willing to take what could be offered peacefully. While it may require a bit of complex analysis to satisfy some, it’s easy to prove America has been greedy and abusive when she should have minded her own business. It’s not how most Americans operate, but we allowed people to lie to us about it. That we allowed psychopaths to gain control of our governmental leverage is our own fault. We kept passing the buck on the painful necessity of giving to our neighbors and restraining our own misbehaving children. We’d rather watch the Olympics than think about what a massive evil we perpetrate on people who threaten us not at all, or not enough to justify the vast waste of productivity.
It takes a return to the ancient ways of contemplation and otherworldly consideration to become wise enough to realize we have exported bloodshed we should have absorbed here at home. Except, it doesn’t work that way, as we have killed more of our own in war than would have died if we had simply absorbed the thrusts of greed and hatred from others. There is only so much you can do before you are going too far, and God is not pleased. The foundation of sin is arguing with God about what He said is good and just in this life.
We have demanded far too much, and soon we shall lose what little we have. Again, we got here because we refused to accept God’s revelation on His terms. We have demanded things on our terms, and then allowed those terms to keep drifting farther and farther afield. We have moved so very far away from whatever blessings He offered, wrath is all we can have.
It’s too late for America, but not too late for Americans. Turn, turn within and seek His face, seek His justice. Whatever it is you really must have in this world starts within. If you are empty, nothing in this world can fill the void.
They act like they just can’t understand.
One of the first things to grow and the last thing to go in terms of civilization is potty discipline. People don’t start out fouling their own nest; it has to be a reaction to some severe distress. We consider it a form of torture to force someone into that dilemma. And we rightly consider it wholly uncivilized to make no allowance for general public facilities.
When I was traipsing all over Europe — biking, hiking, jogging and volksmarching — it was rare to encounter a village of any size without at least one accommodation visibly marked. Hiding them all behind commercial operations, attempting to manipulate visitors into spending a premium price on stuff they don’t want, for the privilege of being civilized is justly condemned. It doesn’t have to be much, just make it possible, or you’ll spend extra cleaning up the mess. BART is infamous for using vague threats of terrorism as an excuse to lock public toilets.
But there’s a lot of crap everywhere. I watched a very partisan debate unfold on a Facebook thread. It went pretty much as I expected. Partisanship is an easy cover for the arrogance of believing yourself the standard for goodness, so it doesn’t matter which side you claim.
Perhaps you are aware al-Jazeera has lost a lot of reporters, resigning in protest, because the agency participated in building a fake city in Qatar. It’s basically a film stage, where fake protests can be filmed and inserted into news broadcasts. The BBC used some of this footage from Qatar claiming it was a protest in Libya. Nothing new about that with the BBC, and it represents what we get from all mainstream news sources.
And now NASA is claiming Greenland is melting. Except there is nothing happening right now which hasn’t happened every year for centuries. All the variations have been easily seen before over wider scopes of time, but they like to cherry pick the data and pull up historical ranges which are not representative of longer trends. If NASA tells you the sky is blue, you better check for yourself.
Because we know government and mainstream press have colluded to lie, we have to seek other sources. But if you ignore the failures of alternative media, you are still a partisan idiot. One example is the very popular wildfire story of Obamacare making subcutaneous RFIDs mandatory. This story is a mess, and I seem to recall part of it comes from warnings made by Ron Paul, but blown out of proportion by the likes of Alex Jones and his brand of controlled opposition. When some website or source picks upon this garbage, then refuses to apologize or back down and offer a correction, you know they are bogus to the core.
I’ve eaten my share of crow, and will gladly have another helping when I find I’ve offered something inaccurate. I’m hardly infallible, but I don’t claim to have all the facts in the first place. I only know what I experience, sometimes passing through many hands before it comes to me. The only real claim to authority I make is concerning what burns in my soul, which I take to be the fire of God’s Presence. I can’t recall once attempting to stand on Mount Sinai and thundering to my audience some dark threat from Beyond.
So I maintain you can’t even trust your own intellect, but something much deeper in your own soul. That’s more reliable than anything I can offer, because that’s where the Divine speaks. Pay no attention to me unless it echoes in your soul.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse symbolize what happens when people refuse to do things God’s way.
The first horseman is Conquest, and we have been doing that all around the world. But those who live by the sword, die by the sword. It’s not so much we have conquered, but we have allowed some plutocrats to use us for that purpose. We’ve invested untold wealth in weapons and the expense of supporting them in the field. Thus, we have been conquered ourselves long ago. You could almost call the first Politics, because the point of politics is conquest and control.
The second horseman is War itself, the mass slaughter of life. Given the US cannot justify before God a single war, not even the Revolution to be honest, we are a nation of mass murderers. We have tons of propaganda coverage for everything, but it doesn’t take much to discover the facts which make it a lie. And we love it so much. Along with this death is destruction of infrastructure, of course.
The third horseman is Famine. Destroying stuff can really disrupt the daily routine of any people, and the first thing to suffer is food production and movement. We have starved a lot of people, often with savage intent, to force them into dependency. In our case, it’s been such a vast waste of resources in military ventures, there is no hope of funding the basic necessities of life back home. We’ve wasted everything to go a bomb people who never did a thing to us except frustrate the plans of plundering plutocrats.
The fourth horseman is Death. Not merely in the sense of slaughter and famine, but in the deeper sense of utter degradation, decay, slipping into oblivion. This is where we as the warrior nation have suffered most. All that money poured into war means we can’t even keep ourselves alive. We have begged God for His curses, and here they are.
Did you know drought can destroy highways and rail lines? It can shut down power generation. I don’t link to the NY Times, but they have an article up describing the vast breakdown of infrastructure going on this summer: highways buckling in the heat, rails kinking from expansion beyond engineered stresses, runways becoming sticky fly-traps for aircraft, cooling ponds too low or too hot, and huge cracks opening up all over where the swampy clay is exposed to drying.
That’s on top of food prices soaring because the drop is killing crops. You can send the Four Horsemen, but they always ride home. Critical to Hebrew thinking is God must be revealed, and if you choose wrong, you’ll become acquainted with His wrath. The same horses could plow and transport, but we are willingly blinded for the sake of mere creature comforts. The bill has come due.
I’m pretty sure I’ve approached this before, but it seems necessary to say it again for some reason: I am not a leader.
Don’t follow me, because it’s wholly unlikely I’m going where you are supposed to go. Yes, hang out and see what I’m doing, and how I do it, but don’t get so attached you forget what matters most. There may come a time when circumstances will call on me to lead in some way. I do lead in Sunday worship here at home, but that’s not the same thing at all. I’m referring to disciples, to be precise.
Let’s assume someone is crazy enough to insist this is what God demands of them. Fine, but stay out of the way. The nature of my calling requires I pretty much stand alone. What I don’t have and can’t get, I do without. This is critical to the nature of what I teach.
Yes, I do teach, but only so you can learn enough to leave the classroom. I won’t give you enough detail to satisfy your curiosity, because that level of detail must arise from within you. Don’t you dare swallow everything I say, because it’s guaranteed I’m wrong on some things. Or, something I’m going to offer just isn’t what you need. My mission is not to see you through, but to stand alongside as you explore. You’ll get some pastoral support, but that’s not nearly as much as most people seem to expect. I’ll warn you of things which have hurt me, but I won’t stop you by any measure.
Take your own path. I’ll do what I’m called to do, which is first and foremost to demand accountability to the cosmic moral imperatives. I offer details and explain them so you’ll have some idea what I’m pointing to, but I’ll be the first to add the warning the really important part is beyond words. Train your own mind to obey that deeper voice calling, pointing at something no one can comprehend, but can nonetheless obey. It’s all symbolic, so don’t take me literally on much.
Maybe that will change some day down the road; it’s not up to me.
And if all it’s worth to you is a good laugh, that’s good enough for me.
DARPA did not invent the Internet, Xerox did. While DARPA did have a bunch of universities and contractors examining things, implementation would have taken decades. Xerox needed it right away, and made it happen inside their offices. That they did not develop it further shows only their lack of interest beyond their immediate need. Bureaucratic controls would have prevented the Internet from ever happening, had it been left up to the government.
(Edit: The above link to WSJ takes you to an editorial which isn’t accurate. Actually, no single agency can claim to have invented. It was officially an accident arising from a series of choices. However, the underlying issue is the government couldn’t have done it without contracting it out to people who knew and understood. And until someone found a non-government use for it, the thing was just a wild speculative project. Yes, the research was government funded, but the implementation was a collection of geniuses who surely would have done it in their own time with whatever they could get their hands on, whether private, public or whatever.)
There would not be very much armed violence in Syria had not the US and some allies spent millions of dollars arming and training the “resistance.” There would not even be much political resistance had the US and allies not funded massive education programs designed to propagandize and radicalize the people involved. What they taught those people is the very thing which would get you shot here in the US.
The Bible doesn’t make much of what we call freedom and liberty. That’s because those are concepts tied to a fallen world, and the real thing is something which can exist only inside of a person. In this fallen world, you will never have, nor should you desire, what most people think of as political liberty. A free land is simply one which is ripe for conquest. Were it not for a lying oppressive government determined to hold its resources as a means to exerting power and getting more resources, we would all be dead. While you can have a government that pleases God, one which He is willing to perform miracles to protect, no one is willing to try it, so don’t expect to ever see it.
In any given population, no matter what you teach them, someone else will teach them something different. You cannot create a nation willing to fight for their freedom. It’s been tried and we never got more than a tiny minority willing to play soldier. The greedy merchants pushing for war didn’t want a genuine country of citizen-soldiers they couldn’t control and manipulate. Were it not for the very politically biased support of stronger allies who bankrupted their own country in the process, there would not have been an independent America.
Oppression is the native state of humanity. Government never creates anything, but steals from others and claims the glory. Get used to it, folks. God specifically denied any interest in making this world a better place. He did offer a path to sanity, but it has been consistently rejected, starting with those who understood it best. The only hope you have is implementing as much of it as you can in your own life, and letting God take care of all the rest. You’ll be amazed at how much He’ll do with only a modicum of obedience to His plans. If you aren’t interested in His plans, you should expect no assistance from Him beyond the mere accidents of random political fashion.
It’s quiet here today.
A couple of grass fires in the OKC Metro, but they were quickly contained. Cops in Anaheim executing people in the street is a world away. Aurora is a long way from here, and lots of folks are suggesting it was staged, anyway. We’re too busy roasting to worry about that stuff. There are hotter places and they can keep it, thank you, this is plenty bad. When it’s hot like this crime soars.
Conspiracy theorists are keeping an eye on London. Taking bets on what sort of false flag operation is going down. Taking bets on when Israel is attacking Syria, Iran, or maybe Lebanon. Silly people. Not because it can’t happen, but more that it can’t be stopped.
But it does feel like the calm before the storm.
This heat and drought is already pushing prices up on corn, and soy beans are set to rise, too. It’s all GMO stuff anyway, but the tight market will hit organics, too. I’ll need to stock some good ol’ Red Mill dry polenta (corn grits) this week. But for everyone else, that GMO corn is used in everything at the grocery store, and more places you can’t imagine if you don’t read labels. Prices going up already, and the upper limit is way up there.
It doesn’t take a prophet to see what sort of trouble that brings. Serious inflation on basic needs while there are fewer jobs than ever, and subsidies/welfare cuts making their way through Congress. And Europe is having some serious troubles with banking, etc. We are sure to feel that here later.
Make preparations if you can. Hope you can keep what you buy. As the wrath of God rests longer and stronger on America, I fear the fallout will hit a lot of folks who have their own problems. While nobody is innocent, we have done so very much to grab hold of so very many people in the world, making them dependent on us, something they hardly requested. Don’t weep for us, because we asked for this. But I’ll weep for all those who didn’t have much choice. Americans will be morally on the hook for more blood than anyone can imagine.
But it’s quiet today.