God’s Laws always come first and foremost.
You can characterize that in a lot of ways, but you should assume it means that I put the mystical revelation of God in my Spirit first. I’ve stated often enough how that can’t be put into words easily, so if I say I’m committed to His Laws, you’ll get the picture. That means I live by His revelation, I cling to His moral fabric in Creation and I filter all questions through morality first.
Fundamental to that revelation is placing a very high value on the sheeple I serve. Not on their whims — God forbid — but I place emphasis on what God says they need from me. This consumes most of my attention. It’s the reason I spend so many hours writing, and not a few hours hunting down writing tools. But I write what my sheeple need to read. Often I write in hopes of giving verbal substance to moral concepts about their needs. When I complained about Open Source abusing users, that was pleading the case for my sheeple. When I write computer HOWTOs, I’m offering help to my sheeple. When I tell you anything commercial software producers have abandoned can be found and downloaded for free if you really want it, I’m doing what I can to bless my sheeple. There’s no moral violation that I can discern.
If these things did not provide tools for my mission, I wouldn’t bother. The Army had a false motto, sheer propaganda, but it expresses reality as God sees it: “Mission first; people always.” Translation: The mission comes first, but people’s needs are part of the mission. You’d be stupid to believe for one second the US Army actually operated that way, but it’s how I operate. When I did it while serving, it got me into all kinds of hot water, as it does with every other government agency I’ve encountered.
On the other hand, I am first to denounce the notion of human rights. It’s anti-biblical, a Western intellectual construct raised up in defiance of God’s revelation. There are some sheeple God placed under the control of others folks who are accountable to God, but not accountable to some abstract notion like human rights. There is a certain amount of harm to people which is simply the result of the Fall and it can’t be fixed by anybody. Thus, I don’t subscribe fully to the ethics of “zero aggression.” It’s a nice ideal, but it won’t fit everywhere. You have to give God room to move in your spirit in ways you’ll never comprehend. I can solemnly testify at least once I’ve been moved to violence in a way which didn’t fit that rule, and I’m totally at peace with it still. That’s because people don’t come first; the mission does.
What does it take, in your best estimation, to make your mission? That’s what you do, regardless how much or how little sense it makes by human reason. Reason is the manager, not the owner.
If something my sheeple want will kill them, I tend to let them have it, anyway. I figure people are accountable to God first, not me. It won’t matter what I believe is in their best interest. Voluntary compliance is the fundamental leadership principle that I can put into words. If I can persuade, I’ll try, but if it doesn’t hurt my mission, I’ll let it go. There’s even a certain amount of latitude in cases where their choices hurt others, because some things are simply a sheeple’s choices and no one can take that away. I’ll treat your kids as my own, but I can’t justly interfere with the very generous latitude God gave parents to decide things.
It’s not as if I make myself some saintly martyr in our colloquial meaning. It’s only hard because Western Civilization is so stupid and hateful. It could be worse, indeed, but it could most certainly be easier. This moral imperative of voluntary compliance is highly inconvenient for me. I have to absorb a lot of unexpected variations from my plans. Doing that gracefully requires a significant amount of preparation in my soul. In short, I almost never get what I want and dare not push for it.
The shepherd’s calling is something you should avoid at all costs. When it has you, nail yourself to the Cross, because you’ll be driven contrary to your own interests every step of the way.
The primary failure of Western epistemology is focusing exclusively on measurable results.
The product is not always the goal or objective. The moral fabric is woven into existence invisibly, and the Spirit seeks commitment to things which are verbally and logically indefinable, but which can be indicated by imagery. Truth cannot be taught, only caught, and only those spiritually aware can catch it. Our spiritual awareness taps into an infinite supply of patience when we recognize the vast majority of those we encounter will not understand. That doesn’t affect the imperative we bear to reveal the truth in what we do and say.
Accountability is faithfulness to the truth. It’s seeking to conform to the moral fabric within creation which is both invisible to the eye and obvious to the soul. Divine efficiency is in how we escape of this world, not maximizing things in it for their own sake.
In seeking to make myself accountable to you, it’s not simply a matter of letting you have a say in what I do. I may well respond, but only if your input strikes a chord with the imperatives driving me. Rather, the issue is one of letting you choose, of openly and honestly letting you see everything so you an decide whether you want to be involved. My whole approach assumes you will have your own imperatives, and that’s the whole point of what I do here. I want more than anything else for you to feel the same kind of fire I do, not to make you a clone of me.
I can’t imagine a world where even a tiny slice would agree with me on everything I say. What I do hope to see is a small slice of humanity who find enough of my expression tolerable so that we can share some things we have in common. There is more common ground than most Western minds imagine, and more room for friendship and cooperation than most of humanity is prepared to entertain. Peace is not compelling others to do it your way, but allowing others to back away and not be involved if they find something uncomfortable.
This is entirely inefficient when you measure it objectively. Peace is sloppy and very expensive; it leads to reinventing the wheel over and over again, and massive duplication of output. That’s because the wheel and the output aren’t the point of the exercise, but human progress within their own imperatives. Granted, we’ll run out of resources long before we run out of imperatives, but how we handle that is part of the imperative. How we make room for someone else to get their share of resources we all use is what makes for peace. Nor is peace the absence of fighting over those resources, but peace is in how we justify morally the way we compete for things which we are driven to use.
Nor would I presume everyone is going to agree with my judgment about even that. Accountability says I take responsibility for not cheating you, but allowing you a full accounting of what I see and think, how I intend to act regardless of your level of accountability. I realize there is no way I can boost your accountability by reducing my own. I fully realize most of the world will not play along, but that has nothing to do with it, either. I must be accountable; that’s my victory over human failure.
My teachings overlap Christian orthodoxy, but they are hardly orthodox. Even when we acknowledge how the word “orthodoxy” is always relative to the folks deciding what is and isn’t orthodox, the whole point is not adhering to some imaginary standard regardless who imagines it. Rather, accountability is doing the best I know in letting them see and letting them honestly judge for themselves. I tread that fine line between trying to speak to their context without compromising the distinctives.
As a man driven by the parable of the shepherd, I need for you the full freedom of deciding whether you want to put any of your sheep in my care. It’s okay if you would rather not investigate and decide intelligently; it’s not okay if I try to manipulate you into that. Even in this blather I am being accountable. Do you really want to spend time reading my blog posts? Every time you read, I am hoping you include that question in the process. Why you may want it is another question, and I don’t have to know that, but it does make for good friendship and a stronger peace between us.
I am accountable. The very process of accounting demands attention and a bit of life drained from both of us, but that’s just a feature of our fallen and broken existence. This level of existence was never that important in the first place; I am seeking to reveal something which is that important. The options are limited, so how I handle them is itself morality.
It’s major to me, but a complete non-issue with most of the manosphere.
In order to sensibly present my point of contention, I suppose I’ll have to pull together a certain amount of background and clarify some false impressions on the way to clarifying a false impression.
If you understand all my blather about Scripture and the Laws of God, you probably realize I don’t stand on absolutes in terms of human conduct. Jesus died on the Cross and God forgives sin. The issue is intentionally fuzzy in terms of human logic because divine logic is much higher, and is most certainly a different thing altogether from the human sort. Divine logic is also knowable in terms of what God has chosen to reveal. So Jesus and Paul together in Scripture make a big deal out of human sexual intercourse. They say rather bluntly every time you roll in the hay, you are morally obliged to treat it like a permanent marriage commitment. You are not permitted to sample the wares. But if you have already, repent and look for ways to improve your moral behavior by changing your moral perception.
The issue is not perfect performance, but moral conformance. Stand with God; that’s the meaning behind the English word “confess.” Agree with God morally even if you find yourself unable to act accordingly. Don’t make light of your failures. Take it seriously, but not in terms of performance against some objective standard, since there is no such thing, except in the very broken human imagination. Rather, understand there are very real consequences which can be understood in terms of the moral fabric of God’s Creation. Each failure will build bad moral structures in your soul, and create trouble in this life. Mercy and grace can mitigate those problems, but it’s never as simple as your human mind wants to imagine.
The biggest lie in the manosphere is you have some inherent right to get your rocks off, as if there is something holy and righteous about that. Such is an utterly demonic viewpoint. That’s not to say I in any way agree with feminist mythology regarding such things. They are wrong, but for a totally different reason. They most certainly aren’t seeking God’s moral approval. The problem here is sexual fulfillment is not a right, not a human need, but a powerful urge which, if not properly channel, will wreak havoc in human society. God’s image of a good and stable human society is so radically different than anything commonly envisioned and proposed today, I often feel as if I stand alone among all humanity, but I refuse to yield the point. It’s God’s revelation and an awful lot of people understood it at one time, even if it’s totally alien now. Sex is not essential to your human destiny and reaching the fullness of your manhood. Dying a virgin does not leave you somehow incomplete.
The whole notion of “sexual imperative” has taken on a very cheap pagan magical aura. Such is reflected in the very worst, most damnable and hateful pagan cults throughout human history, and for good reason. The very notion itself is damned nonsense — literally, it is a lie from the Devil designed to drag as many souls as possible down into Hell. It’s a deception, a part of what makes this fallen world a prison in the first place.
What happens if you slip and “get some” in a context where you shouldn’t? Some of the consequences are well understood even on purely human terms if you care to think about it. For one thing, humans are hard-wired from birth to form an attachment, a permanent bond. Are you willing to follow through on that? If not, it tends to leave lasting damage to both parties. We might debate what that attachment means, and what it includes, but it’s there and we all sense it. What’s not always apparent is how it tears the moral fabric when we fail to follow through. It’s permanent damage, and you’ll have to work around it for the rest of your life. It’s probably doable, but why cripple yourself intentionally? You will pay a price, even if you ignore it. I could go on, but this by itself is enough to make the point.
If you repent, the Lord can still use you. Refuse to repent and you are accursed. You may never notice the repercussions, but that doesn’t remove them.
The cavalier attitude I encounter in the manosphere isn’t simply sinners refusing to admit there is a God. It’s too often a matter of professing Christians buying the worldly pagan lie. Critical to serving Christ is the utter necessity of not tying yourself to any ball-n-chain. Even our modern Western culture recognizes a bad marriage fitting that image. When you recognize the Bible says in no uncertain terms every sexual encounter is a permanent link pulling on your soul, you realize this is not a good thing. It’s not a question of some stinking piece of paper offering a government permit to do anything, nor even social recognition by your peers that you are husband and wife. The fundamental issue is God knows and holds you accountable.
I can understand why most Christians won’t work with me, given the vast majority are deeply wedded to Western epistemology. I can explain their distaste for me better than they can, but I refuse to participate in the manosphere because they almost uniformly fail to uphold things even Westerners can understand in terms of morality. The issue is often hidden behind talk of what makes a woman interesting, what qualifies her for drawing your sexual intent. They talk long and repeatedly about demanding she be physically highly qualified, then sort of add in as a footnote she might need to be educated as to the ways of Game. However, there is loads of talk about how to manipulate and control women who prove hard to train.
The excuse is often that a man is already in a bad relationship, and we need to work out how he can tame the beast. Yes, fixing a bad marriage is definitely critical. But the same discussion is often just an excuse for PUA talk, predatory emotional abuse. How about we spend more time discussing how to lay down the barriers to prevent messing with intractable women in the first place? The most damnable thing is the emphasis on how a woman must be first and foremost physically appealing, and then maybe we’ll discuss how to deal with her emotionally. I find almost nobody in the manosphere proposes reconstructing our manly behavior so we prepare our minds to first look for someone morally worthy and emotionally prepared to walk the right path and to Hell with how she looks. The inherent narcissism about how pretty she must be first is what I find so damnable.
God demands you plan on keeping her for life, and that you walk carefully before considering any kind of bonding. If you cultivate that dependence on feminine physical beauty as the first indicator of worthiness, you will be morally weakened against the day she gets just a little older, or suffers some debilitating accident or something which makes her less appealing to your vanity. You’ll find yourself dissatisfied and wanting a new toy. Don’t lie; like Hell you won’t. Get rid of that ball-n-chain attitude before you get started. If we don’t fix this cultural issue first, the whole business of Game is damned nonsense. Stop justifying the dick-head brand of manhood; it’s no part of what Christ taught.
Build your standards on how she responds, not what your eyes see.
To be human is to establish a structure for living on earth.
I know a little girl roughly age 3. She’s both captivating in appearance, personality and in her intelligence. She’s also a terror, comparing favorably to a Catahoula Cur, demanding constant attention and frequently challenging authority. That’s because she’s about as insecure as little girls can be, living with a single mom who doesn’t quite get it. Mom does have a decent faith background, but she understands religion as rules and ideas, and completely misses the whole underlying foundation of what makes morality. She’s raising a child whom she cannot control without a constant and very forceful physical presence.
While we may argue about what it should look like, most of us realize structure is a necessity for human functioning. Take away the structure, and all you have is a highly emotional and somewhat intelligent animal. That humanity needs structure is visible in the Eden narrative of Genesis, as the other side of the command God gave to manage His creation. We cannot impose on nature what we do not have within us. It’s in our nature to do this still, and we need it to survive. That we are fallen simply complicates things, but does not remove our fundamental nature.
Our Western civilization confuses a lot of things. Raw intelligence does not equate to self order. Some of the highest IQs left to develop in a very disordered social structure typically turn out to be the most vicious predators. There are two types of predators: sociopaths/psychopaths and those insecure. In other words, whereas some few are natural soulless predators, most got that way as the means to facing down fear. The more intelligent tend to become more capricious, creative in finding new ways to distract themselves from insecurity.
IQ assessments are not a raw score, but by their nature measure only relative intelligence against some scale of human average. Yes, they are culturally derived. On top of that, intelligence expresses itself in many different ways, a whole range of talents. We have precious little academic work in the field of moral intelligence. It’s easy to get lost in questions of IQ, when the better question is not how bright someone is, but how they contribute to moral stability. The moral imperative is offering structure, and seeking a better one. Without that, intelligence is morally useless in the broader sense. A sharp mind in a bad environment seldom makes things better, and typically makes things morally worse.
Scripture makes the point not just any structure will do.
Having made much of that structure content here in other posts, I will note simply this. When I visit the home where that rowdy little girl lives, though she still pushes the limits, I have no trouble making her behave well for me for the most part (hint: it’s all about Game). Her mom is constantly amazed by this, but lacks the basic key to understanding how I do it. Already there has been three years without that good moral grounding, and the window of opportunity to turn it around is almost closed. The next best chance is waiting for the child to hit her own moral bottom and learning to listen and absorb what she needs to provide a moral structure for herself.
It’s not magic. Granted, I suppose we could say I have a gift for moral intelligence. Still, because God has demanded we all have some of this, we can only deduce it’s possible for everyone to hone their moral sensitivity and their basic understanding of the framework. When religion is good, that’s what it does. There is little calling for a prophet when folks are doing things right. I’m constantly on fire internally by what I see standing opposed to what seems the clear Word of God to me addressing our failures in this age. There are miracles large and small, each offered by God through my hands to verify His backing of what I teach.
I don’t see myself in charge of much more than my own mouth and fingers on the keyboard. The rest is just making sure I’m in the right place at the right time. It’s pretty challenging to remain sensitive to the Spirit against the cacophony of this age and my own mind. But all I’m doing is restating what’s been truth since time began.
Moral structure is God’s demand of all humanity.
I assert there is a moral fabric running throughout the universe. It matters not whether your human eyes or human logic can see it. It works. I’m not so much offering proof here, as offering illustrations, to show how it scales large and small.
First the small. This year’s wild blackberry harvest is huge, more than I could possibly gather alone. Rather than keep it to myself, I posted a little notice on our community bulletin board offering to teach what I know, including locations, to anyone who asks. Motives don’t matter; it was the right thing to do.
Yesterday I grabbed what was easily picked from the vines along the well tended grassy margins of a divided boulevard running through a barely-begun ritzy development just to my west. It’s been the primary source of my blackberry picking for several years. This morning I was headed out on a six-mile ride to another site I found last year, where the berry vines clustered along the cut sandstone facing along one of our main section line roads.
Just two miles out, I spotted a scattered flash of red dots in the landscape just off to my right near an intersection. It was loaded with ripe berries. I had to watch my step, as the berries were that thick, and huge. Standing in one spot, I picked a whole quart of them, leaving the smaller berries. I lifted one after another vine so loaded I had to empty my hand three times or more. I left with a gallon, having barely put a dent in what I could see.
I have no doubt had I not been willing to share, I would not have seen this patch. I’ve passed it dozens of times already over the past three years not seeing the berries. The thickness of their placement indicates they’ve been left alone for quite some time. On the way home, I stopped to share some of them with a couple of kids I know. I have every reason to believe Creation itself will respond with an ever greater load of berries, much of which I’ll have to share simply because I can’t eat them all.
This moral principle scales large, as well. As a point of reference, you might take a moment to read my short study in Amos 6, a chapter from the Old Testament prophet. Amos confronts the Northern Kingdom, whose capital was Samaria, just a couple of decades before Assyria invaded and carried the nation away to exile (Fall of Samaria is dated 722 BC). Aside from the business of how the government is disciplined, you can see close parallels with many Western governments today. Amos was fussing at a ruling class of plutocrats utterly out of touch with the people. They had increased the taxes to a crushing load to increase their comfort while the peasantry was suffering from the effects of Creation’s response to massive violence and sin. They were arrogant and oh-so sure they could handle anything.
That is, the economy was going down hill, but the plutocrats refused to scale down their consumption to match it. To those producing it all, they say: “You must make do with less so we can have more.” Nor does the form of government have anything to do with it. Is there any difference in effect? There is not a single government agency which can conceive of the notion of trimming back on bureaucratic overhead. If anything, each demands it be allowed to grow like a metastasizing cancer. All this while, just as with Amos’ audience, there was a pretense of being faithful to empty religious ritual and extravagant worship spending.
I won’t pretend the exact same consequences will follow, but you can be sure, if it was evil then, it’s evil now. It’s the same God, the same moral fabric, and nothing has changed in that realm. Precious few of my readers won’t be around to see the moral consequences of all this abuse.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having wealth and power.
It’s dangerous, but it can’t be avoided, and it can be done well. The people who deserve our lasting despite, and perhaps bloody execution at the hands of a lynching mob, are those who get it by improper means.
If you go out and do things with your talents, particularly your hands and other direct outputs, which cause people to want to give you lots of money and power, it’s probably a good thing. For example, entertainment is a good thing. If you gain your power and wealth simply because you have a talent for manipulating people, you should be shot. Okay, we’ll give you ten minutes after the first warning to start doing the right thing before we execute your evil butt.
Say we have some guy who is really intelligent, and he sees things other miss. He notices if he can insert himself as the middleman into a normal commerce, making things simpler for those on either side of the exchange, he can make a little profit. That’s a useful service, and a little profit is just. If he corners the market on something he’s handling, he deserves to die. That desire and inclination to corner the market is inherently evil. If he colludes with others, kill them all.
The problem is not having power and wealth, but people wanting it. Not just desiring it in some kind of fantasy, but willing to harm others in order to get it. If everyone agrees to compete, that’s fine; let them battle it out on terms to which they agree. Let them not cheat on those terms. But the same bright minds crafting a wider system of marketing controls and regulation which achieves the same results as direct manipulation also deserve to die. If they lie to everyone about the purpose of their plans, they deserve to die.
It’s not so much what you do directly with your own hands, as it is what you are willing to cause, a willingness to see others suffer for your comfort.
The reason I am so bombastic about killing them is based on human history. It won’t take long for you to read how people have acted in the past to realize this stuff gets out of hand really quickly. You have to watch them like a hawk, and cut them off the instant you realize what they are up to, and if they don’t learn better, it’s because they have rejected the very notion of common welfare. It’s not so much we have to all love each other; I know better than that. Nor can we avoid people hating each other. What we can do is develop a cultural sense which threatens anyone who will manipulate any part of the system in order to harm others. Not so much because they actively wish to hurt, but that they don’t think it matters.
Clinical literature indicates precious few psychopaths ever get better. Regardless of your theoretical basis for how we get those psychopaths, we do know certain social conditions can cause a given population to produce more than their share of them. There are some fields of humanity more fertile for evil than others. Whether you want to move from correlation to cause isn’t the point; let’s go for a nicer correlation.
By no means do I propose a change in laws. Laws should always arise after the fact. Legal policy is another matter; that has to come first. Getting people to adapt is hard, but it’s been done to varying degrees of effectiveness. Unless they are crushed and humbled, there is no chance they’ll show any motivation. They may still resist, but that’s another matter. On a micro-scale, I offer the example of Apostle Paul, on the road to Damascus. After it was clear to him something far above his level was on his case, his being meaner than a snake was suddenly subject to modification. Paul didn’t even argue, simply asking his new Master what he should call Him. The question implied, “Whom do I now serve and what does He want?”
No, all I’m asking for is a consideration, a thoughtfulness. The more people who think about such things, the better the world as a whole will be. I’m quite willing to consider my muttering successful if all I get is an incremental improvement with just a few folks here and there.
People who want power and wealth are suspect. People willing to hurt others to get it should not be tolerated wasting oxygen.