Reason gets in the way of a lot of godly things.
Kindness is a command. It is a motivation unto itself in the sense it seeks no particular outcome. If we tie things to outcome, we fail God completely. Seeking an outcome is rejecting His rule; it gets in His way, seeks to limit His hand. The outcome is always in His hands; He said so in many ways and places in the Bible. It’s included in this blog’s title: Do What’s Right. Do it because it is right, not for any other reason. Our search for divine justice is the end in itself. Justice is not an end product; it is the living grasp at the vital divine element still within reach in the fallen realm of existence.
I would have thought this was obvious, but I keep seeing references that seek to constrain kindness or other virtues to some reason for doing them. Stop that. It’s the wrong approach from the start; it’s evil. It reduces things to instrumentality and clings to the fallen nature of our humanity. Need a motivation? God’s glory. That’s the only reason He hasn’t taken you home to your reward already. He isn’t done with you in His glory. There is no end point on this side of eternity in the sense God is pointing at some goal. The “goal” is His glory all day long. He seldom bothers to reveal to us when His glory is finished with us. Let Him take care of the results and stop trying to steer things to a conclusion. What’s right is right regardless of human disappointments or celebrations.
In this moment, always in this moment, do what’s right. You don’t need any other reason.
Angie and Preston had a rather quiet fall season volksmarching in the Eifel, Rheinland and Saarland areas.
During a beautiful hike in Trier, they stopped for a snack on the university campus. While they sat enjoying Bavarian pretzels, Preston’s phone rang.
Gary’s voice was the same casual tone, but he never called for frivolous reasons. “We think it’s time to recruit in the Liege-Maastricht corridor. Are you game?”
Preston asked, “Are we moving again or do you have something else in mind?”
“It would be great if you could set up shop there somewhere, but I’m having trouble finding safe quarters. Who would have thought a real estate attorney would fail to find something decent?”
Preston caught Angie’s eye while he spoke into the phone. “You know, I’ve been thinking about this. I may have a useful solution. Can I get back with you in say, a week or so? I may have to wear out this phone.”
“I’m game,” Gary said.
It was only two weeks later Preston and Angie took possession of a lovely used Dutch houseboat. It took some calls to get access to his accounts in the secretive Caribbean bank, but he had more than enough to buy the boat outright. He worked through his friend Harry, of course. For good measure, he added a slender canoe, mounted on the stern for easy access. There aren’t many places in the Benelux where a canal doesn’t run within a few hours of biking or canoeing.
They picked up the boat where it was moored along the Molendijk in Krimpen aan de Lek. They hired a professional pilot to train them as they journeyed slowly upriver on the Neder Rijn. The pilot left it to them in Arnhem. Through connecting canals, they made their way to Nijmegen and up the Mass. They celebrated their first Christmas together in Maastricht.
There had been dozens of boats for sale as winter began to descend over the land. They never told anyone, but the primary reason they picked this particular boat was a small image, the common European conception of an angel holding an anchor, painted on the stern next to the name: Waterwings.
I’m a true radical, radical about the very most fundamental elements of our assumptions about reality.
This blog assumes a huge difference between Western/Aristotelian epistemology and that of the Bible. I am wholly untroubled by apparent differences between human science, history, etc., versus assertions in Scripture. They aren’t talking about the same thing, nor even viewing reality from a similar set of assumptions. Your insistence on using the human viewpoint is not my problem. I may address it from time to time, but my blog posts assume a divine perspective when it comes to offering answers to anything.
While I’ve joked around a bit about starting up a new cult, I realize what I am doing constitutes a whole new approach to Christian religion. In many ways, it is the same thing as what has come before. You should have no trouble using what I teach in any current religious organization, simply because I assert theology and practice aren’t that important. Believe what you like; you can follow this blog and not see the need to argue about my conclusions. I don’t believe I’ve confused conclusions with assumptions, and I’ve often said you should always investigate these things for yourself. Don’t take my word for it. At the same time, I know this is a wholly different religion, in the sense that it is not like anything I’ve seen on this earth so far in these times.
The main reason I don’t belong to any group myself is a combination of two factors. First, my assumptions lead me to conclusions which no current organized religion accepts, so far as I know. There are overlaps here and there, but not enough anywhere to be useful. Second, I am commanded by God to teach wherever I go, and most organizations simply cannot handle that. Unwilling as I am to make trouble for anyone unnecessarily, I stay away. I strive to build outside the current system.
I don’t support any form of activism as people think of it. Nothing in human politics today is anywhere close to what God had in mind, so it’s a dead subject from the start. I recognize the peculiarities of the system, even to the point of understanding the various competing philosophical assumptions, but not one of them is even on the same planet with what God commands. Thus, there is no point at all to leveraging any part of the system except as an outsider. I’ll take advantage of what exists, but nothing in my world is worth any investment of emotional energy. I don’t want change; I want total removal of all the systems currently in place. That is not something I can assist much directly. It’s God’s department. I am called to focus on what I can do to implement His commands despite the system. The system may or may not notice me, but conflict of some sort is inevitable. Barring a miracle of God, I won’t win in any battles as humans measure such things. I don’t confront it if I can avoid it, because what really matters is nowhere inside this universe in the first place. I don’t have to accomplish anything; I just have to be faithful to my God.
God forbid I should repeat the mistakes I see everyone else making these days. In theory what I offer is universal, but the teaching itself recognizes the lack of appeal it would have for most folks. On the one hand, I know the burden of my calling is to bridge the chasm between what people normally assume and what they really ought to believe. I’m supposed to communicate as clearly as possible. On the other hand, the means to appeal arising from what I believe rejects the majority of what people expect. That is, I can’t use the marketing methods everyone else is using, because all of that belongs to things I’ve rejected before the start. It’s sort of that thing Jesus said about new wine and old wineskins. It’s funny how what’s ancient is now radically new, but that’s where I stand. I’m part of the fresh crop from the original roots, I believe.
Critical to this is my understanding of how civilization is drifting toward a new type. I believe I understand what’s coming, but that doesn’t mean I approve. It’s just a new set of problems. It’s a new set of opportunities, too. For now, nothing currently embraced as the proper way to reach the widest audience is proper for me. Maybe you could take the same teachings and see no conflict; have at it. By all means, take the truth and run with it. That’s the whole point: It’s not my truth. It comes from God and you need your own version because you aren’t me. I’m not trying to build a community around my particular brand. I’m trying to teach the underlying assumptions first, because that’s the part that is universal. What makes them universal is also what keeps them out of my hands. I’m giving it away; take what fits into the holes in your soul.
Meanwhile, once we agree on a different set of assumptions, I do hope there is some community possible from what I teach as conclusions. That would require more direct involvement from me; that’s the leadership part. I’m still feeling my way along the ancient paths on this, and it’s very hard to track. While the assumptions are the truly radical part, what I build from them is what people see, and it seems more radical than it is. I’m not sure what would make anyone take an interest on the human level. This is the part where I take all comers, where I say that I am an Internet pastor who makes no rules about what you have to believe or practice. Nobody I know has any experience dealing with that, so I’m having to make it up as I go. The bond is not what I impose, but what we find in common. I’ll be in charge of my part, and you manage your part. The parts we share is the community. You tell me: What level of communion is comfortable for you?
The binding factor is sacrificial love, the most radical element of all.
Grabbing their bags, they made sure to check that everything was as they had found it. Returning the key to the tiny enveloped, they hung it on the door handle, closed the lock on the hasp and strode off into the woods.
They had taken longer volksmarches, some lasting all day. Somehow, this felt like more work. Still, it was more beautiful woodland, hills and valleys. They found their way to the village of Foy. Once again, they wished they could have brought their bikes. Not because hiking was so hard, but they had entered a valley in which the railroad line had long ago been turned into a paved bike route. Instead, they had some dinner at the cafe that also served as bus stop. Eventually a TEC bus came along to take them back down into the Meuse Valley. On the way, they chuckled about passing the chateau where most of the conferees had been staying.
The bus took them northward into Yvoir and stopped just a couple hundred meters from the train station. In the gathering darkness, they caught a train northward toward Namur. It was quite late when they got home in Heerlen.
They woke up early and worked hard with their minds the next two days while their bodies rested and healed. Over the next week they read with some amusement the stories appearing in various media outlets. Some of the stories hit only the tabloids. Preston knew that sometimes the truth is so shocking, no sane person is going to believe it. The whole thing had a cascade effect as the Belgian government collapsed again as it did so often. Election time again.
The links to the stories were passed to them via the email account. In the middle of this, Preston found a message in the dropbox.
Gordy hospitalized and one other with heart trouble from over-exertion. Check out the fall volksmarching in Germany. The Benelux could use the rest.
Gary’s dry sense of humor never failed, nor did the angels or the truth.
The question remains: Can a human come up with better answers about life in this world? Surely becoming king is worth something, no? Solomon describes how he kept a part of his mind objective in testing everything. This isn’t plunging wantonly into mere physical pleasure, but includes that idea as a small part of a much bigger picture. Solomon tested the limits of what is position offered.
As the legendary King of Wisdom, Solomon entertained an endless stream of royal guests, the greatest artisans, the widest range of scholarship, exposing himself to everything a man could know about the world and the people in it. This did not satisfy his quest. At the same time, he indulged himself in the widest range of culinary experiences, using the shorthand term of wine-tasting. The whole time, he reserved a portion of his awareness for gauging whether any of it seemed to make life worthwhile of itself. Was partying with the greatest of this world going to bring some sense of satisfaction? Wrong again.
Next, Solomon threw himself into the work of amassing material possessions. He explains how built structures for every use man could imagine. Nor was this in any way frivolous. Not just water parks and gardens for himself, but genuine works of civil engineering that helped others. We know Solomon was a prodigious builder and architect in his own right, a genius at engineering. He piled up a vast army of slaves, piles of treasures from all over the world, the most rare and beautiful specimens any collector could desire. He had musicians running out his ears and more women in his harem than a single man could get to know even as a passing acquaintance. None of these things filled the void in the soul.
What about the eternal question of wisdom versus folly? Of course it’s better to be wise and intelligent. A fool has no idea what he’s doing or where his life is going. Such folks might not ever understand how they got where they are. A wise man, even with no power whatsoever, can at least see where things are going, what will be the results of things he does or does not do. Then again, the final end of both is about the same, since all die and return to dust. The one really bad side-effect of Solomon’s vast wisdom is he clearly understood that even wisdom was futile in that sense.
Worse, he clearly saw how everything he had gained would be passed onto his sons, regardless of whether they were foolish or wise. They would probably be deprived of the experience of rising up on their own accomplishments, because there would be little left for them to do, since their father had done it all. What was the point of all this work, because the work itself was probably the best thing, and it can’t be passed on to his sons.
Wisdom and native talent drive you relentlessly in the daylight. When you try to sleep, you always rehash everything you did and failed to do. So while it’s good in general for a man to work and enjoy the fruit of his own labor, the mere act of enjoyment is a gift of God’s mercy. God can easily take away the fruits of honest labor, but just as easily take away the joy itself. Everything men might imagine they could want comes from God. Some folks God has favored with moral wisdom, but fools only know about how they want something they don’t have. And once they get all they can, God gives it to the wise. You can’t fight God.
I make no secret of rejecting much of what comes packaged under the label of “Western Christianity.”
Most of the time I confine my blather to fundamentals. I talk about the intellectual frame of reference and historical events that steered the narrative of Church History. For example, most of you are likely aware of how desperately Constantine tried to hijack the Christian religion for his political purposes. For the most part, he succeeded. I’m hardly the only Christian who believes the true gospel message was nearly buried more than once in the past by political exigencies.
It has happened again here in the US. I can’t pinpoint where it started, and there is no one central figure who can carry the blame just yet. We know Constantine hardly labored alone in his demented vision, but it seems he was the pivotal person in his era. We don’t seem to have one right now. Instead, we have a long list of names all entangled in a long list of political agencies and religious denominations. I don’t have room to list them all, but just chasing down the list of folks who took money from Reverend Moon, often through his CIA lieutenants, would be shocking enough. You would be shocked by the people who fawned over him. It’s the same people who are considered the standard bearers in modern evangelical Christianity.
Look folks, even the highly revered Billy Graham was highly compromised, so I am not interested in your defense of those people. Don’t tell me how the millions of people “he brought to Christ” somehow covers his awful sins in the background. The Bible bluntly says those millions of converts, if genuine, would have come to Christ one way or another. God doesn’t need any human agent for His divine work. It’s that old heresy of Synergism, the blasphemous reduction of the divine to something less. God uses whom He likes, but He stoutly asserted He often used the worst. And until you realize Satan still serves His purposes, you’ll never comprehend even what little He has revealed to us.
No, I make no pretense of being better than any of them, but I don’t do what they do. I don’t confuse my God with any political agenda. I’m not going to lay the blame at all one source, because it’s never that simple. Yes, it does involve the heresy that Modern Israel somehow reflects God’s prophetic plans for humanity, but it’s much, much more. I look back with revulsion on that time in my life when I was held captive by that lie. But this issue is not so focused, except when you realize the whole purpose is to destroy the power of the gospel message. The people most loudly claiming His power are those most guilty of perverting it.
And no one has to tell me how this puts me out on the fringe. Yes, I belong to the Lunatic Fringe of Christian faith. I make no effort to temper and spin my message to appeal to any particular audience. Nor do I scream and accuse everyone of knowingly engaging falsehood and serving the Devil. The majority of those in Western Christianity are dupes. I have no idea what to make of folks like Pat Robertson, whether he’s just an idiot they prop up to defame the gospel or whether he actively cooperates, but I do know his Operation Blessing was a CIA front, as was World Vision and a slew of other Christian relief agencies. If you want footnotes, you can find them with any search engine.
It’s hard to gather any kind of resources without some infiltration from evil powers these days. If it’s big enough to be noticed, the spies will own it or destroy it. So I stay small and virtually unknown. God is my publicist and He’s the one who makes my message plausible to whomever pays attention. Don’t put any trust in anything that gets air-time. Don’t trust me just because I’m small. I can offer criteria for rejection only as a counter to their lying promotion. Bigger is not better, nor is smaller. Don’t listen to me; listen to your own soul. I don’t trust myself that much, always failing my own promises.
You have to look inside your own soul and find your own way.
I don’t spend nearly as much time in the Manosphere these days.
It’s not that I’ve changed my mind; I’ve gotten tired of the splash over from non-essentials. My interest in Game in the first place was getting at the facts of human behavior. Some of it I knew instinctively because I’ve been studying God’s Laws for a long time. I recognized the truth in Game discussions because they accorded with what I already knew intellectually. As more people got involved, we got better and better descriptions of human behavior. That part hasn’t changed. I’m not tired of Game; I’m tired of those who talk about it because most of them are full of crap.
For awhile, I echoed the things I found that were consistent with my experience, and frankly admitted to taking a different tack on some things. I still insist that it works best in the tribal social structure, but we don’t have that much these days. Thus, some of the gamer assertions are strictly cultural. I’ve tried to note those things, but one issue in particular has become very annoying, to the point I simply don’t bother reading much in the Manosphere any more.
I think of it as a part of the little boy syndrome. Too many gamers never grew up, nor is it likely they ever will. They have this self-reinforcing immaturity. That’s obvious in the case of PUAs, but it’s not so obvious to Western Christians when another Western Christian asserts something they all assume is manly from the start. It’s this constant nagging they have about, “Don’t date fat chicks!” What they seem to want is a tomboy with boobs, in the sense of someone with a figure about like a boy, just a tiny bit of padding in the bottom, but otherwise built like a skinny guy.
Yes, I can understand taste. I can even agree some gals look pretty good that way, but it’s because that’s how they are put together. Pressuring them all to look that way is just stupid. Not ignorant; stupid. That’s because some gals look fine with more meat on their bones, and some look pretty good even chubby. The problem is most gamers have no idea that their tastes are most completely steered by mass media. They’ve surrendered completely, and Christians are some of the worst. They don’t understand it has zero utility, and guarantees a majority of really fine, godly women are excluded because God didn’t build very many women like that. All they know is the Victoria’s Secret models and cheerleaders.
The whole point is: Taste is not a guide to God’s blessings. Only a fool believes his preferences have anything to do with it. Only a complete ass demands God provide his whims. This becomes such a major emphasis they’ll compromise all kinds of other things to get what perfect piece of flesh.
Let’s pretend for a moment God decides it is time for my beloved to go Home. If I felt Him telling me to go it alone, I probably would, much to my emotional disappointment. But barring such a move of the Spirit, I would surely look for a successor to her. The primary qualification is being willing and able to keep up with me in my ministry calling. If she’s not driven to be a part of that, she has no business hanging around me in the first place. That will already eliminate a lot of gals. Whether she’s thin or chunky or anything in between is simply not a consideration, and it’s frankly immoral when a man makes it a major issue. That is, it’s immoral in the sense of God’s Laws, which defines morality. Demanding something on a perverted worldly standard is not the way to obedience.
Chances are, precious few American women would have even the least bit of interest, much less the other qualifications I’d need to see for being a successor. I wouldn’t be looking for arm candy. If that’s important to you, don’t expect me to take you seriously. You might know Game, but you don’t know my God.
Ladies, your greatest problem in godly husband hunting is their silly conditioning, whether White Knight or reactionary, against your silly feminist conditioning. Game has nothing to do with what you are, what you look like, or what you think you want. Game is about finding someone God can use in making your life holy and faithful to Him. That narrows it down to such a tiny pool of candidates, we don’t have room for stupidity. Now that the Manosphere is big enough to have a mainstream, it’s not worth pursuing any more.
The Manosphere has gotten pretty stupid lately.
The hardest thing for a Western Christian is separating emotion from Spirit.
My single strongest accusation of fraud against the modern Charismatic movement is their vociferous, almost hateful insistence that their emotional manipulation is the hand of God. No, you can’t even get them to admit God uses emotions and heals them; it is the Spirit in their minds. They get really ugly and nasty when you question it. I worked with them directly for years, so this is not some speculative commentary. Hell hath no fury like a Charismatic exposed as a fake. If you think their “move of the Spirit” isn’t carefully scripted and planned ahead of time, you have never worked on a church staff with these people. Yes, the majority of them learned their “tongues” intellectually and emotionally and it is only incidentally any kind of divine presence.
Meanwhile, I am myself a Holy Ghost Mystic, so it’s not that I poke at them as an enemy. I want them to get right and keep doing what they are trying to do. Their willingness to dump shame on the ground in favor of godly fervor is most admirable. That was easily the best thing they did for me. But their confusion of emotion for spiritual activity is typical of problems with Western epistemology. Aristotle denied the existence of the entire Spirit Realm, so there can be no Holy Spirit in his world. It’s just a name for some kind of sentiment and emotion. Since Christians insist there is a Holy Spirit, there is only one place left in their worldview for Him, and that’s in the emotions. Western epistemology not only does not yield space for a Spirit Realm, but steadfastly denies it could possibly exist. When you absorb that background, you end up with a pretty funky brand of religion.
It’s just about as dysfunctional as the mandatory memorialists. You’ve met them. They have this vast store of emotional energy devoted to something, so compelling and powerful in their souls, that they become dangerously hostile if you somehow fail to feel it. They insist their personal sense of tragedy is somehow morally universal. They would willingly kill almost anyone on this earth, and a whole bunch of anyones, to insure no one can argue with raising up some hideous monument to their lost loved ones. The more inconvenient and disruptive of ongoing human life, the better. Their personal tragedy is God’s tragedy, so don’t argue with their demands for a huge freaking memorial that uproots the most productive business center in town and blocks traffic for miles around. If you don’t feel their passion for such a thing, you have to be evil.
Only in Western thinking is it so utterly necessary to assert that the Bible is infallible. In a Hebrew culture, the intellectual background of the Bible itself, nobody would care. It’s a question that would not arise. Since ultimate truth cannot be conveyed to the human mind in the first place, there is no need to invest so much emotional devotion to the means of conveyance. Yes, we might have some practical concerns with accuracy in copies and whatnot, but a Hebrew mind does not conceive of anything on this earth having perfection. The question of textual infallibility is simply not possible, since the words themselves cannot be perfect. Instead, the Hebrew mind trusts God to bridge the gap between an imperfect human record and their desperate need to know what He demands of them. The logical necessity of objective perfection is gone, because we don’t have to prove anything to anyone. All we need is some attempt at fidelity in copying and translating.
Translating becomes a huge issue itself, because almost the entire business of translation is owned and oppressively controlled by those who insist the only proper approach is based on Western epistemology. A genuine Hebrew epistemology would yield a totally different translation, but we work with what we have. The point is, you cannot have a perfect translation by any means, so what difference does it make to demand a mental assumption of infallibility? We aren’t worshiping the book, but the God who commanded some people write a narrative of His revelation. And since we cannot possibly compare with any originals — God wisely made sure there are none — all we need is reasonable accuracy.
The question is not the Book, but the soul that comes to the Book. Does it provide sufficient frame of reference to guide a spirit awakened? Because without that spiritual birth, the whole question is pointless in the first place. I fully understand the frantic necessity of an error-free Bible if your god is subject to Aristotelian reasoning, but God did not promote Aristotle. He had His own system in place long before Aristotle came along. I tend to think God’s brand of reasoning is better.
We are accountable to the God of the Book; the Book itself can judge nothing.