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.
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.
Western reasoning gets in the way of everything, even in ways we don’t realize.
We can be smart enough to recognize when something needs only concrete logic. If you drop a rock on your foot, it will hurt; if you touch fire, it will hurt. That’s physical science; we get that.
We can be smart enough to recognize when something requires abstract logic. That’s the whole point of analysis, where we examine the world around us and try to recognize patterns. We see how certain types of phenomena work according to the same principles. We learn the details of one instance and can discover how it applies to other instances that are not exactly the same, but seem related. After awhile, we refine our understanding of the underlying principles until we can reliably predict what will happen when we do this or that by abstracting the principles from reality.
We can learn those things from others by deductive logic. If we find someone is a reliable source of information on reality, we listen when they assert basic principles and apply them in other cases. We build an understanding much more quickly because we don’t have to discover the basic principles for ourselves. Someone is able to explain convincingly and on our level, and we build from their work.
We can also learn when things we’d like to say require encoding. We learn to use symbols for words and sounds, and we transmit our knowledge much more efficiently. So we abstract our communications and people can deduce the meaning by a common standard of symbolic communication. Computers, anyone? We reach out to reduce the entire pool or human knowledge into symbols any computer can pass down a wire to another. We now have the luxury of instant access to more knowledge than any of us can possibly process, much less use.
But this is not the same as symbolic logic. Symbolic logic is a very ancient form of reasoning; it assumes there is an active force in this world which is not part of this world. It posits humans could, in theory, have a faculty for dealing with this outside force, but it would have to be a faculty above logic and reasoning, per se, because anything powerful enough to intrude on this universe must be more powerful than anything inside it. And we further deduce it would be awfully hard to discuss it with anyone if we don’t possess the means of communication to tap into that other person’s super-intellectual faculty. If we could, it would surely be something we couldn’t simply write in symbols. It would require symbols inside the symbols, a symbolic logic that is simply too much for human communication itself, because it’s too much for the intellect, which is the foundation of communication. Symbolic logic is not exactly rational in nature.
The whole question of dealing with forces greater than the universe itself demands something above our conscious human level. I can’t prove it because it’s outside the range of proof, in the sense that you could surely find an alternative explanation for things I claim reveal something from that greater force. If the existence of that higher level is not self-evident, there is nothing I can do to help you with it. If you find it self-evident, then there is grounds for trying to communicate something about our individual experiences with that self-evidence.
If that outside force gets involved in the process by communicating in some way, it changes the whole picture. That is, we assume this higher force is able to accurately assess what we need in order to cooperate. However much that demands from us, we are compelled to try. A critical element of that is gaining use of symbols. By our own human level reasoning, we realize the best we can hope for is communication that is not descriptive of things which are above description, but are indicative of what we can do with those things. If there isn’t anything we can do with it, we dismiss it. Most folks end it right there, of course, which is what we call agnosticism. For some of us, there is a compelling call to accept the notion we can do something with it. We can’t own it with our minds, but our minds can be instructed on some level. That’s where the symbols come into the picture; the symbols are indicators.
The symbols don’t obey the rules of lesser levels of reasoning. They are bigger, and seem out of focus, sort of fuzzy. They are granted from that higher force, so we are compelled to use them, but we can’t possibly control them. Our only hope is to deduce their meaning by how they act in any given context. That effort awakens a slender link between our higher faculties and our minds. Something in us responds to a question of the mind: Now what? It carries that question up to the higher faculty, which then answers back with some imperative. The mind struggles to make sense of whatever pattern it can discern. The process is never completed, so we remain open to fresh applications of the symbols all the way to the day we die. We don’t lose confidence, because we discover that higher faculty is more reliable than the rest of our entire human nature.
The Old Testament uses a lot parabolic or symbolic language. It is designed to call upon our higher faculty to engage the situation and learn how to apply the imperatives of that higher force. Jesus used parables that way. It was designed to keep out those who lacked the higher faculty because people who run around insisting on relying entirely on the lesser human capabilities were unable to act according to the imperatives. It wasn’t exactly a question of having that higher faculty, but using it. In essence, if you don’t exercise and build that link between the higher faculty and the mind, and learn to trust that higher faculty, you have no business pretending you can do God’s business reliably. You’ll keep trying to force Him into your intellectual constraints, and you will be wrong when it counts the most.
Humans without that higher faculty can move a lot closer, but it’s been centuries since any corpus of learning has been sought by humans trying to learn about it, at least on a wide scale. In fact, I submit to you that religious pagans have been working harder on it than just about anyone, certainly more consistently than the Church. The Church seems intent on denying the real deal and demanding we keep everything within the constraints of human intellect and a very human frame of reference. Virtually everything churches have done for the past few centuries is entirely under the power of human control, and views with great suspicion anything that smells like it comes from outside it. Thus, when someone gets a taste of that higher faculty, there is no background of teaching to guide it. That results in a lot of wacky stuff. It’s not God’s fault; He’s doing what He promised to do. The wacky stuff is our fault for not keeping alive the knowledge offered in the Old Testament.
Everything God did to establish a proper frame of reference has been thrown in the trash, and the first to trash it was Judah. When Christians began to reclaim the heritage, the Jews fought tooth and nail to take it away from them. In one sense, they succeeded, in that the infrastructure for that broad understanding leaked away from the churches rather early.
It didn’t go away completely, but it was buried in the sands of time. I’m struggling to recover some of it, and I have no way to gauge how well I’m doing. There are others involved and we share the labor but I don’t yet see a way to share the fellowship of the struggle. Too many of those contributing aren’t interested in actually using it. It makes their discoveries a little suspect, but it’s all we have. It’s quite possible the community of those willing to work together on this will remain small. I don’t pretend to know God’s plans on this matter. I know only what He demands of me.
Part of that demand is offering a prophetic warning to Christians. I have to trust the higher force — God — to work out all the things I can’t handle, which is an awful lot.
Let me leave you with this: If you aren’t otherworldly, you are too worldly. There is no stark clean line of departure between what the flesh can accomplish and what the Spirit does. It can only be perceived from that higher faculty. You can accomplish a lot of good in the flesh, but for some small portion of all that, you’ll miss the point and God doesn’t get the glory — people are not given a glimpse of that higher realm. You cannot understand the Cross with your minds alone. No amount of theologizing will produce the right answer. It still requires you and God together in communion on that higher plane where He exists, using that higher faculty to bring the Cross to life inside your soul. Then you are in a position to put into practice what you cannot possibly explain.
We tilt our awareness toward a readiness for any part of our human processes to be interrupted by the Divine. We don’t have to understand much about it, only understand that there is a demand that we obey. Attempts to explain will require those symbols that can’t quite be defined. We have to say things like, “I’m not sure I can explain to your satisfaction, but if I don’t do it this way, I’ll be guilty of disobeying God.” To the flesh it looks like mere sentiment or emotion, something lower the reason. We cannot possibly convince the flesh otherwise, and who’s to say in “real” terms it isn’t? There is no certain proof on this level, only the sense of divine peace we can’t explain.
Thus, I may still have a divine necessity of dropping a rock on my foot despite knowing it will hurt. There are other decisions I’ll make contrary to human logic because symbolic logic is above that. We discount suffering as a steering component on itself. We examine human suffering in light of whether it matters at that moment in spiritual terms. The flesh is just a tool, and our entire human existence is merely a passing resource in service to something outside this universe. We take care of the flesh so much as God says it matters to Him, not on any other basis. We offer comfort to others who suffer, but only the comfort God says He wants us to offer, not the comfort which human logic says is demanded by the need. We use human reasoning when the Spirit is silent, which isn’t very often. We default first to the symbolic reasoning of the Ancient Hebrew traditions, which many people call “mysticism,” then slide on down to deductive reasoning, then abstract, and finally concrete reasoning.
There is no answer to the question of what a symbol means without a context in which to apply it. When that makes sense to you, we can talk to each other about following Christ.
Mysticism comes naturally for me.
It was no great struggle to adopt the idea that material wealth isn’t that important; most of my life was in poverty. It’s not sour grapes, just a different experience. When you spend so much of your time doing without, you realize what most people consider essential to life, isn’t essential. From there, it’s just a short hop to realizing life itself isn’t that essential. Thus, I say that in Scripture, life or death is just a circumstance.
You’ll notice it hardly affected my education. As with all humans, I have gaps because it’s a simple matter of exposure. At the critical time when I needed it, the school I attended taught phonics. At the critical time I could have learned it, I didn’t get very far with parts of speech. I learned grammar by feel, largely through reading so very many books up through middle adulthood. Somewhere around age 7 I discovered the power of reading as the means to exploring my world. What got me through the rest of my education wasn’t such marvelously precise grammar but a native language talent for which I cannot take credit.
Most of the lower classes understand far better than their superiors would allow. The educated poor are simply incomprehensible to the middlings. What we understand is that we can choose to be whatever comes in the package with middle class status, or remain in poverty and do what we like. Perhaps through exceptional artistry we can bulldoze through the middle class society because we have something they simply must have but cannot produce. It doesn’t happen often. But what shocks most people is the depth to which that different experience can change your perception of things.
Hostility is not at all necessary. Particularly when your poverty and education lead you to mysticism. I’m not hostile to the middle class, though I can regale you for hours with tales of their hostility to me and my kind. I won’t. The point is not what I’ve suffered, but what they suffer. A solid historical study of the rise of the middle class from the ashes of feudalism in Europe is so very informative. The middlings are the ones who burned it down. You discover the hideous materialism of Puritan religion, and how it is directly linked to the Pharisaism Jesus faced. And it’s no mystery where Charismatic name-it-and-claim-it religion comes from. The very assumption of the middle class lifestyle is the utter necessity and primacy of worldly possessions. Mammon is the god of the middle class, inescapably. All their self-professed virtues are deeply stained by it.
The endless pretense of being upper class in wealth without the social and cultural refinements is a huge blind spot. The original burgers at the end of the Middle Ages were desperate for the respect given nobility, and pretense is so very fundamental to their existence. This is easily the single greatest break between myself and the sizable collection of libertarians among the politically active middle class. They consider me a brother in arms so long as I don’t promote freedoms beyond the barricades of their narrow brand of American middle class liberties.
There is nothing sacred about dressing just so and behaving according to their social dictates. Nor is it particularly noble, but you can’t get that past their internal censorship. They see a threat in so very many things the lower classes really do like. The biggest stumbling block is contentious issue of “saving for a rainy day.” In the lower classes, rain or sunshine are mere circumstance, as with death and taxes. It’s simply part of what we face, and getting wet means nothing more than a few extra minutes here and there accommodating what it does to us. Nor is it merely the vagaries of weather, but the broader symbolism that goes with the popular phrase. We aren’t that interested in tomorrow because today wasn’t so wonderful, at least where it concerns material possessions. We are wise enough to recognize tomorrow is ruled by people who won’t let us enjoy life. It takes all we have to make it today, so saving for tomorrow is utterly meaningless.
Instead, if we can’t consume it ourselves — and we’ll try — we give it away to someone else like us who didn’t get their share. We fully expect to work until we die, and die working or begging. Begging is harder work than you imagine, wading through the stiff current of social resistance. Some of us would rather starve. Indeed, we’d rather starve than live in the world of the middle class. There is a lot of work we could do, but won’t because it’s just morally wrong. We see where the whole thing leads to a hideous, empty life of chasing things we don’t miss. Especially when the boss demands we think and say what he believes, in violent assault on our freedom of conscience. Your brand of help is a slavery too degrading to accept.
The American middle class and their virtues are no more representative of Jesus Christ than would be whales in the ocean or birds in the sky. Changing the particular mixture of minor points of virtue doesn’t change the underlying falsehood of things. You don’t like sagging pants and tattoos? Don’t look at us. Turn away; we’ll deal with that. You want to know why the suburban white kids are adopting prison gang habits? Because your social structure has made it impossible for their creativity to rise in any other way. You mean you didn’t realize you were putting such a very high portion of the lower classes in prison for no real harm, such that you have scooped up the whole of our random sprinkling of geniuses, too? Never mind your tastes compared to that of others; the suburbanites ape the prisoners because the prisoners have created a vivid alternative society, and you have forced them to be hostile to yours. That faux prison gang lifestyle is now the future, because you refused to capture the geniuses of tomorrow.
Do you think we look longingly at your fancy cars and houses? Some do, no doubt, but by no means all of us. That we don’t own a suit and tie is not an abomination to God. The only leverage you have for enforcing your dress code is not letting us work for you at your oh-so-important job. Whoop-de-doo. Meanwhile, if we can find a way to get what we really have to have by exercising our free market talents that you don’t understand, we’ll do that.
Sometime back around the middle of the previous century, a businessman with a good heart built a mattress factory in the area where the Ponca Indians lived in Oklahoma. It was the real deal, and he expected to bring prosperity and good paying jobs to them. Lord knows, they needed it. So he hired just about any Ponca who came to work. They worked until the first pay day, then disappeared for awhile. Yes, sometimes they got drunk, but that was merely a symptom of something much more important. The natives weren’t acquisitive. That is a heresy for the middle class. The men did really good quality work and turned out some really fine mattresses at lower wages than most white men would tolerate, but when they had enough for their basic needs of life, they had better things to do. It’s not a failure of work ethic; they did other work that paid little or nothing, but was the work they normally did. It was failure of greed.
You’d be surprised how much Indian blood there is among the poor whites of Oklahoma, including yours truly. Not just shared DNA, but their culture is a pure and easily identified version of what all the lower classes tend to share. We are the superstitious barbarians who find it easier to follow Jesus because we recognize things in His teachings to which you are utterly and adamantly opposed. Yes, there are plenty of predators among, same as with you. Ours share more with the middle class than the rest of us do. They want middle class stuff, but on their own terms. Instead of picking up on what the middle class say they do, the predators copy what the middle class did to them. The willingness to buy influence in politics is a classic symptom of the middle class; it’s how they got their original political leverage against the nobility of the Middle Ages.
Class envy and resentment didn’t originate with us. We learned it from you.
It’s hard to explain, but at the expense of oversimplifying it goes like this: The nobility once had access to wealth as a privilege of their position. They kept the rules and the means to enforce those rules. In the broader sense, the rules included a high degree of intellectual refinement, if unevenly applied. It was wrong for nobles to assume only noble blood could be intelligent, so this blind spot left them open to a subtle attack. They assumed no peasant was smart enough to pull any tricks, but a few ambitious and intelligent peasants took unholy umbrage at the system and vengefully attacked it. Instead of direct force of arms, they conquered the existing ruling class by other means. Still, the fundamental driving force was pure greed, not something easily found among the nobility. The latter weren’t greedy because they already had all the power and wealth, but they were arrogant. The middle class resentment of privilege and wealth, as is so very fundamental to the Puritan doctrine, made noble wealth an insult to God in their minds. Those nasty nobles didn’t “work” for their wealth, so it wasn’t possible for God to want them wealthy. It was some vast conspiracy of the Devil, and the burghers used good old Gramscian economic guerrilla warfare to take it all away. Communism is just as materialist as it’s primary ideological enemy.
The fundamental assumptions of the Enlightenment only half caught on with the burghers. They were somewhat educated, but could not tolerate the freedom of the lower classes. They didn’t depart from the nobles in their arrogance about lesser folk. Virtually the entire gamut of “quality of life” legislation, and almost the entire range of police activity today, is a direct reflection of the middle class spitefulness against other folks. Having worked in law enforcement, I can assure you the vast bulk of “crime fighting” has nothing to do with fighting genuine harm. The entire profession of civil policeman is a creation of the middle class. They enforce laws only the middle class care about. It was the middle class who realized the ability to dominate voting, so they demanded popular vote as the means to ruling society, with certain disenfranchisements, of course. Any other means to organizing government is anathema. Democratic government is holy, and only a child of Satan could wish any other form of government. Lip service to the rights of the minority didn’t last long in history, as we all know.
Aside from the rare reminders such as this one I write this morning, it’s not worth the trouble to explain our alternative viewpoint to the professional libertarians or other branches of middle class political philosophy. It’s all the same to those of us on the bottom, because it’s just an excuse to stomp on us for daring to think differently about every day life. I’m not in love with poverty any more than I care much about prosperity. It’s just a tool for things far more important than fleshly comfort or even this whole existence in the first place. There is no particular virtue in raising the common welfare through material progress. I know; shocking to say it, but there more important things. I won’t name names, but some really big shots have praised some of my other articles on this blog, but they’ll never read this one. If they do, they’ll be blind to how completely it applies to them.
Keep your freakin’ suit and tie and your material prosperity; you simply do not understand.
I’ve decided it was worth writing a single definitive statement about Christian activism in the broader context of what I teach. I reiterate that the answers were there in my teaching, but good solid questions bring out a certain clarity I might not otherwise be able to offer. So one of the highest compliments, and greatest blessings, are people who ask good questions.
Don’t place a high value this life, nor anything in it. Hold very loosely to this world and it’s things, because it’s all disposable. At some point, the entire universe will end; God has said in no uncertain terms it will be gone, totally wiped away. John says we overcome by not loving our lives, but eagerly looking forward to death in the hope of eternal redemption. For most Christians, I don’t need to say any more about it.
Unfortunately, most Christians I know suffer a serious moral schizophrenia when it comes to living out the implications of that teaching. We are so thoroughly pickled in our Western culture that we just cannot bring our minds to organize themselves on a different moral value system. The Bible holds for values completely different from our worldly Western culture. So it’s easy to be people to say this life isn’t worth much anxiety, but it’s another thing entirely to get them to live like, never mind tune their daily speech patterns to convey the biblical viewpoint.
That’s when it becomes necessary to drag out that discussion of Hebrew intellectual assumptions and Hebrew Mystical worldview and those heavy discussions of epistemology. People are still running their entire lives by Post-Enlightenment Western epistemology, and it is both alien and hostile to that of the Bible. So long as you remain a Westerner in your moral and intellectual assumptions, you are not following Jesus.
God has revealed Himself. He has not been silent since the very first human mind became conscious.
The primary, fundamental fact of human existence here and now is we are fallen. It affects the totality of our human existence. No part of us is able to rise above the Fall without some outside assistance. The whole point of revelation is to serve as the beginning point of that outside assistance. Revelation is the gateway to redemption.
Fundamental to all human sin is arguing with God. It begins with Satan’s first comment in the Bible: “Is it really true that God said…?” His second comment was a blatant contradiction of what God said. All human evil today begins with the same trend of questioning God’s revelation.
Has God really said homosexuality is evil? Yep. It’s an evil desire, but that’s not the real problem. We desire a lot of things God said we shouldn’t have and that’s just one of them. If you cared to know, He also explains why He said that. I’ve explained that often enough in detail already, but the hint is social stability.
Sure, you can imagine all sorts of ways to keep social stability while doing things God said not to do, but your imagination excludes His revelation. He warned us that He designed Creation to do certain things, to operate in a certain fashion, and He said there were a lot of things that interfered with that operation. He referred to in terms best translated as justice. Gay sex is unjust. So is a lot of other sexual stuff we like to do.
No, you may not justly choose to have sex with just anyone you choose, at any time and place you choose. Most of them time, our profligate sexual sins results in conception of another human. God said a lot of things about why that is, but our modern society argues with Him about it. So we have lots of ways of preventing that conception. There might be good reasons for preventing it, but once it’s on the way, there is virtually no way to justify abortion.
Our massive legacy of abortion alone is all the justification God needs to destroy America, and we deserved to be crushed long ago. Same goes for the entire modern world.
It’s not about killing the baby. God can handle that; all murdered babies go to Heaven. They aren’t accountable. Talk of “age of accountability” is typically arrogant puffery, but the underlying principle is correct. There comes a point when God holds us accountable for our sins as humans, and it’s sometime well after birth. What a great way to end life, fully assured of going home to Jesus without having to live in this fallen world. It’s not so much the ending of life that makes God angry, but the injustice of it.
His wrath falls where His revelation is rejected. You can embrace His revelation voluntarily or you have it fall on your life involuntarily in the form of wrath.
You may recall His first comments about Law Covenants started with warning Noah mankind must take responsibility for taking the life of murderers. Yeah, it sounds crazy to our human reasoning, but that’s what God said. If someone takes a human life unjustly, according to the terms of His revelation, then that someone has forfeited his life. And it falls on other humans to take it justly. The difference is not in the killing, but whether it is justly done. People who insist God is against all violence are rejecting His revelation and lying just like Satan.
I’ve also spilled a jillion electrons explaining the context that He said must be firmly in place before we proceed with implementing such things as the death penalty. It’s that business of a Hebrew tribal social structure. Without that, justice according to God’s revelation impossible in the first place. This is why I’m not an activist for any particular cause but one: God’s prescribed tribal social structure. Yes, there are things we can do personally to mitigate His wrath in our lives even though we have no real leverage over the vast ocean of evil around us. Still, my only message to all humanity cannot be confined to one cause. It’s “repent” in the fullest meaning.
You see, if you have the Spirit, then His revealed Word serves to explain for our minds how to obey the Spirit. If you don’t have the Spirit — or more accurately, if the Spirit does not have you — then you desperately need His Laws because you can’t understand them on that higher level. Either way, you cannot possibly obey His Laws fully without that tribal social structure. You cannot hope to stop abortion and homosexuality until and unless people first submit to the Laws. So the only way I can be an activist is to restore that fundamental justice first. You see, what God told Noah about the death penalty was a good Hebrew parable that implied a lot more than what the words said.
Oh yeah; that business of thinking like a Hebrew is part of my activism. If you haven’t embraced the Hebrew intellectual foundations, you can’t possibly understand God’s Word in the first place. Western intellectual reasoning is wholly and utterly incompetent for the task. Without Hebrew Mysticism, you cannot hope to discover what God meant, because He created the Hebrew Mystical intellectual assumptions as the proper atmosphere for revealing Himself. I don’t care how expert you are in translating the original languages; without mysticism you have no idea what those words mean. So activism in favor of God’s Laws is double-barreled, harping on Hebrew intellectual traditions and tribal social structure.
Those things together are pretty much what John the Baptist meant when he called people to repent. It’s also what Jesus had in mind when He preached, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”
Mysticism offers a very powerful weapon against evil.
Yes, I do blather on at length about mysticism and clinging to the realm above. I also blather a lot about the Laws of God having tremendous power on this realm below. We do the latter to draw attention to the former.
My mysticism says one of the greatest threats is the concerted effort to divide us. That is, to keep us stirred up and fighting over the things we can’t let go. Don’t you see? Activism is the Devil’s ploy to keep you focused on the wrong things.
Example: I preach homosexual relations are a sin. Bible says so. But that cannot justify any sort of activism harassing gays. They are still people, some of whom claim to follow their own calling with God. Am I so perfectly clean I have to hammer them on something like that? What do they have to compromise to accept me? So if they ask, I’ll tell them where I stand. Until then, we each do what we know best from God’s hand and mind our own business. If they can handle that, so can I.
Looking for a fight is not God’s way. That’s what serves the Devil’s purposes. It’s the Devil who wants us all stirred up and fighting each other. That keeps us focused on things God won’t bless. I have no earthly authority from God to compel any man’s thoughts or behaviors. No man on this earth has any authority to demand I conform to things God says are wrong for me. That leaves an awful lot of room to cooperate.
And if you choke on this, it’s not my problem.
We are not wired for sedentary living.
Rome fell long before the Danube River froze over and the German hordes sacked the city. Whatever she might have been in the past was long gone before Christ was born. That’s because Rome forgot everything she learned on her way up.
While there is a broad general pattern of imperial failure, it would be foolish to nail down precise turning points. Too many factors overlap and the timing of events can easily get out of sequence. However, the failures are pretty much the same in principle, if not in fact, or every empire in human history. The same failures apply on the smaller scale, so it won’t matter what you call the particular human organization that is coming apart.
Even if you forget the entire matter of the Two Realms, there is something painfully obvious for everyone to see: Never wallow in luxury; comfort is a liar. All the decisions you make will suddenly become reactive because you imagine that you have something to protect. All the negative human emotions start coming out and controlling your choices. You will no longer see your world truthfully. You can no longer afford to pursue what you really believe in, because you won’t believe in anything in particular.
God has made us capable of doing an awful lot of things He doesn’t like. He gives us enough rope to hang ourselves, but every civilization we know about carries the same truth in her ancient lore. Once we are no longer starving, but simply hungry, we are at our very best. It’s not as if anyone can simply create a permanent culture of utilitarianism and Spartan self-denial. It requires sharing and giving generously so that you never have more than you can protect by yourself. We can all work together, but the root of human power to advance is having just enough for the immediate future, just enough to give confidence. Technology and cultural passion are the two greatest variables, but the underlying formula doesn’t change. There comes a point when our concern for tomorrow — whatever that means in relative terms — stops us from moving forward today.
That’s where we are in the West now, America in particular. It won’t matter what you imagine is the cause that brought us to this, who you want to blame, because there is nothing we can do to fix it. We have passed the point of no return. We are rotten to the core; there are no seeds to plant for the next season. We have lost that sacred balance point between having too little and too much, and now we really have nothing.
It’s not necessary to be a literal nomad, but so far, no one has come up with a cultural context that maintains the ethics and morals to give us that proper balance between stability and reckless abandon. Not a single civilization in the past has been able to capture the spirit of the nomad and keep it alive. In other words, you can’t build it — that spirit has to come as a gift from the God who made us.
The New Testament is loaded with imagery pulled up from Israel’s better past. We are always in the Conquest, always on rise and never past the days of David. We cannot afford to ever think we’ve come to the times of Solomon, because Israel began to die with him. Solomon managed to write a book warning himself about it, then promptly failed to walk in his own teaching. We don’t talk about returning to the days of Solomon, but we have an awful lot of “Davidic” this and that. Yes, David was a complete fool about some things, but every time someone chased him out of town, he was in his element. He did just fine as long as he was on the run.
Whatever it is God calls us to do has to be the sort of thing we can engage fully on the run.