Psalm 140

We have here the first of four psalms of David crying out to God in times of distress. This one refers to the political and military plots against him as God’s anointed. Keep in mind that, regardless of the actual meaning of selah, its purpose is to provoke a moment of contemplation to allow the image to take shape in the mind.

There are four stanzas of varying types of threat. First is the image of bitter opposition, someone with a burning resentment. This is not someone with a wise plot to oust David from power so much as the kind of person who seeks any opportunity for spite.

Second is the picture of traitors, people who draw close to him only so they can pick out some weakness to exploit. While physical harm from this angle is less likely, it’s still a form of violence.

Third is any number of people who are morally wicked. This is like a plague against which David prays quite often. David uses the image of God providing a head covering against a strike that would confuse him and render him powerless in battle. He pleads with God to ensure this kind of people don’t succeed lest they hinder God’s glory in seeking their own.

Fourth is what would easily be David’s most serious problem of all: Those who seek to hem David in, to corner him and humiliate him. We should all recognize the utter frustration of facing bullies. Thus, David’s imprecation is quite severe on these, begging that God not let them escape their just punishment.

In the final two verses, David celebrates his confidence in Jehovah as the ultimate source of justice for the oppressed and afflicted. This frees the righteous to stand and praise the Lord.

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Rhetorical Smoke and Mirrors

One of the biggest lies told today is that people matter in our system.

Aside from a few hyped policy matters, almost nothing in the US government agenda has changed one iota since the last election. Putin himself said as much, suggesting that he would not have bothered to help either side in the election since it would never make any difference who was president. Presidents have no say in what happens on the ground.

That is, having an actual say would require such drastic and shocking action as to destroy the system itself. Elections change nothing, folks. The only way to change government is a bloody revolt. And we are at the point where that is going to happen either way.

The globalists were poised to seize control of the government and it would have been a full apocalypse of terror. The globalists control the Democratic Party, crushing their own nationalist wing. The globalists aren’t giving up, so even if they succeed in ousting Trump, their current attack on the system that elected so many Republicans will continue. As long as one of them is not in charge, they will fight for control. And their methods will continue to break parts of the system until it’s all gone and they can rule as harshly as they like.

Meanwhile, the imperialists have long planned to destroy any country that expresses a will to independent policy and action, particularly when said policy and action is not what the imperialists want. They tend to be somewhat kinder and gentler in their oppression here at home than globalists would be, but it’s a difference in degree, not kind. Both imperialists and globalists are willing to slaughter however many dissenting citizens it takes to get cooperation.

Globalists are truly blind to the amount of dissent there is at the ground level; they are frankly hostile to even discussing it. The imperialists are more aware, but arrogant enough to believe they can beat it. The latter are also more willing to bide their time if they see a way through the resistance. The globalists will not wait, so they will be the first to face destruction.

Right now their ground troops are taking a break. They were expecting a right-wing backlash, but underestimated its effectiveness. The American Antifas weren’t expecting to get so badly hurt individually, and they were certainly not expecting the legal process to be so stiff, with a significant number of protesters already facing long prison terms. Theirs is a childlike fantasy approach to violent protest, expecting a magical protection against real-world consequences. They share in none of the street-wise experience with their communist brothers in Europe. To the degree they start the violence again, the American Antifas will provoke an even stronger backlash.

That’s because the one factor everyone seems to ignore is the just how fed up the nationalist majority is at ground level. Most Antifas would not even acknowledge that’s what they are facing. We aren’t that far from right-wing death squads. It’s one thing to march and chant and wave signs, but violence in preventing the nationalists from having their say will provoke a much more organized and forthright crackdown. The right-wing is willing and able, far more competent at that sort of thing than all of the globalists put together. And be warned that if such bloodshed gets started, it will appear racist. The ethnic minorities will suffer the most, despite the fact a great many nationalists are also from ethnic minorities. That’s because globalists and leftists have worked so very hard to enslave them.

Brothers and Sisters, this could drag out for the next few years. If not this summer, then another one down the road. Meanwhile, we need to keep an eye on signs that the debt system is breaking apart. It won’t be any kind of economic Armageddon, but it will be messy and painful. The economy will still work, but there will be dramatic changes in which companies will survive and from whom you’re going to buy your basic necessities. It’s going to crumble at the top layers, not all the way down. But along with that will be a similar disturbance in the political system.

Don’t believe the hype.

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Divine Espionage

Jesus often sought solitude to pray. When someone discovers that their heart is a sensory organ in itself, that habit of Jesus makes an awful lot of sense that it didn’t before. Communion with unfallen nature is a divine treat, a taste of the world to come. It helps to setting questions from a heavenly perspective that the fallen world rejects.

No two of us will receive exactly the same experience from such moments. Creation treats each of us as individuals, and the content of communion is unique for each of us. That’s because Creation knows your calling from God, and seeks to support you in that. Even when our callings see us working at cross purposes with each other, you have to understand that it’s never about what you accomplish, but that you are faithful to your calling regardless of outcomes. God can call people to things you might find utterly repulsive, so don’t take it personally that our fallen state makes no sense at all. This is not what God intended for us, but this is how life is outside of Eden. The conflict is not from God, but from the fall. If we could leave behind our fallen nature, we would see no conflict in the things God calls us to do.

A proper heart-led moral perspective sees most things on multiple levels. We are not stuck in binary and linear logic. We can analyze the world from that alien perspective that only God can offer, because we belong to His realm, not this world. So we see this world and its activities from a totally different understanding. We share that alien viewpoint from our myriads of different callings. We understand instinctively that it’s all personal, that objectivity is an illusion. Have you noticed how most of the prophetic passages in Scripture are prefaced by a disclosure of the prophet’s personal calling experience? That kind of self-disclosure is part of not-taking-yourself-too-seriously, but making a humble effort to share your experience of God’s glory.

So it’s not self-promotion for me to describe my experience; it’s a caveat lector — “reader beware.” A significant part of my education was in social sciences and religion. I tend to see things globally; I’d rather not lose sight of the bigger picture when dealing with minutiae. I also tend to see broader human events as a flow that God controls. My calling is administrative in nature, what the New Testament calls a “ruling elder.” My method is instruction and counsel, but I have a prophetic gift. I have no trouble seeing things on multiple levels, and I see patterns in chaos. Finally, I always warn you that there is no one right answer.

Let’s pretend God calls you to get involved in human politics. You ask me for some advice; all I can offer is my own story. I have seen the wrath of God on American politics for decades now, so I don’t take politics seriously in the sense of what most of us have been taught. I dispute the conditioning propaganda of the mainstream narrative. That doesn’t lessen my curiosity about what’s going on in politics; it means I filter a lot of what I read about it. I don’t hate politics, but I hate the system and its cultural foundation. So, you would naturally expect me to be both pragmatic and adversarial about the whole thing. I would advise you to approach the calling as an infiltrator, a spy working for some higher power, all while seeking a shepherd’s care for the people under your authority.

That’s because I view the system itself as the biggest threat to the people. Keeping it alive is not in their best interest, but using the system is an obvious necessity on the way to seeking God’s glory. Obviously, there aren’t many people who would share my viewpoint, and I’ve learned from long experience about throwing pearls to swine. Your own character and personality will guide how and when you might tell someone any part of the real story, but I would tend to be reticent. God has called you, but consider carefully the costs, particularly in human terms. I would be very slow to trust anyone who isn’t already in my inner circle, so build one carefully before you even announce your intentions. It’s not spite; it’s holy cynicism. It’s not in everyone’s best interest to discuss your true vision. The system itself is shot full of lies and blind hatred for the truth.

This is why Scripture offers no complaints against the practice of assassination. But there are a thousand ways to end a threat, and most of them do not involve violence. Once you understand that the system is already dying, it’s a simple matter of helping that process along. We don’t want to solve problems as viewed by those who depend on the system; we want to help create the kind of problems that will expose it’s inherent failures. We want to shed the light of glory on the evil built into the system.

If you want to see God’s own brand of cynicism about politics, see 1 Kings 22. This is the image of God calling on an angelic/demonic being to deceive someone into folly so as to destroy himself. It was a folly already present in the man in question, so it’s only a question of using his weaknesses against him. While shocking to Western moral standards, it’s not so shocking when you view God from the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) culture He designed to reveal His Word. God is light and truth; any other moral system is a lie. Western morals are a huge lie.

So if you bring ANE morals into an American political campaign, you cannot avoid espionage in that sense. Your aims are not consistent with the system, and you wield a power and wisdom the system cannot understand, much less resist. Creation itself will be working with you and against the system. Even if your quite moments in prayer and contemplation eventually lead you to some kind of crucifixion, you will know that you were on the right side and have obeyed your calling from God. Your personal investment is in God’s glory, not in some imaginary measurable results.

Addenda: In response to an offline query — The current system of government, aside from being inherently hostile to Biblical Law and the Covenant of Noah, is being used by a large number of people hostile to our national interest. If we think of the US government as a bunch of people running things, it is the government that is the traitor here. They get away with it because the system was a failure from the start; the corruption and betrayal are built into the system. But I don’t recommend people going into politics — that should have been obvious from my opening paragraphs. I don’t recommend engaging the political system with the intent to destroy it. It will eventually destroy itself without any of us getting involved. But if you do get involved, the only way you can serve the cause of justice is to work toward it’s destruction.

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Behind the Scenes

Photographers know that sometimes the beauty is the whole scene, and sometimes it is some small portion hidden in the middle of a lot of clutter. I don’t choose the images; they call to me and I shoot. It speaks a language of the heart. My only regret is that I didn’t have my better camera with me.

I needed a clearing time today, a chance to process what I experienced on a higher level yesterday. I’ve long felt that there is something truly awful about the city of Norman, OK. On the way to the trails park I came very close to running off the road in Little Axe, a small school district near the dam of Thunderbird Lake, but part of the Norman city limits. There were no other vehicles parked at the trailhead with bike racks, so it was a bad sign, but I wasn’t sure what to make of it at the time. Once on the trail, I knew something wasn’t right. My bike was complaining, and it never balks at a hard ride. Once I decided to get out of there, I still struggled with a sense that I was being detained, held up by something that wasn’t friendly.

All the way home, driving back another route than the one I came in on, I had visions of crashing the bike and breaking a leg, or sustaining some other serious injuries. I prayed about it as I drove, speaking out loud what was in my heart. The visions faded as I crossed I-240, headed north on Sooner Road. I need to stay away from Norman. It’s not so much a question of the city itself being evil, but it’s a bad place for me. It’s critical that I understand it on that level, though I do have a sense that there is a great demonic power at work in that town.

So today I wanted some time, some extended exposure to solitude in one of those secret places where the Spirit of God waits to reveal things. I rolled out on Reno-Vickie-NE 4th route. But at the North Canadian, I jumped off the right edge of the road and took the access path used by the Parks and Recreation maintenance trucks. Just for fun, I took a longer route, heading north for a ways until I found a better ramp down onto the flood plain. While the city hasn’t mowed in months, the trucks pound down a very nice dual-track route up out of the mud. It’s very thick grass nonetheless, so while I can ride along at a fair clip, it requires a good bit of pedal pressure. Thus, in just a half-mile I got a good workout. In the second photo above you can see the faint trace of this track coming around the corner where I approached the prayer bridge — the bike path bridge over Crooked Oak Creek, just off the backside of Eagle Lake.

It was just the Lord and me out there for a long while. The bridge frame offers enough shade that I can be comfortable for quite a while in the breeze. By that point I had made up my mind about Norman and I’ll avoid it in the future. Instead, God spoke to me about the twin parables in Matthew 13:44-46 of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price. Whether people are searching or just going about their normal business, we can’t help them unless they see the value in what we offer in our mystical faith. The moral wealth and power has to be apparent to their hearts regardless of the words we might use. And I was also reminded of the importance, for me, of understanding virtual space and the way people form communities online. Like it or not, this is the future of civilization.

As the moment faded away, I remounted and rode back out through the Eagle Lake park and up onto Reno. Just a short jaunt down to Branch Street. I zigzagged my way across that neighborhood, coming across Sunnylane at Fairview. From there I slip around to the entrance of Ray Trent Park. The path across the park puts me out on Judy Drive, and at Sooner Road I cross over and hit SE 7th. That eventually turns into Harold Drive and I cut right onto the multi-use path into Holoway Park. I need to cut some brush that blocks the path behind the houses, but that path runs me out to Sandra. Straight across is a grassy alley that runs up a sharp incline to the backside of 10Gym. Once out on Air Depot, I head north to the parking lot of Golden Corral, then across to Applebee’s and it’s just a loop around some houses back to our apartment complex.

I’ve included a satellite image of today’s ride, traced in dark lavender, where I started off the map on the right with the upper trace. I cut across parking lots when I can, follow sidewalks where it’s legal, and try to stay out of the traffic as much as possible.

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Crystal Bay Trails — Don’t Waste Your Time

It’s a disaster. If you are hiking, it’s not so bad. If you are riding, it’s not merely challenging, it’s dangerous. The place has suffered serious neglect, so unless you are a fan of self-abuse, don’t waste your time riding on Crystal Bay Trails out at Thunderbird Lake.

Here is one from about a half-dozen dead trees blocking the trail. This one was on the so-called “easy” loop. To be honest, you would be hard put to know for sure where you were, since at least half the trail markers are missing. There was once a bunch of maps posted on large signboards out on the trail, but one was scratched and unreadable, and another was missing altogether. This link shows you the official map, and without it you’ll get lost. After sampling the outbound leg of the green, yellow and red loops, I knew there was no point in going any farther. As it was, from the junction the backside of the red loop was obscured and I ended up on the blue loop headed down “Huffy Hill” the wrong way.

That was so badly washed out it was life-threatening to ride, so I dismounted for large sections of it. I did find my way back to the red loop by accident, partly because the rest of the blue loop was blocked by a log and appeared to be unused altogether. Again, if you are hiking, it’s not too bad.

The sand out here is fine silt. What you see in this image showed up every hundred meters or so on the “easy” trail. You cannot ride through that stuff; it’s up to ankle depth in some places. By the way, if you want to fix stuff like this, try chipped wood mulch. Throw down a heavy layer, turn it under with a shovel, than add another heavy layer on top. After the next good rain go out prepared to add another layer. After that, it should be good for years to come.

I didn’t mind the frequent heavy drops from tree roots, but you’ll notice in that second image, that greenery hanging over the edge of the trail? Some of it is poison ivy. It was everywhere and the trail is quite narrow in places, so you can’t avoid it. When I got home I washed my legs in cool water with a bleaching scouring powder (like Comet) and a soft scrub brush to minimize the effects of such exposure.

Given the complete absence of maintenance, I’d say you shouldn’t waste your time trying to ride the Crystal Bay Trails at Lake Thunderbird.

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Not for Me to Decide

The question came up again, and I suppose I need to rehash it one more time.

We cannot resurrect the Old Testament social order. We are not aping the Hebrew culture; we are trying to understand the moral reasoning for things they did in their context — that people, that place, that time in history. Then we take what God has given us and do our best to please Him in our own context.

In the first Hebrew churches, you would not see women in formal leadership roles. In Gentile churches, it varied with the local cultures.

There were some things Paul told, for example, the Corinthians that they should avoid. Women speaking loudly in Corinth was a bad thing. That’s because Corinth was a notorious place for low morals, and lots of visiting sailors from foreign places. The vast majority of the time, a sailor passing a house of worship where the women were chattering in esoteric tongues would figure this was a place to find temple prostitutes. That was a common feature in pagan cults of that time and place. Corinth was an unusual place.

In Philippi, women were leading the synagogue that met by the river because there apparently were no men in the group. That was pretty common in Gentile lands, since converting to Judaism meant circumcision for men and it’s pretty tough on adult males, not to mention a big ritual rigmarole costing a good bit of money.

In other places we find passing mention of females in various roles that seem to imply leadership. Do you have an idea how many different cultures were touched by Paul’s missionary journeys in what is to today Turkey and Greece?

There is only one hard and fast rule: Women could not be priests, or fulfill priestly roles. This is what we normally translate into English as “pastor.” At the same time, we know that, despite all the silly semantic wrangling, there were deaconesses, along with prophetesses and some other women who led in one sense or another.

On top of this, we have good reason to believe that the senior elder in any given church was the “head of household.” His was the final organizational authority in the covenant fellowship body. We should assume most churches had a male elder eventually, but at any given time, a substantial number of churches that arose from a previous synagogues may well have been all female. Given what we know of the social history of those lands, we suspect that the gospel message that didn’t require circumcision would draw a lot of men who previously held back from joining.

An elder was always organic to the body — the head of household. First Century churches were feudal because the whole society was; it was assumed in law and custom. Most of the time, your covenant household grew out from some standard household that held some social importance in the local area. The household would simply take up an allegiance to Christ as their feudal lord and others in community would join by sharing that allegiance. It was the Covenant of Christ. There was no secular angle to this because that simply did not exist in that part of the world. So whoever had the means to sponsor a covenant body operating in their home was the de facto elder unless they passed the buck. It was their decision.

And it could have been a wealthy woman. But that would have been legally risky in some places, so she would be looking for some guy to take up that role as soon as it was fitting and possible. God designed us to have dads around and it’s not a matter of superiority. Paul added a clarification in 1 Timothy 2, reminding us that, in the Garden at the Fall, Eve was honestly confused about the situation, but Adam was not. It was his job to protect Eve from moral deception. It’s a role, not a super power; God didn’t equip Eve to form rules of discipline and moral theology. But if there’s no man able to lead, a godly woman is the best we have.

Whomever is elder makes the policy for such things. While that elder is in charge, he/she is required to make certain policy decisions that apply to his/her service as elder. If you want to take advantage of what their domain includes, you have to play along. If you cannot persuade them to make adjustments, leave their domain. If your elder sucks, join yourself to another household of faith. That’s certainly allowed. You’ll notice above that level, it’s really up to God. Okay, so maybe you have an apostolic figure involved who leads multiple churches; you’ll have to play along with that person’s policies, too.

But if God calls you to do something they don’t like, go forth and start your own work. You have no claim on their resources and dominion, and they have no claim over your call from God. There is no one hard and fast rule on women leading in other roles aside from priestly offices. But I can tell you this: Where there is bitter contention, somebody is not right with God. It’s not for me to decide who that might be, but male or female, you know it’s the one who provokes and agitates to get their way over everyone else. Taking offense too easily is just another form of hatred.

Paul made it clear where he stood personally, but he was careful to distinguish between his own preferences versus a command from God. If you want to see a well-researched background, check out one of my favorite sources: The Christian Thinktank on women. Glen offers a link to a PDF on that page, which includes the entire 368 pages of detailed discussion on the place of women in Scripture and related sources. You can take it with a grain of salt, but it’s not my place to nail it down for you beyond that one hard and fast rule I’ve mentioned already.

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Wisdom Is Contextual

Maybe you’ve heard this before: “The people best positioned to decide something are those who must live with consequences.” But it’s not that simple. Even if we moderate this by saying those most affected should have the most volition, it still assumes something contrary to biblical moral thinking. That principle assumes that you could know enough about the consequences to decide what is right. The Bible says that the consequences you can discern are not the whole story, and may not even be the most important part.

More to the point, the Bible says that your moral choices touch Heaven, and Heaven responds in ways we cannot comprehend. We aren’t dealing with a material-mechanical universe; it’s alive and sentient. God made His Creation to be a person, too, and He rules as a kind father over all of His Creation. Creation responds personally. Thus, you may observe with your senses unpleasant consequences for some choice, but God sees and knows your heart, and can turn it into a blessing. That blessing may pop up somewhere else entirely unrelated — that is, unrelated in terms of what your can understand intellectually.

It also works the same way with curses for bad moral choices. You can piss off the whole universe in ways you cannot comprehend with your mind. But unlike we puny humans, an angry universe and an angry God will respond in ways we can never comprehend. The universe, both in all constituent parts, and as a family together, will commune with the Creator about what matters and what doesn’t. You cannot begin to comprehend how things are measured until you turn to God and ask for His revelation to be born in your soul.

So if I tell you that decentralization is God’s command for humanity, that’s because He expects us to re-centralize on Him. In other words, that principle stated above in the first sentence is relative to human politics, not a universal absolute. God calls us to join His family communion along with Creation so that we can discern what little He has equipped us to understand: Our individual part in restoring His peace to the world.

That peace is the root of all your moral consideration. When you can discern what among your choices is the path of inner peace with God, you need no other motivation. It won’t hurt if you are aware of likely consequences as mere humans measure such things, but those consequences are not the touchstone of decision. The foundation is always and only your peace with God.

As your elder, I will tell you that the principle in that first sentence above serves as a caution against typical human government. It’s what you would say against all the various political and social agendas by which people seek to enslave others. It’s the first answer to elitism and centralization, which always equates to tyranny and oppression. It is inherently morally evil. But we also know that such principles hardly scratch the surface of true moral action according to God’s revelation.

We know that our actions will always have consequences radiating outward in ways humanity could never fully know, but we can be sure the activist’s perception of consequences is deeply, morally flawed simply because they are activists. That alone signifies a false perception; it is the manifestation of someone who refuses to live from the heart, but insists that human reason (along with some brand of unstated assumptions) is all we need. God’s Word says that even if your choices have consequences for others, what He has delivered into your hands is not morally subject to any other person, particularly if those persons are not living by the heart or moral convictions. To the ears of some, it sounds just like the elitism we claim to detest.

Yes, we are prejudiced. We are prejudiced against the tyranny of fallen human reason. We are prejudiced against folks who refuse to take up the full range of faculties God has granted us to know His truth. Nobody suggests their decisions always have to accord with yours; that’s simply not possible. But when there is the inevitable conflict, God tells us how to handle it for His glory. Meanwhile, we use wise epigrams to open the minds and to awaken their hearts. We tell the activists in our world that people have to live with their choices, and that it is inherently evil to take away choices. What we mean by that is taking away choices God has given them. That’s because the entire range of human thought within the Western assumptions about reality are so very far from God’s truth that it has to be reined it just to get started on the right path.

We also tell people things like: “Play with the cards you are dealt.” We warn them that helping people with a poor hand cannot justly start from depriving others who have a rich hand, but that the starting point is destroying Western society and rebuilding an Ancient Near Eastern feudal society. If it’s not the covenant family first, it’s bad politics. We take a radical position that pretty much slams the door on everything you see promoted as popular political thinking. Thus, we might choose to support a particular action because it serves to break down the lies, or perhaps it merely brings on a clearer revelation of God’s glory by cooperating with His wrath. We don’t care about logical consistency as humans see such things. We see all things in the greater context of heart-led convictions about finding peace with our Creator and His Creation.

Whenever possible, be forthright and honest in your full rejection of Western mythology. Sometimes you can’t do it without walking through a lot of intellectual swamp until you start to touch the heart. In any given context, there will always be those you cannot help at all. They will always manifest themselves somewhere in the process; be watchful and make it clear when you are morally obliged to exclude them, and on what grounds. Never, ever accept someone’s demand that you have to make sense based on their assumptions.

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