Now is the time when Christmas things occupy everyone's attention in some measure. No matter how extremely anti-Christian-things one is, he or she cannot avoid noting the difference in the way things are in December.
Even as much as a lot of that Christmasy stuff is driven by those wholly given over to Roman Catholic commitment, it still does direct the observer to one single truth: That God entered our realm of existence as a man with one single purpose.
He was to die in order to shed His blood as the one single sacrifice that would cleanse us of our sin and rescue us from the grip of death.
How much of a contrast that was to the signing ceremony the president of the United States held yesterday, when he enacted into law the rescinding of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy of keeping an individual's proclaimed and presumed homosexuality from affecting military activity. Apparently the administration and defense department will work out how it will work to allow openly expressing homosexually minded individuals to serve.
Yes there are those who will shout about how wrong it is "to be homosexual" or "to be gay or lesbian" or to behave in a sexually immoral way that has been traditionally called sodomy. And on the other side are those who say it is fine and don't bother with what others do, we should all allow people to be who they truly are, we should be tolerant, and all of those sorts of things.
Both sides generally make up the Culture War, always stoked red hot when things like this signing ceremony occur. It is true that sexually immoral behavior that is given some substantial social sanction is repulsive. It is also true that people who spew the worst venom at sexually confused people is just as repugnant.
The truth that very few people see is that militant operatives within the extraordinarily powerful ecclesastical hegemony, conventionally known as the Roman Catholic Church, are sworn to do the dutiful job of fueling that conflagration. Because they are charged with the task of advanced sin management for the hundreds of millions of people who pay them well to do it (taxes, interest payments, tithes), they work like hell (to use a phrase) to see that a lot of people remain sinners and brazenly act on their sin, and that a lot of other people sustain a healthy vitriol against them in the ministry of condemnation.
Even if you are the most impassioned observer of the "Don't ask, don't tell" controversy, do you really think there will not be the worst violence occurring in the ranks? Even if it is not necessarily physical, it will certainly be tremendously emotional and spiritual.
In contrast to this is the Son of God, seeking the lost and asking if they'd want to join Him in the Kingdom. Even if you don't feel like leaving your life of sexual immorality, He'll make it so you can -- and find true inner fulfillment because He's freed you from your own wickedness. Even if you don't feel like refusing to continue screaming at people you don't like, He'll make your heart soft enough to be a reconciler too. Then you can be free from your own sense of entitlement and find peace in the One Who Provides All You've Ever Wanted.
I confess that my heart hurts for all those cheering, applauding people at the president's signing ceremony, left to their own iniquity which will continue to devour their souls. It hurts just as much for those whose fury against them will become more intense.
And yet, at least for this one month, they all still see the Christmas stuff all around them.
Is it just not possible for them to take the blinders off and the earplugs out
And see Him? Hear his word?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Now is the time when Christmas things occupy everyone's attention in some measure. No matter how extremely anti-Christian-things one is, he or she cannot avoid noting the difference in the way things are in December.
Monday, November 29, 2010
So, exactly what are you going to do with the information that was recently published on WikiLeaks?
You know what I'm talking about. The information that reveals the United States uses strongarm tactics in its diplomatic efforts. That it uses what is effectively subversive espionage to engage other nations. That it is wholly devious and underhanded in its strategy to gain the upper hand in all negotiations relating to the interest of maintaining stalwart national security.
Are you a Chicken Little who's screeching that the sky is falling? Are you a timid traveler on the Yellow Brick Road bleating "Lions and tigers and bears oh my!"? Are you dutifully rivited to the World's megaphone holders who are either soaked in denial, steeped in rationalization, or immersed in arrogance spouting some plap about being above it all?
Some may say those who cheer on the WikiLeakers represent a second kind of person, one who proudly bellows "I knew it all along, those pukes" and then gets really righteously indignant about it as a pretense to yet another stepped-up effort to tell guvment what's what and move on really getting them to get their act together. Nah, sorry. This individual is just another of the obsequiously fearful.
Or is it possible that...
Is it possible that you could perceptively see the World System humming away, churning on all cylinders just as it should be, marketing and exhibiting the typical horror movie featuring the valiant knights of Babylon riding to rescue the shaped and formed pusillanimous hordes just as it has for millennia?
Don't get me wrong. It is authentic horror. Countless more souls will be abducted, hearts captivated, bodies sacrificed in another chapter of the great conflagration that is the Grand Sin Management Administration Extravaganza.
Could it possibly be that you're one of those who do see all of this for what it is, and retire to the place where grace and mercy reign, where truth is given its just place, where agape expressions are bountiful -- indeed where broken and battered individuals find repentence and rest, quietness and trust, and in God Almighty they have genuine salvation and strength?
That place is nowhere other than right where you stand, except that by Christ you have a bit of light to shine upon those who wallow in this benighted nation. And by that light there'd be some who want out and join you in the Kingdom. As you turn to smile upon those ravaged by the World and its WikiLeak silliness, you draw them to rapturous contentment in the arms of One Who Loves.
Which one are you?
By the way, those words about repentence and rest, they're from the 30th chapter of Isaiah. Check them out.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
So what is it? Should we have severe government regulation to help things out or not? Should we let the free market be truly free when all it wants to do is be greedy and selfish and evil? What is it? What is it?
What is it?
You can actually find the answer. It is in the Bible. Thing is you gotta actually look in it. You can't just listen to the people who say they know what it says. That's a trick the Catholic Church has used for eons to keep their people ignorant. Sure the Protestant Reformation was supposedly the thing that enlightened us all, but the sad fact is many good wholesome Protestant churches have so thoroughly made themselves Roman Catholic again that they still hope people will only listen to those guys bellowing from the pulpits.
By all means, don't even listen to me. That's cool.
But here's one guy I really like to read because he is so much fun. His name is Bill Frezza, and he's a financial advisor guy of some stripe. Recently he wrote a piece railing against wealth distribution as carried out by the government. In some ways his cry for unfettered free market freedoms is similar to all the others. Don't et me wrong, I like the free market. I just don't think these people really know what it is. But he's still fun to read.
Anyway, in his latest he asked us to graphically imagine a world in which incentives are eviscerated, and his description of the power of government to exploit is pretty dang great. From the inimitable Bill Frezza:
"Imagine a society in which politically connected individuals enrich themselves by giving money to politicians in return for earmarked dollars extracted from taxpayers. Imagine political entrepreneurs displacing market entrepreneurs by weaving fantastic tales of energy independence and a green tomorrow, sucking down billions in taxpayer loan guarantees for businesses that cannot possibly achieve economic sustainability. This is how crony Capitalism works.
"Imagine a handful of executives earning hundreds of millions of dollars selling toxic mortgage bonds pyramided on low cost government-guaranteed capital made available by key Congressional committee chairmen who got special mortgage deals. Imagine a revolving door between reckless Wall Street derivative gamblers selling fraudulent unbacked insurance products and the regulatory agencies that bail them out using unlimited quantities of fiat currency printed up by unelected bureaucrats. This is how Washington works."
Ahh, yes. Very very true indeed. (And splendidly articulated.)
This is the way the World works.
The trouble comes when Mr. Frezza and just about every other of the thousands and thousands of highfalutin finance or economic guys and gals belch some marble-encrusted plap about this or that World solution.
But, umm, ahem,
Didn't you all just finish explaining that's how things work?
I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard about "The New Economics," about the new wave of intellectual rigor that must be employed and barfed about at the next Davos hoedown. Never ever do World people ever extend anything new, and if it looks new it's just the old dressed up in the latest fashion.
What people must do to be truly fulfilled is to do something that is very old but would certainly be radically new to a jaded World follower. What is that thing?
Recognize that you're worthless.
Wow, I know. An impossibility for people who've been told a thousand different ways they're special, they're okay like you're okay, they must love themselves, and all the rest of the ultimately pointless dreck that belies the truth that in the end it is all dust in the wind.
The solution to the economic crisis is merely getting people -- yes, thousands and thousands of them who know and understand and follow the One Who Is Worth to vibrantly live by loving others with His love and from that sowing, thousands of them doing nothing other than deep rich wise compassionate investment with the expectation of return simply being what the sowees continue doing for others with everything He has to give for us to do that.
That's all that sowing is. Having people who really know God's economics and finances, and building and sustaining the Kingdom here and now. This isn't pie-in-the-sky bring-heaven-here-now stuff. It is just doing what He wants us to do, authentically, truthfully, charitably...
I've put all this together as a blog post here simply to say that I elaborate a bit on this concept in my latest home page piece. I invite you to read it, and offer your thoughts. It is here.
Monday, November 01, 2010
I use this blog to write a lot about what I see going on in the World around and hope to do a decent job of articulating how much more wonderful the Kingdom is.
But tonight I simply have to get into the official open record a truly wonderful matter I've been waiting forty years for. It is simply this.
My favorite major league baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, are indeed
I can't even believe I'm writing those very words, but I can officially, fully, completely, and truthfully write in great big superfont capital letters
WORLD CHAMPION SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS.
I'm not going to go into all the splendid thrills of rooting for this team, nor detail the incessantly turgid of despair waiting for our team to finally get a ring, or as my good friend and I have always said, to do the dance on the mound. (And for those who'd say the Giants already have world championships, those were in New York. Just not the same.)
I just want to share with you two moments that I think about in all of this. Two simple moments in my life that are light years apart in emotional substance. I could write a book about this man's Giants fandom. For now, just these two items.
The first was when I entered a major league baseball park for the very first time, this one Candlestick Park in the summer of 1971. I was blown away, as all youngsters are, by the color and pageantry of a real live game. They were playing the Cardinals, and we won that game. I even think Willie Mays hit a home run, but it is hard to recall. I was ten years old and just liked it all.
Fast forward to 1987, this moment featuring the Cardinals also. This was about as harrowingly depressing as it could ever be. I don't know why I remember it so well, the particular image of me just looking out into the misty ominous darkness through the front windshield. Perhaps it was just because the oppression of my despair was so crushing at that moment that it stood out.
We had just given up the NLCS to the Cardinals. We were up 3-2 going to St. Louis where we lost the sixth game 1-0 on a handful of really stupid things that happened against us. The seventh game was over early when their light hitting shortstop hit a three-run homer to give them a whopping lead we couldn't overcome.
The evening of that game, for some reason I cannot for the life of me remember, I was driving alone down Hillside Boulevard in Colma near San Francisco, just along the southwest side of San Bruno Mountain. As I drove I just remember having a wretchedly shellshocked feeling, one I will never forget and never want to experience again. Yes, I know it's just baseball and all that, but if you are such a passionate fan of your team, you can relate.
The thing is, if you know what's in Colma then you'd know why this was such a perfect picture of that despondancy. Colma is essentially one big graveyard. It is cemetary after cemetary after cemetary. As I drove it was just dark and depressing and damned awful.
Tonight, the complete opposite of that feeling showered over me.
Just pure joy. Rapturous bountiful exhilarating joy.
It is just baseball, yeah. But tonight God bestowed a small blessing upon Giants fans everywhere who've stayed true to Our Boys no matter how heart-splitting things have been.
Tonight it happened.
They did the dance on the mound.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Last night I was contemplating the blog post I had from yesterday as I sometimes do, and I realized I'd made a logical misstep through my writing that I had not intended. I'm committed to only making minor clarifications in any edit of a previous blog post, and I thought it would be best just to add a note about the nature of that misstep. It will serve the purpose of making the post more meaningful, ironically in the sense that it was all about how much people plainly revile what is truly meaningful. But hey, in Christ -- it's all good.
I'd first written that for anyone to truly understand what really is going on when the large financial institutions announce they're closing their proprietary trading desks -- which, by the way, are those parts of the company that trade on their own profits for their own personal gain -- they'd have to be in one of the three groups. The intimation is that if you aren't in one of the groups, then you just wouldn't get it no matter how much you are being hosed.
But later I mentioned that everyone is in one of those groups. It is true that everyone is in one of those "ministries," but then that would also mean that they all do get it, that they all do comprehend what the large institutions are actually doing, and it is very clear that they don't.
How to resolve this logical misstep?
It is actually not hard. The answer is that within each ministry are different levels in which people have various considerations, desires, thoughts, passions, and yes, understandings.
The ones who understand in the ministry of sin do so because they are most successful in their human sacrifice. Others in different levels within that ministry stay there because they want to be as successful, but don't have a clue as to how they're being exploited themselves. Because of their reprobate covetousness, they simply can't squirm their way out. Of course, no one could without Christ. The interesting thing is that the best value extractors are just as exploited themselves, believing that their temporal riches will save them.
The ones who understand in the ministry of condemnation do so because they've listened so intently and followed so dutifully the instructions of their Superior Officer, disseminated throughout the Society for centuries by its sworn operatives mostly through the institutions of higher education and the mass media. These avenues are optimum for "spinning" everything, molding it all into a spectacle of humanist expectation and conduct, so understanding at the lower levels by those schlurping it up is really "disunderstanding."
The ones who understand in the ministry of reconciliation do so because they know they are loved by a Christ who died for them, and they in turn can "die" for others. They may ultimately give the full measure of devotion, but "dying" mostly just means sacrificing themselves daily to meet the needs of, to sow richly for, and to love charitably those God has sent them to fellowship with or minister to. Out of that comes an overflowing fountain of spiritual and, yes, material blessings for which the reconciler is always thanking God.
Even though everyone is in one of those camps, are there those in each camp who just can't, don't, won't understand? Absolutely.
Want understanding of that which is phenomenally meaningful? Extraordinarily liberating? Abundantly breathtaking? Splendidly impassioned? Exceedingly joyous?
It can only come through full devotion to the One Who Has All That.
Friday, October 01, 2010
I happened to catch a nice piece by Michael Lewis, you know, the guy who has written all kinds of books cutting right to what's going on in finance these days. It is a scathing exposition about what's really going on with the big institutions, but it only has meaning in light of three different perspectives.
One, you are one of the extractors he's showcasing and you're perfectly happy without truly understanding how hosed you are. Lewis brings up the possibility that there are fewer and fewer victims, but I really don't think so (and neither does Lewis). This is merely because the victims themselves are exploiter wanna-be's and can't stop salivating in their drive to be in tight with another Goldman Sachs.
Two, you are one of the regulators who gets paid big bucks to crack heads in this environment, and make no mistake, Lewis is a regulator. The media feed like sharks at a chum feast on all of this, and Lewis is just taking his highly regarded spot at the banquet table. Lewis doesn't even care that there is any meaningful enforcement, really, because his livelihood depends on the perpetuation of this value extraction.
Three, you are outside of this body of death altogether and in a place where you can insightfully discern all that this is about. That place is none other than the Kingdom of God clothed by the righteousness of Christ, by whose measure you can accurately gauge the horror of institutional human sacrifice and at the same time extend the hand of grace, peace, and wholeness to those who truly want to leave.
There they are, right there. The only three ministries that matter. Every human being on the planet is in one of them.
The ministry of sin -- the value extraction institutions enable it so well; the ministry of condemnation -- how proficient they are, the Michael Lewises and Carl Levins alike, constraining the evil enough to make it look like it really does any good in the eternal run; and the ministry of reconciliation -- deftly executed only by those truly sold out to Christ.
The thing that got me was Lewis' conclusion.
There it is, a truth in amongst the typically dreary World System pap.
"And yet news of the death of the Wall Street prop trader has been greeted with hardly a peep. And I wonder: is this the nature of our new financial order? Big decisions, in which the public has a clear interest, being made outside public view, with little public discussion or understanding."
Why no understanding? The reason comes from the words of Jesus. It is pretty simple.
"Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'"
Really, Michael Lewis? You think that addressing the evil more openly it will keep calloused, blood-soaked people from continuing to wallow in their spiritual sewer? That they'll stop doing their habitual human sacrifice simply because even the very best writers eloquently expose it a few times?
No, the answer is Christ. Not the churchly Christ or the cultural Christ or personal Christ but
The All-Powerful God of the Universe.
The One who loved with a self-giving love so an individual could find real joy out of that pit.
All Lewis could muster with his final closing words was
"If so [that this is the nature of the new financial order], it isn’t a future at all. It’s just the past, repeating itself."
Those in that first ministry say "Oh yeah, I can't wait to get mine." Those in that second ministry says "Keep doing it because then I have a job."
Those in the third one do precisely what Christ did.
They love them with their lives.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Yesterday I blogged about something I've addressed before, the idea that people are worthless left to their own benighted devices. I know this isn't the most ingratiating thing someone could ever say, but it is about the most truthful thing there is. Dead people are pretty worthless.
Sure, just about everyone who has the teenchiest thought that they are anybody would protest, or even further completely dismiss such a truth. After writing yesterday I had a few more thoughts I'd like to splash in here to clarify, and merely point out that what I do is simply highlight the abject silliness of World activity and let it do the talking.
One way the rank deception persists comes from what hundreds of church pastors are planning to do tomorrow, Sunday the 26th. It is apparently "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," when they will all stand up on their respective soapboxes and boldly shout about who their congregants should vote for, mostly with the intention of irritating the IRS and its oppressive limits on political speech.
If these pastors are naming the name of Christ and are actually doing what the Bible really tells them, they would be a million miles from such folly. Even more insightfully they'd see how much they're being played and that the World wants them be sucked into the power of the law over their affairs.
What these pastors tomorrow really should be saying are these things:
- It is simple. It doesn't matter how sharp, smooth, or special you are, if you're dead you're worthless. It's completely foolhardy for one to go around boasting he is someone. The stark truth is that you are a glop of dust who happens to have a little breath for a while.
- I too am no one special. I'm worthless too. The only way I can be "worthful" is through Christ. That's it. His righteousness and only His righteousness can give life. One's own righteousness just keeps him fooled into thinking he's good, when he's really very dead.
- It is true, sadly, that lots of people who say they're Christ's, aren't. Are there those who haven't a clue about Christ who do His kinds of things--you know, kind, giving, gentle, charitable, thoughtful things...all that? Yeah, but if you scratch them you'll find someone deathly afraid and seeking the deepest meaning about things. And they're still dead. Are there those who look at straw-man Christs all around and mistakingly think any one of them is the True One? Absolutely.
- You can indeed vibrantly, graciously, profoundly, passionately love a worthless person. Yes, it is possible. Christ did. He loves all of them. He bled to death on a large wooden post for every single one of them.
- The powerful exploiters are just as worthless no matter how much stuff they have. Jesus condemned the rich not because they have lots of cool stuff but because they do human sacrifice so proficiently.
- When the worthless exploitee does value extraction he blithely expects others to pay him even though he did little or nothing to receive it. When the worthless exploiter does it he withholds payment when a job was effectively done as expected. Both of these common conditions multiplied by millions is what shows up in the depressed financial indices.
You only have to look at those indices to see the worthlessness. It's not only the evidences I shared yesterday and in my webzine, but it's the slow but steady dollar sell-off by countries around the world. It's the stampede to find security in shiny yellow rocks. It's the incessant hollering "Where in blazes can I get my retirement money!" You only have to look at the news stories of pastors screeching about their need for World System exploitation to see how little they trust Christ to be their righteousness.
And all of this is not just me blabbing in a remote blog post.
It is all there in Scripture. And it isn't that anyone has to necessarily read a big honking book with a nice silky ribbon in it. Jesus loves today through the lives of those who fully trust in Him, desire to follow Him, deeply long to bring the bountiful, glorious Kingdom to others.
The way to have life is not trying to get in good with Caesar's operatives and telling them what you want them to do. Jesus and those who love with His love are light years from that.
Thing is, many other highfalutin church people will denounce "Pulpit Freedom Day" events and sneer about how much it violates 501c3 rules and separation of church and state and all that, but that's only because they are simply working to get their favored alternate political operatives in power.
How many churches and their congregants have completely divested themselves from Caesar by firmly abandoning any 501c3 contracts, wisely refusing to have their gatherings incorporated in any way (including their commercial ones!), and then graciously appropriating any tribute to a World entity only as required and instead using the bulk of their resources, income, and wealth to sow into the lives of others?
How many people are truly actually really stepping out and blowing away others in the "worthfulness" of Christ? Really, how many?
I do sorrow when I see things like "Pastor Freedom Day." It is extraordinarily sad. Still so so many nice people needing the World to slather vanilla frosting on their worthlessness.
My webzine's latest home page piece gets into the striking distinction between true worshippers and the fine looking pretenders.
Friday, September 24, 2010
It's Said, "You Can't Expect People to Be Persistently Deceived." (Unless, Of Course, You Are Persistently Deceived About THAT...)
A confluence of ideas and considerations is slowly blending together in my mind, the full picture of which seems to be pointing to more clear evidence of the human sacrifice practices that consume the behavior of World inhabitants. It certainly is the genesis of a home page piece in the future, but for now it is just something to splatter in a blog post.
When I see that standard axiom "You can't expect people to be persistently deceived," I treat that with great skepticism. People are constantly deceived about the fact that human sacrifice still thrives on a regular basis by everyone without Christ, and the law is merely in place to keep it all from getting too nasty looking. People are effervescently deceived about the fact that only Christ frees from that body of death and that all the remonstrating about government-this and government-that are simply declarations that the law is wholly required for them to keep human sacrifice behavior from appearing too uncouth.
Anyway, just been reading about how businesses in this country are sitting on billions of dollars they aren't investing, and I wonder, why aren't they getting that out there for bountiful capital utility when the economy is still teetering? Could it be because they think people are much more worthless than everyone wants them to think?
I've been picking up on how no one is borrowing, but the U.S. is doing tons of borrowing--which ends up being paid back by those not borrowing. Is this nothing other than the World System putting tons of window dressing on worthless people so they'll continue to fund its profligate hegemony?
Then there is how much people are afraid the still near-zero interest rates are simply feeding the next big smelly rotten awful bubble to burst all over us. Annnnd that is why? Maybe because people are too worthless to make any "bubble" actually be substantive production that would genuinely make others' lives better?
See, that's the issue, isn't it? When people think of others more than themselves, communities prosper. When people think of themselves above anyone else, they're just doing human sacrifice.
Jesus said as much. Please, I don't think people should be worthless. Worthlessness is very bad. But it is pretty simple. "If you have the Son you have life. If not, you don't have life." Jesus died to give people life. Believe in Him and you have life. And value. And worth. And joy and peace and wonder and love.
Funny, yesterday morning I just happened to catch a gal who regularly appears in economics reports on NPR say something pretty stunning to me. She was blapping about how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do anything to help out should bad things start to happen again, and she concluded, "This is a man who invented bullets out of thin air during the crisis. So, my faith is in him."
The plainest admission that someone is trusting in man, and not just any man but a man who directs the largest human sacrifice operation on the planet. Quite legitimate, I must say, for those who habitually do it.
But Jesus is 180 degrees the other way.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Since I'm here on my blog site pounding out posts for my Chiefs blog and my NASCAR blog, I should really just add a note that I'd written my home page piece for September-October. I was really working over some striking note I could make to introduce it to you, and I do have some good ones in mind, but they'll take time to flesh out. I'll still work at it, but for now, I just want to share with you that it's up and going.
As usual I'd love to know what you think. I laid out some thoughts about what Christians in the United States characteristically do in their behavior when it comes to government and politics. With the very eloquent help from Tupper Saussy I think it's pretty solid, but please. I never want to be presumptuous. Give me your take.
And yes, Tupper's very telling considerations do make an appearance. You'll see at the webzine.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I never watch golf, but lately my son and I have been getting into playing the game a bit. He'd received golf lessons from his grandmother as a birthday gift, and all he wants to do now is hit the links.
Anyway, we were watching the very end of the PGA Championship on Sunday, and it was very intense as a number of players were fighting to end up on top of the leaderboard when it was all over.
One of them, Dustin Johnson, had hit a ball into the gallery, and after everyone had moved out of the way he whacked it down the course for a shot at the title. Turns out he grounded his club in what was actually a certifiable bunker, and apparently the rules explicitly state you cannot ground your club there. Again, a total beginner with all this golf stuff, I had no idea what they were all talking about, but hey.
A rule is a rule.
It wasn't as much that the actual grounding was very slight, but that where he was addressing the ball didn't look like a bunker at all. A television commentator right there at the scene of the infraction even remarked, "It doesn't look like a bunker as much as a manger!" There was grass and roughage and bumps and divots and footprint marks all over the place. But alas...
A rule is a rule.
After all the reviews and discussions by very-official people, Johnson was penalized two strokes and it cost him a shot at the championship.
More newsworthy is all the trouble Congresspersons like Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters are in for breaking ethics rules. They've been charged with a number of convoluted violations that merely amount to doing favors for people regarding legislative business over which that they had some substantial management.
When confronted by the allegations, they made elaborately formal declarations of their innocence, essentially proclaiming that they had done nothing wrong. And you know?...
By the standards of the World System in which they live and work and play and exploit...
They are doing nothing that any other World power broker does not do. They all demand -- and get -- perfectly reasonable perquisites and privileges in exchange for the magnificent task they've been given to administer the sin management program millions of Americans request of them. Really, come on,
Who doesn't do the things they do in the positions they've been assigned?
I think when the human sacrifice extraction haul becomes a bit uncomfortable for some then they look to reel them in a bit. Guess that's part of the standard window dressing part of the program.
On the radio yesterday there was a network news report I'd heard or seen nowhere else. It lasted about a half-a-minute, and it was simply that the charges against former Congressman Tom DeLay regarding his connections to felonious lobbyist Jack Abramoff were dropped. The reporter added, something like, "When you mix criminal prosecution with politics you get quite a mess," essentially conceding that it is very difficult to be successful against any powerful person when that happens.
Oh, all those in the golf world will remember Dustin Johnson's grave error, they say.
How come no one remembers the grave errors of those in the highest towers of the World oligarchy? It is certainly the case that it happens there so frequently that no one cares anymore, yes. But there are more significant reasons most people simply refuse to accept.
I can't close without adding that there is an Alternative. It is indeed what the blog effort is all about. He is the Wonderful Matter. If you've been peeking about in any of my work, you know who He is. But I still cannot emphasize this enough.
He has nothing to do with the World except leave it to constrain evildoing.
How awful is that.
How wonderful it is you can go straight to the Kingdom.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
It was announced today that a federal judge dismissed California's constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage, and today a lot of people wanted to talk about it. It is so juicy because it is one of the more prominent battles in the incessantly raging Culture War, but most of what I hear being said is woefully uninformed, naive, or flatly foolish.
For two people to engage in a homosexual act is just as execrable as two people married to others having intercourse, or a person and a sheep committing bestiality, or any number of other sexually immoral activities. In that sense, then it makes perfect sense for the law to step in and regulate these behaviors, most notably for our day, homosexual acts. After all, as it says in the first letter of Paul to Timothy, "that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers."
Isn't it ironic that when good, wholesome homosexualists cheerfully announce their pleasure with the ruling, they are confessing their need for the law to govern their sinful behavior. In that sense, I am fully in favor of the judge's ruling.
I still acknowledge that an individual or even any group who states marriage is anything other than a contractual or even covenantal relationship between one adult man and one adult woman does not make it that way.
This was the first supposed misstep of the pro-marriage crowd, that they submitted the matter to a vote. When has there ever been a vote to declare that some dogs are really cows? When you submit matters of unassailable truth to the whims of the god Democracy the perceptions of those truths may change but the truths cannot. The tricky part is that those living by the World are so easily seduced by operatives working to subvert their understanding.
The second supposed misstep was the atrocious job the pro-marriage lawyers did of presenting their case in court. They smugly neglected to present evidence about the vibrant meaning of marriage or introduce experts who could articulate its profound merits. Those who were paying attention were bewildered at how pathetically inadequate their entire presentation was.
There have been so many seemingly puzzling missteps like this that it can only mean they weren't missteps at all. If you see things through the Kingdom lens, you'd see that all of it has been designed to draw people into an extraordinarily benighted conception of marriage, family, sexuality, community, and even things like the meaning of the law, the boundaries of society, and the nature of truth and grace. But then if you only see things by the World lens they can't help but be in such darkness.
Those living by the World do definitely need the law. The law is a very good thing.
But it is not for Kingdom people.
Kingdom people already have Truth and Grace, Someone who is not outside the law or above it or even beyond it, per se. It is that He's the complete fulfillment of the law through life-giving love. When people love they have no need for the law.
They do so because The One Called Truth and Grace loves them, He empowers them, He encourages them, He has sent The Counselor to speak to them and intercede for them -- all of this in rich practical reality.
Much of what I hear is related to what the Constitution has to say about it and how the Constitution is being interpreted in all of this. That's fine. That's the law. That's what World people need to govern them and their affairs. Some will spout a thing or two about God and the Bible and all that. That's very cool too.
But when you're moored to the World no matter how much you appeal to those things, those in the World who you might be trying to impress can't hear you. Oh, except to the extent that they hear things like how much you hate them because you won't let them be who they are. When you say "Constitution!" and "Law!" and "Marriage!" and they sneer right back, that's just the Culture War raging on. But they are just as much in favor of those things constraining them as you are.
The sad truth is both of you are subject to a lord you may not be able to identify. Oh you've given him supreme rule over you. You've done so if you've got a W-4 obligation with your incorporated employer, you've got a membership in a 501c3 worship assembly, you've been particpating in a Social Security pyramid operation, or any number of other entanglements with Caesar and his "constitutional democratic" Institution. Even if you proudly voted against same-sex marriage and thought you were doing the principled thing, you were still appealing to the law to keep same-sex arrangements from using the law they needed to govern their conduct.
All those things his operatives have been doing to persuade the population to bring the homosexualist out of the closet and under the law? Perfectly within the scope of his well-defined duties. In fact Caesar can't be doing anything but.
On the other hand, do you want genuine freedom, whether you are a homosexually minded individual or a zealous Romanist bent on sustaining the weighty force of law?
You won't get it from the World.
It only comes from the Kingdom, and that means turning 180 degrees and looking to Christ.
Even so, I'm still learning. I'm still up for the interaction. I'm looking to hear from a few of the Kingdom people on this. I really am. I'd truly like to be further enlightened about all of this just like anyone else.
One of my home page pieces recently was about the true nature of the United States Constitution. That is here.
Friday, July 30, 2010
In my last post I shared some thoughts about the answer to the question, "Who owns you?" There are indeed a variety of answers to the question, but really only two that the World offers. Those two answers are so important to know because in many ways they are the fuel for the Culture War. Those two answers again are, "I own me" and "Others own some of me."
I thought I'd elaborate a bit on the extent to which government is involved in the mix, and there is just as much confusion about government as there is about the question.
The libertarian naturally has great disdain for government, yet even the most liberated individual utilizes the services of other individuals in some way. Because people are very prone to rotten behavior, that "transfer" of said services must be administered by government in some form. The classic error of libertarianism is the failure to accurately assess the degree of evildoing within each individual.
The utilitarian wants to enlist the strongest baddest meanest government to make sure they feel better when others are cared for. As often as possible it is dressed up with eloquent rationalizations. The classic failure of utilitarianism is that no matter how much they sing the praises of a democracy they can only accomplish what they want by enabling a tyrant.
The Jesuits capitalize on this with their extraordinarily deft capacity to convince all World inhabitants that there is only one government, namely whatever temporal material entity is available for allegience. It is always wrapped in grand mythologies and ample dosages of humanist indoctrination. After all, for so many there is only one governing entity, the one Cain was sent out to form at the beginning of mankind's history to prosecute rebellion with seven-fold strength.
Since this is Caesar's divinely assigned task, rebellion by libertarians is the Agency's very life blood. That the Culture War rages as violently as it does ensures Caesar's legitimacy for those who refuse to allow Christ to govern their affairs.
Which means, yes, there is another government.
Alas, you see the harrowing ramifications of "one government" belief in so many things going on today.
You see it in the battle waging in Arizona over immigration concerns. The System never lets on about what is really going on, which is why all that's left for an intractable controversy is the rank spiritual violence spewed about. It is no incidental fact that, at least in several photographs I've seen, those zealously fighting for the immigrants are waving or wearing rosary beads.
You see it in the elaborate casuistry employed by Barack Obama to convince people that he is the single government official who can effectively manage the value. It is true people who assign management of their value to him will worship him; what they don't understand is that it is all designed to sustain the standard practice of human sacrifice.
You see it in the rage expressed over a few city government officers (such as those in the small Los Angeles suburb of Bell) earning a bit more than the media say they should. Never mind that people pay other officials governing their affairs thousands of times that, officials at so many different levels including ecclessiastical (the Catholic Church and its 501c3 subdivisions are themselves astoundingly wealthy) and commercial (concern over executive pay always simmers for a bit but because of the labor required to manage the value of so many it is seen for what it is -- nothing).
Only those who've given their hearts and souls to Christ can see the two governments. They know they are under the authority of one they serve with humility and love with their very lives -- that's the Kingdom government. They accept that they are owned, not by themselves, not by others,
But by Him.
Owned outright, a slave among slaves with never a chance to be free. The twist is that one in Christ is a slave to the Spirit and because he is no longer a slave to sin, no longer burdened by the turgid law and arcane regulations that plainly signify its grip, he has true freedom and is an heir to all He joyfully wants to give him.
When I wrote in my latest home page piece about the ungrafted church doing the things that people really want in their lives, you know -- getting healed, being freed from the power of the devil, reveling in His boundless grace to life eternal -- I also mentioned moving mountains. I am always careful about writing that because it just seems that mountains don't get moved around all the time, even though Jesus said at one point that one with faith in Him would not only be able to move it but put it in the sea. Wow. That's major.
While I do believe that He did mean moving mountains literally (and on the last day you'll see stuff that'll make such events seems like kicking a pebble), I really think He wants us to be doing things now that are far more important.
I'm in the process of putting together a brief prospectus of my vision for what we'd see should the church decide to actually act on being ungrafted. The three key areas of blowing the world away with the Kingdom are education, media, and business. That is, people would truly know what it means to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, they would have the most beautiful glorious expression of that (even as it leads to tremendous persecution), and they would interact with one another at levels that would bring 100-fold abundance to communities.
That's the moving mountains effect.
But it can only materialize in communities that live ungrafted, 100% abandoned to Christ and, yes, you got it...
Living in His Government.
A few home page pieces ago I wrote a bit more on the reliance we all have on others in some way (and yes, that does involve government). That is here. I've also written about the ungrafted church, here.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I caught a lecture by a Harvard professor on one of those obscure suburban PBS stations last night in a series called Justice. The TV listings blurb said it was about Robert Nozick, so I was a bit interested. The professor was extraordinarily boring, but to his credit most college profs are. The gargantuan lecture hall, however, was packed with bright-eyed youngsters, all of them certainly the brilliant quite-recently-departed-from high school students from around the nation who squeezed their way into this fine institution of higher learning with A+'s in everything except Calculus G/H. The sad part is that everything the prof said was the most rudimentary political science stuff and everything the students shared in response was nothing beyond the typically elementary philosophical brain farts. But hey, everyone needs to take Poli Sci 101.
I wanted to bring up the core question addressed, and that was "Who owns you?" The prof set this up by speaking about the utilitarian perspective, which at the risk of oversimplification is the idea that we should be doing the things we do with chiefly everyone else around us in mind. The libertarian perspective is the one that states whatever it is each of us as individuals want should be the real determing factor.
After all the quasi-erudite bantering about these two positions, the question came up. Obviously the two answers are as follows.
Libertarian: "Who owns me? I own me, because I have the right of self-possession."
Utilitarian: "Who owns me? Others have a claim to me because I live in a society, therefore a good portion of me is under the obligation of others-possession."
Most of the discourse revolved around the role of government in this, and for good reason. How much should government regulate the behavior of someone who claims virtually complete autonomy, when that may mean he or she will commit rights violations against others? How much, precisely, do others in a society have a right to claim against an individual and how much power should government have in managing that?
These two questions were only superficially addressed, but not for any deficiency on the part of the participants. There is only so much time in one class period.
But there is another reason these questions will never see the light of day and perpetually be caked against the walls of a dark benighted lecture tomb.
It is because the World has no answers for them.
That is except for the standard blap Caesar and his minions are assigned to dish out in the service of the legacy of Cain.
These people will never come close to approaching the third option for understanding.
The Kingdom option.
I'd love to share it with you now. And don't worry. I'm nobody. This isn't my idea by any means. Anybody can see the idea anywhere they look in God's word, the Bible. They just need to open it, read it, and tune out the ways World operatives jumble those words for people not really interested in being authentically His. Hey, it's okay. If you are genuinely seeking Him, you'll see it. It's right there.
Again, remember the question?
Who owns me?
For review: The Libertarian -- "I own me." The Utilitarian -- "Others own a good portion of me."
The Follower of Christ -- "He owns me."
It is that simple. Here's a part of Scripture, even, that makes this crystal clear: "You are not your own. You were bought with a price." That's from the sixth chapter of the first letter to the Corinthians. Please, read the entire passage, the entire letter for context.
The fact is churches that are incorporated with Caesar's government and the people who listen to their "shepherds" can never truly understand the meaning of that perspective, simply because their are selling themselves to someone else. It is certainly not Christ who, if they've allowed themselves to be His, already bought them with His blood.
What are the ramifications of this? In terms of what people truly want from the core of what it all means to begin with? It is this...
That the World has its way of trying to get people gratified, and as was demonstrated in this lecture, it is woefully deficient. It is perfectly fine for people living by Caesar, but Christ wants people to have overflowing life. The Kingdom way, on the other hand, brings perfect fulfillment because those who live knowing they are owned by God also know that He provides with the greatest abundance for all, sacrificially, selflessly, with the deepest, widest, most compassionate love there is -- it is all His anyway, so how could you lose?
Being owned by God means He allows us to be wise stewards of His things and everyone is cared for. It is all about sowing into community as an act of worship to Him. Think you'll forget how to do that? If you are rejoicing always in the wonders of His creation even that of your fellow human, praying without ceasing to receive His guidance, and giving thanks in all things simply to bless God in what He does to bless you, then
It's all good.
As for the World, it is really the same for both the libertarian and utilitarian. It is all about fear, and either "Get me mine" (the libertarian) or "Get us ours" (the utilitarian). Doesn't matter.
It's exactly the same.
Every decision every person has made in all of human history has always been about whether you are doing a thing for Caesar or doing it for Christ. Every one. Just because very fancy educational people are elaborating on all the fancy ways Caesar does things with lots of fancy blithering about it doesn't change the fact that it is still an expression of devotion to Caesar.
And with it comes all the abject bewilderment about what to actually do with the virulent agony all around.
There is indeed another Option.
The One that truly frees and gives and never stops giving.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
Last Monday I was struck by two pieces in the news/opinion aggregator I frequent. They weren't unusual by any means, but the topics are ones that are not addressed much. Each shared pretty amazing observations that few take seriously (which is precisely why they continue to periodically show up in some form), and they were from writers who are both very renowned in the financial punditry world. But because they are beholden to World operatives, neither could share anything close to the answer to the problems they elucidate.
Or I should say, as always, Anyone who is the answer.
The first was from Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post, and the title of his piece pretty much says everything: "We may be reaching the limits of economics." I like Robert Samuelson because he has lots of comprehensible and quite striking numbers to illustrate how much human sacrifice is actually going on out there. Oh, he certainly won't let on that it is indeed human sacrifice. His writing is more along the lines of "These numbers show exactly how awful things are in this area." In this piece he mentions several key questions that economists simply cannot answer, the most prominent one (paraphrased), "How much exactly should government do (spend, cut, raise, lower any number of financial instruments) to get people out working and producing and making things ever-so wonderful?"
Economists can't know the answer to that question, at least if they're still intractably tied to the World. Economists who live in the Kingdom and listen to the One Who Made Us To Begin With can answer that question. And much of it has to do with that second piece.
This one was by New Yorker columnist and author James Surowiecki, and his title says it all: "Greater Fools." He simply points out that as much as everyone hollers about Wall Street goofs messing things up for Main Street folk, it is truly the latter who are at fault. My dad always used to say "When you point your finger at someone there're always three fingers pointing back at you."
Yes, Main Street folk are just as foolish as anyone. But see, the World persepective stops there. Surowiecki can only go into the tired old ways average people don't know diddly about economics or finance. This is not news. What Kingdom people know is that it is not that they are foolish that is so destructive.
It is that they are sinful.
And while the World can indeed make a good case for people doing uncouth things, very few people ever bring up the fact that sin is not just saying an unkind word or gliding through the traffic stop every once in a while.
It is lying and murdering for the purpose of accomplishing human sacrifice.
Yes, I know about those three fingers. They've been pointed at me too. This is why the only way I can be freed from my well-deserved guilt and the punishment that goes with it is to put all of everything I have or think or feel into the hands of the One who died for me so I could live again.
The World offers its counterfeit Jesus to millions who worship it, and therefore require the federal government or the Federal Reserve banking system or the Roman Catholic network of tax-exempt 501c3 organizations to hammer away at spending or cutting or raising or lowering any number of value extraction instruments to pretend to make them feel good when all they are doing is laying them on the altar time after time after time.
The only way out is through Him, and fully committing to abandon the whole value extraction body of death and enter into value enhancement by sowing what God has given us into the lives of others. Yes, it does require the deft arrangement of fully terminating all those contracts with Caesar that signify one is still a sinner requiring neat and orderly human sacrifice services.
The other day my family and I went to see Toy Story 3, and in the lobby of the theater were two banners for the upcoming film Inception, hung on opposite sides. Each one had four people in seperate frames, each with a title underneath. The posters had different individuals on each except for one actor who appeared in both, the star of the film Leonardo DiCaprio.
His title was the same in both banners.
Right now I know very little about the film, except that it is getting some buzz and looks like a film I'd like to see. For now I was certainly taken by the DiCaprio's character title. It is easy to see that people are intrigued by the idea of an Extractor.
I wonder how many of them know how much their value is being extracted as they breathe?
All of this was simply to introduce you to my latest, which gets into the distinction between the World doing its thing and what it would be like if people truly lived out the Kingdom doing its thing.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Every once in a while I get a message from someone who is intrested in knowing more about what it means to be an ungrafted church. They've caught my webzine, most likely the "501c3 Q & A" page, and have more questions or are simply concerned about being incorporated.
As I thought, I wondered, how many such people look at my blog to see what kinds of things I'm saying about being ungrafted? And are they trying to get cues from the many times I've gone out and consulted people about what it takes to move on establishing a vibrant assembly that is not tied to Caesar?
And then I thought, hmm. They aren't going to find any such scintillating narratives here. Not that I don't want to fill this blog with them. I do. It is just
They aren't happening.
I have indeed offered my services to do some consulting about these matters, but no one has requested them. That is likely because very few see that I'm here. But I think the main reason is more harrowing.
It is because there are so few who really have any desire to get out of their Catholicist swamp.
I have introduced the idea of being ungrafted to many pastors. It's not that they've responded by telling me to take a hike -- they've responded by saying nothing at all. Dozens of pastors, some of whom are my good friends, are completely silent. Even after the most graciously respectful request that they give me their honest no-cost take, I hear nothing. It's like a disease.
Well, it is. It's the disease of being hopelessly obligated to the World. Please know that's not a bad thing. The Ministry of Condemnation is a good thing. There must be condemnation and the force of the law to crack heads. These pastors get paid big bucks to do Caesar's work. Perfectly rational behavior, really. No wonder they all think I'm speaking gibberish.
I'm nobody anyway. I'm nobody but someone who reads Christ's words and wants to do them. Someone who just wants to be thoroughly immersed in the ministry of reconciliation, with the wildest abandon possible. I confess I don't do it all perfectly, but I pray constantly that I never use that as an excuse.
And that God would do a miracle in my life to make me wholly ungrafted as much as I look for it among others.
I'm convinced that can't happen for me in a vacuum. I must be around others doing it. So yeah, right here, if you're reading this blog to get some grand wisdom to make all things happy happy happy in your worship community, all I can give you is this: That the church of Christ needs faithful people. Jesus had 72 guys to send out, two by two, and they radically transformed everything they touched.
Where are those people today?
So if you're reading this blog right now, I urge you to simply do what Scripture says to do. That's where the instructions are. Look at the fourth chapter of Galatians. Read that and tell me we can really keep making the excuse that our churches have to keep being 501c3's just because that's the way it has to be, and still think that God is pleased with our puny efforts to transform the world.
If you still want to get any remotely thoughtful remarks from this writing effort, go back and look again at some of what I've put down. I do lay out the case that the World is woefully lacking, simply that some may turn and see the Kingdom and His glory in it. It is a challenge, I try to be detailed but still engaging. Simply look at the last three blog posts I made, there at the end of May.
All I say there is that I'm no Solomon, but it'd be nice if we got together and moved forward on doing what God asks us to do. Want to do that with me? I'd be happy to talk with you.
And FYI, I put together a whole webpage with some pretty basic ideas about what to do to be ungrafted as a worship community. That page is here.
Monday, May 31, 2010
I blog because I really think I have something to say. Right now I know not a whole lot of people read this. I still write for a number of reasons. Maybe someone will come across it. At some point in the future my children may actually read some of this and think deeply about what their dad was about, what he was thinking and feeling. And I do this simply to "put on paper" what God has shared with me. "Share all good things with your instructor." I like that a lot. Here I may do that.
My last two blog entries were simply about things I want. Yes, call me selfish, but I don't think for a second God didn't put deep passionate acquisitiveness into each of us for a reason. After living many years in the World, I found its treasures profoundly lacking. What is still a bit amazing to me is how well the World fools people into thinking its things are the things to acquire. Oh I understand it. I understand why it does that, and I see at least a little bit of how it does that. I do understand.
Which is what leads me to that one more wish. I've already mentioned that the bulk of my wishes are oriented around hanging out with people who understand. I'm not so arrogant to say I'm the only one who understands, although some may take that away from what I've written. But the Holy Spirit does counsel me about all the things said to me. And He does give me a pretty good idea of what is of the World and what is of the Kingdom.
So yeah, I do very much want to hang with those who understand, even have light years more understanding than I do. I do so long for that. I'm even great with hanging with those who may not be there but do have the tiniest desire to get there -- to that understanding. What breaks my heart is that I see so few of them. Oh my, I so enjoy the company and devotion of my family and friends. God has blessed me immensely in that, I thank Him every day for them.
But they don't even understand. Again, I love them, I revel in being with them, but they along with most everyone else just don't understand. Even though, yet again yet again yet again, one of the key critical things that keeps me moved to share, to write, to effuse as I do, is that I have three beautiful young eager enthusiastic exhilerating children -- maybe after time, maybe they indeed...
Will get it.
And what is it I want them -- or anyone to get?
The one real wish...
That all things are answered in Christ. Anything you think you want is in Him. Things attacking you from all sides? No sweat -- if He's yours you have everything.
Thing is, the World is filled with counterfeit Christs, and they take so many different forms and are so powerfully compelling that they are no match for those who don't simply every morning say to Christ that He is theirs exclusively.
As I've learned more and more about the World's modus operendi and that contrasted to Scripture's description of what the Kingdom really truly is all about, I believe the only way to behave as Christ's in the midst of this World is to "abjure the realm," so to speak. This means getting out of all the contractual obligations one has with the agents of Cain, yet still explode using all the gifts God gave to all those in His community to bring the most phenomenal abundance of all good things for everyone. All of this I've laid out plainly in my webzine.
But to make it real, to make it so radical to a puny putrid World System, it requires those people to get together regularly and not remonstrate against anything that Caesar does, but rather do those things that would be truly abjuring the realm. Firmly covenant with God and one another, and then shed all those agreements together, the W-4's and 501c3's and debt contracts and voter registrations and government pension pyramid scheme extraction plans and all the rest of that sewage. Then with that covenant in place set up arrangements with one another in which the seal of Christ in their hearts is the only expression of their commitment to work hard in a self-sacrificial way, essentially "dying" for others simply because they love so much with His love.
What are those "arrangements"? Churches that have no incorporated status with Caesar. Businesses that are not incorporated as a way of evading responsibility to love those with they have to do. Schools (also completely unincorporated in any way) that are so vibrantly filled with overwhelming joy and purpose that people flock to them.
Are you given over to Christ, or do you just say you are?
So yeah, it is simple. My wish is to be among those who actually are. If I'm not one of those, then I want to be one too. I pray and pray and pray that I am -- all the time. I truly think some of this is that I'm around others who are. And I wish I could be right their with them being the Kingdom. Blowing everyone away by actually doing it in reality, no matter how much those in the World want to put us away or even execute us along the highways.
Jesus said so utterly plainly that this is what it should be like.
Can we love so much with His love that we'd really be ushering people into the Kingdom no matter what it costs?
So there it is. My wish. That's it.
Friday, May 28, 2010
In my last blog entry I kind of went off on rank disunderstanding, if I may coin a phrase. Just thought I'd add a few more thoughts around the visceral feeling about it all. Yeah, I know. It was yet another time I laid it out there. My good friend from work with whom I pray is a very even-tempered guy, he's awesome. He said don't sweat it, God's got it, it's all good. That's fine. I know.
But I still feel it.
Today in the news/opinion aggregator that I habitually scan were these link headlines.
"What If It's All a Lie?" This was from blogger Edward Harrison, who is himself a financal advisor of some stripe. But look at that question. It actually makes me laugh. I mean, come on, how many times can you say "This guy/company/country just ain't payin' us back... um, aren't they?..." without actually getting a clue.
'Scuze me, I've got the answer to your question. I'm no genius because it's the answer that's been around for millennia, staring us plain in the face. It's just those who must deftly sustain the human sacrifice bloodbath keep so many from looking at it. The answer is
It is a lie. But wait. If Edward and all those waddling about with big fat question marks hovering over their heads are actually sworn value extractors themselves, then the question is merely asked to keep people hoping that it isn't, that the ones systematically hacking their spiritual limbs off are really not lying after all. Or if they were really lying, then the sales pitch is all ready to go: "Get hooked up with me and my value extraction services so I can get you ahead of the game!" Or yeah, get you a head from the human sacrifice game we all play. Okay, a bad pun, but not many people should be laughing anyway.
Then there was this gem, from Investors Business Daily no less. "Big Government Takes Over." Really. Like, when did this happen. This morning? Hurry, run for the hills. Hurry now. Go faster. ::Yawnn::
Crimeny, people, how many times can you say "The government now runs x percent of y part of our economy whatever whatever OH MY" and not keel over with laughter (or a bout of serious ulcer pain depending on your degree of disunderstanding).
Yeah yeah yeah, I do have the answer. But why write it down. Same thing applies that no one is getting here. These guys are screaming "The sky is about to fall" to get anyone they can to believe it isn't yet anyway, at least not without some valiant World System thing to keep happening. Or some novel World System thing to be employed. But the World System has already had everything taken over, yeah yeah, you got it (or not) -- for millennia.
So bazillions will never understand. I know that. I accept it. Jesus said it a long time ago, even quoting prophets who said it long before that. Nothing new there.
But I still want to talk about things understood with those who do. See, I so want to go to Jeremiah's lodge just to talk about things with people who get it. That's what happens at the lodge. But I think sometimes I expect too much.
Sometimes I think the lodge is just when I can read a book with my daughter. Or talk about the ball game with my son. Or watch my students really doing their damnedest to get what I'm teaching them, that's very sweet. Or revel in any of those things happening that just tell me, as my friend said, "It's all good."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I really wish I could blog more. I work ten hour days and spend lots of the other time I have with family.
'Course I really wish for a lot of things, like mixing it up with people who actually understand. Not to brag that I'm the one who does understand necessarily, or even that they'd read my blog. That's kind of the point. I do very very very much wish I could talk with people who get it -- I just want to be getting it.
Thing is, paying attention to Jesus' words, you'd get it. When I pay attention to Jesus' words I get it. Paying attention to Jesus' words and seriously getting out there and doing them, I already have the answer. That may sound arrogant, but as I've emphasized, it ain't me for jack.
Know Him and know the answer.
Don't know Him? Don't spout about how much He isn't or that I don't know the answer. It only means anything if someone else whoever that is gets it and knows Him and understands.
What is the reason I spend whatever time I can soaking up what the World megaphone holders say about things? It's simple. I want to know what the questions are. I want to form in my noggin the questions juuuuuuuust right and put 'em out there so that maybe someone'll come to see Christ as He is and not as their straw-man god.
Like this book I'm sauntering through called Fool's Gold by Gillian Tett about how JP Morgan messed up the financial markets. Turns out her solution is just that we all practice much much much more holistic thought. She's into social anthropology and how everything is intertwined and that if we just kind of got together about these things we'd be much much much better. Nice.
'Course, the only reason she gets a little megaphone is that she's blapping just what everyone wants her to blap. What she says is nothing new -- Let's just damn stop doing bad things damn it come on let's just stop being rotten to one another already damn it gosh. Really? That's a surprise to me.
Then there's this piece from today in the Financial Times. Great parable about the way the financial world works right now. It's dead on. It really is, I commend the guy for doing such a great job laying it out like this. Dead on.
But you see, that's just the problem.
It's all death, and he can't see that. The one thing he forgot to add is this: Really, all the ants and the grasshoppers really want to do is eat each other. Everyone without Christ is just doing human sacrifice. Without Christ all someone has is the endless pursuit of spilling someone else's blood because maybe-just-maybe that'll absolve them of their sins. Gallons and gallons and gallons of blood. The ministers of Cain simply do a really really really good job of lying about what they do. But if everyone is a liar anyway what difference does it make?
A guy was interviewed on NPR today, I think it was NPR, I don't know I'm really tired right now. He was the owner of some furniture store in South Carolina. He says he's just now learning about Greece yet he thinks the economy is picking up. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about but all but confessed he really doesn't. He may very well be a very good guy.
But one of the things he spoke about was that he was talking with others, and the idea he was getting across was that he was trying to get cues from them about what's happening. That's cool. That's fine. What I thought was...
Do they really truly actually understand?
Or are they all just listening to the World megaphone holders who tell them they aren't worthless without Him, this Jesus character is of no matter, or that the truly fake Jesus they believe in is just dandy? That you've got to hold yourself up by those bootstraps until your fingers bleed like a good American? That when you go to your Caesarian church on Sunday it's good to smile and say happy things with friends but to keep slitting other people's throats on Monday? Oh, and your church belongs to Caesar if it's a 501c3 incorporated entity.
So yeah, I do wish more people would read my blog. I know they won't because they are smothered in a zillion other web things, and cell phone things, and whatever else. I even wish someone would read my blog and go the distance and call me on my claim that I have the answer. Great. But I just get too discouraged not so much because of the vastness of the web universe in which my writing gets lost. It is simply because I have found so few people who understand. Again, this has nothing to do with me or my blog, it just has to do with rank willful blindness and deafness and muteness by virtually everyone I encounter.
Oh? Is that too harsh? Too arrogant? Too cynically dismissive?
Then understand with me and let's talk about it. Don't understand yet? Then take a few not-so-difficult steps and commit to doing so. But don't complain about a piddly little nobody like me. All I want to do is point people to the answer they all say they want.
Or 'scuze me, The Answer.
But I get discouraged. There are just so so so many people beholden to the World. They wouldn't know The Answer if it dropped on their heads like an anvil from the sky. That really shouldn't discourage me because intractable Catholicists will never stop being so. That's fine. They do the World thing, that's just the way it is.
I think I just see so much of it that it gets disheartening.
Sometimes I so need to be at Jeremiah's lodge. Okay, yeah, fine. I just need to be there. I so need to be there.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
I went with my family to see the film How to Train Your Dragon the other night. It was fun, and worth a couple of remarks to introduce my latest home page piece.
Much of it was about the idea that people can make mistakes about things based on their preconceptions. Vicious flying dragons frequently "raided" the vikings' village, but the vikings didn't understand the reality of their predicament. They honestly considered the dragons evil combatants, until a young man discovered what was really going on and learned how to benevolently interact with them.
This theme is often repeated in cinema, and it parallels my latest webzine feature. People honestly trust the Roman Catholic Church to save them, really honestly rationally because all they see is the World System in all its glory. There are too few Kingdom people out there to share Christ with them because so many who say they're Christ's are tied to one World god club or another.
I also thought about how World inhabitants would interpret this theme--taking the presumption from what I hear so many of them say so often.
"Look! What a terrific moral: we think we're seperate when we're all just the same! If only we'd all just be friends! Walk in one another's shoes! Chuck all those minor inconsequential differences! It's easy to get along if we just try!"
This denies the fact that the film still had a horrific adversary, the largest meanest dragon who had to be defeated in the end. And for those who think religion doesn't really matter after, the vikings still worshipped Odin, or at least he was mentioned. Why would the viking god (the real life viking god, not just the film-story one) be mentioned if he didn't have some significant role in their lives?
What I found most interesting is that the dragons were essentially victims of "dragon" sacrifice on the "altar" of the giant "god" dragon. All the other dragons very honestly, very reasonably, very rationally complied.
It was all they could do because all they did was fear.
Just like dutiful World inhabitants.
Want to get off the altar of habitual human sacrifice at the hands of sworn World operatives? Want to truly live and sow bounty into the lives of others? Want to pull yourself away from the codependent clutches of Cain's domain and instead experience the widest deepest love and envelope yourself in rapturous joy?
Thing is you'd need help.
The One Who Is Joy is right there at the entrance to the Kingdom to let you in. His nail scarred hands beckon you. Thing is...
He won't allow all that World baggage in with you.
To find out more, read here.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Last night PBS’s Nova had a broadcast titled “Mind over Money” about the ways psychology affects economic decision-making. It was a standard World take on the latest in behavioral economics, namely that there is really no such thing as a rational market.
The typical proponents of this view were favorably interviewed, Robert Shiller and Richard Thaler among them, stridently advancing the idea that emotions play such an important role in decision-making that few people are truly rational about the decisions they make. This is all played out in the market, and with the financial markets recently demonstrating how hosed people got, it must be true.
Everything anyone does is always and perfectly rational, every time.
The reason is simple, and has a bit to do with a portion of the show that featured a scientist doing experiments to graphically see how much of a certain part of the brain is activiated when a subject is offered money. It turns out it is stimulated the same as it is when offered sex, drugs, or food. The scientist then said something along the lines of “The brain has evolved yadda-yadda.”
Now, if evolution is the culprit, then why isn’t that perfectly rational? Heaven forbid we’d have evolved not to have an emotional switch to move us to get food to eat and have sex to procreate, or make it easier to do those things which is what the very reasonable tool of money does. Now, the idea of evolution is crap, but it does make perfect rational sense to someone who buys into a materialist world view. The interesting thing is, how can someone with such a view say what is rational or what is not? If it is perfectly rational for a beast who has evolved with a larger body, stronger muscles, and sharper claws to eat you, what do you have to say about that?
The “there is really irrationality after all” folly was further exposed when another scientist did an experiment in which a good number of subjects were all put in front of a computer connected to a market exchange simulation, and they were told that over time the asset they were trading would be devalued to nothing. They then started trying to buy or sell the asset.
As they got going they actually overvalued the asset for quite some time, forming a speculative bubble. As time went on the price of the asset was far above the value the simulation had established, until eventually the prices started tumbling dramatically, popping the bubble. The experiment was a success! These subjects unwittingly created a bubble thus proving they behaved, ahem, irrationally.
What is never addressed in these kinds of experiments (there are so many of them) is that the experimenters must make an initial assumption about what the value of the test asset is. Here’s the bazillion dollar question:
Where did that come from?
Where did the initial consideration that the asset was falling come from to begin with? The experimenters may look at the aforementioned results with glee, but real life is not like that. In real life somehow someway a market value of an asset comes to be—laboratory dweebs are not there to just say “This is the value and what you think about it is wrong.”
Again, why is what they say it is wrong while what you say it is is right?
No, it wasn’t that people were behaving irrationally—those experimenters were dutifully (and very rationally) worshipping one of the most powerful gods, Hindsight. Those subjects were simply trying to maximize their self-interest (quite rationally) and when people lie and cheat and exploit markets… and engage in extraordinarily rational human sacrifice, bubbles form and pop and form and pop and form and pop and you get a business cycle.
Which means the issue is not that people are irrational.
It means they are unrighteous.
That is the true folly. It is even more foolish that they dismiss what they think is the folly, but it is not irrational to do so because they haven't a clue about God or who He is, even though many will boast zealously that they do. Makes perfect sense, perfectly rational. It is wholly unrighteous, however.
There is only one way to be righteous, and that is to link up with the one perfect value assessor, Jesus Christ. He’s it. He’s the One.
Jesus Christ is the one quant who gets value correct all the time, every time. All the other quants no matter how brilliant they are with the numbers are just guessing, and if they try to get what’s valued without Christ they are only arriving at what the Jesuits want them to see.
In fact, close to the end of this Nova episode was a surreal scene with a number of young bright-eyed quants searing their attention into huge computer screens. Scanning scanning scanning. They will scan and scan and scan ultimately to do only one of two things.
One, they will further the human sacrifice efforts of millions and millions of people paying them to peel off any and all of those market discrepencies and anomolies so they can have their retirement secured.
Or two, they will ensure the pool of veritably valued capital sowed into the lives of those who love with Christ’s love will be manifest broadly so all may benefit and further demonstrate His love as He did.
Know what? I think everyone is very rationally doing the former.
I think no one is doing the latter.
How unrighteous is that.
Friday, April 16, 2010
The biggest news on Wall Street is that the Securities and Exchange Commission is coming after Goldman Sachs. They've been hit with fraud charges, so significant that today the Dow took its first hit in a while. Everyone who watches what's going on there at street level isn't surprised that Goldman Sachs is in the crosshairs, and some are a bit surprised that the SEC is actually standing up and pointing its shaky finger at the behemouth.
Slate writer Heidi Moore got through a manhole and looked around a bit underneath the street, and saw some very interesting things. Among all the stories in the web aggregate I look at, my attention was drawn to her piece: "It's Not Just Goldman--It's the Clients." Sure enough, you'll find that all of our huffing and puffing about rich guys being eeevil is woefully misplaced. We need to do a lot more huffing and puffing about
The fault, dear Brutus, lies with ourselves. Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, for that's deeper down in the waterworks.
As for Moore's expose, she eloquently identifies uber-hedge-fund-manager John Paulson as the guy who convinced Goldman Sachs to arrange his notorious mortgage short-sells that netted him nearly $4 billion for the year a while back. Not only was Paulson working it working it working it, but many many many others were too. Getting deeper under the street now, in places where the rats roam. (Oh, don't worry, we'll go even deeper for you horrorphiles...)
A couple of posts ago I'd pointed out that Ponzi king Bernard Madoff was just the stupidest of all those working it. I'd wondered if some would think that a bit too inaccurate because before our (and his of course) hindsight he wasn't so stupid. Look at John Paulson now. Will he get in trouble simply for deftly gaming us dumb saps? Isn't the taxpayer the stupidest one of all?
The answer to the true meaning of "stupidest" can only come from understanding the distinction between the World and the Kingdom.
Here's the World's definition of "stupidest," when it comes to people like Madoff and Paulson and every other value extractor: 1. Did a rotten job of lying. 2. It was so rotten the liar got whacked by Caesar.
Here's the Kingdom definition: Wicked as all hell.
Madoff is the stupidest on both counts. But everyone else who successfully works it is only stupid on the second count. And as long as people continue to have their earphones plugged into the Catholicist megaphone they'll always be striving to avoid being stupidest by the World's definition no matter how stupid they are by the second.
A classic example of this spiritual lunkheadedness is in the No. 1 bestseller, Michael Lewis' The Big Short. Lewis does a super job of slithering around underneath the street close to where the biggest fattest ugliest rats are, but the only reason everyone wants to read it all is to see how they can be as good a liars as the John Paulson's of the world.
The Los Angeles Times had an interview with Lewis printed in its Sunday Calendar section. Calendar section??? What's with that? I guess they put it there because they thought The Big Short was a good book or something, except there is indeed a special section just for books. I think it was there because it's all just part of the great show.
A major reason this is so is because Lewis says in his interview that lots of people are politically agitated. Of course they are, it's part of the show. "That energy leads to change," Lewis said. The only thing that'll change is the switching around of the people who do value extraction in the biggest chunks.
He spoke of the complicated financial innovation "machine," one that "ended up being fooled by its own deceit." There's the World all right, big fat ugly rats swimming in sewage with a whole bunch of other big fat ugly rats trying to see who can lie the best.
When you get down further under the earthenworks, you'll start to taste the hell of all this.
In that blog post about Madoff I'd mentioned that Jesus did speak boldly about it, but I'd like to add here the way in which Isaiah wrote it down. It wasn't just that people don't listen, that they just don't get it--he wasn't saying "Hey you guys, come on, you should really try to listen a bit more carefully."
No, he was actually writing what God told him to say, and essentially it was: "You go right ahead and keep on being lunkheaded. Go ahead, keep being idiots. Keep being stupid. Go ahead. And as you keep doing that, just watch your cities crumble and your land go to waste."
Those weren't the exact words, I know. But read them there, right there, sixth chapter of Isaiah, verses nine on. You tell me if they are really any different.
This is where the horror story gets good. In and around that place waaaaay under the street are the voices of those sworn to make people stupid. The voices that say Jesus is of no matter, that He's just a spiffy fairy tale character we hear boffo stories about on Sunday mornings. Voices that tell us all that's all nice and all, but we've really got to get right back to work it work it work it so we don't let other liars get the better of us.
Only when you see things from the Kingdom can you see the hell that this is.
The SEC and Michael Lewis and all the other apparently brave, brave champions of non-stupidity can't do squat to rescue us from that hell. They're all just doing the bidding of Company men executing the best value extraction by profiting from value extraction. Moore even closes her piece by gushing that all this sudden SEC stirring may actually get us closer to who's in charge. I split a gut when I read that. They're only willing to go a few feet below the streeet to look--there they won't come close to finding out.
What lunkheads. They're very very wealthy lunkheads, I must say. Guess that's cool.
Or hot depending on where you're the richest lunkhead.
I wrote a home page piece a couple years ago about the "finders keepers losers weepers" philosophy employed by John Paulson and all World inhabitants. For more about living up in the fresh air, that's here.
Friday, April 09, 2010
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is holding hearings this week and whenever, calling all sorts of really official finance officials to the table to 'splain themselves.
Today's featured showman was Daniel Mudd, at the helm of Fannie Mae when she started sinking. (Fortunately just before she went completely under, millions of taxpayers with buckets started bailing feverishly to get her back into fine sailing form.)
He said something interesting today, I think. He said that if Fannie Mae were allowed to diversify, they'd have been better off. Now, what precisely does this mean? Please, do enlighten me, I want to get it straight. Tell me if I'm wrong, please, I mean it, I invite your comments.
But does this not mean that if Fannie Mae were able to suck the blood from other sources, they'd have been able to cover their asses when the blood they'd been sucking from home mortgages ran dry? After all, they were required by law apparently to have "all their eggs in one basket" (the worst evil in financial wizardry), namely that of those dratted home mortgages foisted upon them by those bloodsuckers themselves, Congress, who really only reflect the wishes and desires of... errr, 'scuze me, it's not polite to call Joe and Josie Averageamerican, bloodsuckers... Forgive me... (And please, never mind the use-the-house-as-a-personal-ATM man and woman behind the green curtain.)
Earlier this week former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had his comeuppance. They're all making their cameos, how splendid, speaking with great eloquence and pontificating regally about that wonderful thing called hindsight -- brilliant show, just brilliant.
Greenspan defended his policy of not using the power of Fed enforcement to go after "predatory" lenders, because if he did it might have given borrowers a false sense of security. The thinking here is that with a bunch of regulatory agents quite visibly snooping about, people might get the impression that they were actually doing their job proficiently weeding out the baaad eeevil lenders, and as such whoever they'd be dealing must be okay when they're really just crooks.
So then, let me get this straight. According to Greenspan, regulation presents a moral hazard.
I know many may be laughing their socks off right now, but look at this. Please, let me know what I'm missing here, because I want to get it right. Please, tell me if I'm wrong in any of this. Please don't leave me in the dark, I want to be sure about this stuff. Help me out.
But isn't it true that it wasn't just Greenspan who was in on this? It was everyone who wanted him to enable their bloodsucking investment practices. Everyone, meaning millions of bankers, lenders, brokers, and yes, borrowers. It meant every government or quasi-government agent. It meant every top talking head in the media. It meant all personnel at all levels of human sacrifice enablement. Anyone who just went along with the ride on this are all Alan Greenspan toadies.
The other amazing thing about this dynamic is its verity. It is quite twisted, yes, but it is veritable nonetheless. What do I mean by this?
I mean that the law shines light on sinners.
If Greenspan did unleash every Fed agent on every questionable lending case, the workload would be impossibly gargantuan. This is something Greenspan even mentioned himself! So the rules were in place, and there were a number of intrepid agents ready to head out into the wild blue--er, I should say red--bloodsucking yonder, but so many people were doing their standard bloodsucking thing that it just wouldn't have meant squat.
The profound truth in all of it is this.
People do really awful things. Fed agents there, Fed agents not there, doesn't matter. People will still do really awful things. Oh, and not just really awful things, but really awful bloodsucking things. Oh, and they'll do really awful bloodsucking things while wearing really nice suits and smiling really big. Oh, and not just that but they'll be enabled and encouraged and provoked and stimulated to do those things by World operatives whose sworn duty is to keep it thriving.
They must. It's their job.
The World operates thusly. If you're listening you'll figure it out. If you want to you'll understand. It should frighten you like nothing else, really. What is it they say? "If you don't know the predator, you are the prey." In the World you're always prey. It doesn't matter how much you're sucking someone's blood, someone is always sucking yours. And the World makes it that way. Always has, for millennia.
The Kingdom, though, is there, not far away, just right there for anyone who wants to go into it.
Yeah, does have a narrow doorway, but that's okay.
I should write Doorway, capitalized, because the Door is a Person.
Thing is, the Door is narrow. It's not big enough to let you in if you are still sucking the blood from others--working for the World or contractually expecting the World to keep funneling its regularly drawn blood to you. You must give it up and get completely out.
The great thing is He knows you can't do that on your own.
He knows. He's there. He's got your back.
He loves you so much that He'll see you get in.
My most recent home page piece covers the World's human sacrifice a bit more. Just more evidences to share with those tired of doing it, of being an accomplice to it, and may want to make that radical turn and follow a Lord who loves with His life. Some more on The Door is here.