Friday, July 30, 2010

Who Owns You? Part II

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

Who Owns You?

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

The Invisible Limits

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.

The Extractor.

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.