Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Ezra Factor, Part III

Today on my walk I came to a beautiful park I like to frequent, and on the field were a group of boys playing rugby. I sat and enjoyed watching them for a bit, but I noticed something peculiar.

They weren't really trying.

Each team had seven boys, and when one would get the ball to run, the opposing players would make some effort to try to tackle him but if they didn't get any kind of grip to bring him down, the runner easily slithered away and ran for the score. Then they kicked the ball back to the other team, and the same thing ensued: running, followed by half-hearted attempts at tackles. Score. Kick, run, feeble tackle attempt, score. Kick, run, feeble tackle attempt, score.

Also interesting was their attention to the rules. A number of times there was a drop or improper lateral or something of that sort (I am not familiar with the rules of rugby), and everyone was quite keen to point out any infraction or misplay.

What struck me about all this is that it was a kind of metaphor for how I see World inhabitants living their lives as a matter of daily practice. First, go through the motions trying to make sense of everything but in the end, it's all just one good jolly try followed by a good heaving ::sigh:: Second, the law is there to make sure our pathetic lives are kept up to snuff, so at least there's that.

I notice that it seems I'm writing with a bit of a British bent, not because of the new royal's baby about which I could not care any less, but I think it is because I watched Skyfall last night on DVD. Skyfall is the latest James Bond film and to cut right to it: I'd really like my two-and-a-half hours back. What a waste of time. I'd heard from all corners that this was the best Bond of them all, that it had feeling and depth. Pshaw. It was just the same old James Bond dreck as them all.

Now mind you I do like the whole James Bond schtick, but please. The movies themselves are worthless. They are all the same -- same exact formula every time: lots of vehicles being maneuvered and explosives being exploded and women being exploited and firearms being discharged and -- ::yawwwn:: This one was no different, except for one key thing that was worse than any of the others, Daniel Craig in the lead role. I'm thinkin' this is the guy they all think is the latest greatest Bond? You - are - kidding - me. This is an actor with two expressions: Stone emotionless and some goofy attempt to look pleased about every fifth scene. Every other line he said was completely incomprehensible.

Without getting too deep into my scathing review of the film, there was one very interesting part related to The Catholicist Nation premise. This was the speech M gave to a review board of her agency's effectiveness. She pointed out that her relevancy was quite relevant indeed because their enemies are no longer the ones they can go after in the light. The enemies of today are the ones in the shadows. Indeed a very stirring speech about the agency of Cain's legitimacy, and how much more evil the World gets and will be getting.

Naturally the System assembled millennia ago to prosecute such evil must get just as evil.

And this, of course, means utilizing the very best of

Disinformation.

I wanted to mention here that I'd briefly skimmed through that book I'd cited in my latest home page piece, and I wanted to add that while I knew Pacepa was subject to the disinformation himself, I did not know the extent to which he is really an agent of Cain himself using blown cover for cover to augment the disinformation. Ironic, really, but that's how it works. The run-of-the-mill Devout Romanist reads it and thinks, "Good thing Pacepa is now on the side of the good old USA and God and religion and wholesome American truth, justice, and the American way."

This isn't the Kingdom way.

The Kingdom way is the Ezra Factor, something I'd been talking about in my previous two posts. The Ezra Factor, when it is all said and done, is really just Jesus Christ.

I'd recently been thinking about when Jesus faced Pilate. This was essentially the Kingdom facing the World, right there. Pilate asked, "So what's the deal here?" Jesus said very little to anyone during his trials because he knew they were completely outside the presence of God as ordained rulers of evil themselves. They simply would not get any of it. All they know is the World -- as they are supposed to.

But when Jesus spoke during that time, it was definitely meaningful. One thing Jesus declared was that He was the embodiment of truth standing right there in front of him.

Pilate said, "Truth? What's that?" People always think Pilate was making some statement about truth here, and yes, he was, but it wasn't what you think. First Pilate was much more interested in the relevant question to him. It was almost as if he was saying, "'What is truth?' Who cares about that. What I really want to know is, 'Are you a king?'" Pilate could manipulate truth as he pleased, that wasn't an issue. What he was really concerned about was the hard work required to sustain his rule against any usurpers. Jesus' response was a clear statement about the inability of those devoted to the World to see and to hear.

He said, essentially, "The Kingdom has nothing to do with any of this. Those who want Truth, those who truly want to understand and to know me, they will get it."

This is why Jesus is the ultimate end of any question, concern, issue, activity -- anything. If you don't have Jesus, everything is just trying. If you don't have Jesus, everything is kept ordered and balanced by the law, and then we all just chug through life desperate and empty.

We just try.

I'd even say something more, if I may. The truth without meaning presents just as much despair as anything. We could go bananas asking "Is it truthful?" "Is it authoritative?" "Is it rational?" "Is it ascertainable?" "Is it ___?" (Fill in the blank with any of a number of questions people ask to give it their best try to get at meaning.)

What's the real question? Once again, here it is. It is very simple.

"Is it righteous?"

In other words, does it have God in it, and is it about our relationship with Him, and does it get deep into how our relationship with Him is one of worship and furthermore one of knowing how to love my neighbor as He tells me I should?

How much disinformation is there out there telling us how Caesar can do all that for us! No wonder so many are so screwed up, excuse me. Even the best looking Christians, being dutifully Catholicist, working working working it...

Again, just trying. Just trying trying trying, all life is, just one good try.

How hard to homosexualists are trying to get the law on their side, to get everyone to endorse lawful regulation of their desires. By the World all of this may be perfectly fine. The disinformation takes so many different forms to aid Caesar in keeping people's sin from wiping out everyone. Yeah, perfectly legitimate in every way.

But then I think about the Kingdom, and in Ezra the prohibition against marrying women from other nations. This wasn't some draconian bigotry against interracial marriage -- this was a call for people to live purely by the Kingdom. Those marriages firmly girded beliefs and practices which made the Israelites idolaters, and really, that may be perfectly fine for the World -- after all it doesn't really matter: You have your god and I have mine and let's all just get along.

I think about what most World devotees do when looking at that last statement -- indeed when they look at most of what's written here. How intolerant. How narrow-minded. How religiously oppressive.

I understand though.

People who keep trying and trying and trying and trying will never understand. As Jesus said a number of times quoting the Old Testament, as Paul did too in his letters... "They have ears but do not hear. They have eyes but do not see."

They simply will not get to The Meaning.


Friday, July 19, 2013

The Ezra Factor, Part II

I've been reading a book with a premise that is optimal for my next home page piece considerations. It is Rethinking Money, and I thought I'd peek around a bit in it to see if these guys really get into what's what with value assessment.

Sadly, they don't. Sure they get into how macroeconomics works and how banks work and how alternate currencies are the latest and greatest and all that. But all they do is blither about how radical their new conception of money is when it is merely a rearrangement of the old one. There is only one thing that would demonstrate any meaningful substance in a book about changing the way we do value assessment.

That would be if it includes mention of Jesus Christ. Indeed it would only mean anything if the book flat-out declared that any change in the way we do value assessment comes only through Jesus Christ.

Lessee, now, let me look through the index and see where Jesus is mentioned, lessee here, ummm, looking -- looking -- looking... not in the J's, not in the C's, not in the M's (thought maybe "Messiah" or even "meaning" -- um, perhaps... yeah, I agree... nahhh)

Not surprised.

He's nowhere. In fact, he's nowhere in any of these tomes. "Here's the new thinking on money!" "Here's the most radical thinking on economics!" "Here's the newest greatest bestest radicalest of all radical ideas there could ever be way to do financial stuff wow!" All of them really just amount to the latest value extraction instruction manuals.

This one, Rethinking Money, tries real hard to be above it all and be kind and gracious and all that. But even these authors can't get beyond the spiritual, slipping into its conclusion some new age pap about oneness and togetherness and connectedness and all that. Without Christ they realize they must have something spiritual. The ones that don't have any overt spiritual message just have the more covert one that is along the lines of "Let's just all get along you guys! Come on!"

Sorry. Can't do it without Christ. In fact you will do human sacrifice without Him, necessarily.

Don't think you are? Sorry again. But you are captivated by the disinformation ravenously consumed by committed World inhabitants. I'd touched on it in my webzine home page piece, and again in my last post.

In thinking more about that, the whole misrepresentation thing, and about how we like the fabrications others form about themselves rather than the reality. Thinking thinking thinking, I thunk about how much people do indeed want to get past the fabrications to that core reality, if only to share those realities however unsightly with friends and confidants so we can feel more righteous than others. Quite unrighteous, yes.

While the essence of the evil that gossip is, it more importantly demonstrates that it is indeed the righteousness of a thing that is at the core of what we are about.

What is righteous? What is the truth about righteousness?

I think we know. I think our acquired knowledge of good and evil (remember the Garden?) tells us that, but I think we can't help but chose the evil. The only way back to good is by Christ and by living out His righteousness. Still can't get it? Look again at all those new finance / new money / new economics tomes and tell me what is really different about them without Christ. Tell me, please -- be honest.

Getting all the way back to the Ezra factor again, I was blown away by what happened at the end of the seventh chapter. Go ahead. Look at it. Right there, seventh chapter of the book of Ezra, Old Testament, about a third of the way into the Bible. Time when the exiles were returning from conquered Babylon to Jerusalem to build the Temple, something like 500, 400 B.C, around then.

The king, the officially ordained potentate, the one who authoritatively sits in the seat of Caesar, this king unequivocally, undeniably, unquestionably tells his governing officials not to tax those who're genuinely restoring the nation of Israel, as exhibited here in the rebuilding project. Essentially: "Those who're working hard for the Kingdom of God, they can't be taxed." Later is this contrast -- go ahead, look at it there: "But take everything from those who are doing nothing," essentially that's what he's saying.

Right after all that there is thanks to God for making sure the king does what he's supposed to be doing -- allowing the Kingdom to flourish without any World interference.

Does the church today actually, truly, genuinely have that commitment?

Or does it shimmy up to Caesar, compromising its pure devotion to Christ and the Kingdom and its work through its disciples, and as such forfeit the potentates' God-empowered good graces to see God's work is done?

What's that? You don't think these churches to that? Check it out: do they have formally established 501c3 non-profit tax-exempt obligations? If they do, they are telling the Darius of the current day that they'd rather have the things Darius is about rather than the things God is about.

Wow. I can then see how a Darius would rather crush that kind of thing, simply because it so reeks of double-mindedness and hypocrisy and malicious misrepresentation and...

and yes...

Unrighteousness.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Ezra Factor

I've been co-teaching an apologetics adult Sunday school class and this week, to introduce the problem of evil, I shared with the students the idea of "augmented reality," something I wrote about in my webzine this month. I brought up the idea that this latest IT innovation would be most useful for finding out what any given individual is really all about.

Even thought I totally understand them, the responses I got did surprise me. Those responses were, "I don't think I'd want to know that much about someone else!" Again, I do get why they said that, but inside I thought, "No you don't. You don't really want that -- the not knowing. I believe you do want to know. Everything you do is about trusting someone else is going to do a certain thing, and we all live our lives deciding to do whatever it is we do based in large part on what other people have decided to do and have stayed true to doing."

Of course I didn't think all of that at that time -- I went ahead with the Sunday school lesson. But I'd been thinking about it since, and I'm sharing the breadth of that thought with you now. I love my Sunday school students. We actually have a vibrantly engaging interaction for an hour-and-a-half each Sunday. This past lesson was particularly edifying for all of us.

But I still see the Catholicist yuck that emanates from the souls of those with whom I interact.

Yes, sentiments like "I don't want to know too much about someone else" is one of the more innocuous ones. But I thought about my webzine elaboration on the fact that we fabricate our selves for others all the time and that this is not necessarily a bad thing, and then I thought, we just as much like the fabrication about others more than we like the truth. Wow. How veritable is the pleasure one derives from "Keep lying to me about you. I'm happier that way."

I can't help but think about some of the financial gyrations that happened last week. Bankers met to work out capital requirements per Basel accord specifications and all I could see was a bunch of suits bumbling around trying to get someone to tell them what's what with the value assessments millions are expecting them to have down and they just don't. In order to keep the markets from being spooked, the Fed had to shout "No no no! We are not, repeat, not scaling back our dropping-money-in-your-laps program [otherwise known as quantitative easing] so stop your sniveling!" It is funny that the entities that always respond to value extraction machinations are markets, not individual flesh-and-blood people.

The lie feels so good.

Never mind finding the Real Value Assessment in Christ and His shed blood for you and the things you do to wreck your life and the lives of others. Never mind actually wanting to understand that, to know Him -- to just simply live the richest, deepest, most rapturous life ever. Nah, won't do it? Yeah, I understand. Gotta make sure the law and Caesar are there to keep the fabrications from killing you, the very same fabrications you need in place to disguise you own rottenness because you won't let Christ take them out for you -- the rottenness, the fabrications, the pretense, the horror of all that...

All that refuse is kept nicely packaged and maintained by a World System with expert operatives already assigned the task of keeping it all that way for those who need that work done for them.

I've been reading the book of Ezra in my devotional time, and I am blown away by how much that book lays out the case for the ungrafted church. Really, in some ways, I could just write "Read Ezra" on the home page of my webzine and that'd just about say it all.

I was taken by the way Ezra refused to make a formal request of a military escort when returning to Jerusalem after the exile, but the government of Darius the Persian king had to have made sure the Israelites arrived safely anyway. Yes, God was the one who made that happen, and yes, Ezra and the people merely trusted God to see them through.

This was in light of the fact that the Israelites were still doing horrendously idolatrous things. And that's just it. They were intermarrying -- which itself wasn't as big a deal as the fact that by doing so they were contaminating the purity of their worship of God and their relationship with God.

As I think about this, I think about the profound irony of what Darius, an agent of Cain doing the duties of the authority here frequently called "Caesar" must've been thinking. "Nkay. Here I am making sure these people resume their worship of God, going all out to see their temple is built and they are safe and all that, and then they go off being unfaithful to Him. Sheez, what's a king got to do to provide law enforcement and protection for people when they go off and do that? Well, hey, guess they'll continue to need the law and I'll have a job. Can't be all bad."

What blew me away just this morning was reading Ezra's prayer and supplication over this situation, and in it was a statement about being in Egypt but seeing God's faithfulness still. That just killed me. It is simply because I look around at "Christianity" and see floundering, hapless people -- just like it was in pre-Moses Egypt. I hurt tremendously because of that. We could be ungrafted from the World and living out the beauty and wonder and glory of the Kingdom, but we wallow around stomping on mud and straw.

I feel the despair too... Except that, like Ezra, I can pray. I can be here in Egypt and yet humbly pray for God to move -- and then wait. The Israelites in Egypt waited for 400 years, the exiles for 70 -- and I'm sure that seemed like a long time... it was a long time!

But whatever the case I can pray. And then talk with those with whom I can talk. That's cool.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Seeing the Disinformation When You're Subject to Disinformation

One of the most profound ways the World's disinformation is most readily consumed has to do with sexuality. When I look upon the horizon of the lives of those all around me, I see so very few who really know the truth about this thing. And don't go off blaming the sexual revolution of the 1960's. Even many with the most Victorian sentiments don't get it either.

Oh, do I have to barf up the disclaimer that I'm still learning about it too? While true, I always wonder why I have to apologize for the things that I do know, even if it is about something like sexuality. The World has not only blasted to smithereens any truthful consideration of this thing sexuality, it has also corrosively marginalized any who wish to engage its most truthful discursive elements.

So we're left with a society bathing in the sewer of what I call distolerance, the practice of using a pathetically twisted consideration of tolerance to mercilessly bash those who genuinely seek and want to embrace truth.

There's a lot more I can get into here. Don't have time right now, but certainly will later. I only mention a few of the preceding items to introduce my latest home page piece at my webzine, pretty much about these very things. Check it out. Email me from the 'zine, would love to hear from you.