Monthly Archives: February 2014

N-Word

What if I said “every white person who uses the N-word is a racist.”  This would be a racist statement, it would be making distinctions between races.  But I doubt anyone would have a problem with it.  Is every white person a racist?  Of course not.  Are the majority of white people racists?  Of course not.  Yet this sweeping untrue generalization is perfectly fine in our society.  I guess we can concluded that society has no problem with racism or sweeping generalizations.  I think generally generalizations are useful, they are not everything, but they are something.  But racism is just silly.

Yet they seem to have a problem with the N-word.  But what is the N-word?  It is a word a combination of sounds represented by letters.  We aren’t really sure how it all works, the philosophers have tried deconstructing words and they end up dumb.  Speech is a gift from God.  The word ‘nigger’ is derived from the Latin ‘niger’  which simply meant ‘black’.  So it is a sweeping generalization to refer to people with darker skin.  This was true and useful and I don’t think the Romans were racist when they thought a term for these and other black things was a necessary thing.  The night sky is. . . um. . .not blue?  The smoke from the burning bodies is . . . um a little darker than grey?  There are many such words we have ‘white’, ‘yellow’, ‘red’.  We even have a popular Christian children’s song

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world;
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight;

Yet today all of these words have become ‘evil’.  Red, yellow and black are now racist, yet referring to ‘whitey’ is a necessary historical fact.  But it is perhaps the most racist, the most like a term of hate.

How did this come to be?  Why don’t we distinguish people by eye color?  Hair color?  Why is skin the issue?  Modern history seems to think that whitey sat down one day and decided he wanted to rule the world.  His plan was to abuse and exploit the labor of everyone who was not white so he could rule the world and enslave every one because he was a racist [maniacal laughter].  This is much like their view of modern corporations.  Apparently all the other races were just sitting around singing Kum bah Yah until whitey started taking over.

Ham Mocking Noah, Bernardino Luini. 16th Century.

Ham Mocking Noah, Bernardino Luini. 16th Century.

In fact the opposite is true.  Once upon a time all of mankind was wiped out, except for Noah, whom God spared.  He had three sons.  One had blue eyes one had green eyes and one had brown eyes.  His green eyed son used those green eyes to look at his father’s nakedness.  When Noah woke up he was mad and so was God.  He cursed the green eyed man and blessed the blue eyed man as the eldest and the brown eyed man was also blessed by the blue eyed man.  So they all went their separate ways.  They reproduced and reproduced and reproduced and spread all over the place.  Then one day God told one of the blue eyed men that he would be the father of a great nation, a nation that would bless the whole world.  So all the people kept reproducing.  The blue eyed people ran out of food and so they had to go be slaves to some of the green eyed people which kind of made them doubt the curses and blessing of Noah.  But eventually they got away.  They went back to the land God had promised and killed a bunch of people with light blue eyes.  Then certain groups of brown eyed people remembered a lot of things Noah had told them, they kept passing them down.  Eventually they developed the most advanced civilization that the world had ever known.  In fact they eventually took over the blue eyed people.  Again they were disappointed.  They kept looking for their Messiah.

Then one day Jesus the Christ was born of the blue eyed people.  God changed the cycle of pagan death by killing is own son.  He started a small movement which spread to the brown eyed people in the north, the green eyed people in the south and the peoples of the east.  More and more of them were blessed by the teachings of the blue eyed Messiah.  But the blue eyed people mostly rejected his teachings.  Eventually the brown eyed empire was broken up, but it would soon rise again under the teachings of the Messiah.  But then a heresy of these teachings began to crop up among the green eyed people this false prophet was called Muhammed.  He mixed the Messiah’s teaching with the old notions of tribal paganism, in a way that was most appealing to the green eyed man.  His tribe took over many of the green eyed peoples, and they began destroying all the civilization of the brown eyed peoples.  Despite this they held him off and continued to advance, more and more brown eyed people from the north were converted to the teachings of the Messiah.

One of these men decided to sail west.  He wanted to convert even more and secure money for fighting of the Muhammedans.  To his surprise he found a group of blue eyed people whom he began converting.  He established a new civilization in the new world.  Throughout this time all the people enslaved each other whenever they could.  There was no real distinction between colors, green enslaved green, brown brown, that’s just how it was.  As the brown eyed people continued to send out missionaries of the Messiah, they continued to flourish in the new world, and they continued to be killed in the land of the green eyed people.  But some of the green eyed people sold rival tribes to the brown eyed people for slaves.  These were taken all over the world.  Continued failure in this land lead to the belief that the eyes of the green were dark, because the light of the Messiah’s message could not break through.  Many brown eyed people sold themselves into slavery in exchange for being taken to the new world.  And they all continued to flourish under the teachings of the Messiah.  Then slowly the brown eyed people began to think that slavery was wrong, based on the teachings of the Messiah.  But there were so many slaves already, what would they do?  They had a wolf by the ears as one of the great brown eyes once said.  So they banned the slave trade, this was similar to the teachings of the blue eyed man Moses.  But giving up slaves was difficult, they had been dearly purchased, they had not been given all the knowledge of civilization that the brown eyes had, they were dependent.  But many of them bought their freedom, they were participating in all levels of society in North and South even voting.

Now something else began to happen.  Many of the brown eyes began to doubt the teachings of the Messiah.  They thought the light of their own brown eyes was better, so they started building machines which they had learned by the science gained by following the Messiah.  They built bigger and bigger machines and they thought they were invincible.  In the new world, the people of the North began to worship these machines.  The people of the south did not, they stuck to their relationships with the slaves and their brethren.  Most were treated well and the message of the Messiah remained strong.  But the North was not content, they wanted to force their mechanical religion on the South.  They elected a tall lanky man with a top hat to be their leader.  His solution was to send all the green eyed people back to the dark land, he created Liberian and started returning the green eyed people.

Then he started a war with the South to crush their beliefs.  The South fought more bravely but they were crushed by the mechanics of the north and their underhanded ways.  The leader was killed before the conflict was over and a huge mess ensued.  The North prevented all the brown eyed people from participating in their government, instead they exploited all the green eyed people and used them for their political ends.  They stamped out the work of the Messiah wherever they could.  They ruled all the peoples of the South like slaves.  The brown eyed people started a club to try to get some of their political power back from the green eyed people exploited by the north, they used the thread of force and it was successful.  The peoples of the the new world began to advance more and more in technical innovation freed from the toils of everyday labor and the culture of death that ruled the world before the teachings of the Messiah.  They grew more and more fat dumb and happy and they forgot the God who had blessed them.  But the green eyed people did not advance.  They chose to follow a group of backward tribal brown eyes who attacked civilization with their fighting, promiscuity and sloth.  More and more they were coddled and never took to the growing civilization because the didn’t have to.  People began to associate green eyes with these evils and they didn’t want any part of it.  Their civilization and enclaves of the Messiah’s teaching were under attack.  So they passed laws to keep the green eyes out.

Some of the people following the new teachings of man, rejecting the Messiah, began to worship science in a whole new way.  They said that all of mankind was a machine a machine that was always getting better. Some people were unnecessary to the operation of the machine and they should be wiped out.  They began devising ways to wipe out the green eyes.  They called the new science eugenics.  Then a man in the old land of the brown eyes left god entirely and decided that it was his job to exterminate all of the blue eyes because of their blessing they must be the cause of our pain.  This was common, the blue eyes stuck to the word of Moses and they were blessed for it, so the brown eyes became jealous and killed them again and again.  This evil man also wanted to wipe out all the green eyes and he started doing it.  The whole world of the brown eyes was shocked by his evil which was their evil, but instead of repenting they blamed the followers of the Messiah.

So the blessings of God to the blue eyes and the followers of the Messiah continue to bless the whole world to this day.  Yet that makes them the biggest targets.  Instead of sharing in their blessing, the followers of the scientific machine are full of envy.  They blame the followers of the Messiah for the plight of the green eyed man who choses not to participate.  And so they erode the civilization created by these blessings.  Their own scientific offspring wipe out the green eyed man to this day with anti birth devices and welfare that kills the green eyed families.  Yet they rewrite history to attack the Messiah whenever they can.  They lay all the evils of the world that they and their pagan forefathers created, at the feet of the Messiah’s followers.  They sit on the top of a civilization built by the followers of the Messiah and blame the same followers for the dark continent and all the backward ways of the green eyed people.  They blame the N-word instead of blaming themselves, repenting and following the Messiah.

Imagine Only Science

Fairy Tales, Mary L. Gow. c. 1880

Fairy Tales, Mary L. Gow. c. 1880

. . .it’s easy if you try.  In fact you don’t even have to try, because it’s here and that’s the point.  Don’t bother trying. Science has taken the place of the imagination and we are left with but a thread of the great tapestry that makes us human.  Yet we think we know it all.

Now of course everything you know about science is as much a part of your imagination as any Fairy story.  How many of you have seen an electron? How many of you have seen evolution take place?  How many of you have actually seen any scientific construct that you have in your head?  No, you take them on faith, and imagine what is going on.  But this scientific imagination is very anemic, it only covers part of life.  And when it goes beyond observing the natural world it causes many more problems than is solves.  When a notion about natural selection goes from an observation, to a motivation for invading all of Europe, millions of people die.  And this whole method of seeing everything as scientific and rejecting any imagination that is deemed unscientific is just as destructive.

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.- G.K.Chesterton

Imagination is the key to being a human and therefore the key to being the best type of human, a Christian. The heart and soul of the Christian message is that the transcendent God of the Universe came down to earth as one of us.  We must do the same with the Gospel, we must imagine the current status of the other person and tailor the Gospel accordingly. Empathy is imagination.  This is why Jesus so often invented parables and metaphors that the people could understand.  The work of every teacher is imagination.  The very Golden Rule is a call to imagine the position of the other person, put yourself in their shoes and your actions towards them will become very clear.

Boy Reading, Thomas Anschutz. c. 1900

Boy Reading, Thomas Anschutz. c. 1900

It is often said of Chesterton that he had an endless capacity to appreciate.  This is very similar to the faith of the young child.  They are endless in their ability to dream up a world where the events before them are meant to do them good.  Unfortunately we know that many would do them harm.  Many scientists today are doing them harm.  By cutting out the myths, fables and fairy tales of old we destroy this ability to imagine the good, or anything beyond ourselves.  We like to pride ourselves on the notion that these stories are untrue and we don’t lie to our children.  But this itself is a lie, you are telling your child that the imagination is not important.  Most of humanity has understood the necessity of moral stories, of fairy tales in turning children into adults with virtue.  The imagination is like a muscle, it must be trained and exercised if it is to operate effectively.  Without that training we become the ‘men without chests’ from C. S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.  They are men with brains and appetites, but nothing in the chest, no heart, to direct these thoughts and impulses.  In a sense they become the animals that they worship in their science.  If you worship the observation of the created world you become just like the pagans Paul talks about in Romans 1, worshiping the crated thing rather than the creator.  The Creator made us unique, we have the ability to not do what we were made for.  We can commit suicide and kill people and dishonor God in any number of ways, it’s called ‘sin’.  In fact we are biased to choosing incorrectly, we are sinners by nature.  And so we end up worse than the animals, only following our lusts and crazy thoughts without the guidance that the rest of creation has built in.

Imagination is key to every area of study and the idea of study in itself.  If all you have is yourself and your observations are all that matters, why study anything?  Your story is just as valid as the next person because you all have observation.  Maybe people with 6 degrees get a little more respect, but not much.  A well trained imagination can truly appreciate our place in this world.  The medievals are often mocked for making the earth the center of the solar system.  In reality they imagined a tiny dot called earth, the silent planet, surrounded by the great music of the heavenly spheres.  The music was the harmony of God’s creation communing with him in obedience.  And the earth was a small dot where man did not commune with it’s creator, it chose sin.  Imagining yourself in this way makes you want to conform your mind to something greater than you, outside of this world.  It makes you want to study.  This is the reason why science as we know it today was born in Christendom.  Humility, change, asking questions are all the result of well trained imaginations attempting to reach beyond themselves.

The Fairy Tale, Thomas Anshutz. C. 1902

The Fairy Tale, Thomas Anshutz. C. 1902

How can you study history without the ability to imagine what it was really like for those people in that time?  Today we don’t study history, we judge it by our bigotry.  We assume we are more evolved and they were cave men, so we dissect how they were wrong and write millions of papers on it.  This is the opposite of imagination, this is just applying the self backwards, this is the ultimate arrogance.

The same goes for the study of literature.  It requires imagination to try to conform our minds in the image the author is trying to communicate.  We allow him to take us on a journey and make us better humans.  But modern scientific man has no use for this.  Instead we again impose ourselves on the text,  the only question we ask is “what does it mean to me?”  Of course if you can bash tradition and Christianity in the process you can get extra bonus points.  But this too is the opposite of imagination, it is arrogance.

The same is seen in all of the arts.  Art has become something that someone blessed as an artist does.  I’m not sure how this happens, but it seems a little like an elite club.  In the past art was seen as a window to help us imagine.  Beauty can inform our soul and make us good. It is the same exercise of imagination, tools to help us go beyond ourself and our little, tiny insignificant world.

And each of these applies to our Christian walk today.  Our faith is based on historical events passed down in a piece of literature the Bible.  Satan has become very adept at undermining the basics of humanity, so he doesn’t even have to bother with the Gospel.  The same is true of art.  Art is an aspect of culture. Culture is religion externalized or religion incarnate.  Today we pick a church based not on how it changes our soul but on how we feel about it.  We think musical standards are based on what we like, we are the authority.  If we don’t like it we go somewhere else.  Instead we should ask if this music makes us more like the standard of all truth, goodness and beauty, God.  Does the culture of this church exercise our imagination to appreciate more of God’s world and to see how little we are. Not, “does this music make me feel good about myself?”, but “does this music make me a better self?”

So, good stories are the key because they help us to imagine what is not us.  The truth of the story is not as big of a deal as the truth conveyed.  Does it matter if the good Samaritan never lived?  I don’t think so, the fact is that Jesus’ story helped us to imagine it and it made us better, it conveyed truth.  Little boys play with toy swords so that they may one day be soldiers.  Little girls play with baby dolls so that they may one day be mothers.  We, all of us, should play with our imaginations in Fairy Land so that we may each day glorify God in this land.

The Land of Enchantment, Norman Rockwell.

The Land of Enchantment, Norman Rockwell.

The Seed of the Woman

Granted there are traditionally four key events at the beginning of Genesis covering chapters 1-11 ; Creation, Fall, Flood and Babble.  But there are so many details which are just as important to our mission here on this earth today.  Genesis is a rich story, in fact it is two stories. There is the story of man and the story of God’s special plan for a special line of men.  These two threads weave all through the Old Testament, which is why it seems like there are two creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2.

Satan has done a good job of telling a different story these days, and it is so prevalent we take it for granted.  Jesus and the apostles did not, they repeatedly appealed to the created order as authority for our ideas about Christ, relations between men and women and ideas about work.  If Satan can mess up the story of man he doesn’t have to worry about the story of the special line of men.  The earth is not evolving or getting better, it is dying.  It is blatant in the tower of Babble, man was too capable so God made him less capable by confusing the language and whatever else happened there.  After the flood God reduced the years of man.  The gene pool was once stronger, which enabled brother and sister to marry.  As we can see from the fossil record there are any number of creatures that no longer walk the earth.  And there are any number of ancient creations that we can not explain and probably couldn’t reproduce until very recently.

And the wisdom of ancient man was greater as well.  Cain was a builder of cities, Noah built a giant ship.  These were no cavemen, as the worldly historians would have you believe.  Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in the garden. Oh what they must have talked about.  Men lived much longer, it is possible that Noah knew Adam, certainly he knew someone who did.  Wisdom could be accumulated for nearly 1000 years before these men died and it was passed down orally to Noah and his sons.  I am guessing that they knew more about God than we do, by far.

Madonna and Child with St. Anne. Caravaggio. c.1606

Madonna and Child with St. Anne. Caravaggio. c.1606

The first event in the story of redemption, in God’s special line, is the promise made to Adam after the fall, known as the Adamic Covenant.  In  Genesis 3:14-19 God lays out the nature of the new relationships between the snake and earth, woman and man, and man and the Earth.  But don’t miss the big one, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”  God slips in a small promise, the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.  And so humanity looked to the seed of the woman, there had to be anticipation as she bore her first son Cain. Would he be the one?  But he failed, killed his brother and was exiled.  But God continued to be faithful even when it looked like all hope was lost.  God preserved Noah and then he fell into sin, the line of Shem was chosen.  The hope was alive.  Every mother painstakingly listed in those geneologies, had to be hoping that her son would be the one to save the world from the serpent.

No doubt the hope grew faint in the lines of Ham and Japheth as they strayed farther and farther from their father Noah and his word from God.  These are the cavemen, the backward peoples of the earth.  For they have gone backward from the Law of God, they became as the animals in their rebellion.  They found homes not in a garden but in the wilderness.  Then no longer ruled and subdued the earth, they wandered aimlessly as the earth ruled them.  These are the tribes and tongues and peoples of the earth to which Jesus told us to take the gospel.  No doubt they were ripe, they had maintained some thread of truth from Noah. They knew of God and each attempted to appease him in any number of twisted religions.  They did not have the truth but they were ready to come back to it.

Then we come to Abraham and his unlikely wife Sarah.  She was past menopause, past the time that the seed of her loins would bring forth the hoped for conquerer of the serpent.  But God made them a promise.  She laughed at God, but he was faithful and the line of hope continued. The theme of barren women carrying the promise continues through Rebekah.  Rachel, Hannah and Sampson’s mother, are outside the genealogy of Jesus but their faithful prayers of hope for faithful sons resulted in Joseph, Samuel, and Sampson who each save the people of Israel in turn. Then after many years, barren Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist.  And for the final act, God outdoes himself as the pre-barren virgin Mary brings forth the Messiah.  Jesus the Christ crushes the head of the serpent once for all.

But this is not the end of the story, for he adds a new task to the original tasks.  Women should still faithfully bring forth sons who can crush the head of the serpent.  We are to still be fruitful and multiply, rule and subdue this earth.  We are still to be human.  In addition now we are to go to all the world, to the peoples not in this miraculous line, to the peoples not in the 12 tribes of the Old Covenant, to the peoples not descended from Shem, but to all the world.  We are to give them the good news, that the Man promised to Adam and Eve has come, he has crushed the head of the serpent.  We are to restore their humanity; put them back in the garden, cover them, teach them to rule and subdue this earth, give up their former ways and pray for His will on earth as it is in heaven.

St. George and the Dragon.  Solomon Joseph Solomon.  Patron Saint of England

St. George and the Dragon. Solomon Joseph Solomon. Patron Saint of England

The serpent has come down to us as the dragon of fairy tales and myth, it is a metaphor for our battle today here on this earth.  Many pagan traditions all over the earth have similar stories, which is to be expected since we all came from Noah.  Though, of course, we should bravely defend each lady from any real dragons, our battle is not only with flesh and blood.  We have one foot in heaven and one on earth.  We are part of both stories, we are human and we are part of God’s special plan.  We are called to multiply from our loins and by the harvest of every tribe, tongue, people and nation.  We are part of the old creation bringing forth then new creation, ever hopeful that, Jesus, the seed of the woman shall come again.

 

Further Reading:  The Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton

Letter to the Editor 2.11.2014

In typical bureaucratic fashion the City Commission has discussed and decided to “discuss a non-discrimination ordinance.” Oh what lies beneath.  This is little more than the abuse of language disguising real intentions.  Laws by nature discriminate, that’s how it works. But they can’t say “we want to start discriminating against the Christians instead” that wouldn’t go over well.  Instead they use deceitful tricks to lull us into submission.  

But we should be careful before overthrowing Christianity in the name of progress. G. K. Chesterton said, “The general rule is that nothing must be accepted on any ancient or admitted authority, but everything must be accepted on any new or nameless authority”  We all enjoy the fruits of accepting past Christian authority.  But the Montana zeitgeist is to go over the cliff with Helena and Butte.  Praising these ‘results’ that are 5 minutes old is different from a responsible view of history. Our Common Law system dates back to the 880s when Alfred the Great, put Christian law into place, it is tried and true.  It has brought unparalleled wealth and peace, which we and the world all enjoy.  Disasters resulting from throwing off Christianity abound; Hitler in Germany, the Revolution in France, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, Mussolini in Italy.  These were predicted by Christians; Balfour, Burke, Dostoyevsky and many others. We can predict the same results today. And no, Europe isn’t fine, these countries are all committing suicide.  Their birthrates are far below replacement.  There are half as many Italians each generation.

But, there is no shortage of pagan nations, where you can experiment with new and nameless authorities.  If you don’t want tried and true Christianity, move.  Granted if your hobby is cannibalism, you might be out of luck, blasted Cortes.  Please don’t destroy our fair city on a hill.

 

 

 

 

The Men With the Withered Plan

They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
-Psalm 57:6

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
-Proverbs 26:27

Our Lord sure can weave a good story and Mark is no slouch either.  The story of the man with a withered hand at the beginning of Mark 3 is a masterful work as part of a larger masterful work that is  Mark’s Gospel.

The Man with the Withered Hand, James Jacques Joseph Tissot.

The Man with the Withered Hand, James Jacques Joseph Tissot.

After hearing this sermon I was reminded of something Peter Leithart wrote in his commentary of I & II Samuel.  In the Synoptic Gospels the story of the disciples eating grain on the sabbath always comes right before the story of the man with the withered hand.  That story connects us back with I Samuel 21 which is talking about David being given the shewbread from the tabernacle.  Leithart makes the point that the passage is full of the term ‘hand’.  David did not have food or a weapon in his hand, he asked if the priests had any bread or weapons on hand.  The priests put both food and Goliath’s sword into his hand.  When priests were ordained the flesh of the sacrificial animal was placed into their hands, they were then qualified to go about their priestly duties. Saul received a priestly portion of the sacrifice when Samuel anointed him king.  I know this might seem strange to us today but these close associations were common in Hebrew.  Jesus is making many points with his behavior on the sabbath but one of them is clearly that something new is happening.  David was a new king taking command. Not only is Jesus taking command, as the new prophet, priest and king he shows how capable his hand is, he is the hand giver.  A hand in scripture is a symbol of human and godly ability.  People are delivered into God’s hand God delivers armies into the hands of his servants.

This story is so great.  Jesus is know for his parables, but there is a sense in which every other event of his life is a living parable.  There is debate about whether the parables actually happened, I don’t really think it matters like any good story it is still real.  And this is the nature of our placement here on this earth by our God.  We are here to learn lessons, and prove ultimately if we are good or evil.  This story is a living parable, he makes the Pharisees feel how wrong they are.  Sadly instead of repenting, they double down on their evil. Now it’s one thing to think you are a good person in theory. Most people think they are good, but it’s another thing to prove it in your life.  These Pharisees thought they were fine, Jesus showed them they were not.

The Talmud, Jewish Common Law Tradition. A modest 6200 pages.

The Talmud, Jewish Common Law Tradition. A modest 6,200 pages.

Now it’s easy for us to mock the case law tradition of the Pharisees, just like they mocked Jesus.  It takes some imagination to make it more real for us.  This is what Jesus does he imagines a situation to show them their foolishness.  He shows them their guilt by their own law.  For us today, we really have no room to talk.  Our case law system is just as foolish.  We have laws that say it’s alright to kill a baby while it is still in the birth canal but a few inches further down and it’s murder.  We have laws that say if you rack up a bunch of debt you can just declare bankruptcy and basically steal all that money.  We have laws against children selling cupcakes and opening lemonade stands.  We have laws that protect animals and their habitat while human homes burn or flood.  Our laws are just as corrupt as the Pharisees because we are just as evil.

Atlantic Reporter case law books for only 10 states, up to 999 volumes in 2010.

Atlantic Reporter case law books for only 10 States, 999 volumes covering up to 2010.  Those Pharisees sure made up a lot of rules.

This living parable starts out as a trap set for Jesus.  This is evident from Jesus’ words, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill.”  They were setting him up so they could kill him because they knew he would heal.  They think they are putting Jesus on trial before their law.  Instead Jesus turns it around on them, he proves by the situation that they are the sons of the Devil, he is the Son of Moses. He is putting them on trial before a Holy, Just, Perfect God, and they are damned for eternity by their actions.  God is not interested in good theology floating around in our head, he is interested in the way we act out what we believe.  Because that is the real test, good words are easy, good actions are difficult.

Federal Register of new Regulations for 2013 ONLY!  80,000 Pages.  Good thing we aren't like the Pharisees.

Federal Register of new Regulations for 2013 ONLY! 80,000 Pages. Good thing we aren’t like the Pharisees.

Keeping in mind Mark’s overall theme that Jesus is King really makes the last line of the story pop.  The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.”  At this time there were basically two factions of authority in Israel;  the Jewish Pharisees and the occupying Romans.  The other sect of religious leaders the Sadducees had basically aligned with the Romans politically.  So these Pharisees are proven to be wrong in their system by Jesus and instead of repenting and submitting to the authority of King Jesus, they go conspire with the Romans whom they considered their enemies.  But any alliance against King Jesus will do.

It can be easy these days, to get caught up in notions of angels and demons battling it out in spiritual warfare.  It was a Greek philosophy and an early Church heresy, the notion that what happens here on earth does not matter.  What matters, they say, is what happens on a heavenly level.  Well as this passage shows, God puts us to the test here on this earth. There was nothing mystical or anything from a Frank Peretti book here, just real life situations put before them, by Jesus, just as God does with us.  Jesus enemies conspired and they fought and killed him, but ultimately they lost and only condemned themselves.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V.  Here is another 1000 pages of B.S. for good measure.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V. Here are another 1000 pages of B.S. for good measure.  This will get you out of all kinds of sin.

Today we have another level of evil on top of our corrupt law.  We take the results of real life situations and work them backwards.  Failure in real life situations becomes proof of some sort of disease, phobia, addiction, or other mental or genetic propensity.  It’s not our fault we acted badly, it’s  just how we are made, it’s in the cards or the stars or whatever gets us off the hook.  We think we are ok on some spiritual theoretical level in heaven, even if the events on earth prove other wise. We think holding ourselves and others to this low standard loving.  Really it just makes us worse than the Pharisees. This is us aligning with the World, with psychology or social ‘science’ against King Jesus.

Case Law Chaos

King Alfred 'The Great'. c. 1815. Samuel Woodforde

King Alfred ‘The Great’. c. 1815. Samuel Woodforde

We are horrible at arguing these days.  No one does it, or even tries to do it well and so no one is forced to do it, or compete to become better at it.  Most of what we deal with today are fallacies, which are basically cheap tricks to disguise the fact that we don’t know what we are talking about. Instead of responding to another person’s claims you can call them names, or attack a group they are associated with, or attack someone close to them, or make a joke, or you can just threaten them like the Muhammedans do.  Another strategy is to make appeals to emotion rather than actual arguments, this is all to common. “Give us money, it’s for the children.”  Or you can make a straw man which is creating something that looks like your opponent, but you design it in such a way that it is easy to destroy.  Obama is always doing this “some folks think the earth is flat.”  A form of this is just creating a whole army of straw men, or even a bunch of armies all fighting each other.  Then you can just throw up your hands at all the confusion as if the issues is now impossible because all these made up people are fighting in the first place.

Now argument is not all there is in the world.  There is a place for emotion and jokes and all of the rest.  But when it comes to people working out tough issues in communities, this is no way to behave. It is also no way to behave in understanding and proclaiming the word of God.  Now I don’t think the study and practice of God’s word is an argument, it is a story.  But when we make arguments about his word, in forming theology and preaching it to others, we should not use these cleverly devised tricks.

Satan loves the confusion trick.  Every time God does something, Satan comes along and creates a twisted copy or a bunch of copies.  He bends it just enough to cause confusion. God creates the church based on a martyr, Jesus Christ and so Satan creates a million false churches with a million false martyrs.  God creates his Word and Satan creates a bunch of false words.  God gives us commands for how to worship him and a million people create false worship. Satan even uses the truth in the mouths of the crazy to confuse the issue as in Acts 16:16-24.  Now this does not mean we abandon the Church or the Word or religion.  It just means we need to be more careful in distinguishing between the real and the false.  This is not a new concept or something due to sin, this is what we were made for, to make judgements, to choose between right and wrong.  Of course in the garden we grasped for more than we could chew, we wanted the knowledge to decide instantly instead of being given it on God’s schedule.  But the fact remains we were made to judge, we are like God and unlike the rest of creation, because we can chose.

Moses with the Ten Commandments. Philippe de Champaigne. c.1648

Moses with the Ten Commandments. Philippe de Champaigne. c.1648

This applies to the Mosaic Law in two ways.  First a muddle surrounding the way in which we follow or don’t follow the law is no excuse for not sorting out the issues.  Just because some people worship the law and others misinterpret it in one way or another, does not mean the pursuit is pointless.  Far from it, good judgement is always praised in scripture, it is the virtue of leadership, it is the ultimate praise (Luke 7:43), it is our hope,  For one day God will judge every deed of every man and set everything in it’s place. But for now judgement is our task, which is the second reason for study of the law.  The Law is about helping us to make judgements.  It was a gracious gift from God.  We entered a world of sin a world in which we were not prepared to make the judgements that were required, so he gave us this help.  Without it we are just wandering in the wilderness with little hope, we are savages.

Christians have alway recognized various realms in which these judgements take place.  The first layer is individually. Then the corporate layers of the home, the Church and the civil government.  It is a patriarchal system because we worship a Heavenly Father.  The father makes judgements in the home, the elders make judgements in the Church and the civil magistrates make judgements for the state.  These elements were all combined in various ways in the Old Testament.  It is our duty to sort them out and apply them today. “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases” I Corinthians 6:2

God not only gave us the rules of the law, but he gave us stories of the law in action.  This is true of our lives individually and corporately, because this is the reality of our world.  We are given God’s commands in theory but then we actually have to make judgements and apply them to specific events in our lives.  This is how a case law system works.  This is the nature of the Mosaic Law and the basis of our British Common Law Tradition.  

King Alfred (849-99) submitting his laws to the Witan. John Bridges.

King Alfred (849-99) submitting his laws to the Witan. John Bridges.

King Alfred, know as Alfred the Great was the founder of the law tradition which we in America follow to this day.  In the 880′s he basically applied the Mosaic civil law to his people the Anglo-Saxons.  And it carried down as a blessing to all the English speaking peoples of the world to this day.  A case law system is one in which there is a standard of law in place and a judge makes a decision about each particular person accused of a crime, based on that law.  In addition he can look back on past judgements for help in determining how best to judge in the current instance.  This is a very wise way to arrange a legal system.  Humans are imperfect and they often make mistakes, they can be corrupted and full of evil.  Comparing cases can spread the power around, divided between past and present judges.  It can add a layer of objectivity as you look back on cases of people you know nothing about, you can be more objective.  But that does not excuse this system from being corrupt.  And that is the case with our legal system and the legal system of Jesus day.  But that is a case for another day.

The Daughters of Zelophehad. Illustration from The Bible and Its Story Taught by 1000 Pictures. c. 1908

The Daughters of Zelophehad. Illustration from The Bible and Its Story Taught by 1000 Pictures. c. 1908

I was struck recently by this case law system in action in Numbers 36.  The Law of Moses was designed to keep land in the family.  Land was livelihood, without it one tribe could be wiped out by another.  God told Moses to distribute the land to the 12 tribes by lot before they conquered it.  This is mentioned in Joshua and Numbers. Land was passed down to the male heirs, and the firstborn got a double share.  So those were the rules.  Then in Numbers 27 the daughters of Zelophehad brought their case to Moses and said “wait a minute, our father had no sons so does that mean our family doesn’t get any land?”  Moses took it to God and God told him that the daughters get the land.  Ok, fine.  But later in Numbers 36, the heads of households of this family brought another case to Moses.  Now that the daughters had the land, if they married someone from another tribe, then the land would would be passed down to that tribe.  Moses said according to the word of the Lord, apparently he went to God again, that these men were right.  From then on the daughters of Zelophehad and all daughters with land, were not allowed to marry men from other tribes.  You can see how these cases brought to light the reality of following God’s rules.  Essentially the Law was changed or clarified in practical ways and it was binding for the future.  Now, God knew this would happen, he could have just piled up these laws in the beginning, but he chose to let men be part of the process, because his goal is not a perfect system of rules.  His goal is to teach us to judge rightly.  And he repeated the same thing in the New Testament.  Jesus spoke and gave us the proper way of interpreting the Old Testament, and then he gave us some new commands.  Then in the whole book of Acts we see the Disciples applying those rules to new situations.  One of the prime examples of this is the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15.  This council would set the pattern for determining orthodox doctrine by further councils.

So, we are called to think through all of scripture and apply it to our specific cases:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. -St. Paul to Timothy

And we don’t have to do the work alone. Women have husbands, families have the Church elders and even the world has the civil magistrates.  They are all in positions to judge.  They are all called to sort out the law standard and apply it to their particular situations.  They can judge by the standard of scripture or some other man-made standard.  But all judge.  It is unfortunate when even teaching elders of the Church, throw up their hands and lament the mess rather than using all the tools God has given us in the Old Testament. If we don’t judge rightly who will?  Satan of course!  He his happy to come in and fill the void with his standard.  He has been doing it since the beginning.  Shall we let him continue?  I don’t think so.  So, get to work!

Further Reading:  The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Rise of the Machines

Unde est, quod non operatio propria propter essentiam sed haec propter illam habet ut sit.

The proper purpose is not in existence for the sake of being, but the being for the sake of the purpose.  -Dante, De Monarchia

There was always an old fear of men becoming slaves.  Slaves to this or that government be it his own or a neighboring tribe.  But there is a much more real thing happening these days, the sad fact that men are becoming machines.  And even less than machines because machines have a purpose, as do slaves.  But these modern rulers want to rob us of our purpose.  Instead, like the machine unaware of a creator, they think they exist to exist. This is not without cause.  They found this image, this idol, in their silly notions of ‘science’.  They worship a system which can only describe ‘how’ without the ‘why’.  The universe exists to exist, so they think, having rejected all explanations of ‘why’ because they reject the creator.  And as such they have become a people without why and they want to extend their mechanical tyranny to everyone.  At least Hitler had a why, he existed to fight it out for first place in the battle of natural selection.  Today people cringe at the results of that idea and back off a bit into notions of existing for the sake of existing.  Cold hard purposeless machines.

content_t2skullcrush3-1This week we see it as the Obama Regime touts the benefits of living off of what the government stole from other people.  Robbing us of our basic pride in our work and calling it freedom.  Now we are free to sit around and do nothing without fear that our potato chip clogged arteries will result in the confiscation of our partially paid for big screen.  This is something Theodore Dalrymple writes about excessively.  He has watched it happen in the English welfare state, but it is not much different here.  When everything is given to you for free, there is no pride in living.  There is no sense of accomplishment or having earned anything.  We all exist to exist, which leads to many not existing, by their own hand.  This is worse than slavery, at least the slave can take pride in his work.  He does not own the fruits of his labor but at least their are fruits of his labor.  And usually he enjoys some of them.  Society for sure enjoys them.  But now we have a society of machines, existing, and producing nothing.  From the giant bureaucracies, to the wealth squandered on taking out loans for everything, to the money we waste on entertainment.  We have nothing to show for our existence, this is no way to live.

From what I have heard, this is one of the main things missing from the Nye Ham debate.  Creationism is not a mere scientific theory on origins, it is a narrative for all of live.  It is a pattern by which we set the tone of our lives.  Not that science is without a narrative.  Agnostic scientists like to think that it’s all concrete rock solid scientific method.  But really it is a series of experiments covered over with a narrative. A narrative that sets the tone of their lives.  You can’t have science without the narrative, without metaphor, without poetry.  The alternative is nothing.  What good is an experiment that you can’t tell someone about?  What good are statistics without assigning meaning to them?  And so they go about making up meaning as they see fit and then sprinkling it with the holy water of ‘science’ as if their claims were undeniable.  Arthur Balfour saw through the false narrative of Darwin, when he wrote is book Theism and Humanism in 1915.  He concluded that Darwinian Humanism was no way to live, he predicted Hitler.  But Hitler thought he would test it out anyway.  His false narrative was so shockingly bad that fascism has become merely a buzzword for all that is evil.  Of course that does not stop millions from repeating the same mistakes under different names.  Anything will do, as long as we aren’t accountable to the God of the Bible.  And so they go on without a ‘why’.  Scientist want to set up outposts on other planets.  Why?  So we can further the species when this planet is destroyed of course?  Why?  Oh because we exist to exist.  Is it any surprise that so many people commit suicide these days?

But we were given a why in Genesis, the creation narrative of our Lord, brought to us through Moses and carried down by the children of Abraham.  We are here to rule and subdue the earth, filling it with off spring and glorifying our God in the process. Jesus added to it in Matthew 28:16-20 telling us to go into all the world and make disciples.  Oh what fun.  It was in this pursuit, that science was codified in the first place.  It was in this pursuit that Columbus set sail from Spain.  It is the colonial spirit encapsulated in Robison Crusoe.  Turn the wilderness into a garden and it’s savages into Christians.  What a beautiful vision, what beautiful work.  But the world want’s to destroy this.  They want to shut down all forms of human production including pipelines, mines, logging, and human civilization of all kinds.  Because unlike the rest of creation we can choose to not do what God made us for.  So they fight the mandate of our God.  They try to turn the converts back into savages.  They try to turn the land back into a wilderness, for the animals.  And in order to do that they have to create false narratives.  False narratives of history, they must destroy all those who built the world we enjoy, who followed the narrative spoken in Scripture and were blessed for it.  And they must create a false narrative masquerading as science.  As if the age of the stage was the most important aspect of the elaborate drama playing out in front of us all.

But hey they play a vital role.  They may think they only exist to exist.  But in reality they exist to be our foes.  They are the dragons we get to slay.  They are the armies we get to vanquish.  They are the fools we get to subdue with the rod.  They make the plot interesting, far more interesting than the lame stories they write.  This is why our country doesn’t win wars anymore, we have nothing to fight for.  Fighting to exist is a flaccid narrative when you come up against Mohammedans, who have been told by their warlord leader that their purpose is to conquer the tribes of all humanity.  But we Christians should know better.  These Mohammedan heretics and the modern humanists provide fodder for a life worth living.  And so we fight the rise of the machines for our King!

Mark the Rerun

Was that sermon a rerun?  I’m not just talking about the ongoing insistence that following the Law is the greatest evil around.  I’m talking about the way in which Jesus was a type of David.  For this was Jesus’ point at the end of Mark 2.  The type/ antitype relationship is a literary device used to poetically express one thing through another thing.  It’s kind of like an allegory.  Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.  In this instance the marriage of Christ and the Church is the antitype and every other marriage is a type, or is should be.  The greater is reflected by the smaller, the main event is copied in the smaller events.  This device is used often in scripture but in a unique way.  Jesus is the antitype, though he came after the types, because he is the ultimate reality which they reflect.  So David is a type of Christ.  Insofar as he acted like Christ he couldn’t reflect Christ because he preceded him in history but he foreshadowed him.  And in reality we know Christ was and is and is to come he is the antitype of antitypes.  So Jesus was a rerun of David but ultimately David was the rerun.  This is a two way street of meaning.  We learn more about David from Christ and we learn about Christ from David.  Jesus loves making these connections between himself and the heroes of the Old Testament that the Pharisees claimed to respect.

August: Pharisees censuring Christ for permitting his disciples to eat on the Sabbath. Abel Grimmer.  I'm not sure why they are harvesting in the background on the Sabbath.

August: Pharisees censuring Christ for permitting his disciples to eat on the Sabbath. By Abel Grimmer.
I’m not sure why they are harvesting in the background on the Sabbath.

At the end of Mark 2:24 the Pharisees accuse Jesus’ disciples of breaking the Sabbath Law.  They did no such thing, of course, but Jesus uses it as an instance for teaching.  Rather than just saying he loves the Old Testament Jesus dives right into it.  Lets do the same.  Jesus pulls out an Old Testament story with lots of connections to his present situation.  In this story David was a type of Christ.  In 1 Samuel 21 David was fleeing from Saul with a few of his men.  David had been anointed to be the rightful King a few chapters earlier, but Saul was still asserting authority.  Hmm does this sound familiar.  Mark lays out the story of Jesus, who was the rightful king yet was chased out of the city by the crowds and religious leaders.  He had the rightful authority but the religious leaders reigned.

David fled to Nob where the tabernacle was currently set up and the priests of Levi resided.  But the ark of the presence was not in the tabernacle at this time.  If you recall the Israelites had lost the ark to the Philistines because they thought it was a magic toy that could help them win battles.  They marched it out and the Philistines took it, and Israel was defeated.  The ark killed the fake god Dagon a few times and started giving the people cancer so the Philistines put it on a cart and let it go.  It made it’s way back to Israel, but the Israelites who looked at the ark died.  They were afraid so they told the Gentiles of Kiriath-jearim to take care of it.  The ark stayed here 20 years until David brought it back to Jerusalem.  This was a Gibeonite city which should have been destroyed by Joshua but he didn’t seek the Lord and they tricked him into signing a treaty with them.  So the Gentiles have the ark much like in Jesus’ time when the Gentile Romans ruled the land.  Both situations were a time of transition from old leadership to new.

ark map

Mark gives us the short version connecting us with the story.  Matthew fills in the details which give us better insight into what the Pharisees would have realized. We are not as adept in the Old Testament as the Jews so we need all the help we can get.   So the bread of the presence was there but the presence of the ark was not.  Not only did David and his men eat of the sacred bread just like the disciples ate of bread, but the Levites were commanded to replace the loaves every Sabbath. This was Sabbath breaking commanded by the Law for the sake of the temple.  But Jesus is greater than the temple, any Sabbath breaking would be justified.  But no one had broken the Law.  The Pharisees were incorrectly judging by the Law.  Jesus judged rightly and showed them their error.  He used the Old Testament as the basis of his argument.  The Law was never meant as a weapon to cause more harm than it prevented.  The same with the Sabbath.  They were designed to be a blessing. There were always more fundamental authorities than the Law.  Hosea 6:6 says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”  Table of Shewbread.They made it all about the application of their rules.  But we should beware lest we do the same thing.  We can make “we are not under the Law” into a rule.  We can defend it at all cost to the point of silliness to the point of forgetting love.  We are all guilty under the Law, especially as Jesus read it.  The grace he has extended to us by pouring out his wrath on his son in our place is the most incredible thing this earth has ever seen.  But the fact remains that we are like sheep without a shepherd.  Even the church can be thrown into great error.  The Church fell into the error of slavery to the Law, Paul addresses this inGalatians.  But there is another error of leaving people without the instruction laying right there in the Old Testament even the Law.  God gave every one of those rules for a reason.  He wasn’t just making stuff up, he wasn’t just putting on a show with flaming hoops for his people to jump through.  We should search the Law to understand what he meant by each one of them.  What was at the heart of the matter?  How was he loving his people and trying to get them to love in return?

How can we mock the Laws of God?  How do we take pride in the fact that our civil laws have strayed far from the Law of God?  Why wouldn’t we want the rules of God to be the rules of our people?  What are the other options, manmade laws?  We screwed up God’s Law, how much more our own?  I was just reminded of how Jews during the spread of the black plague were often spared because they washed so often, because they followed the Law.  Few Jews died which actually lead to anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories that the Jews caused the plague.  I’m sure all the washings were a hassle, but it sure beats your limbs turning painfully black and eventually death.  Like any laws they must be justly administered, why wouldn’t we want that?  Don’t we pray “for his will on earth as it is in heaven”?  We sure aren’t doing too well with this new “all I need is my bible” garbage.  Sin is rampant and out of control in the name of Christian liberty.

The sabbath was meant to be a blessing, can’t it be a blessing today?  Can’t we take one day a week off and trust God that he will provide for us even if we don’t work every day?  I think so, most of the Church throughout time thought so.  Sunday was never a time for work, yet Saturday was for most people throughout Christendom.  They were blessed and blessed and we enjoy our current prosperity on their shoulders.  Talking about how we are not under the sabbath because it is not repeated as a command in the New Testament is to take the Pharisees at their word.  It is to take the sabbath as a burden that they wanted to apply on everyone woodenly and we want to unapply to everyone just as woodenly.  God want’s to bless his people with a day off.  He want’s us to love him by enjoying his bounty.  So pick the heads of grain as you flit through the fields with your savior, or tell your boss you can’t work on Sunday, both have judged rightly, and work hard to judge correctly under the Law the other six days of the week.

Further Reading:  A Son to Me: An Exposition of 1 & 2 Samuel by Peter J. Leithart

Further Listening: Mercy Stands Taller, Douglas Wilson

Sorry to Burst Your Wineskin

Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”  -Mark 2:17

So I am still reading this and trying to figure out how these verses are a prescription to attack people for trying to follow the Old Testament Law.  Was that Jesus point?  Our pastor took a position that is common these days, that the old wineskins and the old cloth were meant to represent the Pharisees.  And the old wine was the Old Testament.  The new wineskins are the disciples of Christ and the new wine is the Old Covenant.  The problem with this theory is that he lumps the disciples of John in with the Pharisees.  So ok let’s say they are both part of the old school.  In a sense John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet, it’s probably more accurate to see Jesus as the last Old Testament Prophet.  So, fine they are currently or temporarily still under the old Covenant.  So how are the apostles exempt?  They are Jews, just because they follow Jesus around they aren’t under the old covenant?  I think we can conclude by the limited attacks on Jesus that the disciples followed the Law.  Basically all they accuse him of was blasphemy, eating with sinners, not fasting and violating the sabbath  The last of which was merely a violation of extra biblical sabbath rules they made up.

An even bigger problem is the fact that Jesus didn’t criticize anyone in these verses, either the disciples of John or the Pharisees.  Jesus’ whole point is that we should go easy on the old wineskins, because they are. . .old.  We shouldn’t expect them to accept new wine.  These days we automatically assume that ‘old’ equals evil and that new is better.  That is not a popular notion with most of humanity or most of the church throughout history.  Most people have had respect for those who have gone before them.  That is what separates us from the animals, we can learn from past mistakes and pass them on.  But today we have become darwinians, we think that what is new is that which has evolved.  New is always better, despite a fossil record replete with millions of creatures we no longer have.  So we throw out the past whenever we can.  It’s a clever trick by the enemy to separate us from our roots, after all we are people of the book, the Bible is an ancient text, maintained by the tradition of an old Church. He didn’t have to disprove the Bible, he just convinced everyone that all old stuff was uncool.  Jesus didn’t say the old was bad, the old wineskins did what they were supposed to do, now is a time for new wine and so we need new wineskins.  If anything he was attacking the harsh treatment of old wineskins.  So I’m attacking the harsh treatment expressed last Sunday.  It had nothing to do with this verse and seemed to be a previously provoked rant waiting for a verse to justify it’s exclamation.

calvindSo, as far as the task at hand.  What was Jesus saying?  Most of the early Church commentaries thought Jesus was referring to his disciples as the old wineskins.  This was a new thing and they were infant disciples.  They were not to be burdened with difficult fasts, because that might burst them.   It is natural that he would want to show them grace.  It is not clear whether Jesus was talking to the disciples of John or the Pharisees, but it is clear he was defending his disciples.  Looking at the larger context, not only were Jesus and his disciples not fasting, they were living it up having a feast with the sinners and tax collectors.  Matthew, Mark and Luke all have the events connected. First they objected to his company, they then objected to his feasting.  First Jesus calls himself a physician and then a bridegroom.  Sure the disciples would fast and mourn plenty after his death.  In fact they would prove that they were old wineskins by the fact that they all fled the scene after his arrest.  Now was not the time to mourn, they were with the bridegroom on his wedding night, it was feasting time.  He goes on with the cloth and wineskins comparison.  Why would he put the burden of a fast on his disciples?  Why are you asking me to do that? Jesus didn’t force this new wine into old wineskins, he first made new wineskins then he added the new wine.  And these skins did become new and were filled with that new wine at Penetecost.  Acts 2:13 says the towns people said of the Apostles “These men are full of new wine”.

Even if we were to suppose that Jesus meant the Pharisees by the old wineskins, they still had their place.  They did their job, they held the old wine. The Jews held their Old Testament.  Was this for nothing?  Paul tells us in Romans 3:1-8 that being a Jew was not for nothing.  They benefitted much in every way, they kept the Old Testament faithfully.  We can even see this today.  Sadly most Jews have missed their Messiah, but the Jews continue to be blessed by their old wine, the world over.  Despite everyone trying to wipe them out, they maintain wealth and influence unparalleled by any other people group.  So don’t be dissing on them!