Monthly Archives: March 2014

My Church Can Beat up your Family

And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother. -Mark 3:31-34

So what is Jesus’ problem here?  Someone tells him his family is outside and he has to make a big deal about it.  Jesus is the greatest teacher and he never misses an opportunity to use his situation to make a point.  But there is more going on, he is drawing a stark contrast between the faithful followers and his family.  A few verses earlier Mark says that his family wanted to “seize him”.  This sounds like the Pharisees who countless times wanted to seize him, or stone him, or push him off a cliff.  His family was in the wrong and they were acting on their convictions, they had to be addressed.

Jesus points out that his real family were the people who obeyed God, his father.  Now we tend to spiritualize these sorts of things, as if Jesus is just pointing out some reality that will exist in heaven but for now we are stuck with our biological family.  Ok Jesus I have a theoretical mystical family that I will get to hang out with in heaven.  But that’s not true on two levels.  First you prove yourself to be in the family by your actual obedience here on this earth.  Second, as we know from countless other places one of the commands we as the Church are called to obey is the call of unity. We are to act like a real family here on this earth.  If your family comes to seize you, you should treat them as outsiders in a real way, you should shun them and stay in fellowship with your real family, the faithful, the Church.

I suppose we could use this as a reason to bash the Catholics for their overzealous veneration of Mary, but that’s really not the problem we are likely to fall into.  The more likely problem, addressed by this verse is the worship of family.  Now there are also some cults that outright worship the family, such as the Mormons. But we do the same thing in many more subtle ways.  Family time is seen as more important than Church time, we might not say it but we act like it.  We have no problem tiring ourselves out on Saturday doing various family activities and then sleeping in and skipping Church on Sunday.  Holidays are more and more a time of family traditions and not a time of Church traditions.  Many families don’t see the need to go to Church at all they simply have a service at home with the family.  Well this is all very American but it is not very Christian.   Jesus is clear the fellowship of the Church comes before family.  He blew off his family and fellowshipped with the Church.  His actions mirrored what he said.

It really is a silly thing to worship the family, “what do you have that you nave not been given?”  Your family is just the people God chose to connect you to biologically.  The family is a blessing bestowed upon us by God, but if we worship the created thing rather than the creator where are we?  We are turned over to our lusts as the fools in Romans 1.  The Church really is an incredible thing.  Ephesians 1:21-23 tells us that every rule and authority has been put under Christ who is the head of the Church.  And we are his body here on earth now.  Of course we do not perfectly obey the will of the father.  We don’t always meet the test Jesus gave for being included in his real family the Church, but we have been baptized into Christ.  He was completely obedient, and so we share in his blessing, in him we live and move and have our being.  We are his body animated by the Holy Spirit.

On another note.  Mary the mother of Jesus was no longer a virgin after she gave birth to Jesus from what I can tell.  According to Deuteronomy 22:15, virginity was proved by a blood stained cloth.  I’m pretty sure Mary couldn’t produce this after giving birth.  The beginning of marriage starts with blood like all good covenants.  Jesus opened her womb with blood.  Truly they were blessed.  When promised by God that they would be given a miraculous child, they didn’t doubt as Sarah had done, they didn’t question as Zacharias, the were faithful in the tradition of Hannah.  They brought forth a special prophet, even better than Samuel, a king better than David.  Jesus the Christ.

The Unpardonable Sin

As I find it in Scripture, so do I by constant observation of Satan’s order and wiles in drawing men to infidelity, that this which I have laid down is his usual method. If he cannot keep men from knowing of Christ and his works, he would keep them from believing the truth of the report. If he cannot keep men from believing that such works are done, his last refuge is to persuade them that it was by witchcraft or some power of the devil, and not by God. – Richard Baxter, The Unpardonable Sin Against the Holy Ghost

The ancients never spent much time figuring out what the unforgivable sin was.  But we  flock to it as a distraction.  Can you see the circus attraction all lit up in neon?  “Come and See the Unforgivable Sin!”.   We love pastors who bash the sins of the theoretical charismatics or the theoretical catholics just as long as they don’t get down an dirty into our own sins. But that is what we are called to do, those are the sins that really matter.  This is the deceitfulness of our hearts we like to worry about things that our not our problem.  We will even accuse ourselves of sins we are not guilty of and focus on the sins other people are guilty of, rather than the sins we are guilty of, now.

We do it in every area of life.  The media is going crazy over a missing plane, meanwhile ignoring ex KGB lunatic Vladimir Putin’s attempts to reassemble the USSR.  We like to blame the government for it’s spending problems, while we don’t spend money wisely ourselves.  People are concerned about Global Warming, yet their ‘preventative’ measures are bankrupting us right now.

Really this is just the fallacy of the straw man.  In argument, this is creating a fake person and then attacking him.  It’s much easier than addressing an actual argument, because we can build the man out of straw so he is easy to knock down.  Of course everyone is for saving the planet.  Everyone is for good government. Everyone is for what the Bible says.  ”Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help mom do the dishes,” As P.J. O’Rourke puts it.  But it is much more difficult to read the passages specifically written for us, for our sin.  Sinful humans don’t like this sort of thing so they mass for themselves teachers who say nice things and flatter them by attacking other sins out there II Timothy 4:3.  Behavior contrary to this is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.

Pillaging for Jesus

“But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house” Mark 3:27

Did you ever really stop and think about this verse?  So, Jesus is talking about breaking into someone’s house and robbing them.  He is comparing himself to the Robber and Satan to the Strong Man.  Does that seem at all odd to you?  Now it is quite true that just because Jesus tells a parable does not mean he condones all the behavior in the parable.  He tells these stories both to hide wisdom from the doubter and to give wisdom to the seeker.   But it is clear here that there is a conflict between Jesus and Satan where the scribes saw collusion.  It is clear that he means to bind and rob Satan.  This strikes us as odd these days, we have been taught about a warm fuzzy Jesus who is loving and accepting of everyone no mater what they do.  Even having an enemy is labeled as ‘unloving’ and certainly ‘unChristian’.  How much more tying them up and pillaging their house?  But this is just because we are dumb.

This verse should, again, call to mind the Exodus story from the Old Testament.

The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.  -Exodus 12:33-36

and later:

“And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”                                        -Deuteronomy 6:11,12

This idea of plundering the Egyptians became the common Medieval theme which we might call ‘general revelation’ today.  It is the idea that Christendom can take  whatever value there is in secular thinking and use it for the Glory of God, that is, use it for Christian Apologetics. Indeed it is the very idea of leveraging earthly wealth for kingdom gain (Matthew 25:14-30).   We can all see the value of gold and silver, we see them as mere metal, religiously neutral, but ideas?  Many early Christians so despised the non-Christian institutions of the Roman Empire that they simply sought to destroy them.  But cooler heads prevailed and it was realized that there was much value in the Roman civilization which could be used for the Kingdom.  Augustine took the logical reasoning of the Roman philosophers and turned it back on them by proving Christianity more logical than their own philosophies, in his City of God.  Logic and formal argument were pillaged.  Latin writing and numbering and the Roman Calendar were adopted.  Even the very notion of Empire, all of the known world united into one, was realized in the Byzantine Empire.  No doubt the Christians did without all the idols, the temples and their prostitutes.  But why tear up the roads or the reason?

Of course Israel was supposed to use the wealth they had plundered to build a tabernacle to Jehovah, instead they built a golden calf.

It is easy to fall into two camps today.  We either reject everything that is from the world as evil or we embrace it all, without even thinking it could do harm to our souls.  This is difficult work, sorting out the plunder of the the enemy and turning his own weapons upon him.  I know I’m sounding too militaristic again, and everyone knows Jesus told Peter to put his sword away because he was a pacifist.  Well except for all of the war language, over and over in the New Testament.  This is a war, there are real weapons, real victories and real losses.  It’s not all just philosophical and ethereal.  There are real houses that need to be plundered.

It’s very easy to criticize the Charismatics for thinking that we must bind the spirits.  It requires no action now and none later.  But they have their problems and we have ours  The fact is that this is what Jesus said he was doing, what he must do before he could plunder this house.  At least they have the language correct.  If you want to know where they get it from, it is right here.  Where do you get the notion that binding spirits is wrong?  Clearly those with power over Satan’s minions are with Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit.  To say otherwise is to blaspheme.  If our war is not physical, and it is not over spirits what is it exactly?  I guess it’s just a nice social club, gathering to talk about the bible.  Oh the twisted web we weave, exempting ourselves from any responsibility.

Responsibility is precisely what we should take.  We are Heirs with Christ Romans 8:17, we inherit this earth!  We, the Church, are his body to whom all authority over principalities and powers and every ruler have been given Ephesians 1:22,23.  Our faith should produce real results or it is dead saysJames.   Does Ephesians 6 sound like Paul was just talking about the Apostolic period and now we don’t really need to deal with Spiritual Warfare?  Because that’s how we act.

Not Shalom with the World, Shalom with the Church

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.  -John 13: 34,35

I have written before about how we allow the world around us to define what love is for the Church today.  But, I think there is also a misunderstanding about this verse and the object of our love.  The world likes to throw out the ‘love’ card from time to time.  They hold us hostage to their ideas and if we don’t follow along they accuse us of being unloving.  But we shouldn’t be surprised if the world hates us they first hated Christ, to the point of crucifixion John 15:18.  Matthew 10:34 tells us that we may have to hate our very family in following Jesus.  We are called to bring peace, shalom to the world not by doing whatever they want but by reconciling them to God with the Gospel.  Getting along with the world is not up to us, but getting along with each other is, which is what this verse is about.

Jesus is here giving his final command to the disciples before his death.  He basically says, the world will know you and your new group of Christians by your love for one another.  This became true the early church got a reputation for it’s love within the body.  Wealthy people sold their goods to care for the poor Acts 2:45. Widows were taken in and cared for Acts 6.  Women were welcomed as equals into the church Acts 5.  We take these things for granted today because the Christian principles have gone so deep into our culture that we can’t imagine it any other way.  That is just further proof of the deep success of these ideas.  (We do the same thing with the cup of water verse from Matthew 10:42.  It’s not about any cup of water for anyone. It is a cup of water for a disciple, because he is a disciple, under peril of being associated with Jesus.)

Hebrew 'shalom'.  Yes it is unfortunate that the meaning of the rainbow has been stolen by Satan.  We shouldn't have let it happen.

Hebrew ‘shalom’. Yes it is unfortunate that the meaning of the rainbow has been stolen by Satan. We shouldn’t have let it happen.

But the sad reality is that this is not how the Church is known today.  Granted the world is more Christianized than it has ever been and they hold us to a higher standard.  But the reality is that much of this is our own fault.  There are are so many denominations these days Christians can’t even keep them straight, much less would we expect the world to do so.  As a result they are free to proclaim that everyone just believes whatever they want, that the Bible is open to interpretation.  Sadly this is what the Church by and large believes.  We are so busy distinguishing ourselves from other denominations that we forgot to distinguish ourselves from the world with our unity, or doctrine for that matter.

It’s tragic but true that we almost have more in common with the World than any given other denomination.  Our economics are directed by Karl Marx.  Our view of humans is directed by Sigmund Freud.  Our view of human origins is directed by Darwin.  Our view of history and literature directed by secular post-Biblical academia.  Scripture speaks on each of these issues very profoundly, yet we take the world’s position, we sign up with the principalities and powers that we are called to fight.  We bicker and ridicule other churches for taking the unity of the Catholic church too far.  We bash the Charismatics for overzealous emphasis of the Holy Spirit.  Meanwhile we believe 90% of what the world does.  We have misunderstood these verses, our goal is not to make the world like us, but to make the like us. Our goal is not to make the world accept us but to make the world conform to Jesus.

Now I am not saying that doctrine is not important.  But rather than doing the hard thing and debating out the doctrine with our fellow Christians we just leave and start our own movement.  Most of my pastors have even encouraged me to go find another Chruch.  We don’t appreciate the power of paradox, old vs. young, mature vs. immature, male vs. female, wise vs. wile eyed, slow vs. fast.  These tensions make the body stronger.  They make marriage work and they makes the Church work despite it not making sense to our worldly scientific minds.  Rather than prostrating ourselves before the cross humbly with our ideas, rather than giving up whatever pet issue to get along, rather than listening to the words of a brother with a differing viewpoint and considering that we might be wrong, we hold onto our own doctrine and form exclusive clubs.  There is one on every corner in Bozeman, they have little interaction between them.  There are pieces of Jesus’ body drawn and quartered hanging from the gates of our fair city. Then we sue the world for peace.  No wonder we are not effective.

I was just introduced to a new way of looking at these verses recently:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Just like Israel in the Old Testament, we are blessed by God as a priestly people, so that we may minister to the world.  It’s not about saving our own butts from fire, it’s about sanctifying the world.  Salt is a preservative, light is a guide.  We have the truth, we are supposed to implement this wisdom in the world so that we may preserve all that we can.  They have no clue what they are doing, they think marriage and gender are choices, they don’t even know that a defenseless baby is a human.  Why would we expect them to make laws or understand humanity or history or science correctly?  We are the salt.  We are the light.  Without us the world falls into darkness and rots.  And that is not far off from the situation these days.  As Romans 1 points out:

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them

Up the Wrong Mountain

Stories these days are all about plot and action, everything else is considered extra.  This is an unfortunate and new thing. Most of humanity viewed a story as a way to take a journey through a place other than yourself, to become a better person.  It was not a means of titillating your baser urges, the pages illuminated your mind and give wisdom to illuminate your steps. We see this with the works of Homer, Aesop and many other ancient masters. This was especially the case with the stories in the Bible, both Old and New Testament.  Yet modern exegesis has turned them into plot driven narratives.  We like to think ourselves scientific, we want to know what really happened.  We are always trying to get at the heart of the historical event behind the narrative. We want to have a video camera on the scene.  But a video camera would not give light to our minds the way a story can.  Combining the gospels and sucking out the plot, strips each narrative of the full force on our hearts.

Ordaining of the Twelve Apostles.  James Jacques Joseph Tissot. 19th cent.

Ordaining of the Twelve Apostles. James Jacques Joseph Tissot. 19th cent.

One of the most important powers possessed by humanity is it’s ability to compound stories.  That is really all science is.  Someone told you their experience with an internal combustion engine or forming circuit boards from silicone and so you don’t have to start from scratch, you can build on their story.  All good writers do the same, so it’s no surprise that the stories of the New Testament build on the Old.  If we don’t know the Old the New makes very little sense.

And he went up on the mountain,

-Mark 3:13

Does that just hit you?  Does that remind you of anything?  As I have pointed out before, Mark has already drawn us a picture of Jesus the rightful king entering the land and beginning to conquer.  The end of Mark 2 and the beginning of Mark 3 have detailed some of Jesus’ early victories over the religious leaders.  Verses 7 through 30 are about Jesus conquering of the unclean spirits. Mark has already told us about a few of the disciples being called, but now he puts some other themes together;  being pressed to the sea, a mountain top, spirits, Peter the ‘rock’ one of twelve rocks, the ‘sons of thunder’ and ‘bread’.

This should call to mind when Moses led the twelve tribes of Israel from Egypt and they were pressed to the Red Sea.  Then Moses went up on the mountain in Exodus 19.  God told Moses to ‘go up on the mountain’, he told him he would send his ‘cloud’ or ‘Spirit’ on the mountain as proof of his presence, it was accompanied by lightning and thunder vs. 16.  At this time in Israel’s history they were feeling pretty good, they had just left Egypt in ruin from the ten plagues.  They had watched Pharaoh’s army wiped away in the Red Sea, they had been fed by bread from heaven and they had just had a miraculous victory against Amalek.  Then Moses goes up the mountain and is given the very words of God.  We think of the Ten Commandments.  But the Bible actually says ten tables, and it includes 11 chapters of commands.  This is the part of the story that the people of Israel liked to remember.  They were the chosen people of God.  This fact had been made evident to the nations.  They had been given every blessing under heaven, food, water, protection and the just Law of God.  They were just so much better than everyone.  We can easily think this way today. “God I thank you that I am not like the Charismatics who still think that they can cast out demons.  I thank you I am not like the Judiazers who think that they have to follow the law.  No sir, not me I’m a real Christian.  I read my John MacArthur Bible 7 days a week and I don’t listen to anyone else.”    

But this is not how the story goes.  The battle is not just “out there” between Israel and the Nations, between Christians and non-Christians, the battle in in here, in the Church.  Mark brings in a few more elements that ought to shame us all.  ”and Judas Iscariot. . . who betrayed him” and he was not the only one.  When Moses came down the mountain, what did he see?  He saw the chosen people of God who had just been shown unparalled blessings from heaven, having an orgy to a false god.  They had gotten bored watching the Holy Spirit of God communing with Moses on the mountain, so they forgot him and moved on to the golden calf.  All of Israel betrayed their God at Mt. Sini.  But that was not the end, they did it time and again, over and over throughout their entire history.  They were doing it as Jesus walked this earth and as Mark wrote these words.  Mark ties this theme of betrayal right into the scribes who came down from their mountain, Jerusalem.  They had gone up the mountain to the city of man.  This is war in the valley between two kingdoms, and they were on the wrong side. They had betrayed Moses, they had betrayed the prophets but worst of all they had betrayed the clear work of the Holy Spirit.  Woe to us when we do the same.  Woe to us when we condemn the work of the Holy Spirit because it does not fit with our agenda. Woe to us when we condemn the work of the Holy Spirit because it is done by people outside of our club or denomination.  That is Marks’ point here. Because if you don’t watch yourself you might find that your golden calf looks a lot like John MacArthur and the strange fire on your alter is burning to him.  I guess the disciples didn’t get it because Jesus had to reiterate the point later in Mark 9:38-40 

And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.  But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part

Be careful lest you criticize the works of someone else.  If you are not sure what the Holy Spirit looks like when he works, look no further than Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance [oh and casting out demons]: against such there is no law.

Also don’t forget to define ‘love’ as defined in scripture.  And ‘peace’ means peace with God not getting along with the world.

twelvestonesGod knows we are dumb, so he repeats things over and over.  He constantly shows us his faithfulness over and over.  But in between he calls upon us to remember and be faithful.  Peter is the chief ‘rock’ of the twelve rocks.  Twelve rocks should remind us of the memorials God told Moses to erect to commemorate the faithfulness of God at the Red Sea.  God repeats the same thing at the crossing of the Jordan before the conquering of Jericho.  The Lord told Joshua in chapter 4 to set up twelve large stones in the middle of the Jordan as a memorial, so that the people would remember what the Lord had done for them. But the people did not remember, they turned aside quickly, and they didn’t recognize the prophets of God when they came and the didn’t recognize their Messiah when he came.  Don’t make the same mistake.

Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation  -Jesus the Christ


Nonviolent Utopia

John Kerry is surprised that Putin is threatening troops-on-the-ground violence, because that is from the 19th century.  Basically, he can’t do that because my textbook said we were evolving.

But is this really isn’t a strange view in the academic world?  We have been so blessed by our Christian foundation, that we enjoy an unprecedented amount of peace.  It really is possible to pretend that a world without violence exists.  War is something that Bush did, it happens “over there” and we just read about it.   In fact they sit on the precipice of Christendom and then blame the Christians for all of the problems of the past.  This is very common among the new atheists, even Tim Keller is ok with blaming ‘religion’ for all of the violence in the world.  The new mantra these days is “stop the cycle of violence with love”.  But this is just the pacifist dreamland that falls apart when Putin rolls his tanks across the border.  The only reason we enjoy this peace is because we have the biggest military, and the treat of violence is often enough.  That threat is love.

The reason religion causes violence is because religion is the heart of belief, the heart of who a man is, it’s the only thing worth fighting for.   Most of humanity has realized that talking about what you believe is easy but being willing to die for it is quite another thing.  People who fight duels are not gutless atheists, they are people secure in their beliefs and they are at an impasse so they let God sort it out.  A war is just a big duel.  These are people who have the guts to chose a side.  The reality is that everyone has a religion.  People may not like the word, but they have certain beliefs about what is good and what is bad and how the world works.  If you believe there is no god, that’s your religion.  If you believe ‘religion’ is bad, that’s your religion.  But above beliefs, actions really reveal ones religion.  Today these academics are not without religion, they are just underhanded about how they push their religion.  They get ahold of the children and use emotional appeals and temptation to lusts and name calling in their evangelism, because they can’t win in the light of day.  And there are a great number of less active agnostics or atheists who have a religion but they are too cowardly to do anything about it.  They pride themselves that they don’t inflict any violence or impose their views on anyone.  But they don’t do any good either.  Because there are a lot of great religious evils out there, inflicting harm.  The issue is the nature of the religion not the fact that it is religion.  Which side are you on?  Because there are a lot of people whose core religion is wrong, it is evil and they are pressing all around.  Not fighting it, is to choose their side.

Charles Macklin as Shylock, Johan Zoffany. C.1768 Like all good English Literature there is a reckoning, a courtroom scene.  And no one does it better than Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice.  Just incredible.  Law and grace.

Charles Macklin as Shylock, Johan Zoffany. C.1768
In all good English Literature there is a reckoning, a courtroom scene. And no one does it better than Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice. Just incredible. Law and grace.

This is the same thinking that has lead to these new experiments in parenting.  These modern parents believe that spanking is outdated violence.  Well it is violence, because your child is a fool and spankings are the best way to remove his foolishness, but this isn’t bad.  In fact it’s the most loving thing you can do for them.  When everybody grows up this way, you don’t need much government because people govern themselves.  But when adults grow up and they are still fools the threat of violence is needed to keep them in line.  This is the purpose of government.  This purpose didn’t go away because Christ came.  Romans 13 makes it clear, they are his instruments.  The police officers don’t all lay down their guns and then everything is fine and everyone stops fighting.  Gandhi only works when you are fighting Christendom.  And even Christians are in need of authority structures.  They should look to the Church and not the secular authorities, because we should have more wisdom, as Paul points out in I Corinthians 6.  “Don’t you know that we will judge the world.”  “Don’t you know that we will judge the angels?”

Government is a reality on this earth.  Laws impose morality, that’s how it works.  Why wouldn’t we as Christians want them to be laws as close to the heart of our God as possible?  Don’t you think we have the best answers? Paul thought so.  And history has shown that law based on scripture is the best.  Don’t you want his will on earth as it is in heaven?  I do and its fairly obvious that if we don’t step up and impose our will in this Republic, the enemy will.   Obviously the saving of every heart would be the best thing. But evil, or false religion, prevented by the threat of violence is also good.  Most of Christendom understood this.  Ignoring this reality doesn’t make us hip with the times, it makes us fools.

Postmodern Big Government

It’s strange that in a world of increased individuality, customization and personalization we have a one-size-fits-all national government.

The idea of our Federalism was a nation of small personal cities combined into personalized states united by a national government on a few big things namely “The British are coming!”. But ever since Abraham Lincoln forced his way on the South there has been less and less personalization and more and more big central government. Humanity is both diverse and unified, like our God three and one. Modernism was the overemphasis of the ‘one’ aspect. We built factories that made millions of cars exactly the same, it was efficient and we were all unified. We built giant multipurpose stadiums that were plain and boring because they were meant for everything, that is nothing. Postmodernism began to get tired of this, so they overreacted the other way. We are not all the same we are all different. There is almost no unity in Postmodernism, each man is an island. Everyone dresses how they want, and even thinks that sex and marriage are personalizable. Except for our government. Our government is on size fits everyone. Every area of life that the U.S. government takes over is one less thing we decide locally, individually. You literally can’t squat in the woods without the U.S. government having a say in it. Even the forth branch of government the media has become central. How many comedians make fun of ‘local’ broadcasts all parroting the exact same narrative. Personally I would just like to go back to 1776, you will all appreciate it.

We do the same thing with individual laws.  The system of law that Moses put over the people of ancient Israel and the systems that have ruled over the prosperity of the west, were case law system.  There is a standard of law often written, and every time there is a dispute the law is applied to the situation by wise judges or a jury.  This mirrors the way our God works.  There is a standard that is greater than us to which we must conform.  The law is one in principle many in it’s application.

But today every time there is a conflict, instead of applying a transcendent law to the situation we pass a bunch more laws binding on everyone.  Instead of realizing that stealing computer files is the same as stealing has always been, we pass millions of pages of laws to forbid every type of specific this or that.  The web grows so large that it entraps people it was never meant to, and it is nearly impossible for anyone to actually know the laws they are under.  Now anyone who the government decides to go after can be gotten on any number of things.  There is no longer justice, there is no longer a rule of law but a rule of man, whoever that man happens to be.  Whatever the people in power want they get, and everyone else be damned.

We do it with deviant behavior and abnormalities as well.  When someone is born with this or that deformity instead of realizing that it is the exception that proves the rule we change the rules.  If someone is born with both sets of genitals we decide genitals are a choice.  We create a new standard that we can all be under instead of realizing the diversity mixed with sin that is the reality of this world.  If certain people perform below or above the normal in a certain area, we change the normal to include everyone.  We cripple those above and lower the standard on everyone for those below.  Instead of realizing the blessing of diversity in humanity, we want to make everything the same.

This is all very strange in a culture so obsessed with individuality.  But perhaps it’s more about self than the individual.  It’s more about spreading the evil of selfishness, by whatever name, than it is about any real search for peace and harmony.  The devil is fine with using whatever he can to bash the Christian standard, whether or not he contradicts what he used the day before.  All in all we need to get back to the height of civilization that was the end of the Medieval period.  We need to regain the balanced understanding of our Trinitarian God.  Three and One,  Diverse and Unified.