When truth conflicts with social agendas


In the Church, Catholic or Protestant, there should be no room for Conservatism or Liberalism, only truth.

We often hear about social justice, but whould we care about refugees or immigrants (illegal or not)? The answer is yes, of course we should. Just as Christ cared for the adulterer or the thief, for you and I even in our own sin. But we also must not normalize bad or criminal behavior. In the case of “most” immigrants, they are not fleeing real terror or crisis, they are just looking for a better life, a chance to make a little more money, or have a little more freedom.

There is an important distinction there. that is often overlooked when we discuss immigration with broad strokes. Further, Notice that Christ had a treasurer? Yes his disciples carried money with which to buy supplies and food, for themselves but also for the people who came to hear Christ speak, we see this recorded in the gospels. We easily forget that the miracles of the loaves and the fishes was not the norm, they were remarkable because they were outside the norm. Why does this matter? Unlike Christ, we are not all-powerful and we do not have the ability to create actual food out of nothing. So we must be careful to ensure that in material supplies we have enough to care for those who really need, from those who merely really want. Christ, who cold afford to cast his pearls before swine carefully chose to whom he would reveal the treasures of the kingdom. Are we to be any less discerning or any more frivolous with how we distribute the physical fruits of that spiritual treasure?

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Star Trek, Future visions and the shortcomings of secular humanism ability to tell a story about human nature.


Curious that Star Trek, a show created to tell a secular humanist stroy about mans ultimate triumph over supersitition could only tell human stories about human-like aliens by relying on religious tropes, including powerful deities, that are familiar to so many world religions.

Gene Roddenberry’s  series reflected the great flaws in his humanist views. That’s why most episodes ultimately resolved around good vs evil and why even in his futuristic vision, pure secular humanism was difficult to make workable and why even the reboots, that praise themselves on being edgy and pc (recreating Sulu as a gay man, even against the judgement of George Takei) can never figure out how to actually keep a humanist world working on it’s own. COnsider that each Star Trek franchise tells the same stories over and over again, mankind evolving and yet never really changing.

In fact, it is often the most spiritual characters who have the most to tell us in the Star Trek universe.

Bajoran deities and prophets

The Q and omnipresent godlike powers.

The hell of a Borg cube

Gorgan

The Entire Greek Pantheon

The Squire of Gothos

Star Trek gave us an athiest world based on humanist philosophy and then promptly filled it with god like beings. Some good, some bad, most indifferent.

Whats more interesting is that if you really think about it, star trek is a nihilistic story concealed benath a false cloak of futurist utopianism. As the series grew and evolved we see Starfleet become more corrupt, eventually being fully realized in the first reboot and their employing a genocidal superman to develop weapons and in the 2nd reboot film, the appearance of a former Starfleet officer turned genocidal war monger.

What Rodenberry managed to do, though without realizing it is to tell a story about why secular humanisn is not workable, at least not in a story format that has any lasting appeal.

To be sure, Roddenberry transformed gods into simply powerful aliens, but this distinction becomes meaningless when looked at in the light of these beings powers and goals. Yes, we see a God liek being trapped on a prison planet needing a starship to escape. but we also see Q and his literal omnipresence all powerful abilities. What is the god Sybok sought out if not Prometheus bound and what is Q if not god?

And an argument could be made that Roddenberry was transforming old gods into aliens to show how religious superstition was itself a remnant of mans flawed past and that in time perhaps, man could become like these alliengods, but here too is a great flaw in secular humanism, that humans are celebrated only because we might one day become like the gods, again a very familiar religious concept, just look at the Garden of Eden or the Tower of Babel. In doing this he did not tell a non-religious, humanist storym but instead told a pan-religious, pagan story. Indeed, Star Trek is perhaps the most pagan of science fiction in its reliance on gods and magic. You disagree that this is magic? Q clearly has no technology behind his power and Gorgan’s power is fueled by the belief of children.

It is also worth note that as the franchise went on it grew succesively darker from ST:TOS and it’s almost comedic plots, to ST-TNG and it’s focus on wars (Klingon, Cardassion, Romulan), torture, Starfleets own section 31, to ST-DS9 and a planet of former slaves and religious holy wars , ST-VGR and with the arrival of ST:Enterprise we see even the early histroy of the Federation filled with intrigue and the very things that Roddenberry was speaking against.  SUre, Roddenbery had verylittle to do with these shows, but they were spawned by his singular idea and in truth this is perhaps the greatest failing of secular humanism. It successed only when it is theorietical and abstract. Future generations must content with why it fails.

Indeed for every Star Trek there is a Babylon 5, Ghost in the Shell or Blade Runner, stories that show a much more likely future for mankind, free from superstition, liberated from the restraints of religion, left utterly to our own devices as independant beings.  That is the promise of dystopia. Perhaps, as beingf aithful requires me to believe, some restraints are best left in tact.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is the Bible?


aConsider the following when considering the Bible…

Form: How does the bible as individual texts and as a collective corpus appear to us, and how did it appear to the ancients?

Matter: What is the physicality of the Bible? Why a written book and not a collection of oral stories or inscriptions on clay?

Function: As a physical object it was meant to serve a purpose, but that purpose is both physical and spiritual. What is it?

Material: The Bible as a physical object is related to its matter. But the stories represent a material composition. How were these made and to what end?

Cause: The Bible was created and like anything created it serves a function. That function can only be fully understood when we begin to understand what the ultimate purpose of the Bible is? Why do we have it and why does it matter? Is it merely to instruct or is it to save?

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

When we see what isn’t there…


what-are-clouds-made-of_bca378f490a8095cParedolia is the curious phenomenon of seeing familiar things that are not really there. Its what happens when we see a particular shape in the clouds or mistake a stranger for an old friend.But how often to we see this same phenomenon in our churches. We see it most in liberal churches who see their own social gospel and demand for tolerance in passages that either don’t exist or that say nothing of the kind. But this is not a liberal sin, it is also the sin of the pharisee who reads traditions and enculturations into scriptures in order to create puffed up rules and requirements. We see it in conservative churches who play a numbers game, mistaking large attendance for souls fairly won and in the prosperity gospel that tells us God just wants us to be happy and wealthy, and then often conflate the two.

 

SO the next time you enter a church, read your bible or devotional or attempt to engage in apologetic ask yourself am I seeing what isn’t there?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God is not good!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGod is not wholly good. Shocking sentiment I know but I believe it to be true. Good is largely a human-centric term defined as much by its being in opposition to what is evil as it is to its innate nature, which is often subjective.

Since god could not be described as evil then we cannot say that God is good either. Rather we should understand God as the Old Testament fathers  understood God, that is to say as wholly righteous, wholly perfect and wholly self-sustaining.

God’s righteousness is key to human understanding because it is the one element to HIS personality that humans can begin to approach and apply to their own lives. No human can be self-sustaining or perfect, indeed we can never even come close to these traits, but we can be righteous and in being righteous we can approach the righteousness of God. This is what was meant when God described King David as a man after his own heart (the book of Samuel). God was certainly not wholly good. In fact he was  murderer and adulterer, two broken commandments. Not to mention a liar, another commandment broken. But when in the presence of God David was always righteous. This is why he so fully repented when confronted with his sins before God. David could deceive himself and in deceiving himself, others but before God David was always righteous. What David, and we forget is that God is ever-present. When speaking of His omniscience, we forget that he is also omnipresent. This is more than a theological concept. When we speak of Gods omnipresence we are saying that God is always present to us, always front and center, ever-attentive to his creation of which we are a part. Now as God is omni-present and omniscient God is also fully present and attentive to every facet of his creation and all times. Every stone or cloud, every man and woman and animal has Gods full and undivided attention every moment of every day. Whats more Before you were born, God was attentive to you as an individual (See Job).

Now when we speak of Righteousness we are speaking of two separate but connected things.

First: To be righteous is to morally right, to be perfectly in line with what is right in the universe in absolute terms.

Second: Toe be righteous is to be justifiable. In biblical terms to be justified is to be made straight in accord with what is righteous. It also means to be warranted in your actions. This is the same meaning we apply when we seek justice against a crime.  In publishing justified means to shift the body of a text to the right in perfect alignment. This is an apt metaphor for what it means to be justified in a biblical sense.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Knowing God is finding the natural, in the supernatural.


The great conundrum for the modern secularist is that god is supernatural. As the supernatural contains all those things deemed to be fictions, such as ghosts and goblins and magic hats then of course they conclude the supernatural itself must be as fictitious as the various myths and fairy-tales that belong to it. It is no great leap to conclude that god, being supernatural is likewise a fiction. And guess what. They are correct. If god is supernatural  then god must be as fictitious as a magic sword or a ghost train or  dragon breathing fire.

If god is supernatural, that is.

But lets look closely. God may do things that appear supernatural to us, in fact just as supernatural as a smartphone would appear to the mind of  dark age peasant. If the sun is said to stop then we can know that either the story is a myth or the story is a supernatural act that goes against the fundamental laws of nature. Would not the very earth shudder and break apart if the suns gravitational effect were to ceases for a whole day? Would not oceans be displaced or the moon, hurdled from its near earth orbit? Yet clearly none of the happened. Since we can therefore conclude the supernatural did not happen, then we can easily determine the story is a myth, and from there easily deduce so many other biblical stories are myths.

But if we accept a truth stated in the bible, that God is the lord of all. That he created the universe and governs it then we can easily reject the supernatural from the story for a very simple reason. What happens when controlled by God is as natural because god is the foundational law of the universe. In God there are no contradictions, no acts of the supernatural of any kind, in fact the work of god, even at their most strange and mysterious are far more natural than any of the machines made by man or ideas conceived by the mind of man. Therefore we are left with only two possibilities, either the stories of the bible, those strange and wondrous tales are either invented myths, designed to be acts of deception or recorded as facts by an ignorant and gullible people, of they are in fact acts of nature.

For the apologist there is great danger in navigating a minefield while under fire from all sides. It is not and never should be the task to defend against all assaults, instead we must find a way to navigate that minefield, avoid the triggers and deal with the substance of the arguments of the disbeliever.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A brief meditation post


If you died today, and in fantasy film fashion were faced with the possibility of returning to earth if you can make your case to a heavenly appointed judge, what would you say? Has any part of your life to that point been worthy of a second chance?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment