Kenosis – The Christian Art of Self-Emptying


Kenosis is a Christian concept positing a person must become empty in order to receive the message of GOD. This is similar on the surface to the Buddhist concept of Sunyata. However in Buddhism the goal is to attain enlightenment whereas in Christianity the goal is to become more receptive to GODS holy word. It is therefore not a self-directed activity, but rather an activity that we begin ourselves with the goal of utterly emptying ourselves so that all that is left is what GOD places within the heart.

John the Baptist displayed a type of Kenosis when he said “He must become greater; I must become less”.

J.R.R. Tolkein captured the idea of Kenosis with the character of Galadriel, the Elf Queen who is tested by the One Rings temptation in the forests of Lorien.

“And now at last it comes. You will give me the ring freely! In place of a Dark Lord you will set  up a queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the morning” (here she echoes Lucifer) “Fair as the sea and the sun and the snow upon the mountain. Dreadful as the storm and the lightening! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”…

Galadriel displays a hubris for which mankind is especially susceptible, and the Ring of Power plays on this weakness. Galadriel is voicing the same sentiment of many who seek not only to be free from GOD but to supplant GOD through an act of ego run amuck. When we start down this path we begin to see ourselves as an end… Our goals matter most, our belief reign supreme, our will is overpowering, our intellect is King, and err we fall. How often have we uttered the phrase “I know best”, even on matter we know little or nothing about. How many armchair quarterbacks, or politicians, or doctors or lawyers or theologians have we become? This is how Galadriel sees herself, if only for a moment of temptation.

“She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark”. Such a perfect world for us at our most arrogant, light emanating from use, illuminating only us. “She stood before Frodo, seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken; A slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad”. 

Here we shift from Galadriels vision of herself in fullness of hubris, to the way Frodo sees her under the shadow of that very same hubris. We all tend to see men and women in power as something greater than ourselves; This is equally true of the tyrant and the pacifist leader. in reality we see someone like Martin Luther King with the same eyes as Joseph Stalin. We see them clothed in the fullness of their power, a power that manifests itself through words. The only difference is the end to which those words are directed. Galadriel closes by saying in what feels like a pained whisper.

“I pass the test. I will diminish and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.

It was the test for Galadriel, the same test we all face at various times during our lives. There is no shame in the awareness that you pass the test because it is through this passage that we become better people, not in our selves, but in our emptiness and the realization that power does not come from us, but from something far greater. Galadriel understood this. But she also understood that becoming a better person means surrendering the hubris that came close to deceiving and destroying her. In order for Galadriel to accept the need for her own unity with the divine, which is what is referenced in saying she will go to the West, she had to empty herself, to diminish. This was Galadriel’s moment of Kenosis.Galadriel

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Fighting words and safe spaces

Fighting words and safe spaces

How the fight for America’s soul is being waged on college campuses, and why Christians are losing.


Spurgeon, Wesley, Luther,


Peter, Paul, Jesus


Prophets and John the Baptist


None ran away from confrontation, some provoked confrontation when doing so forced the truth to the surface (as Jesus frequently provoked the pharisees over his charges of hypocrisy.


Our faith has always existed in a furnace, being forged over time, tested and hardened. It is only through God’ grace through Jesus Christ that we are softened. But to be soft does not mean to surrender the fight or to retreat to a safe space.


Sometimes we must shake the dust off and leave, but sometimes we must stand firm, ignore the edicts of the power elite and speak the gospel loud and true.


The faith that moved mountains, that spread around the world, that hung on crosses and that created martyrs, that created abolition and women’s suffrage, that built hospitals and schools, the faith that was heralded by John the Baptist, that conquered death and sin, that broke the chains of hell. Is this the faith that we say today can be stopped by a sign that says “safe space”.


We must confront evil with love and with grace, never for ourselves, but for the truth. Street evangelists who may or may not be motivated for the right reasons, and groups like Westboro Baptist, right on sin but completely missing the message of grace, love and redemption are right now the only ones in the trenches working in America. Missionaries do great work, but they tend to do it in impoverished, third world countries and mass-evangelists (television or radio) speak primarily to the already converted. This is problematic because the great message of the gospel is left in the hands of poorly trained, sometimes untrustworthy and occasionally downright deplorable people with a loudspeaker and time on their hands.


But make no mistake, just being loud doesn’t matter. As Paul confronted intellectual elites with intellectual ideas, so too must we confront academia with suitable rhetoric, street atheism with meaningful and logical ideas and social media driven paragraphs length arguments with concise,, biblical supported truths.  Fire and brimstone may be the lot for the unbeilver, but it should not be the message used to open doors. Too often, poorly catechized, though perhaps well meaning christians attempt to carry the message forward and yet they are woefully equipped, having faith that has never been intellectual tested themselves and they are trying to sell a faith to people who want ideas that make sense.

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How the Social Justice movement shattered the goal and successes of Civil Rights

When dreams sour. Hank Aaron wanted to be a pilot. His father told him ain’t no colored pilots. He wanted to be a ball player and his father told him, ain’t no colored ballplayers. Then Jackie Robinson came and his father never told him he could be anything again. Aaron remembered that as the moment he was allowed to dream.

From that moment we integrated society, elected black mayors and congressmen, elevated black men and women to captains of industry, as a nation we adored and then mourned Dr. King, we saw the last of the great flag burning clan rallies wither and die and then a first black President.

After that, the dreams that were born with Jackie Robinson and that were carried on so many shoulders were shattered as movements like black lives matter rose up, demanding not equality, which they had but an extra measure of social justice, something to set them apart and make them better.  It is telling that when the police represented a real threat to black communities the black communities confronted them with human decency and non-violence. But today, with fully integrated police forces, community policing and no shortage of black officers and elected officials, there is violence called for and enacted against the police.

It’s as if some Charlemagne woke up from his long slumber and never noticed that no one wants a king to rule over them any longer, and so he fights old battles that were won years before and sulks in ancient slights, wallowing in the perverse nature that only our modern self-centered culture can deliver.

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American History Revealed: A Christian Nation, A church nation but never a Theocracy

For clarity to this reviewer. Let us remember that America did not have a single founding father, or a small collection of founders, but instead a founding generation. And that generation was uniquely informed by Biblical language, concepts and precepts.

For every Thomas Jefferson, who was as close to true deist as you could find among the founders we have a Benjamin Rush who was instrumental in Education, called the founder of American Education who said ” It will be necessary to connect all these (academic) branches of education with regular instruction in the Christian religion.”

Or shall we forget Patrick Henry and his famous ” Give me Liberty or Give me death” speech. Most do not know the full speech, but here is its proper context… ” s life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Are these the legal precepts of our nation? No, but our nation is not a nation of abstract laws, but of laws put to work for the betterment of a civil society. Religion, and specifically Christianity infused every word of the Constitution, even though no specific declaration of faith was drafted therin.


Was America a Christian nation? Yes. Was it’s government functions meant to operate upon Christian values? Yes. Was the Christian faith sought after in statesmen? Yes. Was American education founded upon Christian virtues? Yes


What America was not meant to be is a Theocracy, and that is the subtle difference that escapes too many people.

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A brief thought on teachers

The teacher is under pressure from school boards who are under pressure from fringe atheist groups who use threats of litigation to get their way. Even though most of the time these atheist groups lose in court they tie up school money and bring in bad press thanks to a complicit media.

What we need is to help teachers learn what it means to be a teacher and not a cog in the great social justice machine.

Imagine for a moment if communities got together and instead of created private schools or did home schooling, they sponsored a teachers education; handpicked young men and women of character and instilled them with a teachers education but also  strong foundation in their constitutional rights, someone who could go toe to toe with school boards and fringe groups and be an advocate for his or her students education as well as overall health as citizens and people.

Here is the sad reality. Private schools and homeschooling are positive. But they are also only relevant so long as the larger culture around them allow them to exist. How do you think these institutions would fare under a Hillary Clinton Presidency or Bernie Sanders who want the state to control more to begin with? Or for that matter, as colleges become more corrupted by social agendas will the best private educated youth find a place in a college that rejects the very concept of morality?

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Two Evangelical paths diverged…

There are two distinct groups within the evangelical movement. One group, take to heart the great commission and seek to evangelize. These include people like Billy Sunday and Billy Graham and are influenced by ministers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield. They preach the gospel “clean and pure”. Leaders like Billy Graham spoke to thousands, but we shouldn’t consider them a mega-church pastors. Most of the ministers and congregants in this group belong to small or mid sized local churches. For this group worship music was traditional and organic, most often written by ministers or congregants within the church and were based on personal experiences and pure biblical imagery. Think Amazing Grace or That Old Rugged Cross. If there is a failing to these evangelists it is that they could allow the fire and zeal of their message to occasionally overshadow the greater message of hope and salvation. But we have to remember they speak to their times.

The Other group emerged in the 1970s and includes mega-church pastors, televangelists with their own networks, and those who espouse the prosperity gospel. People like Joel Osteen, Jerry Falwell and Oral Roberts.This group was the first to introduce “praise-music which was written specifically to use keywords, play on popular culture and elicit emotional responses to coincide with pre-planned sermons. These songs are written by professional, highly paid musicians and owe more to the surrounding secular culture than to the Bible.

The first group, far more innocent in object was responsible in some ways for the latter simply because they allowed themselves to be out-messaged by flashy presentations and were themselves seduced by the prominence that the church developed during the 1970’s and 80’s.  For them it was a case of being willing to play along because what was good for the goose, was good for the gander. Of course today as the church is under attack from all sides and from within we now know that both the goose and the gander were being fattened for the same cooking pot.

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The candle of humanity was never meant to burn forever

The candle of humanity was never meant to burn forever, it flares up, burns brightly to those who tend to the flame, and care for it, penetrates the darkness for a time and them extinguishes on this mortal realm But the illumination that comes from the flame lives on in those who keep the faith because it is the light of God.


In the book of Jeremiah there is a peculiar condemnation against a certain type of people. It says they do not know how to blush. In other words, some people become so corrupt that they forget what is shameful to begin with. They cast vice as virtue and eat dung as if it were a fine steak. Even if you don’t believe in the Bible that sentiment is perfectly apt and has been shown to hold true in culture after culture.


Too many judges are infected with progressivism. Not liberalism, but a deep seated desire to undo anything that is traditional and that has stood the test of time. Simply put, if it came from yesterday then it must be done away with. Europe and Canada are far gone, and America is very, very close to being lost. But there are still faint echoes of what is good in the world, echoes that will grow once the madness is laid to rest.


When the Aztec Empire collapsed with the arrival of the Spanish the cult of death was at its peak.  The Aztec had been declining for some time due to several internal issues, which fueled the death cults and drove human sacrifice higher and higher.  In Ireland, as the power of the Druids declines they too grew more bloodthirsty in their rituals. There is some evidence to suggest that Viking human sacrifice was itself a late age development to cope with their own cultural decline. Native Americans created death cults as their culture dimmed, including the ghost shirts. We see this played out time and time again in cultures that are in decline.


In Europe and the United States is it any different? Terror attacks, acid attacks, spree shooters and the rise of groups like MS13, a reinvigorated white supremacy movement and the violent protest wing of Black Lives Matter are all in  their own ways death cults attempting to find an answer to why their way of life is coming to an end.


There is a reason why the zombie genre is so popular and why it is only growing; why protesters dress as zombies; why our favorite tv shows are little more than cinematic death festivals (the Walking Dead & Game of Thrones), and why even shows like Orange is the New Black are so popular, because they deal with cultural entropy.

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