Independence from monarch and Mob

A fair number of people today are aware a large fraction of the American colonists decided they no longer tolerated being under the reign of the British royal family and Parliament. What fewer may also keep in mind is that the founders of American independence equally desired to avoid the normality of mob rule. To be self-governing, free from the excesses of monarchy and democracy, Americans needed to be a virtuous people for the well-being of the republic.

Yes, political independence begins with families & communities, whom can prepare the younger generations to inherit a civilization that unceasingly dialogues truth and justice. Such is a well rooted drive to form interconnecting associations that discuss and debate the essentials as well as particulars of socio-economic realms, from the neighborhood to the nation. The Enlightenment elements agreed that God imparts rights to those in His image. The Christian heritage was the blueprint for universal principle. Greco-Roman tradition bestowed a set of mental tools to ponder the nature of things.

The inversion, turning upside down/inside out, of this pursuit of Logos (divine order; Christ Jesus) is defied by mortal hubris, a satanic pride that seeks unwarranted glory or at least temporal gratification, which possesses a vampire’s insatiable hunger. It is pseudo-liberty that forsakes personal, familial, and/or communal responsibility. It is the social-Darwinian hustle for material wealth. It is the lustful objectification of persons and their image, reflecting their Creator, for the sake of personal pleasure. It is the creature arrogantly exercising power as if they are Lord.

This is a historically consistent reality, mobs directly or indirectly invite the rule of tyrants. A monarch faces a fair amount of social/moral restraint. Dictators and Oligarchs redefine as they will. A mob reacts passionately to situations; they do not act in strategic unity. Hence, while attacking those who may be in the wrong, much destruction is committed against others, crimes of passion and opportunism. Acute or chronic social chaos can be the probable chance for shrewd souls to assert vice grip means of control.

Members of a republic ought to act in accordance with law and principle, because they are of families and communities. These close ties allow them to voice their thoughts, take economic and political counter measures; and engage in defensive force. It is much more difficult to deceive a likeminded people who reason in the things of God, practicing a division of power for the liberty of their fellow members. Democracy more readily fosters mobs, since public decision making rests on mass persuasion of what is popular, not necessarily what is right. All a charismatic promiser of grand schemes need do is at least convince a minority to react, for they depend on granting power to strangers rather than sharing it in their more immediate circles.

The modern shift to an educated, instead of a virtuous people will be any nation’s downfall. Educate them in what? Oh, yes, how to be a productive employee for the technocrat economy and to empower the government bureaucracy in being the. Indeed, it is desired by wicked beings we abandon intimacy with the Logos, our families, and neighbors, so we are not active citizens of a republic independent from mortal monarchs (presidents?) and pretenders of God. For a global order, run by demonic disciples, subjects that react with wants, although passive in comfort, make ideal chattel.

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11

 

 

History, more than a Study

History has another dimension to it besides learning of the past. Just as important is an active role in the present. What happens now becomes then almost seamlessly. Then and now persists into later. There is a highly consequential misconception that it is the past that determines the present. Now, this is true to an extent, except a great multitude do not acknowledge being a part of the recent past, as in living history. The combination of the belief that history by nature is of random events invites a vicious cycle. History is neither random events nor sole human activity; it is the grace of God over His creation.

When people recognize that they too share in the past, there is usually more reflection about the impact made on others. On the other hand, when we observe ourselves more as products of the past, there is less attention to the influence of our character and state in life. For the former, the first priority tends to be addressing one’s own sins, no less potential evils. The latter more expect others to atone for theirs, neglecting heart and mind. In other words, those who connect in history through the present are more ready to repent (change their mind to virtue) of vice, so they can exercise the truth. Those who act in history according to the past, demand right living, while being the very oppression they supposedly hate, lies justified for their truth.

The world view of history as apparent orderly chaos is the endgame of both humanistic skepticism and optimism. Earthly utopia keeps running into speed bumps, history is random. Man and the environment are simply natural processes, things just happen in grand scheme of things. It was odd in graduate school to hear the timeline as anything goes, except we should be concerned about injustice. This was more bizarre from a self admittedly Marxist professor, whom posited that the institution of slavery did not end because of public moral shift but because industrial capitalism made it less economically feasible. Which can be argued, only she soon after expressed that capitalism helped maintain slavery before its formal abolition in the 1800s. The view of history being random allowed her to hold these confusing ideas as complementary.

I digress regarding the poor higher education. What is of important note is that hating sinners of the past more than your own sin (that is if you acknowledge it) maintains a strong lack of self awareness of being a villain. While maliciously handling the ‘issues’ of the present, one fails to recognize they are a bad guy of history, also contributing to the misery of the future. The French and Russian Revolutions, along with the succeeding tyrannies, are voluminous examples. The mainstream campaigns for LGBTQ+ rights and push for military interventions are more subtle, current measures for pseudo-liberty.

In this desperate cycle for wealth and/or pleasure, we can wholeheartedly believe history can be rewritten, at least in the present, to suit our ideal future. Such is the generational ambition to end the chaos of our heritage or figure out how to navigate the indifferent ebbs and flows of time. Well, no need to fear. The cliché of it is “His Story” rings true. God, the resurrected Christ, is in control of history. Oh, the objections to His authority! So many would rather have reality absent of Him, our destinies dependent on our best foot forward. No, thank you, I rely on the Lord’s will, not our centuries of ongoing folly. My concluding question is this: “Are you a Cain or Abel in the Story?”

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent [the body], is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation [resurrection] which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked [only dead]. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”

2 Corinthians 5:1-11

Fathers’ Day: The Patriarchs

Men that couple with a woman, raising their children amid a community, propel us forward not for the sake of progress or order. Instead, it is for what is true, good, and beautiful, a life to pass on to the next generation. They are the facilitators as well as guards, so their families and neighbors may thrive in the blessings of God.

Yes, not all men have embraced the responsibilities expected of them from the Heavenly throne. Too many lack the strength or wisdom to dare engage our fallen world, rather they remain immature in a pseudo-childhood. Thus we have so many men and women forsaking the image of Adam/Eve in favor of mimicking the beasts of the field. Fathers, the Patriarchs, set a standard, a legacy for their household. They are taught to tend to the bountiful garden, denying the hollow pleasure of a forbidden tree.

When our first father, Adam, failed to adhere to our Creator’s commands for a fulfilled life, God the Father Himself made the redeeming sacrifice through Christ His Son, so we may become repentant children of the Almighty. Earthly fathers are likewise given the authority to make such sacrifice for their kin. They serve not themselves but the will of their Creator, Whom exercises power with love alongside justice.

Fathers/Patriarchs wrestle with the world, their flesh, and the devil. They may succumb to the deceit, yet their strength and wisdom can be renewed through the mercy of God. Wicked and/or the cowardly men are unable to ensnare the beloved of their household, when they are instructed to fear only the Lord, to pursue knowledge, most so in what is holy. Free peoples are raised by God-fearing patriarchs, men of heavenly things.

My father’s name means long spear. He has instructed me in the art of offense/defense via body, mind, and spirit. In the long run, his direction has lead me to the foot of the Throne, where our Father may bestow upon my soul strength and wisdom. Indeed, such is the command to patriarchs, the raising of a holier generation.

A blessed Fathers’ Day to all. Honor the patriarchs, the men of heavenly things, in your life. Forgive the man who was not a father. Set yourself before the All Father of Heaven, for He is the source of what is true, good, and beautiful in the days of our lives.

“And when you pray, you shall not be like thehypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:5-15

 

Memorial: Eulalio “Lalo” Calderon

On Wednesday May 15th 2019 at 4:45 am, my grandfather passed into eternity. His legacy reminds those of us still in this life that our short time impacts so many for generations to come. Will us successors choose to inherit this noble heritage – timeless fortitude amid the chaos of our fallen world? Will we bear the responsibility of maintaining livelihoods one day at a time? Yes, a sober mindedness not easily swayed by neither social trend nor cultural norm.

Grandpa was a man whom daily tended his garden. Family and community received the gifts of his hands. On top of serving action was integrity in word. This was decades of sustaining life, creating order in spite of not acquiring riches or glory. He was a father to orphans, as well as a provider to widows. Unlike so many of us, his prejudices came second to a compassionate respect for neighbors. Not a man of sophisticated faith, yet he was disciplined in right living.

A sharp reminder for my life is whether or not I have lived with integrity, a fortitude that stands before difficult situation and painful circumstance. Have I spoken truth, practicing what is good before the eyes of God, maintaining beauty in others’ lives? More importantly, have I done so with a spirit growing into a fortress grounded against the deception of sin, including the pleasure of evil? Do I choose the strength of almighty Christ or the fear of mortal man? Do I live what I believe in?

I know it is spoken for many when I say, thank you Lord, for our dear Lalo. As the priest said prior the lowering of the casket, God gifted him to us for such a time before the return to the dirt. For the rest of his descendants, we press on. We are still in the race. The fight is still ours to have. There is still a garden to be tended. Do we choose to do so with greater fortitude, or do we live only to influence the younger generations to be fragile in vain comfort? Lord, give me hands and heart strong enough to carry a cross.

34 “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise 35 like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. 36 Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 21:34-36

Giving Unto God & Caesar

Last week was the deadline for filing income taxes. Less than a week ago was the observation of Christ’s death and resurrection. We are expected to give unto Caesar, our human governments. By contrast, we are to surrender unto God, giving our all. Caesar is merely another man that is meant to provide a service to the citizenry. Whereas Christ is the foundation of our very lives. What happens when we allow the mortal Caesars to have control in the areas of the eternal Lord? Disappointment then tragedy comes.

People cause suffering, no more or less than the governing powers. For some reason many call these two, one in the same, to eventually fix the evils of the world. What is even more comical is now in our modern world we are surprised when Caesar is unable to prevent or immediately restore the aftermath of natural disasters. Why do we put so much hope in mortals simply because they have some kind of authority, either through position and/or wealth? If your hope to relieve the human condition lies in human beings, there was not much hope in the first place.

This is also tied into the evils rooted in the love of money. Politicians and rich men alike, what is the outward source of their meager power? Taxes and payments. Unless we give, they cannot act. They promise the goods/services of security and comfort. Sure, they are only human like the rest of us, though with all that money we give, only they can solve what ails us. In case you are wondering, yes, I mean halls of government and even business can share the power of Caesar, in times of peace or war.

But, though the patriarchal system is the earliest form of government, and all governments have been developed or modified from it, the right of government to govern cannot be deduced from the right of the father to govern his children, for the parental right itself is not ultimate or complete. . . . Property, ownership, dominion rests on creation. The maker has the right to the thing made. He, so far as he is sole creator, is sole proprietor, and may do what he will with it. God is sovereign lord and proprietor of the universe because He is its sole creator. He hath the absolute dominion, because He is absolute maker. . . . The despot is a man attempting to be God upon earth, and to exercise a usurped power. Despotism is based on, the parental right, and the parental right is assumed to be absolute.”

from: chapter 3 of The American Republic by Orestes Brownson (1865)

Those who truly hold governance are people who create, as does our Lord. Because what we make with our hands/minds is from what God has made us, we are granted responsibility over a power, not endowed with it. Thus we can set it on the rule of Christ, being creation and children of His heavenly Father, or we may out of foolish desire for ultimate self rule, stake this power in ourselves, in the personal and/or formal halls of Caesar. Indeed, those who play God fail to create good things for the generations, demanding they be given wealth and honor due to their social-economic status.

Just to be clear, this is a warning against the depravity of the love of money, as well as power, whether it be through socialism or capitalism. These two joined are an unholy alliance, though this is for a future post. No matter how a man puts it, Caesar will receive tribute for the services that can be rendered – order and enforcement in this life. By one’s own life, via a politician, or a businessman, the parental figure of a group of people, will become a cruel master when pursuing the status of the Creator in life. Indeed, render unto Caesar a portion of your creativity. But be warned, surrender unto God your very life itself, for He is the holy master of all Caesars, whom will answer to Him in the end.

“The right of the father over his child is an imperfect right, for he is the generator, not the creator of his child. Generation is in the order of second causes, and is simply the development or explication of the race. The early Roman law, founded on the confusion of generation with creation, gave the father absolute authority over the child—the right of life and death, as over his servants or slaves; but this was restricted under the Empire, and in all Christian nations the authority of the father is treated, like all power, as a trust. . . . How, from the right of the father to govern his own child, born from his loins, conclude his right to govern one not his child? Or how, from my right to govern my child, conclude the right of society to found the state, institute government, and exercise political authority over its members?”

from: chapter 3 of the American Republic

 

Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Romans 13:1-7

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. 10 Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, 12 for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says:

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:6-14

Crushing Military Might

My dear sister, first class petty officer, of the Navy is currently on leave, before transferring to another station on the American mainland. Indeed, I look forward to her visit. Sadly, like so many of those in the armed forces, they are emotionally if not mentally distant to a degree. Such exposure to the world puts them in a kind of experience that is alien to most people. And at times their very participation in the military power crushes what noble notions they held. Our prayers are that these souls who volunteer to, in the grand scheme of things, defend the nation from foreign destruction and despotism look up into heaven and allow the Lord Christ to crush their despair. They are introduced to raw good and evil, both often overwhelming.

It is a strain in a relationship when you were already not that close to the person in uniform. I wonder that aside from not sharing due to official secrecy and the pain of recollection, do they remain silent for fear that they will sear us with the melancholy they possess, upon learning what chills their heart? Even those more open about the days gone by on and off duty, there is a subtle pause in speech as if to omit/edit to prevent harming the listener. Exasperation can also be a reason. I quickly discovered how ignorant I am about matters active military and veterans personally know. A common statement is something along the lines of “I cannot relate to the majority of people anymore.”

Veterans Returning to Civilian Life – https://youtu.be/nJUKxmsqpz8

President Eisenhower’s (former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe – WW2) Farewell Address – January 17, 1961 – https://youtu.be/OyBNmecVtdU?t=8m41s

Still, a fair fraction choose to remain in the ranks. For pragmatic and/or noble motivation they persist. Emotions are mixed in an environment of escapism (drunkenness and fornication), boredom, pressure, peril, and culture shock. Despite all this they see the critical role they play in an ever delicate balance across the nations’ peoples. The United States forcefully restrains many from biting, while likewise keeping more order than there would be otherwise. Considering how many conflicts are in effect, the average civilian can only imagine a greater scale of violence. A small fraction of veterans remember the world wide wars. The succeeding generations of the battle hardened share the scent of fear and death, flashbacks to the moments of the ‘thousand yard stare’.

Sadly, what has taxed the spirits of countless soldiers, sailors, and airmen is the underlying corporatism and politicism that catalyzes the missions at hand. To be a pawn for the economic and diplomatic empire(s) of the United States overseas dilutes the honor of defending the strength of the American Constitution. To bear the responsibility of guardian and mercenary cultivates a deep cynicism for the world at large, laying siege to what separates right from wrong. With you soul on the line, what is there for one to do each day of moral uncertainty? When man fails inevitably, repledge your coat of arms to God. If you cannot trust military command or government authority, persevere in the power of Jesus Christ. After all, He will be the only one to heal and sustain the crushed being of a modern man at arms. Civilians should do the same, for like those in uniform, they find human ambition is a vain thing, even the good it possess made perverse.

Let us remember to pray for those who defend the nation, providing us with protection long taken for granted. Imagine a worse state of affairs in addition to the bloody horror already within our domain. The floodtides are still being withheld. The guardians bear a heavy weight, often times facing ingratitude. They learn in graphic detail how wicked mortals are, how ignorant we can be. Still, many endure the nonsense of sinful systems, hoping that some good will come of it. Indeed, may God make blessings out of what we may do for evil. I do not understand your plight, serviceman. I only know the God who does with open arms, with a light burden to carry instead.

So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well. Bear your share of hardship along with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. To satisfy the one who recruited him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of life. Similarly, an athlete cannot receive the winner’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to have the first share of the crop. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

[b]Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. 11 This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him
    we shall also live with him;
12 if we persevere
    we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
    he will deny us.
13 If we are unfaithful
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 1-13

Growing Pains of Life

When we think of a naturally painful period for us, one of the first immediate thoughts is puberty. For women, pregnancy. For men by a greater proportion, perilous labor. Aside from these specific conditions of living, there is still the general pangs of growing up, even far into old age. Our bodies have to break down in order to increase or maintain its strength when healing. Our minds have to be stretched by lesser known ideas and concepts to improve understanding. The soul/heart (for simplicity) has to withstand the trials of the day, so we become more resilient to the state of our individual and shared sinful state of reality. Comfort, pain, and healing are fundamental to man, either as a part of growth or for the sake of thriving in a world corrupted by evil.

Childhood is no less of these cycles. In fact, in some ways it is the most fragile time due to the higher frequency of them, for every year a boy or girl enters a new phase distinguishable from the previous. As much as they can be guided by loving parents and elders, they still need to overcome obstacles alone. If they are not encouraged or pushed to deal with them, that part of their life remains more infantile. Those not brought up to overcome physical pain resemble a babies sensitivity. Children left to be ignorant remain in child like dependence. No personal discipline in good results in lack of distinction from evil when it comes to choices.

Ironically, adults who attempt protecting children from pain as much as possible actually compound the discomfort over the years. Mind, body, and/or spirit struggles with poor pain tolerance. Every new opportunity is overwhelming in some way. Like a new born babe, they subconsciously cling for protection. In common extreme cases, anyone who does not guard their comfort as they see fit is against them, perhaps a bitter enemy only wanting to hurt/neglect for selfish gain. The thing is they are rather useless at dealing with evil, since the lesser cruelties of the world are enough to stop them from taking constructive action. Instead, they will follow anyone who makes lofty promises, only knowing how to destroy and take, not possessing the endurance to create and sustain.

“A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human comforts. The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon comfort nor seek such pleasures of sense, but prefers severe trials and hard labors for the sake of Christ. . . . Divine comfort, then, is given in order to make a man braver in enduring adversity, and temptation follows in order that he may not pride himself on the good he has done. The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead; therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest.”

from: chapter 9 of Book 2 Imitation of Christ by Thomas a ‘Kempis (1427)

One story from my childhood. I did a season of pewee football, lasting through the initial conditioning, never having experienced so much strain. It was surprising how much my very young body could do. The first day of practicing tackles with our gear, I was shocked by the physical contact. At the half way point, I was losing nerve, making a short plea with my father to quit what seemed too much. Without hesitation, as he slapped my shoulder pads, he said, “Do not be afraid to get hit. It is a part of the game. Do not quit when it is hard. Get back out there!” Because of his care and authority I obeyed, later earning one of my two cherished helmet decals for tackling, the other for endurance running. These decisions my father made continued my course in life for over all growth. He was not going to allow his flesh and blood to stay a child forever. One day I would become a man facing the injustice of the world.

We do not grow stronger just for our own sake. Heck, for mere security in life, it seems easier just to hide behind the abilities of others. More often than not, those who do so think too highly of their own mediocre ability, rarely having tested it through daily trial and error. No, we strive in spite of pain if not misery for things and people beyond our own comfort. It is how God made us. After all, did He not become a vulnerable mortal through Jesus Christ, humbling surviving then thriving into adulthood, prepared to wrestle with bodily suffering, fallen mankind, and the offerings of Satan. How tragic it is that we do not want to submit to the will of God, though we would rather be weak as well as a slave to sin, rather than strong and free under Christ’s sovereignty.

With pride we are angry that we have to experience pain. We are fine just the way we are, right? Well, considering most of our hurt is self inflected, lashed on others, and decided by those near us or far, I would say, we are not quite good as we believe. We have the inclination to behave childishly, because we lack the maturity God has called us to, being a living sacrifice, as opposed to demanding life from other men to cushion ours. Thus it is natural for some kind of hurt to truly give; discomfort comes with what is acquired to share. Those who avoid pain do not make decent givers of life.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation is addressed to you as sons,

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor faint when you are reproved by Him;

For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
and He scourges every son He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

Hebrews 12:1-13

Of Father and Mother

The two that become one flesh create another one, whom shares not just DNA from each parent but an immediate likeness as image bearers of God. This biological & spiritual creation of a person is beyond the wonder of the animal kingdom. It is something of the finest beauty, meant for universal good, founded on the immortal truth of Christ. Indeed, how the Lord set mankind to reproduce itself reflects an intimately loving destiny, a divine will for us to work for higher things, which included collective fellowship/worship of His glory in the earthly dominions bestowed.

The days as a toddler was uncertainty navigated through an inquisitive faith. My memories in Sunday school go back to the second year of life outside my mother’s womb. While she was at work for the postal service in the morning, my father was present until the late morning. As per usual, I wandered into their bedroom after waking up, remembering the digital clock displaying a time around 8:00 am. One day I had slept on my mother’s side of the bed, looking at the clock a few feet away on the nightstand, then inspecting my father to find him still sound asleep. Gazing out the window, the neighborhood was at peace. The sun was out with animals doing their early calls, the occasional resident or city employee going about their day. Directly in the sky the sun was partially hidden by bulbous clouds. Yes, we were not alone. I reached out my hand for the God of Creation. He was mindful of me, placing an already extended hand further, so a mere mortal could be touched by the Sustainer of all things.

I remember at about the age of seven my parents had me watch a video presenting the development of a baby within the womb. The down to earth narration, subtle music expressing mysterious wonder, and colored imagery showed me a process that set me reflecting the shear depth of human life. If anything, this permanently impacted my mind, acting as a cornerstone for my view of people. The chief cornerstone had already been established; I would not remove Him any time in the future, less I forfeit the inheritance of what it meant to be human, under the care of a fatherly and majestic God.

My history textbooks were not the best written. Each year they pretty much repeated the same sequence without diving deeper into any topic. Well, that is what the home encyclopedia set and public library were for. What the Abeka text did offer was a grand layout to understand the heritage of man – good, bad, and ugly. The peoples of the earth are made in the image of God. Our destiny revolves around the will of our Maker. Knowing our ancestors affirms what Scripture confirms about us in relation with God. Thus mankind is not just a part of a mere piece of time. We are involved in God’s eternal holiness, judgement, and redemption. Our parents’ legacies reach beyond death, much more than just figuratively speaking.

“O LORD, our Lord,  How a excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained. What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen – Even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord,  How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

Psalm 8

It is no hidden reality that fathers and mothers can fail throughout the rearing of their children. I admit experiencing countless moments of exposure to spiritual attack, emotional neglect, and mental anguish from things said and done (or not). Yet according to our dear Lord, we as a family are corrupted by sin, in need of His restoration. Did not my parents and theirs have to suffer this pain of the human condition? Through it all, anything my parents or I killed, Christ resurrected. Such is through prayer and choosing forgiveness, advancing into His life out of the darkness that strives to bind us. If the family of image bearers is reconciled to stand united on the garden rather than divided on the grave, what a joyous harvest they will bring forth to their table, with excess for their neighbors and relatives. Woe to us who choose pride and pleasure, the streets filled with all forms of poverty.

These are the two things a parent ought give a child, even if it means forsaking so many advantages to them in the world. Firstly, introduction to the God whom made them through word and action – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Secondly, that they are aware of what they are – sinful mortal, divine creation, and human heritage. These things so the two greatest commandments can be fulfilled: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” Thus they fear and honor the Risen Christ in the face of the evils from the world, dark spirits, and their own fallen desires. The Truth sets us free.

Students of the Savage Spirit

This past week I encountered two groups of students (5th/6th grade) of contrasting culture, though possessing a raw impulsiveness. One (Expeditionary Learning model) is well versed in the concrete facts of their physical world. The other (Montessori method) is more imaginative in their outlook. Still, in a unique way they expressed a deliberate self-will. There actions, planned or immediate, were deemed as only natural without thought of moral consequence. Now, what happens when they become discontent perhaps come to despair with the sinful world they inherit?

This is not to say that these children were terrors. Actually, there were a number of redemptive qualities for each group. What I am really getting at is the world view these young ones held. If continued in thought/practice as they grow older, there will surely be disastrous outcomes. Like I said, a raw impulsiveness. In other words, will anybody be able to control them when they come of age? Someone who can direct these headstrong beings shall very likely be of the same mind, just only more cunning.

The first of the two are definitely textbook learners, with the ability to comprehend technical ideas. Displaying excellent communication and motivation, they seem well on their way adapting to the modern world. What may bite this world a decade or so from now is their self-awareness in their role of the evolutionary process. For you see, they spoke indirectly of a view on morals that combines the necessity of animal survival and contemporary social rules. Believing they are animals on close terms with all members of this kingdom, their bodily needs are practically as important as what is right. After all, the first core value of their education model is “The Primacy of Self-Discovery.”

The second is of a more tactile drive, learning according to their individual abilities. They can be intensely engaged and focused on what interests them. Likewise they possess a genuine innocence, a dreamy sense of wonder for the world around them. Behavior often hinges on childishness, not child likeness, for most of them. They are trained to adhere more to their wants than what is outside their concern. Self-control being of secondary value, they are not reliable to adapt to social environments or work together in ongoing tasks. The world is pretty much extensions to their personally customized class rooms.

The inspiration/founder of both educational systems were ‘reformers’ discontent with contemporary society of the early 1900s. They were advocates for science by their own distinction, sharing the attitude that the approach needed to be more man-centered on the individual student. Kurt Hahn, whom Expeditionary is based on, believed that youth were innately good, needing to grow in self-development, less they be corrupted by society at large. Maria Montessori, physician & psychologist, desired children to be influenced in their self-direction towards the “spirit” of science, with the intended goal of curiosity for imaginative mastery of the “mechanics.”

C.S. Lewis, lead Christian author of the 20th century, wrote a lesser known character of a rather forgotten book, which illustrates an ideological force lying in wait to engulf civilization. In “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” the newly converted Lewis depicts the nihilistic ‘Savage’ as a sophisticated conqueror in barbarian dress. He represents a mindset/spirit not of a unique personality but an apathy to modern society due to disillusion from all the ideals and promises unmet. Casually under his elaborate orders are social movements akin to fascism and communism.

The beings for these ideologies in Lewis’ allegory are sub-human trolls, meant to be a parody of the grand ideal humanity is supposed to become under these social systems. Savage was raised in the world below his “honey-combed” mountain fortress. Leaving it behind, seeing it as vain talk, he desires to destroy it, for according to him, “The excellent deed is eternal. The hero alone has this privilege, that death for him is not defeat, and the lamenting over him and the memory is part of the good he aimed for; and the moment of battle fears nothing from the future because it has already cast security away [italics added] (“Furthest North” of book 6).”

This mode of thought is the extreme product of a world view/morality based on the individual will. Being social beings, we assemble ourselves with those of a likeminded will. This applies to a desire to carve out a world for the ‘truly’ fit or one forcefully levelled for all to be equal in social standing. The expeditionary students seemed ready to decide who/what would thrive after the culling of survival. The Montessori pupils only care to strive for what catches their immediate fancy. Those who can manipulate such raw yet refined impulsiveness, can acquire a self-driven horde for self-justified amoral acts, as well as systems of savagery. Lord Jesus Christ, may your Spirit be with us disciples of your Word, to speak and live the Truth before the deceived younger generations, while encouraging those who know You to allow your will be done.

“In the beginning a was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that m Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

John 1:1-13

Ignorance – Worse than Chains

“Ignorance, my brethren, is a mist, low down into the very dark and impenetrable abyss in which, our fathers for many centuries have been plunged. The Christians, and enlightened of Europe, and some of Asia, seeing the ignorance and consequent degredation of our fathers, instead of trying to enlighten them, by teaching them that religion and light with which God has blessed them, they have plunged them into wretchedness ten thousand times more intolerable, . . . Ignorance, as it now exits among us, produces a state of things, Oh my Lord! too horrible to present to the world.”

from: Article 2 of Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World;David Walker (1796-1830)

From a man who witnessed slavery first hand, the worst harm was not the whip or forced labor. The brutal exploitation was the product of a people made vulnerable by a deep state of ignorance. Is the lack of knowledge dealing with technology/science? History/heritage? Business/wealth? Formal/vocational education? No, the root of ignorance, which precedes all that has been listed, is not knowing the will of God and our identity in Him. Thus, as Walker states, the African people were already in ignorance, though now it had been worsened by people who knew the truth but decided not to live in submission to Him.

 What peoples of the world would discover, absent chains and beatings, bondage could still be inflicted by others, no less the self, so long as the people existed in ignorance. In the lack of knowledge of God’s sovereignty, we are prone to also dominate one another. After all, African, European, Asian, and Native American partook in chattel (think cattle) slavery for centuries. It is easy to treat beings as objects when you refuse to acknowledge anything resembling the dignity of being created in the image of God. Indeed, a person has to live in if not deceitfully feign ignorance of this truth, that they may raise up the things previously mentioned in their image.

A state of social status is not the primary issue for an individual’s life. Ignorance of the truths pertaining to God’s will is the underlying evil for society/culture in the long-run. Walker and other black souls were born into or achieved freedman status due to the controversial argument in law that they were creations of the Creator. Generations later, succeeding the era after the national abolition of slavery, whites and blacks were almost equally targeted for cheap labor, both as free citizens. It was common for slaves not to be permitted to learn to read, even the Bible. Why? If the enslaved masses knew what Scripture said, they would make poor cattle. The same could be said for whites who recognized that this unholy institution was a blight on everything they held dear.

Those who were more mindful of the things of Christ treated their property more as human than beasts of burden. Because of this defiance of custom, which declared in some form slaves must be kept in spiritual ignorance, state governments, eventually national (Union & Confederacy), increased their stranglehold on these people. Most so Southerners, people intimately acquinted with the God given humanity of blacks, were systematically forced by law to be more ignorant or at least pretend when it came to the truth. Politics and economics were prioritized above His divine rule of law.

Walker was not shy of chastizing American government for its folly handling the image of God in public policy. Far as he was concerned, only sincerely devout Christ followers witheld the wrath that would befall the nation, the Lord letting the mountainous weight of ingorance crush Northern and Southern ideals.

“Now the avaricious Americans, think that the Lord Jesus Christ will let them off, because his words are no more than the words of a man! In fact, many of them are so avaricious and ignorant, that they do not believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tyrants may think they are so skilled in State affairs is the reason that the government is preserved. But I tell you, that this country would have been given up long ago, was it not for the lovers of the Lord. They are indeed, the salt of the earth. Remove the people of God among the whites, from this land of blood, and it will stand until they cleverly get out of the way.”

from: Article 4 of Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World

Whether technically slave or free, ignorance can bind the soul making one into a simultaneous brute and tyrant. Regardless of status, to be lead by vice is to not be at liberty. How many people with much are envious? Wrathful? In despair? Possess a spirit of defeat? Imagine, the consequences of a generation ignorant perhaps even scorning the things of God. To care not for what they ought to do for their fellow man in obedience to Christ. To view others and also themselves as animals, each with their own authority of right. Will giving them knowledge of economy, technology, politics, and/or fine art cure us of this natural state of lashing out in pride and cruelty? Less we think too highly of ourselves, believing to be more moral and enlightened than our ancestors, such knowledge will only be tools for self-destruction in the long-term.

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of your mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleaness with greed.

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:17-24