On to Defending the Academy

Well, much has occurred since a past post, “We Can’t, No We Won’t”, was published as an outdoor educator in the California redwoods. Late April, after much prayer and contemplation, it was decided that I would resign at the end of the program year in June. In May this was made known to the whole team. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “Thereby,” I told them, “I can no longer serve in a ‘ministry’ that is unable to speak this foundational truth.” For the next month no one questioned or argued with me about it.

A peace was over me. Where was I going next after the summer? No clue. All that was set was a seasonal return to a small conference center in the Sierra Nevada. The last two weeks of the program, I affirmed that wherever God placed me next, Christ (the Logos) is my life’s foundation. I would be thankful, even if it meant long term manual labor at a more genuinely Logos centered establishment.

June comes. My car is loaded with all my possessions. I am ready to serve with my hands for the summer. Teaching applications up to this point have either been rejected or some administrators set up interviews only to not follow through. One particular gentleman from a little school in central Arizona shows the most interest, likewise, equal courtesy when declining my offer. Thank God, he was right about me soon acquiring a position. Before the end of the month, following three somewhat awkward interviews, a slightly larger classical Christian academy in Arizona recruited me for upper high school (some middle school). Apparently, choosing me was made significantly easier after receiving torrents of praise from my grateful recent employers. Certainly, these past few assignments were a part of His plan for this occasion.

Now, an unprecedented task. Indeed, something more intimidating than the last within these three years of persistent preparation. For a whole academic year, the souls/minds of youths are under my direct influence. Their intellectual and spiritual faculties will be impacted, a rippling effect on the succeeding generation. May Christ grant me the wisdom & strength to meet the daily needs of this responsibility. As I fulfill the role of teacher-mentor, may my own soul/mind be further refined in holiness and knowledge. Becoming an increasingly edifying educator is key to my secondary duty – defending the academy.

What does a school need to be vigilant of? Why so serious? I watched my own excellent private high school decline over a summer break from worldly changes in education philosophy. I have encountered countless students weighed down by “neutral” pluralistic curriculum. Aye, and the few ministries trying to get along with institutions teaching according to the policies of the State, not universal truth. When a program has more sociologists, psychologists, and education degree recipients managing operations than those experienced in teaching/researching across academic fields, you have a government-corporate enterprise instead of an academy. Yes, Lord, help me guard this house of learning from any encroachment that will remove Logos from the classroom. Let the younger generation know their God and His creation, so they may not fear the pride and wrath of man.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5-11

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

 

 

Christian Men & College

There have been a number of articles by Christian women explaining why females of the faith should avoid going to college, though may still obtain a post-secondary education/degree. Examples: https://thetransformedwife.com/godly-men-prefer-debt-free-virgins-without-tattoos/ & https://mrspriceisrighthomeschooling.blogspot.com/2010/05/should-young-women-go-to-college.html

I am going to voice my opinion on why Christian men should likewise be cautious if not opposed to attending college. As a disclaimer, I do not consider this Gospel. It is more so advice to consider like Paul’s preference for celibacy over marriage (1 Corinthians 7:6-7). After all, we are to be in the world but not of it. Often that means refusing to partake in certain matters, this case being how our intellect is formed.

Now, it is apparent to most that higher education is anti-Christ. Worldview, philosophy, and practices are in enmity with the things of God. As fruits of this rebellion, corruption infests the academics, organization, and finances of college institutions. What benefit do the majority of even non-Christian men have “learning” from these proud decadent halls? The primary reason advocated to acquire a degree is economics, not a way to a more intellectually/spiritually prosperous culture.

Get a degree, get a job. In other words, become more able to sell yourself in the market place. Tell me men of God, were you called by your Creator to be a source of goods and services for the wants of our fallen world? I find it vile to be viewed as a resource for the state or a company. We are meant for the glory of the Lord. Our minds are to be endowed with knowledge for His will, not the vain ambitions of men.

Truth in the lecture hall and seminar is a mere product of whatever fancy people have. Competing ideals jockey for influence more than actual instruction in substance. Virtues advocated are inversions of holiness. Social justice is praised, although it requires students to practice diverse types of shallow prejudice revolving around the like of ethnicity/race, sex/gender, age, politics, religion, etc. Good and evil are relative to popular consensus, hence the anarchy of pure democracy warned of by ancient thinkers. Repeated results of math and science are likewise discredited when they intervene with radical agendas regarding the triviality of human life, sodomy, transgenderism, fornication, divorce, environmentalism, profiteering, usury, centralized power, elimination of checks & balances, etc. What is a man to do in the presence of such reckless hate?

Well, according to the general left-right wing perspectives, just accept much as progress, while objecting to some through the power of the ballot and dollar. Or simply try to survive the changing tides, staying above the storm. There is some truth to each, except it falls far short of the courage God expects of us. College more often than not encourages us to be weak, divided by our fears and sinful passions. Yes, pressured to put down the Word, that sword that can behead giants of wickedness, pierce dragons of deception, cast holy light in the demonic darkness. What do I propose as an alternative?

Colleges are not based on truth, marring the perspective of reality of the student body. Public and private funding impair administrative judgement, along with affiliated organizations, hence contributing to the underlying prioritization of money. The majority of advocacy groups support things anti-Christ (Logos) in nature, playing a hand in facilitating a degenerate campus (& contemporary) culture. In and outside the classroom, abstract/esoteric theories tend to supersede facts whether it be literature or the more concrete material of biology. Ah, pride in tandem with love of mammon.

Essentially, this is what Christian men can do: 1. Be very selective attending a still devoutly Christian college, including Catholic and Orthodox. 2. Find an online program to obtain a degree or at least minimize campus attendance. 3. Discernment in choosing liberal arts major, tech program, and/or trade school/apprenticeship (not everyone should go to college). 4. Have an intimate community wherever you go via family, church, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. 5. Live a life in accordance with the two greatest commandments, loving God with all your strength and your neighbor as yourself.

Grow as a man of God, pursuing how He wants His sons to live according to Scripture, supplemented by sound tradition. Neither be steered by mortal ambition nor the anxious uncertainty of your future. Fear Christ, knowing the truth, for it will set you free from false promises and looming insecurities. Raise a home – beloved family, fruitful labor, and nurturing food. If you are going to submit to something, let it be the Cross, not pointless human desire. If you end up choosing to attend any institution, do so in the Holy Spirit, with wisdom and strength. Godspeed, my brethren.

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? 10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, 13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

14 I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it.
God does it, that men should fear before Him.
15 That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been;
And God requires an account of what is past.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Matthew 4:1-11

 

 

Memorial Day: Shadows of War

The last breath, the last drop of blood. What was on your mind before the light dimmed?

The final pulse comes in the mystery of silence or the violent orchestra of battle.

Fear, valor, anxiety, excitement, confusion – the final moment comes like a master thief.

Death is swift for some, ever sluggish for many others. Would any of us take their place?

 

To those who were conscripted – may God redeem us from your patriotic execution.

To those who volunteered – may the Lord make good of your sacrifice, not purely in vain.

We do not know all the evils that shroud the shadows of war. Still, let us honor the fallen.

May we be vigilant of defense, as well as lies from those who treat mortals as mammon.

“Whoever observes a command knows no harm, and the wise heart knows times and judgments.” Yes, there is a time and a judgment for everything. But it is a great evil for mortals that they are ignorant of what is to come; for who will make known to them how it will be? No one is master of the breath of life so as to retain it, and none has mastery of the day of death. There is no exemption in wartime, nor does wickedness deliver those who practice it. All these things I saw and I applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun, while one person tyrannizes over another for harm.

10 Meanwhile I saw the wicked buried. They would come and go from the holy place. But those were forgotten in the city who had acted justly. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not promptly executed, the human heart is filled with the desire to commit evil— 12because the sinner does evil a hundred times and survives. Though indeed I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, for their reverence toward him; 13 and that it shall not be well with the wicked, who shall not prolong their shadowy days, for their lack of reverence toward God.

Ecclesiastes 8:5-13

Public Education: Mandatory Mediocrity

How can I have even remote respect for something that as a result of rejecting the Creator/Christ, it lacks the substance to grow a person? Based on the grand assumption all just came into existence, young minds are instructed to know simply for the sake of knowing, that is whatever the government (public) wants them to value. Mix in democracy and opportunism, then you get a mutating alphabet soup of concepts that students are tested on without reason. Instead of gazing into the infinite mind of God, inspired to expand our mental abilities for His glory, most of us are taught to randomly learn for a vain and vague common good.

Fortunately, I was spared this institution very early on. It did not take my parents too long to decide that daycare itself was a poor option for their children’s well being. Now, I am well aware of the objections to homeschooling, as well as private school. The key counterpoint is why worry about the quality of these forms of education, more so the former, when the public system itself is a decrepit failure? Sure, not every child receives an edifying non-public upbringing. Whereas the public school system is a sub par factory. On top of it all, the government decides what values to interweave during the average seven hours at their institutions.

“Moreover, the society of which the child is to be a member is, in the United States, a democratic and progressive society. The child must be educated for leadership as well as for obedience. He must have power of self-direction and power of directing others, power of administration, ability to assume positions of responsibility. This necessity of educating for leadership is as great on the industrial as on the political side. . . . Apart from participation in social life, the school has no moral end nor aim. As long as we confine ourselves to the school as an isolated institution, we have no directing principles, because we have no object.”

from: chapter 2 of Moral Principles in Education by John Dewey (1909)

Public instruction is anti-God and average by nature. It is a supposedly neutral space that is intended as an education for all. How do you stay neutral teaching youth for at least thirteen years of their childhood? How do you employ a universal standard that meets the needs of every student? Why trust politicians and bureaucrats, let us not forget the random administrators and instructors, such utter strangers to have a critical impact in forming what children think and value? It is said we should not trust many perhaps most parents because they are ignorant themselves. Well, it is only fair to make sure everyone shares in the universal mediocre indoctrination.

The number of times I have encountered educators admitting the system is broken but is the best way for children is surreal. No faith in God, though there is plenty for the eventual fruition of the ideal education for all. Amid the fractured reading, writing, and arithmetic, wicked teachings on race, sex, and human life pervade. People and events of history/government are taught according to general racial profiles. Sexuality and gender are treated as casual pleasures. Humans are of primal animal origin and valued according to popular opinion. And who decides all this? State/Federal authorities, along with anyone directly involved politically and/or economically, dictate the information/ideas the youth of a nation are to master.

“In so far as the school represents, in its own spirit, a genuine community life; in so far as what are called school discipline, government, order, etc., are the expressions of this inherent social spirit; in so far as the methods used are those that appeal to the active and constructive powers, permitting the child to give out and thus to serve; in so far as the curriculum is so selected and organized as to provide the material for affording the child a consciousness of the world in which he has to play a part, and the demands he has to meet; so far as these ends are met, the school is organized on an ethical basis. So far as general principles are concerned, all the basic ethical requirements are met. The rest remains between the individual teacher and the individual child.”

from: chapter 4 of Moral Principles in Education

Advanced pupils are still vulnerable to this mortal system. It was a fair number of students that really helped me understand the deficiency. They explained their AP/honors courses, especially the former, are customized for the standardized tests. This means substantial content is absent. A number of them, along with post-secondary students, acknowledge or at least eventually discover their inability to immediately transition into higher levels after graduation. The standard is thereby not excellence.

Perhaps, I am too stupid to understand the grandeur in learning according to the hopes of political/corporate powers. Indeed, forsaking the whims of Christ’s cross to be a consumer of false promises and products is not that appealing. So many of us, including the founders of communities if not nations, did not need the hand of government schooling to pursue knowledge in what God has wrought. Language, history, math, science, the arts and world view are fruit of His obeyed in accordance with holy Scripture. Christ – the Logos – is the incarnation of Creation/Order whom walked among unholy ambitions of men. Fearing God is the beginning of timeless knowledge. To fear anything or anyone else is learning to be an intellectual slave of self, men, and the Devil.

Need for Fidelity.18 Therefore, take these words of mine into your heart and soul. Bind them on your arm as a sign, and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, speaking of them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up, 20 and write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that, as long as the heavens are above the earth, you and your children may live on in the land which the Lord swore to your ancestors he would give them.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:4-9

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