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So why are you still a Christian?

19-Apr-14

Given the general drift of western civilization, there are some on our side who are feeling like Christianity is, well, in retreat.  If you could wind your time turner back 40 years, nobody living at that time would have said that America would be in the process of honoring sodomy with its own special rite of marriage.  Nobody would have predicted rates of divorce and illegitimacy where they are today.  Jokes about mass confusion on Fathers’ Day used to be directed at other people, not us.  Now we are the joke.

Struggling families can’t find a reason to stick it out.  People give up and give over to their pet sins.  People born, raised, and married in the church suddenly go secular, not out of any sense of offense or hostility, but because they just don’t care any more.

So why are you still plodding along with a crowd that seems to be losing so badly?  Maybe it’s because you’re part of the gray-haired set that still does all that Churchianity stuff (including Wednesday night).  Maybe it’s because America isn’t the only place in the world, and in some other places like China, Christianity is growing like mad.  Maybe you stick around because you’re one of those fortunate folks still plugged into a dynamite church, and you really enjoy it.

Here’s a reason for you to ponder: You should keep the faith because Jesus is alive.  The only real reason to get into Christianity in the first place, if I could say it like that, is because it is true.  And the central truth of Christianity is that He rose from the dead.  If He rose from the dead, there is every reason in the world to continue faithful regardless of what the rest of society does.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, there never was a reason to be a Christian.  In the early days of Christianity, Paul said that if Christ has not risen, then “we of all men are most miserable.”  Why suffer for a dead god?  What sense does that make?  We don’t suffer any serious persecution in America, so let’s apply the thought more accurately to us: why deny yourself the pleasures of a hedonistic life to honor the memory of a dead guy?

But if Jesus is alive, that changes everything.  That would mean that He has power over death.  It would mean He really is the Son of God.  It would mean His church is destined to become the central focus of history.  It would mean that following Jesus matters, not just to your kids or your person sense of stick-tuitiveness, or the moral tidiness of your little corner of the world, but it matters on the biggest and most cosmic scope imaginable.

And if Jesus is alive, it would mean that death is not the end of life that we all thought it was, but just a pause before we transition into something far greater He has prepared for us.  It would mean that our ultimate conclusions about life stand upon a living hope.  And hope is the thing that makes us keep on keeping on.

So I’m still a Christian because the tomb was emptied when Christ came out of it alive.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Ukraine and Obama’s complicated failure

02-Mar-14

Of course you’ve heard by now that Mr. Romney and Mrs. Palin both warned that Mr. Obama’s policy toward Russia would lead to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. America should have been doing everything possible to help Ukraine establish a sturdy, free economy, a justice system free of graft and corruption, and a credible military. If we were attempting any of these things, it never made any news I could see.

But now Obama’s failures are starting to earn compound interest. Obama, who years ago helped bring about the decline of America’s manned space program — not that he did this by himself; he had plenty of help — now has another problem on his hands in the matter of Ukraine.

He can’t afford to anger the Russians too much because we depend on them to get our astronauts and supplies to/from the space station. We’re in one of those moments when you realize that great nations have to remain strong in every area. America’s space program has been the envy of the world for 60 years, that is, until the last shuttle flight. Now we have no way to get people and cargo to the space station.

So Mr. Obama will be low key in his reactions to the Russian dealings in Ukraine. It would be too embarrassing to have the Russians tell America to kiss off next time we need one of our astronauts to bum a ride in a Soyuz spacecraft.

And I feel I need to add something here.  I am not ashamed of America, but I am ashamed of our self-imposed weakness and immorality after years of secular, Socialist-leaning misrule. The looming problems confronting our astronauts are the kinds of weird, unique gotchas that crop up when foreign policy is dominated by the wishful, utopian thinking of liberal academics instead of a hard-headed determination to deal with facts as they are.  Russia is a powerful nation that sees itself as our rival.  Mr. Putin is a smart, tough ex-KGB agent and a fierce nationalist.  He plays to win and won’t hesitate to spill blood to achieve his goals.  Only blind folly could have failed to see that and act accordingly.  Putting our space program into a state of dependency on the Russian program is beyond naïve.

So remember that next time a liberal politician tells you America is disliked around the world, embarks on a worldwide apologize-for-America tour, and offers a former KGB agent one of those ludicrous red reset buttons.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

 

Why I think there’s a God

28-Feb-14

Louise Antony gave her reasons for thinking there’s no God, and I dealt with those here. But what are the reasons for thinking there is one? In most Christian literature, these boil down to five.

Why There’s Something Instead of Nothing

The physical universe tells us it had a beginning. The sun isn’t merely shining; it is burning up. The world isn’t merely turning; it is spinning down to a stop. Natural processes everywhere are in a state of decay and decline. The available energy in the universe is a consumable resource. There’s an end point when the mainspring of the whole cosmos will stop ticking. Therefore, it had to have been wound up at some point in the past. So the physical universe isn’t eternal.

So something else must have been here before there was a universe. Whatever that was, it must have been eternal and must have had the capacity to bring the universe into being.

Why There’s Order Instead of Chaos

When you drive through the South and see a 1000-acre tract of pine trees planted in rows, equally spaced along the row and all the same age, you don’t have to ask if somebody did that. When I look at the far more complex arrangements of DNA, it’s obvious that a mighty intelligence made this. DNA contains the coding needed to duplicate itself. But a process capable of creating a DNA molecule from scratch simply does not exist in nature. Nothing even remotely approaching this degree of sophistication has ever been observed, not in nature, nor even in man’s most advanced laboratories.

So something eternal and powerful was there before the universe existed. And it had the capacity to bring the universe into being, wind up the spring, and then release the energy through myriads of the most intricately designed mechanisms. Such a being is intelligent beyond all the reckoning of man.

Why Things are Right and Wrong

People have a moral component to their nature. Ms. Antony shows this when she asks that we all work for peace. Nice thought, though I wish she’d explain why, on atheistic principles, peace is better than war. After all, isn’t evolution driven by conflict and winnowing away the unfit so that only the strongest and smartest survive to breed again? Here’s a case where evolutionists are better than their principles. They generally wish the world were better — and “better” is defined in moral terms.

Furthermore, there is, for lack of a better term, a genuine reality underlying morals. We aren’t merely displeased when brutes kidnap little girls and sell them into sexual slavery. No, this is really and truly evil, and wrong. And it’s not just that we feel happy about a man who would redeem little slaves out of their bondage. No, such a deed is really and truly good and right.

The fact that morality cannot be derived from nature is not an argument from gaps in our knowledge. Rather, it’s plain to see that there is no arrangement of particles and forces that can ever account for a moral right and wrong because morality involves not just an assessment of facts, but an assertion of authority. Morality is the claim, coming from outside your own head, that you ought or ought not do something. And “ought” inherently arrives in the form of a command. Morality sees what is wrong and authoritatively forbids it. Morality sees what is right and authoritatively commands it.

The origin of morality, then, is very much like the origin of the physical universe. It’s here; it’s real, and it defies natural, material explanation. It demands a source that is outside of this world, transcendent, and that was capable of implanting it in the human heart when man was first formed.

So — just building the argument — something eternal brought the universe into being, something that was powerful enough to do it, intelligent enough to design it, and this Being possessed a moral code which it then hard wired into the hearts of men.

Why We Sense the Transcendent

It’s an interesting question as to why, on naturalist/materialist principles, people should have ever evolved to be capable of wondering about what could be outside this physical dimension. Where’s the survival value in such a massive and stressful distraction?  Or to take the question a level deeper, how do matter and energy interact in such a way as to produce conscious beings who ponder things higher than matter and energy?

Ms. Antony herself experiences the draw of the transcendent but drops it too soon. The real question is what a sense of transcendence is leading you to.  Being a Christian, it’s obviously my opinion that God created this in us to lead us to Him.  Paul told the Athenians that we “feel after Him,” (Acts 17:27) clearly expecting that even pagan men would have been open minded enough to investigate an intuition shared by virtually all people.

We Christians find our sense of transcendence filled, satisfied, yet heightened and completed by knowing our God through His Son, Jesus.  People from other religions testify of their version of the same sense of transcendence.  It’s not my purpose to address those experiences, only to say that whether we’re making out shapes in a fog or seeing in the full light of day, something is there, and we all sense it to some degree.  And although the argument is not dispositive, I can’t frame a better explanation for a sense of transcendence than to propose that God has indeed set “eternity in our hearts” (Eccl 3:11) as a way to both prompt us to seek Him and as a way to experience Him once He is found.

The life of Jesus Christ

The chief way God chose to reveal Himself to man was through Jesus.  The officers sent to arrest Him said, “Nobody ever spoke like this man.”  We exhaust all the superlatives when we consider Him.  His teachings set the standard for goodness even among those who reject Him.  He led such a life that those who sought His ruin could accuse Him only by lying.  Without money, without armies, without political connections, without allies, without any access to the levers of power, having died young, Jesus did more to change the world for good than all who ever came before or after.

And He rose from the dead.  Yes, His followers reported many other miracles He did, turning water to wine, walking on water, feeding multitudes out of a sack lunch.

But the miracle of His resurrection was the story they were all, to man, willing to be tortured and die for the privilege of telling it, not because they had anything to gain by it, but because they undeniably believed it to be true. If there is a God such as I have described, and if God became a man, I would expect Him to be a man like Jesus.

____________________________

So that’s it.  It’s why I think God exists and has revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

 

Answers for an atheist

26-Feb-14

The New York Times published an interview with atheist Louise Antony who confidently affirms that there is no God. Read the linked article if you like, but her arguments against God boil down to a just handful of things.

First, Antony says, “I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law.” This, of course, is no argument at all. It’s just assuming the conclusion. Presupposing materialism merely evades the debate about whether God exists. The Christian idea of God is that He is transcendent, meaning that He is “above” or “beyond” or “outside” the universe. Looking for God by material methods is like prospecting for diamonds with a metal detector. Wrong tool.

In her second argument, Antony says religious people can’t all agree on what God is, what He is like, or whether there are more gods than one. This is all true, and all irrelevant. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that all religious people are hopelessly muddled on the nature of God. Does this mean they’re all equally deceived on the existence of God? Not at all. Even in a total fog, people can know something is out there without knowing any details about it.

Antony then says she cannot reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of God. Beg pardon, but what is this “evil” she speaks of? The existence of categories like “good” and “evil” assumes a Supreme Authority who establishes what’s good and what’s not. And consider again Antony’s statement, “I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law.” Yet the very categories of good and evil are outside of natural law. You cannot derive morality from Newton’s laws or the Schrödinger equation. That requires a transcendent source.

On the other hand, if good and evil are not real categories, if they’re just cultural norms or her own private intuitions, then her objection vanishes. Her argument amounts to, “I’m displeased (or we are); therefore, there is no god,” which is absurd.

But Ms. Antony is left to ponder the motions of her own heart. Why is she outraged by rape or brutality? Who cares, and why should anyone care, if orphans starve, tyrants strut, armed gangs pillage and plunder, girls are bought and sold, and all the rest of human misery is played out before our eyes? If Ms. Antony knows anything at all, she knows there’s Something Big moving out there in the fog.

And following that, Ms. Antony should be the first to accept religious experiences. After all, she’s had a big one. She’s felt the wrong of this fallen, sinful world and felt the need to put it all back right. That didn’t evolve from a big cloud of hydrogen gas. God has set eternity in our hearts, and that’s what it sounds like when people pay attention to it, even a little bit.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Kim Jung O

26-Feb-14

So now the FCC wants to install government minders in newsrooms across the country to make sure “underserved minorities” get the news they need. I guess we’ll show Kim Jung Un how it’s done. Even Mr. Obama’s lickspittle media has an eyebrow aloft. But don’t worry, lefties — if you like your freedom of the press, you can keep it!

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Another foretaste of things to come

25-Feb-14

It’s no secret that Christian values are being slowly but inexorably dispossessed in America. Wedding cake bakers who refuse service to homosexual couples get sued over it, and lose. They’re told that once you open your business up to serve the public, then you have to serve whatever comes through the door.

But now a bar owner in California says he’ll refuse service to state legislators who vote for anti-gay legislation. Actually, he went a bit farther and said he’d deny them entry to his bar.

I’m thinking his valiant pro-gay stand isn’t likely to cost him a lot of money. How many Christians are clamoring to enter a gay bar in California?

Still, the principle being established here should tell every Christian that it’s past time to gird up the old loins. Christian bakers are fair game for discrimination suits if they transgress against the Secular Man’s homodoxy on the grounds that public businesses have to accept whatever the public accepts.

To borrow from Spurgeon, I’ll adventure to prophesy that anti-Christian bar owners will be immune from suits on the same grounds. Yet — lest we all forget — Californians voted against homosexual marriage, even going so far as to forbid it in their state constitution. So it’s clear that the actual public in California accepts anti-gay legislators just fine. But you can be certain that the bar owner, should he get sued for discrimination, will get a pass.

Christians should be waking up to the fact that we’re in a fight. And to paraphrase Mordecai to Esther, don’t think this won’t ever touch you.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

When politics go bad

25-Feb-14

King Baasha of Israel was a drunkard. His servant Zimri murdered him while he was drunk. Short moral of story: A drunken king can’t be trusted to know who the enemy is.

Zimri took over and reigned for about a week. Another servant named Omri found out Baasha was dead and came after Zimri. Zimri neither fought nor fled, but went into his own house and burned it down upon himself. Moral: It’s easier to take over than it is to actually keep order, and once order is lost, you don’t have a lot of options.

Omri was a wicked king and plunged Israel deeper into ruinous idolatry. Moral: A guy who just wants to be in charge is about the last man you want in power.

Omri’s son Ahab eventually became king. The Bible describes Ahab as worse than all who came before him. He married Jezebel who was even worse than he was. Moral: Getting rid of drunks, killers, and tyrants doesn’t mean things are about to get better. The son might make you wish for his daddy back. And beware the tyrant’s wife.

During Ahab’s reign the prophet Elijah called for a drought that lasted for years. Moral: When the right leadership arrives, the fight isn’t over; it’s just starting, and you may dislike his methods.

At Mount Carmel, God spoke by fire from heaven. Israel, convinced, repented. They acknowledged that the Lord is God, not Baal, and executed the idolatrous priests. Then the rain came. Moral: Fixing a country starts with fixing hearts.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Baghdad Bob and ObamaCare

18-Feb-14

Kathleen Sebelius, the Baghdad Bob of ObamaCare, says job losses due to the idiotic tax scheme are a “popular myth.”

Bad timing for her announcement, though, coming right after the administration has been cheesecake grinning and doing happy hands over what a great American blessing it is to escape “job lock” by getting fired.

We should all savor this rare moment of unanimity in the political world with both Republicans and Democrats saying that ObamaCare is a failure. The GOP says it’s a failure because (among other things) it makes people lose their jobs. The Democrats say it’s a failure because ObamaCare job losses are only mythical, leaving millions of hapless citizens still locked in a job.

Is this a great country or what?

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Secular Man’s smoking habits

18-Feb-14

Has anyone else noticed how smoking tobacco has been getting less legal while smoking marijuana has been getting more legal?

And isn’t it just the funniest thing that so many plain old potheads are claiming it’s for medicinal purposes?

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Connecticut — nekkid and hoping you won’t notice

13-Feb-14

One of the great insights of the American Revolution is that a government’s authority derives from the consent of the governed.

The State of Connecticut passed a law saying everyone in the state must register so-called “assault” weapons and high capacity ammo magazines. Comes now the report that ten thousands of citizens in Connecticut — perhaps millions — have declined to obey. Registration schemes are plainly the first move in a game of confiscation. Many who intend not to surrender their arms are declining to register them.

This may turn out to be a very, very big deal. Failure to register a weapon in Connecticut is a class D felony. A class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison. Despite that, gun owners in Connecticut collectively jutted their jaws and said, “Hell, no.”

How big is the problem? Connecticut estimates there are about 370,000 so-called “assault” weapons in Connecticut. Less than 50,000 have been registered. They estimate there are 2.4 million high capacity ammo magazines in the state. About 38,000 have been registered. Theoretically, Connecticut now has well over two million new felons.

You can be sure Connecticut pols see the problem just like I do. If a huge swath of the population responds with sullen defiance, the government no longer has the consent of the governed. How is it a legitimate government any more? And how do you recover that once it’s lost?

I see three options. 1) Connecticut can openly and humbly restore its legitimacy by repealing the law. 2) Officials can reduce enforcement to some low level that ruins a few people’s lives while leaving most violators untouched yet still under state threat. 3) The state can hire more SWAT teams, build way more prisons and start the crackdown.

Option 2 is most likely because the gun law was designed not to solve a problem but to make liberals feel good about themselves. Neither practicing humility nor engorging the prisons would serve that purpose, although criminalizing a bunch of rightwingers would. And if a few of them get busted, well, that’s the price one pays.

One problem: Reducing enforcement to a level that prevents serious conflict is claiming victory while hoisting a white flag. It’s like one of those dreams where you show up at work buck nekkid and nobody notices.

As Drudge says, “Developing…”

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

From creation clearly seen

09-Feb-14

The recent creation/evolution debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was pretty good.  It was not excellent. The rules of the debate didn’t require the contestants to engage one another to any great extent, so the back-and-forth that challenges reasoning didn’t happen.

One of the things Mr. Ham said that begged for discussion was his remark that just doing science presupposes God and creation.  Christians schooled in apologetics promptly said rah-rah, but the argument was left as a mere assertion.  Nye declined to ask for explanation, and Ham obliged.

Why should there be any such thing as natural law? Why should nature be orderly and predictable? Why should gravitation behave according to a rule so precise that you can measure its effects and write a mathematical equation that tells you exactly what’s going to happen? A Christian would argue from the creation account that God intended His universe to function in an orderly way. Creatures bring forth “after their kind,” it says ten times. The motions of the earth, sun, moon, and stars provide day, night, signs, and seasons. There is order in this, and Paul tells us that the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by what God made. (Rom 1:20)

But the deeper question for Mr. Nye would have been this: What is it about your thought process that leads you to look for orderliness in the first place, and why does your mind naturally recognize it and latch onto it?

Based on Nye’s frequent and brave admissions about what he doesn’t know, I can only surmise that he’d admit again that he has no idea why the Bing Bang resulted in law and order rather than sheer chaos, and he’d likely admit that he has no idea why his mind should be structured to look for order. Or he might just say it evolved this way, which is the same thing.

But the Christian can say that if we take the Word of God as our starting point, the first thing we learn is that God is, that He made the universe, and that He did it in an orderly manner. Further, God immediately set about revealing Himself to man with that revelation being set in a framework of reason and logic. The imago dei means our heads are hard-wired to look for order, to recognize it at once, and to latch onto it when it’s found.

For science to exist at all, all these Christian teachings about creation and human nature have to be assumed as prerequisites. They must be presupposed.

The questions for Mr. Nye and everyone who investigates science from a naturalistic viewpoint are these: How does the Big Bang account for the fact that the resulting cosmos functions according to fixed laws? And second, how did the mind of man come to look for such things? Christianity has an answer for these questions. Naturalism can’t do any better than offer a shrug and say that’s just the way things are — which is the opposite of true science.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Conservatives who can’t connect the dots

28-Jan-13

A few months ago while the electioneering was in full-throated roar, a “conservative” writer lamented that liberal voters seem unable to connect the dots.  One quoted a low-info voter who expressed unconcern about a property tax hike because, said the voter, “I rent an apartment, so property taxes don’t affect me.”  How do you connect intelligently with people this thick?

And then today, I was listening to talk radio “conservative” Mark Larsen explaining to a caller that he ‘d have no problem with the Boy Scouts changing their stance on homosexuality to go with the PeeCee flow and start accepting it.  The caller wondered why the institution must change to accommodate the individual rather than the other way around, noting that the Boy Scouts have always required young men to be morally straight.

“What is morality?” wondered the blind Mr. Larsen aloud.  After all, Christian denominations have differed over this or that detail.  And whatever would we say to the Metropolitan churches who are openly homosexual?  (Tacit premise in the question: Until you get everything perfect, you’re not allowed to say they’re wrong.)

This is a conservative, low-info talk show host who cannot connect the dots.  Well, actually, Larsen says he’s libertarian, but he’s still dense on this topic and unable to connect dots, and here’s why.

Morality of any and every sort is an assertion of authority.  The moment you say “ought” or “ought not,” somebody else demands, “Says who?”  Morality requires an anchor.  The Author, the Anchor, is God.  And even though the church admittedly has quibbles a-plenty, we’re all together in relaying to you His judgment that sodomy isn’t okay.

Mr. Larsen, apparently unwilling to consider a reliable message from a capable though fallible messenger, has no anchor.  How else can you even ask such a question as, “What is morality?”

And once you pull up the anchor, everything tied to it will drift away.  The current debate over homosexuality didn’t spring upon America like a bolt from the sky.  It started way back when Americans grew discontented with the God who insists we should keep our word.  Not long thence, easy-breezy divorce became socially acceptable.  A few years later, pornography began to proliferate.  And then came the sexual revolution with its promiscuity, the shack-ups, the meteoric rise in illegitimacy, the loss of shame as the entertainer class breeds without commitment.

First thing you know, many major cities had whole sections of their towns devoted to sodomy, and before you can adjust to that, they’ve got us voting on whether homosexuals have a right to marry one another.

And at that point, people like Mr. Larsen cannot render a reason as to what could possibly be bad about that.

Prediction: Sometime soon our society will be debating polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia, and those who (for whatever reason) disapprove of such things but who have no anchor will find themselves as tongue tied as the hapless Mr. Larsen was.  Who’s to say what’s wrong, after all?

Without God as the anchor for morals, you will have no morals.  He made the world where it can’t be any other way.  And yes, He did that on purpose.  Morals, like the rights stated in the Declaration of Independence, are derived.  And just as God created us equal and endowed us with rights, so he also created us with the social, civic, and religious obligations we refer to as morality.

When you pull up the anchor, you don’t just lose your morals.  You’ll start losing your rights, too.  Same anchor, same God.  Say good-bye to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Godless men cannot comprehend, let alone respect, the Bill of Rights.  They have no clue where such things came from, no idea of what makes them special, and no sense of a higher Authority to whom all earthly authorities must give account.  You can no more have rights without morality than you can have a stream without water.  Both flow from the same spring, the Eternal God.

God deliver us from leaders who do not know their Maker, or even that they are made.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

Lance and Oprah

20-Jan-13

The embarrassing spectacle of Lance Armstrong confessing to Oprah has failed to capture the popular imagination. For one thing, Lance is not a sympathetic character.  Americans are not prone to soaring eloquence, so people call him a jerk.  British writer Geoffrey Wheatcroft said of him, “Mr. Armstrong has “a voice like ice cubes,” as one French journalist puts it, and I have to admit that he reminds me of what Daniel O’Connell said about Sir Robert Peel: He has a smile like moonlight playing on a gravestone.”

Another thing is that Lance’s confession came too late.  And it was lame.  And it was tacky.  But it fits the pattern now so familiar in no-fault America in which a famous person commits a sin, gets caught, lies about it till the lie becomes ridiculous, then finally stages a theatrical confession.  The staging is usually in proportion to the fame and ego of the perpetrator.  Thus, Lance. Scroll through the mental list of publicly groveling miscreants from Lance back through Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, gay/doping preacher Ted Haggard, and a host of others.

The spiritual man can see what this is all about.  Adam remains banished from Eden.  The occasional rite of public humiliation is just a couple of the exiles passing by the gate and wishing for a way back in.  But the gate is shut.  The cherub with the flaming sword still bars the road to paradise.

A final thing about Lance’s confession is that we can all see it does no good.  The public, momentarily curious, watches the ritual confessions and is vaguely aware of the hopelessness of it all.  To confess seems required.  A wrong was done.  To admit it is demanded.  We all feel the pressure of the demand.  Some of us help exert it.  At the same time, it’s inadequate.  It’s watering a dead tree, and all the same to the tree whether it’s water or tears.

The Secular Man, two-dimensional being that he is, confesses to himself and to his peers.  Who else is there?  To the carnal mind, what is paradise but the pleasure he felt before his sin was found out?  A degrading confession seems to be how you shake up the Etch-A-Sketch and redraw the picture.

The confession has to feature humiliation and suffering.  Part of the suffering involves the rest of us smirking at the poor dumb schmuck locked in the pillory.  But even when we humiliate ourselves as Lance did, the sin remains.  And even if you suffer to the point of death, you’re just dead and guilty.  Whether you’re confessing to Oprah or CNN, it’s still just praying to a god that cannot save. (Isa 45:20)

The riddle is solved at the cross.  It is Christ’s humiliation, not ours, and His suffering and death, that brings remission of sins.  It is our confession to Him, not to Oprah nor to a public filled with critics and voyeurs, that brings peace.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

 

Mr. Obama’s terrifying nutjob gambit

16-Jan-13

No tool of modern totalitarianism is as frightening as the left’s weaponizing of mental health, with enthusiastic support from the Party of Stupid.  It’s not that hard to imagine who the leftists will see as insane and in need of a miracle of government healing that will cure them of their bitter clinging.  And of course all this will be decided by the same guys who pioneered primal scream therapy and, a generation ago, listed homosexuality as a mental disorder yet now claim it’s just fine.

The Soviets had a special gulag for political dissidents who were deemed “insane” by the Kremlin establishment.  They specialized in ghastly treatments that make Torquemada seem tame — lobotomizing people by running a wire cutting tool under the eyelids and into the brain.  Instant zombies without even having to shave the head.

Seriously, it’s hard to picture anything worse than the government creating lists of who’s Officially Crazy.  The implications are chilling.  People in sensitive industries (airlines, utilities, defense aerospace, etc.) typically have to get a psychological exam as a precondition to being hired.  Imagine some helpful Democrats schooled in the Chicago Way gaining control of the mental health bureaucracy.  I’m thinking it could become very challenging to keep sane enough to stay employed.

Oh, and you think they wouldn’t dare?  C’mon.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

It’s got me wondering…

09-Jan-13

The current push by the left on gun control is the latest application of Rahm Emanuel’s dictum, never let a crisis go to waste.  My biggest concern is that they’ll overreach again.  Politicians are talking openly about confiscation of firearms.

This isn’t Australia.  Multitudes of people in the United States would push back hard.

At this point, I don’t think either side knows how far it’s willing to go.  It’s one thing to talk about giving up your guns out of your cold, dead hands.  It’s another to actually fight to the death over it.

As for the leftists, if I could reach out to them and be heard with a moment of sincerity, I’d ask them if they’re truly willing to see their neighbors killed over this.  Because that’s what government does.  It orders everyone to do something, in this case to surrender their guns and ammo, and if people don’t obey,  armed agents come to enforce the order.

And at that point, it becomes force against force.  I have no idea who might blink first.  I really don’t.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com