Category Archives: Commentary

God’s Love is not like Human Love

For forty years now TV evangelists remind us how much God loves us, so much that millions of listeners have come to believe in universal salvation – that God loves everyone so much no one goes to hell.  Some even believe there is no hell.

First, God loves what He created – individuals. Like the potter who uses the medium of dirt (think of Adam here) to make a vessel.  Some vessels hold water, some oil and others are simply for decoration. The use of the pot does not give it any status.

Vessels don’t compete with each other for rank. At the same time, the Potter can throw the clay back into the mix if there is a problem. He has to remove as much air as possible or the vessel will be flawed. I know a lot of vessels with too much air in them.

Because we are His workmanship God loves us even when we choose to ruin our lives.  His role as creator is not changed by your role as a vessel.  Human beings are given the  opportunity, called grace, to live forever in His presence. We can reject that gift.  And if we do, God’s love continues, because it is Holy.

God loves us even when we choose hell.  Perhaps it is hard to believe that; how can God still love us when we are there? Because love is not dependent on what you do or what you choose.

He gave you the chance to choose right and you choose something else,.  He is not changed by your decision – saddened yes, changed no. In much the same way a woman who is cast off by her husband still loves him even though he goes after another woman. Her love has not changed. His, most likely, never was love for her at all.

But that is because Human Love does not have its root in holiness, at least not until we have a infusion of God’s Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5  “because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

God’s love in us allows us to love others in a new way. Without this there is no explanation for missionaries who endure all kinds if deprivation in order to leave the comforts of home for often dangerous, hostile areas of the world. This love is sacrificial, so God is willing to allow you to reject Him.  Either He sacrifices himself on a cross to bring you into His kingdom, or he allows you to leave His kingdom  for your own devices.  It is a sacrifice either way.

And because humans do not know how to do this, they also cannot imagine God would allow anyone to stay in Hell.  Right now some reader is thinking, but doesn’t God send some to heaven and others to hell? Some people teach that?

No, God sent us to earth to live our lives in decision – we decide whether God is central to our lives or Self. I love the early scene in Ghost, the movie. A street gang member kills a man and several black robed demons take the killer off to Hell.  It could not be more plain.  I bet some Hollywood type out there saw that in a dream. All life is eternal, only where you spend it is your choice.

Human love is bound up in time; God’s love is eternal. We are here for the long haul, not just a few short 75 years, or 80 or more. We have a time-date stamp.

Social Justice as a Picture of Intolerance

Here is one of many websites that promote ideologies that rather than support an idea, instead condemn anyone who disagrees with them.  This is an accurate definition of a cult, the worship of one own opinions.

https://socialjusticebooks.org/reviews-by-theme/

I am using my vacation time to reblog or post places that support ideas which  present as political but are actually theologies. For example,  the gay lifestyle is a religion.

Emotion might lead you to salvation but not understanding.

Too many in every generation are satisfied with feeling saved, but inadequate to explain why they are believing in God and his word or able to mature because their faith in not grounded.  See this guest post.

Apologetics: An Alternative for the Next Generation

If we lived forever, maybe nothing would seem important. — Discover

It’s true. We do live forever, and that is why what we choose to believe

“Did you know that nearly 9,000 people fell to the ground together in 2007 to make snow angels in North Dakota? Did you know that I’ve started a collection of door knockers to hang by our staircase? Did you know that some tarantulas are cobalt blue? WE ALL HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN.”

This month I am post

via If we lived forever, maybe nothing would seem important. — Discover

This month  I am posting guest blogs. There is nothing spiritual in this post. She has 25 million followers but this is all about the natural man. If we live in the emotions or the natural mind, we cannot make the cross over to reality. The message is not wrong – it just does not meet a minimum standard for anything beyond the natural. God is not there, nor will He be found there.

What the author forgets – temptation is not sin

How we react and act in temptation is what matters.

http://reformationcharlotte.org/2018/06/05/the-same-sex-attraction-hypocrisy-test/

What Jesus Said about White Privilege (guest editorial)

According to our Declaration of Independence, our rights are not from the government but from God. This is a reminder that Civics is no longer taught in American schools.  But the man’s other conclusions are correct, that God gives blessings, not privilege.

http://pulpitandpen.org/2018/06/02/what-jesus-said-about-white-privilege/

There is also another factor – many white people live from paycheck to paycheck just like many minorities. So white privilege is a political position, not theological.

The Book of Mormon (stage show) and Demonic Attack

I was innocently changing channels when I heard this song -the words, curses and demons -met my ear.  Since this is something I know about, I stopped to listen. A man is singing about how demons are attacking his mind – guilt, fear, anger, revenge, homosexuality, regret, confusion, lying, for starts. He is told to turn it off by his Mormon leader.

It doesn’t work, and it is not supposed to work.  Mental disciple is important but getting rid of demons is not only deliberate mind control.  Demons are spirit beings and must be dealt with by the Spirit of man through the Spirit of God. The answer is not in the Book of Mormon or any other man-made book.

Here are the lyrics of this song.

ELDER MCKINLEY
I got a feelin’ that you could be feelin’
A whole lot better than you feel today
You say you got a problem…well, that’s no problem!
It’s super easy not to feel that way
When you start to get confused because of thoughts in your head –
Don’t feel those feelings – hold them in instead!

Turn it off!
Like a light switch
Just go ‘click’!
It’s a cool little Mormon trick
We do it all the time

When you’re feeling certain feelings that just don’t seem right
Treat those pesky feelings like a reading light –

And turn ’em off!
Like a light switch
Just go ‘bap’!
Really, what’s so hard about that?
Turn it off!
Turn it off!

ELDER CHURCH
When I was young, my Dad would treat my Mom real bad
Every time the Utah Jazz would lose
He’d start a-drinkin’, and I’d start a-thinkin’
How’m I gonna keep my Mom from getting abused?
I’d see her all scared and my soul was dyin’!
My Dad would say to me, ‘Now don’t you dare start crying!’

Turn it off!
Like a light switch
Just go ‘flick’!
It’s our nifty little Mormon trick!
Turn it off!
Turn. It. Off!

ELDER THOMAS
My sister was a dancer, but she got cancer
The doctor said she still had two months more
I thought she had time, so I got in line
For the new iPhone at the Apple Store
She laid there dying with my Father and Mother
Her very last words were, “Where is my brother?”

Turn it off! (Yeah!)
Bid those sad feelings adieu!
The fear that I might get cancer too…

[laughter]

ELDER MCKINLEY
When I was in fifth grade, I had a friend Steve Blade (Oooh, Steve Blade…)
He and I were close as two friends could be (We could be close…)
One thing led to another, and soon I would discover (Wow!)
I was having really strange feelings for Steve…
I thought about us on a deserted island (We’re all alone…)
We’d swim naked in the sea, and then he’d try and –

Woah! Turn it off!
Like a light switch
There it’s gone! (Good for you!)
My hetero side just won!
I’m all better now
Boys should be with girls – that’s Heavenly Father’s plan
So, if you ever feel you’d rather be with a man –
Turn it off!

ELDER PRICE
Well, Elder McKinley, I think it’s okay that you’re having gay thoughts. Just so long as you never act upon them.

ELDER MCKINLEY
No, ’cause then you’re just keepin’ it down
Like a dimmer switch on “low”… (On “low”…)
Thinking nobody needs to know (Uh oh…)
But that’s not true!
Being gay is bad, but lying is worse
So just realize you have a curable curse –
And turn it off! (Turn it off!)
Turn it off!

Turn it off!

Now, how do you feel?

ELDER PRICE
The same.

ELDER MCKINLEY
Then you’ve only got yourself to blame
You didn’t pretend hard enough
Imagine that your brain is made of tiny boxes
Then find the box that’s gay and CRUSH IT!
Okay?

ELDER PRICE
No, no…I’m not having gay thoughts!

ELDER CUNNINGHAM
Alright! It worked! (Yay!)

He turned it off…
Turn it off…
Turn it off!
Turn it off! (Turn it off!)
Like a light switch
Just go ‘click’! (Click click!)
What a cool little Mormon trick (Trick trick!)
We do it all the time!

When you’re feelin’ certain feelings that just don’t seem right
Treat those pesky feelings like a reading light
And turn it off!
Like a light switch on a cord
And now he isn’t gay any –

Turn it, turn it, turn it, turn it…
Turn it, turn it, turn it, turn it…
Tuuuuuurn it…
Turn it off!
…Off!!!

First, feelings have nothing to do with it.  Demons create the negative feelings of lust, or envy, rage, the list goes on.  The devil’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy you with evil thoughts and emotions.

How do you react?  Immediately you eliminate contact with the problem source.  If you are watching porn, then make a covenant with your eyes, a term from the book of Job, and never watch again.  You can set your compute to warn you or eliminate that.

More importantly you must recognize that the devil, the enemy of your soul, is out there looking for ways to destroy you at any point where you let evil take over your mind.  If it is music stop that too.  If you have unsavory friends, get better friends.

But the best warfare is to say out loud (the bathroom is a good place for this as others might not think this is cool) and say the following as loudly as you can.

“Satan get off my back and out of my life.  I know who you are and what you are doing in Jesus name flee from me and never come back.”  Then announce the troubles he is causing,

People ask me, why the loud voice?  Because demons will pretend to be deaf.  And if you shout, you sound mad  If you whisper a rebuke no one will take you seriously.

My daughter had a terrible stomach ache when she was in elementary school.  She went to the girls room and shouted just as I have instructed you.  You do not need to be 12 to do this; you can be any age.  The authority of Jesus’ name does not depend on your age or status.  Be aggressive.  What about “steal, kill and destroy” sounds passive to you?

Tell the devil off whenever you need and this will clean up your mind and your life.  But turning something off simply won’t work.  If it did work it would be in the Bible.

God is Never Surprised

God said He knew the end before the beginning.

Isaiah 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Some theologians surmised that meant he controlled every event, every word, every thought even down to individual sins according to this scripture. Well “stuff and nonsense” said Mary Poppins. You do get away with a lot of things, but telling God He is responsible for your sins, at least not until after you are saved, is wrong.

Blaming God my mother told me was a “Bad Attitude.”  But what it does mean is even more important. If we sit on God’s shoulders we have an opportunity to view the world, its systems and its history from the long view. This put us in a place of safety; we cannot be hurt by anything there.

At the same time we have a chance to see the hand of God. He cannot be held responsible for our various sins of commission and omission but we see him moving the affairs of men forward. I saw this in the five hour wedding video of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the majestic pageantry of the Brits for which they are rightly proud – and profitable.

Of all the surprises we have a California child of a black mother and a white father who makes a name for herself as an actress and philanthropist and meets the 2nd son of the Queen of England. It’s a modern and charming love story and a prototype of improbability.

But I saw something else. I saw that Prince Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, was a over-indulged man, very like his self-absorbed uncle who abdicated the British throne.  That turned out to be a huge blessing to Western civilization as Elizabeth’s father became king and was serious about doing the job as his brother Edward demeaned.

This man born to be king was ill equipped to handle the job but then he marries.  In fact he was forced to marry by his mother and give up his mistress because the throne needed an heir and a spare as the Brits call it. Enter the kindest, most people-loving woman in Britain, Diana Spencer who became the mother of two boys who transferred her personality to the British throne.

Now two people will be able to join the American zeal for individualism and equality before the law with the zeal to reform charitable institutions and make them effective in saving whole groups of people in their problems – wounded warriors, lands without clean water, games and opportunities for small children and others whose names Americans would not know.

If you think this is quaint nonsense, watch some Shakespeare or read English history.  Most of the kings of England have been no great prize.  Because of this, massive numbers of disaffected people hopped on a ship and went to America or Australia.

Or consider the irrational King Richard the Third who no doubt murdered two young men who had claim to the throne, dying himself at age 32 in battle.  Several hundred years of royal infighting ensued.

Then consider today – we have two royal heirs committed to the most generous and loving view of their citizens whose nation recognizes them as “royal.”  Now doesn’t that sound like God moving the pieces on the board?

Unlike us, God takes the long view.  What is 1480 to Him and now? What is 600 years to him?  A wisp in the night. We can learn from this to always ask God what is your opinion is this thing – not mine, not the media, not the politicians, but God’s? He has a plan and hopefully you are in the middle of it too. Ask Him.

Drowning in Ignorance

American thinkers (lower case) often ask, how did we manage to have the mental giants all on the same page when they wrote our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution?

Because whatever it was, the body politic has lost it. Soros’ money may have paid for a decade of protest, riots and looting but why are younger generations doing it at all? Don’t they know their roots? It would never occur to Boomers or their elders to wear a vagina suit in public or question their gender.

Time has come to resurrect two mid-20th century prophets, Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind – How Higher Education has failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students) 1987 and E.D Hirsch, Jr. (Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know) 1988. They defined the problem.

The Impoverished Souls once in the academy are now running the public schools and the Media

Our wise forefathers had one unifying factor – their common knowledge of the King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare.  The War of the Roses demonstrated that monarchies do not work, that succession by bloodlines leads to internecine warfare, that assorted King Richards lurk in the shadows to murder their rivals, that foreign wives are anathema as God said to King Solomon, that too much power in one group, be it the barons on the plain or the rabble beyond the pale would sound a death sentence to a Republic. To guard against any concentration of power in any section of the government they included checks and balances and a bicameral system.

Ben Franklin said we’d inherited a Republic if we could keep it.  “Ben, if you are listening, these kids don’t know what a republic is.” So when Saddam Hussein was protected in the Gulf War by a Republican Guard Democrat voters thought that was our own Republican Party?

Our forefathers also knew Plato and Socrates. The notion of a moral leader taking the political high ground from Aristotle sounds quaint today. They knew bias against color and creed in Othello, the dangers of nepotism, bad judgment and the influence of emotional instability from King Lear and Hamlet and as a final warning, Shakespeare named his historical works “tragedies” so yes, it could happen to you too. Tragedies, as defined by the Greeks, were demonstrations of how a personal moral or character flaw could destroy a person in power not the modern day definition which is little more than “oh, what a pity.”

They knew that Protestant Huguenots had been slaughtered on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, so religious freedom was essential. As they wrote these documents they saw the collapse of France from unchecked monetary policy and a politicized state church, and from Elizabeth the First the bedrock need for a free press as well as free assembly, the core of the 1st Amendment, not the Second or Third but the very First. And yes – if we should perchance by accident or design inherit one of these rotten leaders, we need our firearms.

The national mind during the 19th century was held together until the end of World War 2 by the glue of the widely read Harvard Classics. This Public Religion, to use George Will’s phrase, is not a collection of “good ideas” but a record of the failure of Europe to stabilize, as it has yet to do even today. And because they were all originally from immigrant stock they knew Primogeniture and Entail were legal locks on personal and corporate progress. The EPA ties up our property instead now! The glaring millennium of mistakes in Europe created our national principles.

But millions today, thanks to redacted history books and influences from Communist writers like Howard Zinn, leave us with myriads not knowing a shred about all this. We have two or three generations of classroom teachers trained without the cultural literacy of any American assumptions. As a final nail in the academic coffin, there is neither Bible reading nor prayer in schools, so any literary reference to a Prodigal Son or allusions to the Hebrew Bible fall on puzzled ears.  The national division today is not between Republican and Democrat, black and white or rich and poor, but between those who know the origins of the past and those who have a new version of history seen through the lens of moral relativism.

Lincoln quoted Psalm 19 in his Second Inaugural Address; but who knew? Last Friday I watched a few minutes of Washington Week; I started laughing and changed the channel.  We are drowning in ignorance.

(revised.)

Cures for Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is not my problem.  In fact I barely have enough time to write.  So let me offer some ideas to motivate and inspire you.  Not all are new but hearing them again should help us all.

  1. Keep a notebook. The little ones fall apart and the big ones are too bulky. Try a 5”x8” spiral binding for jotting down words, facts, observation and opinions. This week a TV reporter said, “He was too competitive to make friends.”  Ah-ha.! Add envy, jealousy, alcohol, and you have the start of a story, a failed marriage or a mystery plot.  Staple related notes together and store them near your keyboard.  If inspiration is lacking, read them until something pops into place.  {60% of all Americans prefer the color blue.  Write it down.}  Add new words then look them up online.  This week I saw the name Torquemada applied to a politician; when I researched this I was shocked to learn the author had smacked the man with a major insult.
  2. Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers.  You’ll not fail to get an idea from everything you read.  Underline or post-it flag pages if you own the book.  Reading forces you to think differently about a subject.
  3. Keep a schedule. I use Microsoft Excel to record Who got What When plus follow-up dates.  No sale? On to the next editor.  The rejection letter can lead to despair so ignore emotions and realize rejection is “the cost of doing business” and move on.  As to your personal schedule, note when you do your best work, 4-6 a.m., 10-1, 3-6 or 9 to midnight, whatever – then stick to it.
  4. Select your market. This isn’t buckshot.  I was once an agent for an artist who draws newsmakers but never celebrities. I wasted no postage on US or People Magazines. Read market information carefully and get to know editors by name.  None of this “Dear You-All” unless the editor’s name is not given which occurs occasionally.
  5. Blogs are free. You can post previously published material or work not for sale.  Include a copyright statement and your picture.  You want them to know you are a real person.  At the end of your submission letter you can state, “Please see my blog for additional writing samples.”  If you are computer-challenged there are online courses in web creation.  Try ed2go.com to find a college in your area.
  6. Submission letter. Include everything – name, snail and email addresses, Twitter, Facebook and day phone, plus your Pay Pal account for a quick payment option.
  7. My contact list includes the following – an artist who works solely with children, a former boss now a Congressperson, and a friend who was a private cop for Neiman-Marcus.  If there is a hole in your work, your contact list may help with details.
  8. Find an editor-friend who will troll for typos. They slip through when we read our own work. Trade off skills here.  What can you do for them?
  9. Do some Freebie work. Many years ago I wrote an Op-Ed for a large daily.  Two weeks later an editor phoned with a part-time job.  This became my best training ground.
  10. Stumble on! This is an internet aid. You list your interests with them so when you are bored and need a break, hit the Stumble button for sites in your fields.
  11. Formal classes at night are available everywhere.  The best class is where you learn from more experienced students.  Writing classes are OK but you will probably learn more from general areas.  My most mind-expanding class was Medical Geography which demonstrated how geography and the diseases in an area affect culture and history. Think how that would influence your work.
  12. The red-wine secret. Unless you are under a deadline, let your writing mature then re-read it when you have forgotten most of it. The sediments will jump out at you, and maybe some new ideas will have percolated into your brain.

Finally there is one more thing to deal with – procrastination.  Set up a disciplinary system.  If you don’t start on time, if you dawdle, snooze or watch TV, or any number of other diversions, punish yourself.

NO Dove bar for you at 3 p.m.  And be consistent about that.  Writing is like watching your weight; you have to do it anyway.