Category Archives: Let’s Rethink

How to Interpret the Bible- Hermeneutics

Most Christian believers allow someone else to tell them what the Bible says, and what it means.  This works for a while but God wants you to know its meaning for yourself.  The Greek word for this is hermeneutics, meaning interpretation.  But the roots of this word go deep into language.

Hermes is the Greek God of war, and many other scurrilous gods as well, and “eu” is a prefix which indicates bliss, unrestrained happiness, resulting in words such as euphoria.  Hermeneutics is  a strange word indeed.

Here is what it means to you.  All understanding of the bible comes after struggle, a war if you prefer, between your natural mind and culture, which is not God’s mind but the mind of the community strugging with the ideas presented in God’s word.

Even something basic and simple, such as Jesus died for you, must sink into the inner man as a natural understanding.  In the beginning this seems irrational and not factual.  As we grow, so does our appreciation of what that means.

Each doctrine, each lesson, each scripture must face this test of personal relevance.  Here is an example.  Over 40 years ago I had a short stint as a substitute teacher.  I was asked at one point to monitor a study hall.  As you might suspect very little studying occurred.  It was a constant buzz, buzz, buzz of words.  I wrote on the board the following.

A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. Ecclesiastes 5:3

Total silence for the balance of the time!! That was back when it was OK to quote the Bible.  The word of God has force, in and of itself.  I learned that lesson that day.  I also learned that passage forever.

The scripture says we are to learn His word precept upon precept and line upon line.  Isaiah 28:13.

And that is what true hermeneutics is, the struggle to understand and incorporate the word into our very being.

P.S. The school did not hire me again. The government schools have no place for another god.

“Take No Sides in Issues involving Persons”

I was a Baby Christian when God spoke these words to me. Newly saved and looking for information and revelation on every side, these words surprised me. Now, 45 years later, I see I have both obeyed and not obeyed them many times.

In brief, here is what it means.

God is no respecter of person. Acts 10:34

But that needs explanation. “Persons” means that as far as God is concerned no level of authority, accomplishment, celebrity or talent is considered by God when He is assessing reality. Sonny and Cher have no more respect in God’s eyes than I or my grandchild. In God’s eyes we are all seen and known for what we really are.

If my Congressman tells me something is good, and the Word of God says it is evil, my Congressman’s words mean nothing to God, and consequently also to me. God’s word is above all people and opinions. If however my Congressman says something that agrees with God’s word then I can agree with him (or her.)

For the next 7 years I spent many hours Bible teaching and counseling so these words were put into practice many times over. People repeated their tale of woe, and I am not saying it was not true, but God reminded me of His advice.

This person’s situation was not to be defined by them, but by Him and His Word.

In other words, I was not to take sides with this person against God. And you’d be surprised at how often that appeared to be what they wanted – not ministry, but sympathy. The Bible never endorses sympathy which is taking sides, but it seeks compassion which is the application of the love of and word of God to any situation.

Frequently that means examining the problem as sin and lack rather than victimization. Yes, I am sorry your daughter died at 42, but blaming God is a dead end. Yes, I regret and weep with you that your husband is a drunk, but it is not God’s fault that he drinks, nor is it God’s fault that he does not stop drinking either. And all your prayers that God intervene in that specific way are for naught.

Prayers asking God to change people do not work.

If you live a while you learn this. I was beaten savagely by my mother for many years and rather than stop her drinking I was removed from the home by Divine intervention. In fact, she died drunk at 73 having been saved in the last month of her life. The moral of the story is that God’s chief end for man is his salvation, not his reformation. After that, reform of behavior and reform of your thinking is expected; provision for this comes through the church and its members. Then change becomes a reality. In the meantime, He got me away from that situation through many miraculous interventions. That is called the grace of God, a story for another day.

Too often our prayers deal with externals, things that will make life easier for us, but more often than not, extreme discomfort is what God wants – try praying that instead.

Derek Prince, a leading Bible teacher of the 20th century whose works are available on the internet, used to say that we should pray that so-and-so will become desperate.

Desperate people seek God

And desperate people will seek God after they have tried everything else, blame, guilt (on other people), AA, AlaNon, pills, travel, money, fame – you name it. All the avenues of false change are before us, tempting us to agree with the evil by applying the natural solutions of self-indulgent ones.

God does recognize authority however, which we will take up in another post.

The Reluctant Prophet

This blog is largely prophecy, προφητεια in Greek. Prophets tell us what God speaks today, what He said in the past and possibly His view of the future.  Prophets can do this because God is in eternity and not constrained by time.

We apply His words to all of family life, politics, education, religion, business, Media, international affairs and the always fractious culture of arts and entertainment. Even the most irreligious nation lives in and promotes a moral world, or a substitute.

The Holy Bible is the only book God claims to have written.  When your life is in shambles, or even if you are just a person who wants a view into reality and the future, understanding the Bible and reading it are the place to be.  Welcome.  That is what we talk about here.

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The Spiritual Roots of Abuse

plastic-womanOriginally published Februay 27, 2016 I have renamed it abuse to cover the main issue in violent and destructive behavior. Ultimately abusers do not know who they are and consequently they fail to recognize the personhood of those they abuse, including animals. It was originally entitled The Spiritual Roots of Islam.

Westerners have been for many centuries so isolated and separated from Muslim peoples that we are playing catch-up in our understanding.  We are hampered because we frequently don’t know a thing about our own  spiritual roots, any more than we know theirs.  It is easy to blame them for the massive evil on the earth, especially in Europe but their ways are creeping more into American life.

Abuse has a long history

At one time in the deep historical past, all men knew the same things.  They may not have obeyed those truths, but they were all on the same page.  They knew that God had created the heavens and the earth; they knew that a blood sacrifice was required for reuniting with that Creator God.  They knew that if you took a life, yours would be required of you.  This was prior to the Jews and their complete religious and social law.  Everyone even had the same language.

Languages separate people

After the languages changed culture changed and those assumptions, even though ignored, were gone and religious systems, magic, witchcraft, myth and Lord only knows what arose.  And out of Judaism arose Islam.  Today’s Islamic peoples do not know this, but their political-religious system is based on a lie.  Before we condemn them remember when you learned that you had been lied too?  You were furious – felt betrayed.

So for the moment ignore the fact that millions of Islamic believers are ignorant and deceived.  It’s the roots we are examining here, not modern man.  We’ll get to him in due time.

Two worldviews based on either truth or lies

The lie started with the birth of Ishmael, the first son of Abraham who had been promised by God that he would be the father of many nations when his wife Sarah had a baby boy. As it would happen, Sarah became impatient and suggested that her husband have a child by a slave woman.

The Islamic nations now living descended from their patriarch Ishmael believe that because he is the first son, they are  entitled to the promise God gave Abraham.  He is not.  God’s promises are specific and not open to interpretation or change. (Malachi 3:6 – I am the Lord. I change not.) Sarah had to be the mother of Isaac. Period.

It is an important point. God considers women important and gives them the equal right so to speak, to be involved materially in his kingdom. The greatest abuse of women and girls can be found in cultures that are neither Jewish nor Christian. God thinks the mother counts as much as the father in the family line. But I digress.

Thousands of years of Jew vs. Muslim fighting began. We in the West paid virtually no attention to it because it did not impact us very much. And Americans as a people have tended to address issues only after they become egregiously bad, so bad in fact that it takes much longer to solve them.

Islam vs. Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President, sent the Marines to Tripoli to deal with the Muslims.  Spain had to throw them out, as is happening now in Europe.  They have bombed and fought their way west having been told by their religious leaders that they are going to rule the whole world for Islam, by hook or crook.

Islam is a theocracy

Their religious book, the Koran, tells them it is acceptable to kill Christians (infidels) or in fact anyone else who disagrees with them.  Those are the simple facts and have nothing to do with my opinion or yours. Out of this lie has come forth all the evils we see in our headlines – beheadings, killing babies, stoning to death women who wear makeup or drive a car, in what is a complete disregard for the value of life. Life means nothing in the face of theological doctrine.

The Political Spirit

The international elevation of Islam as a violent political system which drives and feeds on evil is the natural child of a massive lie.  Truth begets truth; lies beget lies in increasing number.  If you have ever lied you know how hard it is to keep up with them; it takes more lying to do so.  It’s exhausting. We have no reason to believe any of this will change in modern life.

It is true that large numbers of Muslims have become Christians.  JewsNews on Facebook informs us of a continued stream of Muslims becoming Jews. Apparently the violence and the complete breakdown of life in the Middle East has prompted these changes.

Most people do not want to die, or see their homes, families and all they have worked for destroyed.  This has not happened as much in the USA where we have a more structured civil society.  But many Muslims still want and believe in a governmental takeover, so we must not assume they are willing to play by our Constitutional rules when they come here.  The root of the system is still a lie, and until that lie is broken the problem will continue.

Modern Muslims have added two principles which make things even worse. (1) Taqqiya: Islamists interpret their scripture to say that they are allowed to lie about the nature of Islam in order to further their political goals.  (2) Abrogation allows Muslims to ignore a previous Koranic passage in favor of a newer, better one. This essentially negates all verses that were written before the abrogation.  It also means you as an outsider have no way of knowing what the rule actually is.  So laws can be made up on the spot.

This kind of behavior allows middle aged men to “marry” girls of 5 and 6 years for a short period of time, and then un-marry them.  The results are pure wickedness, as often these children die from the sexual experience. If Sharia Law becomes standard anywhere in the USA you can be sure lawlessness will ensue.  Thanks to abrogation, it can change without notice and you are all of a sudden guilty.

Stark Contrasts help us to rethink

Now we are at the bottom of this business. If we in America had not been required to face this culture of death and its worldview we might not be able to understand ourselves and America’s role in the world.  Islam has rejected the Law of God both as it applies to Jews and more importantly as it applies to all men.

People as Things

If you do not believe that God created the heavens and the earth, and therefore all other humans, then what is a tiny child?  She is a “thing.”  This is called the reification of persons, making a human being a thing.  When that happens, the sky for evil is the limit. And sex trafficking is an example of the depths of depravity to which mankind can descend. https://www.theepochtimes.com/why-is-it-hard-to-bust-human-traffickers_2338465.html

Before we congratulate ourselves on our superior culture let me remind you that countless millions of American babies, mere “things” have been destroyed since 1962 Roe v. Wade.  In addition we have increased drug, alcohol, and porn here at home, an indication people don’t know who they are or what they are doing to God’s creation, their own body.

They think of themselves as things. Marriages break down because husbands think their wives, as things, should perform as things.  If they don’t they are replaced by other things.  Some women even believe this and allow themselves to be abused. Some men have 4 marriages before they figure this out.

Justification of evil

Sex perversion is not an issue to Thing People because the body is simply a short-term asset for a short-life so the consequences of evil behavior  in this life have no impact.  If you get STDs or oral cancer from oral sex, so what?  You were going to die anyway of something.  By the time an adult nurtured on these lies of origin wises up, it is too late to change the consequences of immoral living. The person who believes he is a thing, should he live long enough, may become totally depraved.  Workers in mental institutions will verify this.

Fortunately the demands of modern life are such that people may come to a quicker realization of their predicament.  They may not be able to change their minds completely, but at least they realize that the fruits of that lifestyle are not leading to the pursuit of happiness.

Theology for the lawless

At the root of this malaise is the theory of evolution which negates the principle that God created everything.  Evolution is unproven; but that bothers no one if they want to abandon all morals and do anything they wish.  For the lawless it is a perfect theology.  And it has become the quasi-theology of our age thanks to an ever decaying educational system and the silly notion that ideas don’t count. Evolution allows us to deceive ourselves that there are no consequences for behavior.  If the moral law is invalid then I can do pretty much as I please.  Whatever feels good! We see anarchy everyday now, shootings and marches,  burning buildings, lootings and shoplifting. Some political figures make their living stirring up trouble.

Jesus never asked How do you feel?

We are being ruled by emotions. Unhappy people are routinely asked How do you feel?  Jesus never said that even one time.  He said ” What do you think?”  Thinking precedes action. Feelings are a reaction.  For that I suggest Dr. Phil.  Feelings have no power to break the lie over a life.

How do you break the power of a lie- particularly one so strong that it makes demonic hirelings out of its most violent adherents?

There is no power against the Truth. That is why freedom of speech, religion, and assembly is not the last but the FIRST Amendment of the Constitution. The US Constitution is the set of rules we agree to live by.  Without that we are powerless to preserve our lives.  It means we should not allow others to shut us up. or change the Constitution wily-nily.

Abuse is political, global, theological, universal

Of course it will have repercussions – it always does.  Other people’s lack of understanding should not hamper your behavior.  If you know what you know, then you are free to repeat it.  Churches have also gotten cold feet about the truth, but I notice that many of those are losing members. People have an ear for truth who actually want it, and will not finance fraud.  I think we can expect some denominations to fade entirely.

Abuse is 13,000 years old

PBS featured a film of the oldest skeleton ever discovered in an area of northern Mexico. The 20-odd year old girl showed signs of physical abuse. So the mistreatment of human beings, thinking they are things, goes back to the very origins of mankind. https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2017/09/13000-years-old-ancient-skeleton-found-in-submerged-cave-near-tulum/

One of the major TV news stations reported, to their dismay, that over 70% of American young people believe in Biblical creation. Perhaps they had assumed that the mental conditioning which ignored basic truth had been replaced by the evolutionary thinking of amoral man.   I breathed a sigh of relief.  That is the first helpful prophetic idea I’ve heard in a long time.  When people go back to the Biblical way of thinking there is hope even if they are not sure why.  Thank you God.

Confusing Reality with Symbols

In a wonderfully sarcastic piece from Facebook, black politician and military veteran Allen West writes of how foolish the celebration over the removal of the Confederate flag from South Carolina, confederateflagas though it had the least ability to effect the massive changes American needs in race relations and the ills of the minority communities, so I copy it here.

Alan West writes:

“Yippee, the Confederate battle flag has now been removed from the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol. And, just like that, it solves the problem of black-on-black crime and killings. Now we’ll see the out-of-wedlock birthrate in the black community drop from 75%. There will be better educational opportunities and schools in South Carolina’s black communities and all across America.

The black unemployment rate will drop —especially the almost 40% black teenage unemployment rate. We’ll now see an economic entrepreneurial boon in the inner cities because the Confederate battle flag’s been lowered. And there’ll be no more gangs of blacks beating on whites — as we saw in Ohio recently.

Yep, the liberal progressive media shouted “squirrel” and an entire nation went a running. All the yelling and shouting by the crowds was evidence of those who lack grace, respect and dignity. Former South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Lou Holtz remarked that when you get to the end zone, you should act like you’ve been there before. So what does the lowering of the Confederate battle flag have to do with the killing of little seven-year-old Amari Brown in Chicago — anyone know when his funeral is?”

We are already good at substituting for reality

Of course we don’t know where his funeral is because we have enjoyed a life of substitutions.  The Church, that great community change agent, allows Bible study to substitute for personal holiness, attendance at services to substitute for obeying God’s personal commands to us, and fellowship with believers as a substitute for fellowship with the Lord himself.

We barely pay attention anymore to the masses of lawbreakers released early from prison to commit fresh crimes.  79,000 illegal felons have been re-released into the population instead of being deported.  We have voted and instructed the Congress to act in one way and it looks the other way. Our President seems barely to notice the country or its wishes; he’s as determined to get a deal with Iran as Iran is determined to wipe America, The Great Satan, off the face of the earth.

And what has to be supreme nonsense, after 67% of the voters in over 30 states added to their Constitutions the verification that marriage was only between one man and one woman,(see Amendments by states ) the Supreme Court decides though lacking judicial authority to do so, because it did not originate marriage, that a union between two persons of the same sex is marriage in spite of the clear fact that they have no ability to procreate or continue the human race.

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.

We can join God in His humor but we should be joining Him in changing a culture that thinks because someone said something, that makes it true.  Or that taking down a flag has any effect on the major issues of our time.  The Supreme Court changed marriage not one whit; they only brought themselves into condemnation.  What they did can be undone by the Church ready to leave the womb of mother-church and join the fight for the sanity of our nation and its people.  Every time the Church has done this, she has won. It is long overdue.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais #Vietnamese #gaymarriage #SupremeCourt

#romanticism #rulebyemotions

The Difference between Sins & Iniquity

Sins are never called mysterious. If someone lies, steals, fornicates, or physically assaults someone it requires only an explanation. But iniquity is mysterious because of the long tendrils of corruption and change it brings about to not just individuals, but families and even societies. If a drunk plows into a school bus killing five children he is sentenced by the court for manslaughter. That is sin and the law defines sins; the law does not define or punish iniquity. Iniquity is God’s word for what happens next, the ripples on the water after a sin is thrown in history.

Iniquity Defined

https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/2%20Thessalonians%202:7

  • Sins, violations of the laws of God, whether we know them or not.
  • Sin, the innate propensity of man to commit sins.
  • Iniquity, the damage done resulting from others’ sins.

Iniquities are the collateral damage done by sinners to the innocents. In addition to five dead children there are five broken families – the parents, grandparents teachers, classmates, siblings and neighbors – all affected in some way by these deaths, lives that will never be the same. Good may come out of it or evil; many couples who suffer the loss of a child also later divorce. The judge may decide to come down harder on drunk drivers. The drunk’s family experiences changes as well as he is no longer a proper breadwinner or his jail time forces the family on welfare. The judge may be overindulgent and allow him back on the road to cause another crime with the long trail of damaged lives once again. Taxes increase to cover increases in criminal prosecutions.

All Sin has Consequences

It will have an effect of some kind for generations and because those effects are not easily recognized they can be called the mysteries of iniquity. There are few visible signs of iniquities in our world. We have evidence of the good that individuals do. Consider the family of Billy Graham with millions worldwide being blessed and his family following him in productive ministry. God blesses us for the good we do, but those hidden iniquities are still on his books, still making a difference in unseen ways.

Consequences may not show up for a generation

Iniquity is the personal result of a long line of self-indulged sins because sin is not static in one’s life. Sin is like formaldehyde which is used to preserve tissue and cadavers, that is human bodies, from decay. So the sin repeatedly over time locks in the evil in the person making it harder for him (her) to change. Decades of excusing oneself and justifying the behavior hardens the heart and reduces the desire for repentance.

Genes show up in families. The Bach musicians are famous; there are 3 and 4 generations of men in jail, and their girls too, like red hair showing up consistently in the Irish and straight black hair in the Chinese. Like father, like son. Families of doctors or teachers. So we should not be surprised if those same sins pop up in the families of those who are careless about their moral lives. You can rightfully call it a reason but not an excuse.

You cannot call it a real gene however.Attempts to locate a “gay gene have failed. Those family failures are iniquity in action.

Humans do not see their own evil nature

For some reason human beings are not able to see the extent of their behavior, their sins. I sat silently as an old woman “apologized” to her adult daughter for being “too hard” on her as a child. Those words are in quotes because it was hardly an apology and what she did was criminal, drunken beatings and an attempt to kill her. I was a counselor for 7 years and only realized later that so much of what I was hearing was superficial, like this confession, a half-hearted attempt at “getting right with God” but merely inching towards God when hoping God accepts one’s peccadilloes as a gross violation of eternal moral standards for which one must eventually answer to God. Could this woman not see the extent of her sin, or was it so hard, she could not bear it?

Ultimately all change is internal.

Counselors that don’t realize that truth must be internalized will be forever disappointed at their results. The ability of people to justify their sins is incalculable. An old man in Florida was charged with raping an 11-year old, then murdering her and burying her body in the back yard. His excuse? “She wanted me to rape her.” Where does this kind of mental poison come from? Even women who abort their children do not say, “The baby wanted me to kill him? or her? “

Sin is like a gene

Before we are too quick to congratulate ourselves on having not done this look at American society today where all kinds of evil behavior are glossed over, especially sexual adventures called “love” including child sexual trafficking, pornography and other hidden evils. Marches in city streets applaud the murder of babies in the womb calling it a health issue for women. Nonsense.

Child bearing has 10,000 years of success and is not a disease or a health issue, and even a child knows that. And then there is a wild protest when the public refuses to pay for the abortion. Not a word on why someone else should be asked to pay for you to kill your child. Silence about these sins and iniquities is also iniquity.

Headlines like these are all too common.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/idaho-lawmakers-seek-to-make-abortion-murder-within-the-state_2786538.html

The severity of the iniquity is determined by the level of the authority of the Doer. King David ordered a census in direct violation of the will of God. As a result many people died.

2 Samuel 24:10 

10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

David was in charge of his kingdom and his underlings both in the government and society suffered loss. God gave David a choice of various punishments. David said these prescient words: “Let me not fall into the hands of man.” David knew that men would be harder on him than God.

In contrast when a small child steals an apple negative results are limited because his authority levels are so low involving only one child and one grocer. A “talking to” and a light spanking to remind the child of his sins is about all that is needed.

Sins>iniquity>deception>delusion>death

Sins lead to iniquity which leads to deception which leads to delusion. Only a deluded society would see anything legal about this, if we accept the basis of western law, that is the common law and the Holy Bible. If we accept lawlessness including a public and private anarchy, then this kind of behavior and thinking makes sense. But it also spells the death of a society. So when people say “I want to save my country” this is what they are talking about, the advancing iniquity of a society morally off the rails. That describes today.

Why China’s Billions Cannot Take Over the World

Communist China fully believes that given its intense work ethic and one and a half billion citizens in addition to dominating the Pacific Rim the Chinese can also take over the economy of the entire world. This is a pipe dream. And millions of Christians love worrying about it as well. The devil always has us panicky about something doesn’t he? God tells us what to pray and when and sometimes why.

Rule by Fear

Let me explain. Communism is a self-defeating system because it is based on the principle of Rule by Fear. The Chinese people have a great deal of freedom in their own homes but beyond that, society is controlled at virtually every level. And fearful people cannot act as they would like.

Most importantly, opinion is monitored, free speech and freedom of movement are highly valued but not available. These are things we Americans hold so dear:

  • the freedom to own guns
  • a secret ballot
  • freedom to move around the country and change jobs
  • the ability to elect people and even more urgently
  • to also un-elect them when needed
  • a free press, and our press is free to lie, which it does a lot
  • freedom to go to church believing no one will enter your worship service to do you harm.

Freedom rules even if there have been limitations on public actions, such as during wartime. This freedom of choice allows individuals to meet economic and personal goals without interruption from the government.

China has none of these basic freedoms.

In contrast China spends a large amount of money watching its citizens and taking quick action to stop anyone who challenges the total authority of the Communist Party, or in anyway criticizes it. https://epochtimes.today/hong-kong-plans-second-mass-protest-against-extradition-amendments/

This is Rule by Fear, but what the outside observer does not realize is that those who rule by fear are themselves also ruled by fear.

Try to imagine that you are sitting at your computer doing your office work and you decide to send an email to a friend suggesting a particular program because it exposes government corruption. Within a short period of time you learn that someone “out there” has read your email and is coming to your office to question your interest in government corruption.

Yes, this might happen in the USA but the censor would not be the government but your boss, who wants to know why you are using company time for personal email, not that corruption is a problem. Your boss may want to watch that program too.

Censorship is everywhere and uses human capital unwisely

The level of censorship shows the rest of the world the level of fear. You do not monitor speech and emails, or the television and press if you are not covering something up. That means you feel guilt.

Recently President Xi of China (pronounced Shee) said he would remain in charge of the nation until he dies. We westerners call this a dictatorship. Someone should tell Mr. Xi that no person in history has been able to be a total ruler, successfully – that all have come to ruin.

https://epochtimes-ny.newsmemory.com/clip_article.php?token=1MTUxtbV39bGs3GTopOenp2ghZTI0srq0tCuoZPRlpukxt3Nysjik6aamnB4kqPDlZ%252FG0sHezp2aqpaYcW%252BUopOSo5iog5U%253D

The Chinese do not really believe the rules apply to them. Natural law, by which the western world has lived for 2+ millennia, says “you reap only what you sow,” that “arrogance leads to ruin.”

The Greeks understood government

The Greeks called this hubris and their plays are profiles of individuals whose heads got too big and their own flaws defeated them. Mao ZeDong, the cruel master who nearly destroyed China during the Cultural Revolution, once said that the God of America did not like the Chinese, that he liked the westerners. Mao spoke of going to heaven where a Chinese God, not The Most High God, would be in charge. Mao’s god was geographical, not universal. So Chinese people believe their nation can live by different rules than the rest of us.

Fear of loss of power, prestige and resources

If you are a ruler whose authority is dictatorial and not the product of a free people, of course you are afraid of losing your position, the power, the money and all the ego perks of ruling a society. Each element of censorship and control demonstrates to the observer that you have multiple fears, not just of fear, but of guilt. No one fears except at the point of guilt. The leadership fears the public simply because it already knows at a deep personal level that it is illegitimate.

Guilt causes additional fear

For your fun and enjoyment here is a list of words that if you put them in your speech or letters, emails, etc. you would find the Mind Control People at your door. No matter that you called your brother a Big Head, here they come!

Chinese people are smart and trained scholars. They show their distaste for communism with these code words:

  • shameless (不要脸)
  • go against the tide (倒行逆施)
  • drive backwards (倒车)
  • I oppose (我反对)
  • long live the emperor (吾皇万岁)
  • throughout the ages (千秋万代)
  • rule the world (一统江湖) — The line “throughout the ages, unify and rule the world” (千秋万代, 一统江湖) appears in Jin Yong’s martial arts novels, notably in “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer” (笑傲江湖), a story that has been widely adapted into television series and films. It is often used in adaptations of Jin’s stories as a slogan chanted by followers to show their loyalty to a cult-like leader.
  • incapable ruler (昏君)
  • ascend the throne (登基)
  • named emperor (称帝)
  • lifelong (终身)
  • reign title (年号)
  • recover one’s authority (复辟)
  • first year of an emperor’s reign (元年)
  • urge a power figure to formally seize the thrown (the writer means throne here) (劝进)
  • fengchan (封禅)  — Ceremony used to ensure dynastic fortune in a new era.
  • Yuan Big Head (袁大头)
  • crooked-neck tree (歪脖子树) — The tree which the Chongzhen Emperor is believed to have hanged himself from.
  • immortality (长生不老)
  • 1984
  • 500 years (五百年
  • great men sent from heaven (天降伟人)
  • slavery (奴隶制)
  • thousands of years (千秋万载)

That list is a small portion of what the Chinese leaders fear as they monitor their own emails and public speech. Leaders are guilty of slavery and their leaders are big heads. 1984 refers to mind control in the novel by that name. They fear being called Emperor because China has suffered under Emperors. And due to the Asian fear of “losing face” they fear being called shameless; they fear the public going against the tide; they fear being called incapable. And that fear filters down throughout the Communist Party to its workers and managers.

Chairman Mao was a generational failure.

Mao’s disastrous policies cost the Chinese people 50 years of progress; they might well be ahead of America today if things had not been so badly mismanaged. Is this what will happen to Emperor Xi?  Will he forget the lessons of history, that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Will he face decades of underlings in the power structure seeking to do him in, jockeying for position when their career ladder is taken away?

Xi and his comrades will spend a great deal of time and money trying to maintain his own personal safety and the swirl of insurrection around him.  Like Caesar, he may be stabbed in the back in public. And the general public will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid the authorities, covering their tracks, watching what they say and do in public and if things get very bad, also in private.  All this energy takes away from the production of goods and service on which a prosperous economic base rests.  There is no peace in China except for small children.

But as the rule book of life says, “Peace. Peace. And there is no peace for the wicked.”

#Quora #Chinesethreat #controlbyfear #losingface

#ImmaculateAssumptions

#WouldYouConsider.net

Warbird, Book Review

Tara Copp, author of Warbird, gives a literary rendering to a very non-literary time in her life as an embedded journalist in the Kuwait war zone. https://www.amazon.com/Warbird-Three-Heroes-Wars-Story/dp/0998061417

Tara Copp



The author has little fear, some natural intensity of purpose, a desire to be a team, and a unique opportunity as most of the embedded journalists were male. But later returning home she has a hard time adjusting to what happened to her – the shock of real bullets, the process of working with the soldiers without getting in their way, the close calls, their inexperience, the dust, the heat, the political fracas, and of course the enemy. The men, all of them real heroes, seemed to adjust better than she did. But many of them did not.

Trying to make sense of her experiences she investigated her grandfather’s life in World War II with his brother. It is an interesting story which she doggedly researched in military and other records. Military men will enjoy this lively picture into the past. But even after she makes peace with her grandfather’s reckless but productive life she is still uneasy. Her contacts from the war filter in and out of her life.

PTSD- Lite

She wandered through a series of disappointing boyfriends, a failed marriage, job moves and restlessness. For some of the soldiers she worked with had very much the same pattern of rootlessness and discontents. The full time soldiers fared better, but that did not negate their separation from their past lives. They just dumped them.

Missionaries tell the story of one of their fellows who headed into the African bush country leading a long caravan of supplies, food and personnel. The first day he was overjoyed over their progress: nine miles on day one, and seven miles the second day. But the morning of the third day the whole caravan stopped cold and refused to move. When the distraught missionary asked why, the Native Guide replied, “We are waiting for our souls to catch up.”

“We are waiting for our souls to catch up.”

Theologians think PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a crisis of image for those with an underdeveloped or damaged sense of self; they will be more negatively impacted by war. Her’s may be a clearer description of PTSD without the extremes of reaction. The military experience was so dislodging to their personalities that their souls did not catch up.

A level of trauma for everyone

Apparently war slams a trauma so severe it cannot be healed, merely absorbed into one’s personality and embraced as an asset rather than a curse. What you became in the battlefield will change you forever. You must deliberately move forward or not survive at all.

Essayist Cornelia Scott Cree writes on Applied Christianity, Dream Interpretation and Biblical Symbolism. She invites questions at her website https:WouldYouConsider.net.

#warwounds #PTSD #soldiersuicide

Let’s Rethink Single Dating

The younger generation has nearly abandoned the idea of marriage and there is a pile of reasons for that. Has anyone considered the hazards of going out on dates with only one person at a time?

You don’t really get to know someone if it is only the two of you.

I’ve been on enough dates to know you only show your good side – usually, and it is easy when there are no challenges. Males can be nice for 3 -5 hours. Maybe even 6 hours; they can be nice at work for 8 hours as well. Their job depends on it.

But when you get people in groups, other things happen.

Years ago well meaning friends decided I needed to not-be-single anymore so they arranged a dinner after church with someone I had no interest in at the time. I didn’t know they were plotting.

This man, I will call him Roy, ordered a burger and fries. Sounds easy right? But there was something wrong with the meat, then the mayo, then the fries were not up to snuff. By the time the meal was over I was ready to stuff the entire plate down his throat with the silverware to follow.

None of this drama would have occurred on a date between just the two of us. His mama’s Southern upbringing would have him display the finest South Carolina manners.

Let’s go back to courting

Courting, in contrast, is the public agreement that marriage is a possibility. If you and your date can agree on this, you will have a concrete goal of getting to know each other without prying eyes. Life is lived in the whole, not as a part. So the public behavior will tell you whom to delete from your list from the start.

Now, many years later and many years older, I have a little test of my own. If I invite him to a restaurant as my guest and while at the meal he insists that he pay, I know he is a control freak and the dating ends there. He is not ready to share his life, only to control it.

Your parents, if they are concerned at all, will also know the right time to make a decision. If “he” or “she” is not ready then you can both go your own way without too many tears or regrets. No baby, no divorce, no alimony or child support, no house to divide up, no pricey lawyers or court dates. Simple.

#dating #divorce #personalrelationships

Tortured Logic and When to have Church

The guy on the radio teaching the Bible had this to say:

“We must not worship on Sunday because this is Satan’s ploy to get us to worship the sun, Sunday’s name-sake.”

The speaker urged us to worship on Saturday which is the Sabbath according to Jewish tradition which he claims is a law for all Christian believers.

When God is talking about The Law, that is a behavior for productive Christian living, it must be logically consistent and merge with other passages in the Bible.  This man’s information did not meet basic standards.

Days of the week are secular in origin

In the first place the names of the days of the week have little relevance to when or how we worship.  Saturday appears to be named after the planet Saturn but we do not worship the planet Saturn.  The word Saturday comes from the word samedi which is another form of the word Sabbath.

Nor does this argument stand the test of other languages.  In French Sunday is called Dimanche or God’s day.  French makes no mention of the sun. The Di prefix comes from Dieu which is French, Dios in Spanish and we have in English Diety.  There is also diabolos, which refers to the devil who is pretending to be God, at least for a while. But God has plans for him. If this Bible teacher is correct, Frenchmen can worship on Sunday because it is called God’s day and Americans and Brits must not worship on Sunday because of the Sun God.

Some Americans call Sunday “Son”day to make sure we know Jesus is the one we worship.

So let’s research this. I looked up the names of the days of the week in a dozen languages and found no shred of evidence that their word for the days if the week made any difference in the time or style of worship.

The New Testament gives us options for worship

It is not the secular name of any day that determines when we worship. In fact in Romans it says that you can choose when you worship. This is very helpful for medical people who often work on weekends, giving them the chance to go to church whenever it works into their schedule. It also helps those who work graveyard, the night time shift and those who work more often on holidays, such as single people who are asked to work on Christmas because, well because they are single!

If we were required to attend church on Saturday many people would not be able to attend church at all. Romans 14 goes into detail on our attitude towards those who worship on another day or have food preferences. Just to leave such questions alone and let people decide without calling it God’s law.

Romans 14:5 One person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and 
another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good
reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of
conscience.

God’s word is separate from man’s choice of words

Another and perhaps more important reason for not using the secular names of the days of the week to determine our theology is because God does not base His word on man’s mistakes or choices. In fact God’s word is not related to man’s good ideas either. God’s word is simply that – His word, demanding respect and hopefully, also obedience.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais #Vietnamese #Sabbitarians #Sundayworship

No, Mary Didn’t Know

The new Christmas carol, Mary Did You Know asks us this. Did Mary, the mother of Jesus, know that her baby would walk on water, rule the nations, heal the deaf and blind, the lame will leap and so on?

To live by faith is the universal command.

The answer is No, she did not know, and the reason is that for us all, Mary included, we must live by faith. Faith is the substance of what is already hoped for and hope is based on the word of God. We are not told the future. God gives us promises personally and for our future as a race, and our job is to believe what God said.

The reason is simple – Mary must face the issue of personal sin, repent and be saved like everyone else. The doctrine that she has a special birth – called Immaculate Conception- is just another Immaculate Assumption. The notion of Immaculate Conception giving her special powers takes away the very amazing accomplishment of this woman and makes her look like a spiritual robot. In addition, there is not a shred of evidence for this in the Bible.

Why would anyone in the year 300 A.D. come up with this idea? Perhaps women were chafing over the domination of men in the church,which itself is not scriptural, and the leaders felt they needed to make a heroine out of Mary? They would especially want a heroine who was a dedicated mother of children. No one is saved by being a good mother, any more than any man can be saved by being a good father. But after 1800 years, we can only guess the rationale for this, and other non-scriptural teachings found in the Roman Catholic church.

So what was that thing she had to face that makes her distinctive of all women? Mary knew what the angel said, that God asked her to raise up a special child without having had sex with any man. 

God does not ask of us without giving us a chance to say no.

It was quite a problematic suggestion.  She would forever in her small town bethought a fallen woman that Joseph agreed to marry even though she was expecting, and that condemnation not just for a week or two but for her whole life.  She needed to believe that God would redeem such a time and provide for her blessings beyond the usual. 

Everyone who lived in the Bible and those of us today have the same burden; we are to believe what God said about us, about salvation, our condition, and about the world to come.  Our salvation comes at the expense of our suspending our knowledge of the real world and moving into the unseen world of God and His blessings and calling.

To everyone is given a measure of faith, (Romans 12:3) just enough to do that job for each of us individually. Mary had that faith to believe. God knows the end from the beginning, but Mary doesn’t, nor Matthew, Mark and Luke or Peter and Paul.  We, as they, must follow the leading of the spirit and perhaps be misunderstand and rejected. We do not know the end, we only know God and His word.  Either we live on that or we don’t.

We tend to forget that atheism is a choice. The Bible says the existence of God is visible in the created world for all to see; man has no excuses.

Every human may be in the dark about the Virgin Birth, but there was one person who Jesus was born of a virgin…Mary.

And that was what Mary knew!!

Try this: www.thoughtco.com/misconceptions-about-mary-700365

#Mary, mother of Jesus #Mary, Did You Know? #ImmaculateConception

Also https://wouldyouconsider.net/2013/12/19/was-mary-a-virgin-and-does-it-matter

Fuzzy Thinking – our enemy

Helping Kids Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Different Kinds of Knowing

Most languages differentiate between simply acquaintance, intuitive feelings  and real knowledge.  But most Bibles do not offer an explanation of which verb “to know” is under in any passage which means the translator must do the work.

Different Verbs for Know

Here is an example of why the King James can be confusing:

Acts 19:15  the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

There are two different words for ‘know’ here, so let’s translate this again:

Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard about, but who are you?

In English we say I am getting to know you, or the first level of interpersonal relationship. We could also say that the first few years of schooling are getting to know words and numbers. We memorize at this level but there is no foundation of understanding; information is impersonal, understanding is personal.

Ginosko vs. Ouida

Greek, the language of the New Testament, has two words for knowing – ginóskó: to come to know, recognize, perceive and ouida, a word reflecting the knowledge of personal experience.

Ginosko is a root common in English seen in words such as knowledge or agnostic.  It means perception or understanding; it goes deep into the personality.  Believers respond occasionally to the question, How do you know you are saved and they reply, “I know that I know that I know.” For the non-believer it isn’t much of an answer but for other believers, we all understand.

Ouida according to artists is an acronym for Observe, Imagine, Discover and Apply by looking at the natural world and creating something new based on your appreciation.  Writers would not use this word for knowing God; they use gnosis instead.

Here are some Bible verses that use the word ginosko:

Genesis 2:9   And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Notice that God did not give man knowledge if physics and French literature, just good and evil.  On this foundation mankind was to make good decisions enforcing good and resisting evil. Clearly this did not happen.

The Sexual “Know”

Luke 1:34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Here is a common use of the word ‘know’ in King James English, the sexual “knowledge” of two persons required to be exclusive to them. You do not hear it much these days but Bible readers need to understand this usage.

The Book of First John has 31 references to the word know. It profiles all the things believers should know, and how you, the reader can discern the difference between truth and lies.

1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

In this case the truth that is missing is Jesus who is the way, truth and life.  (John 14:16) The passage is telling us that the person is not born again.

Jesus “Not Knowing You” is Important

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Holy Spirit Baptism

Finally there is spiritual knowledge imparted in the Holy Spirit Baptism:

I Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

This kind of knowledge comes straight from the spirit of Christ to your spirit and then to your brain. Many people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit with knowledge that is obtained through study or from another person. But Holy Spirit directed information is especially helpful to you because it empowers you to apprehend situations and truths when others do not.

How often have you heard someone say, “I get bad vibes about that guy” and later it is discovered that he had hidden problems.  That kind of intuition is given by the spirit.  Very often small children have this feeling as well.

If you want an instructive Bible study, find a concordance and look up every use of the word know and tie them all back to the original Greek.  It will be an eye opener.

What is the “Will of God”

There are Three Wills of God
For the Human Race
  • The will of God for all human beings. That includes the demand  (1) that the human race believe in Him as Creator (2) He wishes all men to be saved and none perish, which depends on the action of the individual.  (3) that all repent of their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness based on their forgiveness of those who have wronged them (4) that all confess sins.  Confess means to “speak with” or simply to agree with God’s assessment of your situation before him.  If God says you have larceny in your heart,  He wants your knowledge of your inner self so when you agree with Him about your real condition, you are on the road to change.

I taught a Bible study years ago where the only thing they seemed to learn was how to confess someone else’s sin. So I quit!

For an Individual
  • The second will of God is what He desires for you personally, and all 7 billion individuals of planet earth. God has a plan for every human life. (Jeremiah 29:11) New believers often ask this question when they are eager to grow in Christian knowledge and power. Telling them that the will of God is given in the 32,000+ verses of the Bible is a little overwhelming, even though it is true.  The Bible is the will of God, but individual verses do not apply equally to all individuals at once.  To the rich man he did not say,  Your daughter is healed this very hour, or to the blind man He did not say, sell all you  have an give the money to the poor. God’s commands are individually specific. Expect to hear from Him.
For Nations (Ethnos) (Acts 17:26)
  • The third will of God is His desire for individual nations to fulfill their destiny on earth. One of these caveats is that nations are to keep their hands off other nations. God is not a globalist; He repeatedly refers to “ethnos” in the Bible as being His way of having a variety of cultures, individuality and responsibility for nations. Many nations are so badly governed the people have little control over their nation’s destiny. In democracies however, we have both the option and the accountability for what our government does as a unit and how it handles international affairs.

One scripture simplifies what God wants for every person: “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”  That’s a word we rarely hear; it means there is something in your heart or mind or body that needs to be cleaned up. To sanctify means to make holy, and to make holy means you have access to the presence of God in a great way than you did before. If you fail to go through the cleansing process, your life is marred and you do not enjoy the fullness of God’s promises.

Some people wander around the desert of personal sin, guilt, blame and error and never get anywhere near the promised land. But if you persist, you’ll find the plans of God.

The happiest human beings are those who live in the plans God has for them.  God knows better than you do what you are called to do. Many non-Christians find that place anyway, or live on the edge.

God is in the Details

After you learn what God wants you to do in life, then the next part is living in the sure revelation that your decisions about that life are on target. This is the hardest part of all. It involves the detail of a life – how to spend money, where to live and work, how to use your time comfortably. More often than not it is just “being led.”

Obedience brings Blessings

One of the  greatest blessings in my  life was when I decided to sit in the middle seat in the plane which is usually the most uncomfortable.  The man next to me and I talked for an hour. I felt as those I had entered the kingdom of God and was in heaven with another believer. As  a writer isolated in a town of 1,000 in the high mountains, I see and talk to very few people that know anything about the Kingdom of God, much less actually live in it. God gave me that blessing out of the blue.

 

Bad Arguments vs. Skeptics

A guest blog post. https://apologiainstitute.com/5-bad-arguments-you-shouldnt-use-against-skeptics/

Fine Line between Faith and Politics

Guest essay for today.  Click below.

http://pulpitandpen.org/2018/06/23/drawing-a-fine-line-between-faith-and-politics/