Friday, August 19, 2016

Cultural Decay Will Destroy Us: Part 1

We are headed into the abyss as a nation and unless we get our culture back we will lose our nation and, ultimately, ourselves.  Let's define culture before we move on. According to Google, culture is defined as being the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.  This would include: literature, religion, social tradition, language, values, etc.  Each of these would have different subcategories that branch from them.

When reading the definition of culture and when applying it to, not just the United States, but to all of Western Civilization the cultural decay we are facing becomes palpable.  We have abandoned our Christian roots, which was the foundation of our society.  Subsequently, we now challenge traditional marriage, our language, our borders, our biological gender, our arts, and even our lives.  I want to touch briefly on each of these.

Before we get to the root cause of the problem, I want to discuss the symptoms of our societal rot.  Traditional marriage has been destroyed in the West in recent years and definitely needs discussed when analyzing our hastening decline. Now, this may be the most serious of the symptoms (recent developments in our country have challenged my opinion concerning this and that will also be discussed.)  I say that it might be one of the most serious because it's not just some concept cooked up by the Christian West in the last millennium, but it's a universally accepted norm.  Societies past and present, East and West have always operated on this concept.  It is this reproductive friendly unit that keeps our economies running.

It is the means for providing protection for our children.  It's the best method for teaching our children how to grow up to be functioning adults.  Men and women together are two pieces to the same puzzle.  We complement and complete each other.  One brimming with testosterone and the other with estrogen.  One is more logical and the other is more compassionate.  One seeks to protect while the other watches out for danger.  One seeks to support the family while the other seeks to govern the household.  One leads the family while the other supports.

This is more than some subjective social/religious construct.  This is biology.  We are created in a way that renders us dependent upon each other.  It is with regrettable foolishness we have abandoned this truism.  Without a respect for the institution of marriage between a man and a woman we have lost the support beams of our society.  It will eventually collapse.  And it will collapse necessarily.  Without the complementary parts working together our future generations will degrade into chaos.  We are starting to see this in our current young generation.  Unless this trend is reversed it will only worsen.

We need to teach our children that they matter, but they aren't the only individuals that matter.  Our boys need to learn to be men and our girls need to learn to be women.  They need to be taught by the people who love them and, hopefully, have a vested interest in their upbringing.  This is the job of the mother and father.  To gently, but firmly, guide and provide them with the discipline to be well balanced members of society.

Another function served by the traditional family structure is reproduction.  If this wasn't made obvious with the preceding paragraphs, then it is made so now.  Along with the wanton desertion of family we have witnessed over 50,000,000 infant deaths at the alter of self.  Men and women sacrificing the offspring they are meant to protect and provide for, so that they can remain free to do as they will.  It is only logical that we have lost our respect for life as a result or, perhaps, it is that we treat life so haphazardly because we lost respect for life.  The second option is more likely. In our abandonment of God we lost the foundation for any objective value for life, but that discussion is being saved for the end to this mini-series.

A people that can so callously destroy that amount of life has lost its conscience.  It is this kind of culture that gives rise to a moral nihilism witnessed here.

The children that weren't selfishly snuffed out has had to be raised in a world where parental roles are fluid and, therefore, meaningless. Through our example they have been taught to believe that life has no purpose.  A generation literally screaming in the streets seeking to establishment its own significance is what we are left with. They lack the ability to tolerate any offense and would destroy our freedom of speech to legitimize their own opinions because society has lost its moral compass. Here is an example of what I am talking about.

No one bothered to teach them the importance of liberty.  They were never given an opportunity to build the confidence that children raised by a mother and father are filled with.  Instead they are taught that their biological impulse is a false construct forced upon them by an oppressive ideology.  These children are then exposed to a society that embraces abortion as a means of ridding itself of inconvenience.

No wonder we see them rioting and protesting at the drop of a hat. They want to have their lives to have more meaning than just the subjective junk they are filled with from birth.  They're angry, confused, lost, and depressed.

We have also started to embrace the idea of euthanasia.  Old? Sick? Disabled? Depressed? Disappointed with life? Or are you just plain bored?  Well, society has provided the means to kill yourself.  This goes well beyond condoning suicide.  This is encouraging suicide with enthusiasm.

A culture that abandons it's basic support unit and denies the value of its own life has zero chance of survival.  It's primed to even be apathetic towards its demise.  In fact, in a desperate search for meaning it might even hasten to its inevitable end.  Next time we will see how we are committing cultural suicide by inviting our invaders in.

A real quick post script. I want to acknowledge that parental and spousal abuse does occur and I am not oblivious to that.  I just don't consider that to be in any way traditional.  I refer to where I specifically stated, "gently, but firmly, guide and provide them with the discipline to be well balanced".  Cruelty and other forms of abuse are not gentle.  They are also not solely found in the traditional family.

I also want to direct you here for more on this topic.  This article goes into what I plan on talking about later, along with discussing what I just wrote about.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Facebook Sociopaths

Facebook has created a new generation of sociopaths.  It has created a forum for people to "feel" emotion by the click of a button.  Who needs actual interaction when you can just hit "like"?  As if the total lack of meaningful empathy wasn't enough, people have been given a place to vent all their pent up rage and bitterness they're unable to showcase in their everyday lives.  Comment wars, marital infidelity spurred on by the ease of reconnecting to old flames and finding new flames to connect with.  All of this and more in the social media era.  It's really unfair to single out Facebook in this mess.

When families aren't being destroyed by some argument on Facebook, people are having their lives destroyed by jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, and subsequent depression.  That's right.  Your time on Facebook has been shown to be a contributing factor to your depression.  Skim over the article I linked to above.

The problem is that while everyone is looking at everyone else's life they are either consciously or subconsciously comparing lives.  The depression sets in when they see friends and family posting pictures and updates of the positive moments.  It creates the impression that everyone is having a great time while you're the only person who has struggles.  It can also trigger feelings of jealousy or inadequacy when people are posting pictures of a new car, an awesome vacation, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and anything else most people can't afford without accruing an egregious amount of debt.
After all, most people aren't taking pictures of themselves sitting around stressed out about bills, stressing out while opening their bills, sitting at a mechanic's garage wondering what's going to go wrong next, or the year's worth of nonsense they put up with at work to pay for that awesome car, vacation, dinner, and good time.

The truth is that we all have low points.  We just don't broadcast these moments in our lives for everyone to see.  Look at your own profile and chances are your profile shows pictures of the good things in your life.  Unless, of course, you're a sharer.  Your profile may be a bit of a downer, but that's not bad.  Most people don't share unless they can brag.  Don't think you're the only one that has times of struggle.  You're not, I promise.

In the opening I mentioned infidelity. I wasn't just filling space.  A link to Facebook and adultery has been observed.  In the link provided it mentions a study about the connection.  It also gives an example of how it happens.  It talks about a couple that was nearly torn apart from the husband adding an ex and communicating back and forth with her.

This happens, as mentioned in the story above, when people reconnect with former significant others.  It seemingly happens to couples whose marriages haven't matured, but that's not the point and it also doesn't mean that couples who've been together for awhile is immune to this.  The point is that it is giving spouses a way to go behind the other's back to potentially reignite a past relationship.  The fact that Facebook time results in less relationship time only aggravates the problem.  Arguably the most damming aspect is that spousal neglect of each other allows them to feel justified in acting unfaithfully in their relationships.  You can imagine the person thinking, "But, this person pays attention to me!"

As for the title of this article, a callousness is taking over people.  Emotions are watered down to a mere click of a button; you are cheating yourself of genuine emotion.  Confrontations are increased because of the lack of accountability of a legitimate face to face encounter.   Insult people to their face and you risk a broken jaw.

The result is that we have cold detachment with only a reflection of real empathy.  This starts out as faux bravery and turns into a way of life.  As your Internet dependence grows you are increasingly isolated.  This isolation when coupled with your online sociopathic tendencies starts to bleed through to your interactions outside of the Internet.  We've started to see it in the increase of social unrest.  This isn't just among the younger generation.  You've seen some of the offensive and violent actions of the elder generations at Trump rallies.  The younger generation is more prevalent in this loss of civility and this is because of a warped upbringing that was Internet centric.  The older generations had some manners beat into them through years of forced interactions with other humans, so they are more resistant to the seductive forces of the Internet.

This resistance is breaking down.  We need to get a hold of ourselves.  Self discipline and genuine empathy is needed.  We must remember that we are actually conversing with human beings. Whether they deserve it or not you need to be respectful.  We are bearing the fruits of losing this respect.  We live in a society that screeches incessantly about tolerance, acceptance, and love.  Yet, we see a hate filled social anarchy taking shape in our midst.  Everyone is offended and ready to verbally assault you because you have the audacity to disagree with them.

I would add a link to some supporting evidence of my point here, but do I have to?   Just watch the news.  Consciously observe your daily encounters.  By that I mean have your normal back and forth, but just be conscious what is being said and how it's being said.  Is there tension? Anger? Sarcasm?  Do you or does the other person seem offended or do either of seem to acting unnecessarily confrontational? Something is broken and if we don't learn to control ourselves it will only get worse as these broken individuals raise children.  The next generation stands absolutely no chance of normality.

I will cut off here.  I want to discuss the decline of our culture next and this is starting to intersect more than I had originally planned.  I don't want to repeat myself more than necessary.  So, remember to respect others, get more face time with those you love, stop taking yourselves so seriously, and learn to feel again.  I'll try to take my own advice.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What I Learned from the Internet.

For those of you who have just stepped into the 21st century after arriving via a time machine there are some things you need to know about the Internet.  Below you can find a few of the things experience has taught me about the most important invention since oxygen.  If you are from a time before knowledge of oxygen then I apologize for your ignorance.  You should probably start with Kindergarten and work your way up.  So, here are some of the things you need to know about the World Wide Web.  Enjoy.

The first thing to know is that facts do not matter.  This is a fact of the Internet. This fact doesn't matter.  Everything you know or think you know is automatically wrong on the Internet.  Do you have statistics, figures, charts, and graphs backing up your position?  Is your position common sense and the only logical choice?  Too bad.  Facts are all fake on the Internet.  Prepare for constant intellectual outrage and absolutely zero intelligence while navigating the murky swamp of social media and comment sections.

The next thing you need to know is that everyone on the Internet is way important.  They all have very prestigious and mysterious careers and positions that put them in the know.  Don't question them because they know things you're not allowed to know.  Pay no attention that they are spilling this secret knowledge that they shouldn't be telling you.  They may also know various people with various diseases.  They themselves may be a human petri dish full of disease.  This inoculates them to any logical argument.  Unfortunately, it doesn't inoculate them against their many diseases.

Keep in mind, though, that you are not important.  You are, regardless of reality, a parents' basement dwelling pedophile.  You have no education and no job.  You're probably fat too.  Being fat on the Internet automatically invalidates any informed argument you may have.  Don't be surprised to learn you're a homosexual either.  Take your gay, overweight self back to your mom's basement and don't question the doctor-scientist spy with AIDS cancer.

Another surprising encounter you may have is that any logical argument can be boiled down to 140 characters or less.  No matter how complicated or nuanced the subject.  Any good argument is directly related to if you can tweet it.  Leftists and atheists will provide you with all the Twitter wisdom you can handle.  If you think you can provide them with a thoughtful answer in response; don't.  If you write it out in its entirety, they will inform you that it's too long.  If you tweet it, they will let you know that such matters can't be discussed in any meaningful way over Twitter.  They're all super awesome philosophy astronauts and best friends with Richard Dawkins, so they can use Twitter to mock their interiors.  You can't because?  That's right, you're a fat, gay, basement dweller.

Fought a civil war to end slavery, brought equality to everyone, accepts the world's unwanted masses, protects personal liberty of all kinds, major technological advances, unprecedented reduction in poverty rates, and an amazing quality of life are all things that Western Civilization has been used to bring into the world.  It doesn't matter.  Western Civilization is the greatest evil perpetrated against the world since time began.  Did you know they used to commit some of the sins that the rest of the world still commits?  Nevermind that slavery is still a thing in the Eastern world.  The West used to own slaves!  I can't do this segment of the post.  The arguments that the West is evil because of their past, in light of the fact that many nations still carry out such atrocities, is so ridiculous it doesn't deserve repeating.     

There you have it!  You now have a starter's manual for you to use while surfing the Internet.  When you find yourself in the middle of a comments war because you had the audacity to agree you may find that this list is unfortunately true.  What's that?  Oh, yeah, I said agree on purpose.  This is the Internet and you never know what will set someone off.  You may even find yourself in an argument and then realize that they accidentally started an argument with you when they actually meant to argue with someone other than you.  This will start another argument.

The advice you may find the most useful is: don't be sensitive and don't take it personally.  Believe it or not there are some people out there that handle every time on the Internet like a teen boy handles his first beer.  We also have people who handle it like every girl who ever takes a sip of alcohol.  That's why we have so many naked selfies floating around in cyberspace.  That's only a half joke.

Well, welcome to the 21st century, enjoy the hell your descendants have created, and don't be frightened by the 12 year old who claims to be a super awesome hacker who will find you and beat you up.  That only happens rarely. They're most likely only going to SWAT you.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Reintroduction to Myself

I am back!  After a long hiatus and some issues that are still persisting on being issues, I have decided to continue.  A reintroduction is in order.  The future of this blog 2ill be discussed as well.  We will delve into that at the end of this entry.

I am Beau Albertine and I am a Christian Conservative American.  It is in that order in which I identify.  This needs to be elucidated upon because without knowing what it means then neither a reintroduction nor an introduction will be worth anything. Disclaimer: it is a sad state of affairs that makes it necessary that those terms need proper defining.

First and most importantly,  I am a Christian.  What does it mean to be a Christian?  So many people claim that title and believe many different, sometimes contradictory, things.

In the most simplest of definitions Christianity can be summed up in John 14:6-7:

6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

This the belief that Christ is the only true way to know God and enter into Heaven.  It is also the belief that Christ died and rose again so to free us from our sin; 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

It is in these foundational tenets of our faith that we find our hope.  We can be free from the sin that enslaves us to our selves.  We are free from the sin that separates us from our Creator and Redeemer.  The things that plague you, haunt you, inhibit you are defeated.  They have no power over you when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior.  For a little more on this I suggest you read posts I made before the reboot:  here, here, and finally here. Also here.  Don't forget this one!  A future post on Christian particularism is planned

So, why is this first? It's because if Christianity is true then it is the most important fact in the history of the universe.  God, eternity, and either the salvation or the continued servitude to your sins far outweighs the temporal connections you have to this life.  The Judeo-Christian faith also contains a set of values that can be applied to not only your life, but to the entire world.  These values, if applied truly, will create a world worth living in.

So, God first, but why Conservatism second?  Conservatism is an application of those values mentioned in the previous paragraph.  It's a system of principles that exalt personal responsibility, charity, freedom, honesty, love of family, love of your fellow man, equality of all under the law, and justice for all.   The only value that would be found in Christianity that is not included in Conservatism is the commandment to love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul.  This is because Conservatism is a secular application of the truths found in Judeo-Christianity.  Conservatism believes in religious liberty and doesn't seek to force a conversion to any particular religion. In Christianity it wouldn't be a sincere conversion anyway.

This is what makes up modern Conservatism.  It is very similar to Classic Liberalism. This is why you might hear conservatives be reluctant to call leftists: liberal.  It should be pointed out that this is a very basic outline of our beliefs.  Its main purpose is to fight for your freedom to make your own decisions because you are capable of making it without the government "helping".  (There are some exceptions that are necessary.  Disabled and elderly persons that don't come from families with the means of supporting them are some such exceptions.)

This comes second because it has to do with how a nation should be run.  These principles outline rights and responsibilities of the citizenry.  It necessarily limits what a government can do in order to protect the rights of the people.  People have short lives and find it very difficult to think beyond their own lives, so find putting ideology before country to be difficult and offensive to do.  We know countries have come and gone, but refuse to believe it can happen to us.  It can and, if things keep going the way they are going, it will.  This is why we must preserve our faith and ideology.  These values will preserve our nation and if it should fall, they will rebuild our nation.  It is good to be proud of one's nation unless that nation fell due to its own foolishness.  This will be discussed more in depth in future articles.

Next up is American.  I believe in the principles in which this country was founded.  I am thankful that I was born in a nation whose Constitution wasn't a law for the citizens, but for the government.   We are based on a document that is a list of shall nots aimed at the ruling authority!

The founding ideals paved the way for abolition of slavery, racial equality, women's suffrage, biological sex equality, religious liberty, open discussion of ideas and if we don't like something we can run for office or protest!  In a time of empires, kings, conquerors, and the general population being subject to the whims of their so-called betters our Founding Fathers said, "Screw that."  We were given an equality we take for granted now.  I can think of no other nations, other than Israel, whose founding was so dedicated to the Rule of Law rather than the rule of man.  (Israel's kings had to follow the Law given to Moses by God.  These were the same Laws the people had to follow.  Much like them we have fulfilled God's prophecy concerning human government.  1 Samuel 8:10-18.)

To truly appreciate the miracle that is the United States of America you must read the history of our founding.  You have to read our founding documents.  You have to read all that in the context of the rest of the world at that time.  When you read about the American Revolution you have to keep in mind that the most powerful empire on the earth was defeated by underfunded, underfed, exhausted farmers.  It was David vs. Goliath.  Keep in mind that our Founding Fathers could have set up a monarchical government.  They shunned nobility for themselves, so we could have true equality.  Say what you will of their personal religious beliefs, but we live in a truly miraculous and blessed nation.

Sadly, we have cast off the blessing and embraced the rule of men.  Government has become bloated and corrupt.  We have an elected aristocracy concerned with how they can aggregate authority to themselves.  "How can we misappropriate power that rightfully belongs to the People," they ask themselves.  To be more clear, we have went from a nation whose Founding Fathers considered themselves to be no better than "We the People" to a nation whose public servants fancy themselves to be the haut monde of American society.

For this reason I list American last.  We are a nation in decline.  It is at this junction one realizes it's neither the nation, land, borders, laws, leaders, nor form of government that made us wonderful.  What made us great was our Judeo-Christian principles and the faithfulness to those principles.  It is without a sound belief in God as a moral foundation that our nation, land, borders, laws, leaders, and form of government become meaningless.

That is what it has become; meaningless.

So, this is where we find ourselves.  Part of my goal is to illuminate the way out of the moral decadence in which we find ourselves.  Spoiler: it involves Jesus,  This blog will be a bit of an analysis of how we found ourselves here.  We will discuss just how decayed our culture is, the fruits of a dead culture, and so much more.

This will hopefully be regularly updated.  A possible schedule is still being determined, but it will be, at the very least, weekly. Bi-weekly or even tri-weekly is what I would like it to be.  The main goal is to spread the Word and to dispell the taboo around beliefs in God, tradition, and a true community.  My dream is to get published and work my way into becoming an actual writer.

Come along with me for this ride into the unknown.

Monday, February 8, 2016

So much more to this life.

People in this world has become so obsessed with themselves they have forgotten how to ask what it's all for.   What is the meaning of life?  Are we doomed to the bleak and depressing pursuit of our own causes?  People hear "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and never wonder or search for the answer of what happiness is.

Is it any wonder the drug epidemic,  suicide/euthanasia pandemic, the abortion humiliation is permeating our society in which the self is the center of our lives?  People are looking for the answer to the question of their existence in themselves.  That is ludicrous.   That serves only to drive one further into their own depravity.  They become a slave to their own wants and desires.  Then mistake their chains for freedom.  

Once fully immersed in their self, so fully enslaved to pursuing their hearts desire they wonder why they're so depressed and void of happiness.  The answer to our existence is not our existence.   We feel empty because we are incomplete.   We can never fill that void by chasing the distractions within the void itself.

And since when is the human heart anything,  but evil?  We see a history of violence and debauchery and recoil at it, but when we reflect on our own we mistake it for something other than what we have seen before in others.  It's not hypocrisy it's blindness.

So, to put it another way is that our life is not life, our liberty is slavery, and our pursuit of happiness is the void in which we lose our life and liberty.  But I am not writing this to depress or convict you.  I am writing this to tell you that there is more.  We are the children of an all-loving, all-powerful, and all-just God.  He is our Answer.  He is the True Life, Liberty, and the End Goal in our pursuit of happiness.  A jar of clay can not find purpose within itself, but only in the purpose it's creator made it for.
Don't confuse your own will with that which God created you for.   Does the potter ask the clay what it wants to be?  Or to put it in a more modern way, does a table make a good tv?  We have a habit of telling God too many times that the evil in our hearts is what would make us happy.   He gives us what we want then point the finger at Him in accusation when we are left empty still.  How about we instead ask Him what our purpose is?  What His will is for our lives?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What makes Christianity stand out

Another case for Christianity or as Paul calls it, the Way, could be made in how it stands out.  How does it stand out?  In some very interesting ways.  First we have a call to reason.  Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come and let us reason together, says the LORD.".  Not many religions call for reason, but for blind faith.

Reading the New Testament is like reading a giant philosophical argument.  Leaving out the Gospels and Revelation of course.   It is a collection of letters that settle doctrinal disputes and thus consequently a code of conduct.  It also provides incite into arguments against the Faith and answers them.  In Romans 9:19:
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 
This is referring to the objection that if God's Will is carried out by all things then how could condemn anyone if they are ultimately carrying out His Will.  He answers this question in what first seems rather like blind faith in the next verse:
On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 
This is not blind faith, but a succinct response to hubris.  Too many arguments against God (I now speak of God generally.   A Deity that is not specifically tied to Christianity seeing as how when atheists argue against God they are making a sweeping argument not just one against the Judeo-Christian God.) are based in ignorance and hubris such as: problem of evil, ontological arguments, unnecessary, etc. This answer in Romans is a clever disarming of those arguments.

What is also different is that it invites us, indirectly, to test it's veracity.  Most books with historical roots does this, but few are life transforming in its claims.  The Bible is continuously verified by archeological discovery.  Some of the sites I have linked to in a previous post does a great job in exploring those finds.  Are all things verified?  No, but none have contradicted the Bible or it's core message: an Almighty Transcendental Being sacrificing Himself out of an intense Love and attempt to grab our attention.  The problems that do arise, creation account, the Deluge, Hebrew enslavement in Egypt, are hardly reason to believe that our Faith is in any way defeated.  That's just poor logic.  The objections are also disputable.  Guided evolution  (or another mechanism of Intelligent Design) could be argued as creationism, there may be evidence of a global or near global flood, and there is growing evidence of Hebrew enslavement in Eygpt.  You are welcome to look up the arguments or evidence of each.  Either way they are not even close to being core tenants of the Faith and the tenants that are deemed core have not been disproved or have been proved.

So, we have a monotheistic religion with rather fantastic claims, is part philosophical,  part historical, part prophetic, and part radical.  I will discuss the prophetic and radical claims in another post.  But we have this Faith that stands up and shouts, "Test me! Argue with me! See that I am the True Way!", and I invite you to do so.  I am always willing to discuss it.  I can steer you in the right direction if I am unable to answer your questions.  This is the most fulfilling decision you can make. I guarantee you that.   Once you let go of self and embrace the Spirit the feeling is indescribable relief.  I pray for you all.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Political Rant

Why are there people who are 100% serious in their support for Trump.  Not only does he continue to show his political illiteracy in a early 1900s snake oil salesman-esque pitch, but the man is an 80's movie villain.  The rich, WASP, meathead bully wearing an ascot bragging about his daddy's accomplishments as his own.

Vera Coking from New Jersey can tell you all about it.  He tried for over a decade to get her out of her house so that he could put in a limousine parking lot.  Real man of the people.  Or, we could look at the example he sets when he tried for over a decade to rid he prestigious Fifth Avenue in NYC of veteran run street vendors. More examples abound.

The cult of personality that surrounds this man who lacks a personality is astounding.   We are talking about a man who boasts of not needing forgiveness from God.  Apparently, Trump is the Second Coming of Christ.  Christians who support him say we aren't electing a pastor, but a president.   That magically excuses the man's history of fitting perfectly into the Bible's example of a violent and foolish man?  He is a vacuous, self-worshipping man who only gleams his views based on polling.  Once the election is over we will see the biggest political thug since Obama.

What about Bernie Sanders?  I shouldn't even have to mention that complete jackass, but unfortunately the youth vote is dangerously uninformed enough to make his special brand of idiocy a legitimate platform in this race.  Free everything! Except the rich pay for it.  He pedals his cure for what ails you to the youth who think that the man is keeping them down.  Who is the man?  The rich.  It seems these teens should be applauded for their vow of poverty!  They fail to recognize that when they are out of college at that good paying job he promises will be there if they vote for him (that would be a miracle to behold!  a high tax on the rich and the corporation they own producing anything other than an incentive to move their operations out of this country followed by mass layoffs in lieu of the automation that they would inevitably embrace while increasing the cost of goods to help offset the tax increase would be a miracle on the scale of Christ feeding the 5000) they will then see the taxes that they voted for.  They will see their utter ignorance of how taxes work after they spend all that time in college and time in their jobs working for promotions and raises just to make the same as the person taking their order at Chipotle.

The poor supporting Sanders is only slightly less puzzling.  You're not rich, so no one can be rich?  That's just vindictive.  Grow up.  Where does that leave the world?  It doesn't make you less miserable.  It just makes more people miserable.  What happens when the government runs out of people to taax?  What happens when people no longer have any incentive to work or get ahead in their career? No one knows because that kind of economy always mysteriously collapses.  Weird.

What's that? North Korea?  Oh. Forgot about that sterling example of happiness and human rights.  After the Korean War  (I know, I know, it's technically not over) South Korea went the way of the free market and North Korea went the way of socialism.  I wonder who has the better quality of life?

To be completely honest, no economic system is perfect, but free market and free enterprise is the best one there is.  The worst criticisms of that economic model is actually against crony capitalism.  They are not the same.  What is truly ironic is that the whacko socialists that attacks and free market with charges of crony capitalism don't realize the very definition of a free market impossible for crony capitalism, but socialism is crony capitalism at it's finest.

The problem is obvious with this country.   It lost it's God and in some doing has lost it's values.  This amoral mindset has led to abandoning critical thinking in attempting not to offend anyone because being non-offensive is what replaced true values.  The truth can be offensive.  So what?  That doesn't make it any less true.  Hiding the truth or keeping people stupid enough not to look for the truth only hurts them even more.  It leaves us with the message this world is in today.

Sickening.  Trump. The left. Sanders. Clinton.  You're all disgusting mental midgets destroying yourself in a vain attempt at destroying others.  All to make yourself feel more important than what you really are.  Turn back from your iniquity and look at the destruction you have wrought.  Then tell me if any of it was worth it.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Addendum to my previous post.

I think it obvious that I am a nerd.  I wear it like a badge of honor. So, as I was searching for a website to feed my hunger for more knowledge on theology, philosophy, etc. I stumbled upon a site that serves as a kind of theology hub.  I just finished reading an article about the reliability of Mark and think that it may explain the reliability of Mark better than I have.  It's a short and easy read and may answer questions that may have been raised by my last post.   You can find it here.

The article was written by Peter J. Williams.  I have never read anything by him before today, but it is definitely written with more authority than what I have.  If you are the 99% who will not read it, for whatever reason, at least read this paragraph:
Mark contains three major sections of teaching by Jesus (chapters 4, 7, and 13) as well as shorter accounts of teaching. Various features of what is attributed to Jesus suggest that Jesus’ teachings were not invented by Christians, since they use forms of speech and expressions either not found or rarely attested among early Christians, and they do not show many of the features of early Christian discourse. For instance, positively, Jesus regularly referred to himself regularly as the Son of Man, a phrase not common amongst early Christians, amongst whom he was called the Christ, Lord, or the Son of God. Or again, Jesus used parables, though these were not common amongst early Christians either. Negatively, Jesus’ teachings do not use the titles that were later used of Jesus. Nor do they explicitly cover many of the issues that early Christians spent time discussing such as the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, whether or not Christians could eat food that had been sacrificed to idols, or how churches should be organized.
This establishes evidence of earlier writings than what we have of the Gospels.  I didn't really go over that as much as I wanted and felt it left a gaping hole in my argument.  I don't want people to think that I am glossing over the failure to find early writings of the Gospels.  The earliest extensive writing we have of a Gospel  dates to the mid 3rd century.  When this article was written the earliest manuscript was a small portion of the Gospel according to John dated to first half of the 2nd century.  That may not longer be so.  A small segment of Mark has been recovered.  The preliminary study has dated it in the 1st century.  In the lifetime of the apostles and other witnesses.

Exciting stuff that it is, it's even more exciting that there are still no major differences between the early manuscripts and the modern Bible.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Cases for Christianity

This post may get a little lengthy, but I will try to keep it as brief and as simple as I can.  I want to focus on a couple of arguments that I think make a strong case for Christianity.  First we have to look at the reliability of the Gospels.  Can we trust that the writers didn't just make it all up?  This will jump into an argument of the martyrdom of the apostles.   Did they really die for their faith?  What does it matter if they did?   After we establish the credible historicity of the Gospels we will then look at the single most important tenet of Christianity: the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Let's face it, without the Resurrection we have no faith.  We have no reason to believe Christianity.  In fact it would lend credence to the argument that Christianity is just an apostate Judaism.  I hope this provides answers questions a seeker of Truth may be asking.  I also hopes it educates and provides support for any Christian who has questions about their own faith or just never educated themselves about their faith.  I also want to add at the end a link to a site that has spent a majority of its existence answering some inconsistencies or contradictions found in the Gospels.  He has done a fantastic job of discrediting attacks on Christianity launched by Bart Erhman based on these superficial inconsistencies and contradictions.

So, how can we know that the Gospels can be trusted? Well, we can begin by looking at the witnesses that still lived at the time of some of the earliest writings in the New Testament.

(A quick run down of things that you need to know about the Gospel.  The exact dates of their writing is unknown, but heavily believed to be written within the first century A.D.  The earliest Gospel is believed to be Mark, disciple and writer for the apostle Peter.  The rest of the Gospels were written shortly after by their respective authors.  There is theorized to be an early source that was circulating along the first generation of believers that historians have named "Q". This source is believed to be a somewhat quick rundown of the life of Jesus.  The Gospels were written to give the first believers a more in depth look at the life of Christ from their point of view.  The exception being Luke a disciple of Paul.  He wrote his two books Luke and Acts for a supposed believer named Theophilus, Luke 1:3. He spent some time following the apostles and getting their accounts of the life and miracles of Jesus.  Some of which he alludes to being present for.  It's interesting to note that he also seems to reference the other Gospels in the first two verses in Luke.  And possibly the existence of "Q".  Luke 1-2. It may be that he is also referencing incorrect gnostic theology infecting the early church.  I will discuss those pieces of apostate garbage later, but for now I have digressed way too much.)

In my digression I mentioned the existence of "Q".  This shows that an even earlier version of the Gospels were in circulation at the writing of the Gospels.  So, what does that mean?  It means that the witnesses of Jesus's miracles and life were still around.  These witnesses would then be able to discredit any exaggeration or outright lies written within the Gospels or "Q".  Here is what Dr. William Lane Craig has to say about it,
Since those who had seen and heard Jesus continued to live and the tradition about Jesus remained under the supervision of the apostles, these factors would act as a natural check on tendencies to elaborate the facts in a direction contrary to that preserved by those who had known Jesus.

Read more:
We also get an extra biblical source at least confirming the existence of Jesus in Jewish historian Josephus, who lived in the first century A.D.  He also lends support for the belief these early believers and witnesses at the very least believed in the miracles of Christ.  Here is what he wrote concerning Jesus in the year 93 A.D.,
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.  For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had  first come to love him did not cease.  He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.  And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
                                - Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63
(Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.) Taken from the website
 Here it sounds as if Josephus himself found the evidence so compelling that he was a believer or at the very least on the fence.  The date of the writing places it the life of John, the Apostle.  This places it still in the time frame of the first generation of believers in Christ.  The witnesses of Christ seemingly agreed with what they read and taught because they let it stand and didn't raise a fuss over any lies.  The higher ups in the Jewish faith, who opposed Jesus and His apostles, said their piece and still the Christian faith grew like wildfire. This itself is evidence that the majority of witnesses were in agreement about the credibility of what the apostles and their disciples were saying and writing. If they were lying and making it all up it seems far more likely Christianity would have been dead on arrival.   It wouldn't take long for the witnesses to discredit these claims.

So, we now move on to the apostles.   How can we be sure they just didn't write down some stuff and get some people to go along with it?

I want to first establish the answer to the easy part of that question.  The Bible makes it quite clear that being a Christian in the early days of the faith.  For the very first example of this we turn to Acts 7:58-60

 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice,“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
This verse also gives us the first glance at Saul who later becomes the apostle Saul.  A bit more about him later.  For now we want to focus on the persecuted not the persecutors.  Now I don't really believe any reasonable argument could be made against the persecution of Christians, even the accounts recorded in the Bible, but in case there is anyone out there that believes that early Christians had it easy:

"Therefore, to stop the rumor [that he had set Rome on fire], he [Emperor Nero] falsely charged with guilt, and punished with the most fearful tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were [generally] hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius, but the pernicious superstition - repressed for a time, broke out yet again, not only through Judea, - where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly first those were arrested who confessed they were Christians; next on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city, as of "hating the human race."

This is from the site:  It's from the book "Annals" by a Roman historian of the first century named Tacitus.  There is some evidence of Christian persecution outside of the Bible.

So, we are left asking ourselves: why in the world would these witnesses subject themselves to such horrid atrocities? The obvious answer is that they were so convinced by what they had been told and seen that any threat or torture was not enough to get them to recant. I believe there is a preponderance of evidence at this point that the witnesses and existence of a man named Jesus, who had many followers who believed Him Christ, can be reasonably believed.  Next I want to look at the fascinating person named Paul. A witness who claimed to have seen the risen Christ.  This man keep in mind was a torturer and killer of Christians as seen above in the book of Acts when he went by the name of Saul.

Now we must first figure out if the person Paul ever existed.  We can look to the Bible and clearly see that the Bible states he existed.  Now to understand how that can be used as evidence one must understand the New Testament.  This is not just a book that is half of the Bible.   It is a collection of letters written to churches in various cities in the Roman Empire.  It's not a book that some people decided to just sit down and write.   Now, it must be understood that these letters were copied and passed around by believers.  How does this provide evidence of Paul?  If Paul didn't exist it seems far more likely these letters would never have survived.  The early Christians would have been left wondering who this Paul guy is.

For some proof outside of the Bible we have early Church writings concerning Paul (and also Peter and other apostles.).  These writers lived in the time of the apostles and had some arguments concerning the meaning, worth, and credibility  (concerning authorship; odd debate to have if you made someone up) of the letters they had from the apostles.

One of such writings of Ignatius of Antioch who lived from 35-110 A.D.
“You are initiated into the mysteries of the Gospel with Paul, the holy, the martyred, the deservedly most happy, at whose feet may I be found, when I shall attain to God; who in all his Epistles makes mention of you in Christ Jesus.”
 This quote and a full argument, concerning Paul and what we know about him, can be found here: (it's also, quite obviously, and argument concerning Islam's beliefs on Paul)

Now this quote actually brings me to my point about Paul. We know that he existed and apparently was greatly feared by the apostles in the early days because of his penchant for slaughtering Chritians.  As evidenced in Acts 8:1-3,
1 And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison (taken from:
Now to summarize the rest of the story Saul on his way  to Damascus to persecute the Christian Church there he encounteredthe Risen Christ, changed his ways and became Paul.  Now, what makes a man intent on killing Christians suddenly completely change his life and join the very faith he was so enthusiastically persecuting?  A lie? He may have seen opportunity in joining a startup faith that was heavily persecuted which he knew firsthand.  That just seems highly doubtful.  Maybe it's all a lie about him being a hunter of Christians.  We have no evidence of that; only evidence of it being true. Maybe he fell off his donkey and hit his head really hard.  Possible, but how many people have become the complete opposite of who they used to be because they hit their head and hallucinated?  From his writings he seemed to be of sound mind.  The only difference is that he was a fervent believer and follower of Christ.  So, passionate about his belief, so confident, he died for it.  Which is evidenced by the quote above from Ignatius, who lived in the time of the apostles writing to people who also would have known the apostles personally.  This taken together lends credence to the Bible and the faith when taken as a whole.

We are left at this point a good argument that a man who murdered, tortured, and imprisoned Christians had a life changing experience that ended with him joining those he previously hated.  It ultimately ended with him dying for that belief.  It seems more likely that this would be the case if Christianity were true.  Thus, we have a good argument for Christianity.  Next we will look at the rest of the apostles and what evidence we have of their martyrdom.

It's at this point where it's obvious that I will first point out that the Bible is a source of evidence that the apostles died as martyrs.   I want to quickly answer a quick question people ask.  What makes the difference that the apostles were martyred?  Other religions have their fair share of martyrs.  What difference is their between Simon Peter dying for his beliefs and a follower of another religion dying for their beliefs?   The difference is that the apostles died not for something they believed, but for something they knew.  If I was killed tomorrow for being a Christian it would be for my beliefs.  They claimed to have seen, converse, eat, and watch the Ascension of the Risen Christ.  That means that if they were lying about everything then they died knowing they were dying a meaningless death.  They weren't without reason. 1 Corinthians 15:17-19:
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
They were very aware and even believed that if they were mistaken that we are the most to be pitied amongst the lost (read: damned).  It seems here that it's likely that the apostles were true believers.  They believed in what they saw; and if they were deceived then we are the worst of the damned.  What sales pitch!  "Come join our faith!  We promise death and torture!  And, hey, if we are wrong God may just have a special place for us in hell!"

Why would they use this as propaganda for their fledgling faith?  The only reasonable answer is that the faith is real.  They had a message so important that they told people no matter the consequences.   Now, there is not any real debate whether they truly believed or not.  Most scholars and historians agree that they were "true Christian believer(s)" (hat tip to "The Masque of the Red Death" and Vincent Prices and of course Edgar Allan Poe.).

So, really here we have no actual reason to believe that they weren't murdered for being Christians.   We know from earlier that persecution was very real and fierce.  We saw evidence of Paul's martyrdom and his killing of Christians before his own conversion.  But just so we have some extra evidence and not just a logical conclusion I will provide some evidence.

I want to,  of course,  be honest in this argument of sorts, so I will confess that the evidence of martyrdom is only clear on a few of the apostles; one of which being Paul.  Sean McDowell wrote his doctoral dissertation on the extensive research he did on the apostles and had this to say:
While we can have more confidence in the martyrdoms of apostles such as Peter, Paul and James the brother of John (and probably Thomas and Andrew), there is much less evidence for many of the others (such as Matthias and James, son of Alphaeus). This evidence is late and filled with legendary accretion. This may come as a disappointment to some, but for the sake of the resurrection argument, it is not critical that we demonstrate that all of them died as martyrs. What is critical is their willingness to suffer for their faith and the lack of a contrary story that any of them recanted.
This was taken from:  He goes on to talk about the evidence of their martyrdom in the early church fathers' writings.  The same that mentioned Paul's death.  At this point the question arises, well how can we be sure that they didn't just make it all up?  Really we can't be 100% sure, but it can be reasoned that they are telling the truth.

First, these people lived during the time of the apostles and we're disciples of them.  They were writing to others that were of the same group of people that they were.  If they were lying it seems more likely that these letters to each other would be conspiratorial in nature and not spoken of as truth.  You would also then have to account for the fact that many of the church fathers, too, died as martyrs.

So, now, we are left with good reason to believe that the apostles were true believers and did not have any nefarious hidden agenda in their teachings and even went so far as to die for what they believed.  We focused on Paul and saw that a man went from killing Christians to becoming one, preaching as one, being tortured and dying as one.  He based this extraordinary turnaround on the belief, a seemingly truly held belief as evidenced above, that he saw Christ alive, well and Divine. We also showed that the Gospels were widely believed and held to be reliable by the apostles and Church fathers.  The earliest manuscripts we have of them date between the late first century A.D. to the second century A.D.  Comparisons of the earliest texts we have to today's Bible shows only minor differences.  Spelling, grammar, synonyms used.  The so-called major differences are times, numbers, other logistical type differences.  The most major difference is the story of Christ saving the prostitute from being stoned.  The story containing the famous verse, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.".  Taken from:
It certainly seems as if, somewhere along the way, a scribe added this story of Jesus into John’s Gospel in a place he thought it would fit well. Most likely, the story had been circulating for a long time—it was an oral tradition—and a scribe (or scribes) felt that, since it was already accepted as truth by consensus, it was appropriate to include it in the text of Scripture. The problem is that truth is not determined by consensus. The only thing we should consider inspired Scripture is what the prophets and apostles wrote as they “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
If you follow the link provided it gives the history of this chunk of Scripture.  In all honesty, the verses need to be dropped and left in a footnote explaining it's controversy.  It's false and an embarrassment.   We know it's false and still taught.  It's been a stumbling block for Christians not well educated about their own faith.  So, that's it.  That's the differences between our earliest manuscripts and modern Bible.  We can trust the earlier manuscripts we haven't found is just as likely to be as similar.   The reason being that this is people's faith.  They would have every reason to be precise, but no reason to lie.  If they believe it to be God's Word they wouldn't seek to change it, but to cherish it.

Now, we reach the big one.  Did Christmas actually resurrect from the dead?  The arguments made for and against His resurrection have to be made in an argument to the best explanation manner.  Unless a body proved to be Jesus of Nazareth is recovered or the Second Coming happens it is impossible to prove either claim.  But, what if anything makes us think that the Resurrection claim is the best explanation?

This question, when glanced at, makes it seem like we believers have an enormous task in front of us in showing the Resurrection is the best explanation.  We don't,  not really.   If you re-read what has been written about so far in this post, the argument has already been made, mostly.  Reliability of witnesses, reliability of the witness accounts (the Bible), lack of evidence against the witnesses (when the apostles first made the claim the Romans and Jewish pharisees could have easily quelled the religious rebellion going on by producing thebody of Jesus.  They didn't.), and the claim itself.   Why make such a fantastic claim.  Especially one so easily defeated by a dead body.   Paul's claims showed what they thought if Christ didn't resurrect.  If they stole the body then said they are the least of the damned, and then died for the lie, one must grudgingly admire such commitment to a lie that gained them nothing.

Billy Graham makes a point, incidentally, about the weirdness of the Resurrection claim:
...because they were overwhelmed with disappointment by Jesus’ arrest. They had hoped He would overcome the power of the Roman government and establish a new kingdom, and now their hopes of this vanished.
(Retrieved from:

This point is that the popular view in that era was that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Roman Empire and establish an eternal reign on David's throne.  As Christians know today, that is what comes next after the Second Coming.  Not so back in the age of the apostles.

Real quick I want to go over a slight piece of negative evidence that slightly weighs in the favor of the Resurrection as well.   We have never found a body.  The tomb is believed to have been found.   You can visit it if you ever go to Jerusalem.   No correspondence has been found suggesting a conspiracy related to stealing Jesus's body.  Conspiracy theories abound regarding His body being stolen, but no evidence.  The only evidence we have favors His Resurrection, both negative and positive.  The only thing left to the naysayers is to hypothesize conspiracy theories or to say that one day we will find His real tomb and His remains inside.

The case(s) have been made.   What's left is a decision to make that will affect you for all eternity no matter the outcome.   In my opinion the evidence weighs heavily in favor of the Christian claim.  If you agree then pray for Christ to come into your life,  forgive your sins, to give you a new heart.  Get yourself a Bible and read it.  Study it.  Ask questions about things that you are not sure about.   If you still have questions then ask.  You can ask me.  I would be ecstatic to answer any questions.  If you don't feel comfortable asking me you can try here:  Another great place, I mentioned in the introduction is:  Another spot:  They have 4 subcategories you can check out.   For advanced research:  Check out the popular articles and debates.  These take time to read, but the intellectual fulfillment and ,most importantly, the Truth you are exposed to are well worth it.  One last thing that I found last night worth a read after reading my post as a sort of supplemental dose of evidence is this article:

There are countless other resources at your disposal that I don't have the time or space to list here.   I have offered myself to answer your questions or point you to a place that can answer your questions if I am unable.  The decision is yours, but it is important.   Ask questions, investigate, learn as much as you can, but know that you don't have forever to decide.  Also,  know that it is a decision that affects your eternity. I believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and when investigated and researched with an open mind and an honest attempt anyone with a sound and rational mind would find the Truth and Purpose in Christ.  I hope you found this as enlightening as much as I found it funny to write.

Sorry about the quotes.  I have them correct in the draft screen, but for some reason they look weird when I posted them.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Almost finished with the next post.  It's longer than I wanted it to be,  but what can you do?  I'm trying to be as thorough as I can be and trying not to leave anything out.

For now I want to revisit my second post.   If you recall I mentioned God, seemingly arbitrarily, imposing morality upon us.  I said I wanted to return to that later and here we have arrived at later.

Now, what do I mean by "seemingly arbitrarily"?  First, let us look at the definition of arbitrary. Arbitrary  (based on the definition provided by Merriam-Webster) can mean "done regardless of what is fair or right".  So when I say, "seemingly arbitrarily" what I am saying is that God is seemingly imposing morals on us regardless of what is fair or right.  But, is He?

Let us look at God's attributes typically agreed upon.  He is omniscient, omnipotent,  omnibenevolent and personal.  Looking at His omnipotent and personal attributes (by personal I mean that He is knowable.  He cares and watches over us.  We can have a relationship with Him) He certainly has the power and motivation to impose such restrictions on us regardless of what is right or fair.

So, looking at His omnibenevolence we see where He would get such morality from.  We also get a second motivation for imposing His morality on our lives and actions arbitrarily like a tyrant.  Here, though we must remove the segment "right or" from our definition of arbitrary.  If He is omnibenevolent then no wrong can come from Him.  So, we are left with "done regardless of what is fair".  This still seems right.  The "or" means just one of right, fair needs to be met not both to be arbitrary.  This seems to fit better also with the complaint against God most of the time.  He isn't fair, so it goes.

Let's look at the "done" part.  He gave us His Law to live by, but does not force us to obey.  We have a choice.   Nothing is truly "done".  We choose to obey or disobey.  This leaves us with, "regardless of what is fair".  At this point it is not God who is unfairly being arbitrary.  We are now left with the complaint that it is His Law that is arbitrary.  This makes sense here.  When people complain about morality they often complain of it being unfair.

So, what about its being unfair?  How can we answer that?  We can answer it in a couple of ways.  

First, we can look at His being personal, omniscient and omnibenevolent.  He loves us, cares about us,  and is all that is good.  It would be in His nature to do what is best for us.  What is best for us may not seem fair or just with such a limited look at life.  Without the benefit of omniscience we can't really see the benefits and consequences of our actions until we arrive at the benefit or consequence.  So, what would be unfair is if He gave us no warning, but He does by having provided His Law.  Thus, "regardless of what is fair" has been removed.  Therefore God is not being arbitrary in the least.  He is only looking out for us.  Not just a certain few, but all of us. You, your neighbors, friends, enemies, family, and strangers.  Everyone is to follow His Law and seek Him.  If everyone would sacrifice their own will and come to Jesus for redemption just imagine the world then.

Secondly,  what is being cheated by His alleged "unfairness"?  It is sin.  Sin seeks to destroy and consume all that which is good which is defined by God's very nature, omnibenevolence.  He tries to keep us from the hunger of sin (John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  This seems to sync up pretty well, huh?) and sin tries to infest us making us hunger for more.  His omnibenevolence also means that He isn't just making this stuff up as He goes along.  This is His nature.  It's out of necessity that His Law is the way it is.  He can not tolerate sin or evil.  He is cheating sin and offering us His saving grace.  Sounds fair to me.

What we are left with is blaming ourselves.  We fail.  We fall short.  God is God.  God is not arbitrary.  To see how He is loving and only looking out for us just ask Him.  Pray for forgiveness.  Ask Him to come into your heart and clean house.  Not only read the Bible, but study it.  Love it, learn it, live it, folks.  You'll feel complete for once.  Trust me.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Update on what is going on.

So, I am currently researching and writing a blog that is taking more time than I thought would take.  So, just to keep this blog active I am writing a little bit about random stuff.

One thing this site has is a little tracker of page views.  It tells me what website the view originated from and what country the viewer lives in. It's official. My blog is international!  I got a visitor from Mexico!  Sadly, he didn't write a comment, but if you happen to check back you are welcome to stay or write a comment,  sir or ma'am.

Also, if I stay active with this blog I will qualify to make money with this site!  Obviously I don't expect to make any kind of living off it, but a couple of dollars a month is still money in my pocket.

So, I have a blog being researched and written. Actually two, but the other is still a bit more down the road.  So, to my couple random visitors: I am working on a post.  Wait patiently and until then enjoy this video.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time"

Not much else to say other than that it is the best series that I have ever read.  It is so well developed: the protagonists, the antagonists, the "are we good or are we bad" crowd,  the side characters, the side antagonists, the Game of Houses or in the "Old Tongue", Daes Dae'Mar  (think game of thrones except instead of one nation playing at the title of King or Queen it's the story of several nations playing the game in their respective nations and that's only a side plot), the overall narrative, many side narratives all leading to the "Final Battle".

The overall story centers around the three "main" characters Rand, Matrim, and Perrin.  They all come from the same area, mostly forgotten by the world even by their own nation, called the Two Rivers.  Their lives are turned upside down when an Aes Sedai and her Warder come and scoop them up along with Egwene and Nynaeve to save or destroy the world.  The Dark One is close to breaking out of his prison and she believes that these three boys are at the center of everything.  Along the way we develop several tiers of main and side protagonists and antagonists.   Everyone follows their own path and we are left guessing how it all ends because nothing is certain : not the future, the present, not even the past is set in stone.  All is erasable and all is uncertain.  The world itself is falling apart at the seams, literally.   The Dark One's taint touches all.

It is a 14 book epic that will have you laughing, tearing up, screaming in rage, or even fighting back political debate with the book in your hands.  Robert Jordan spent the 80's developing the world,  language, story, history, characters, and nation alliances and rivalries.  He spent the next two decades writing it down in the novels for all to read.  He unfortunately passed away before the series was finished, but he spent his last few months on earth lying in his deathbed with a tape recorder dictating how the story was going to end and how to use his notes to put it in one last 3000+ page novel.  His widow hired Brandon Sanderson to undertake this enormous task, which he executed wonderfully.  The publisher refused to publish it all in one giant book so instead broke it up into 3 slightly less giant books.

From beginning to end this series keeps you guessing and anxious.   It is never certain if good will triumph.  I have to stop here or I will end up giving it all away.  But the philosophy, religion, theology,  politics, and political systems of this book was borrowed from the real world's religions, philosophy,  etc. with a few tweaks from Robert Jordan to make them fit in a fantasy world of his creating.  So, don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to debate with the series on some points,  because he borrows from a lot of sources, even some that contradict.

Look it up.  Check it out.  Read it. And wait impatiently for a broadcasting company to pick it up for a TV series.   The biggest problem is that the series is so large that the budget would make the budget for Game of Thrones look like the Blair Witch Project.  Here's the link to get you started if you would dare to start this project:

Book 1: "The Eye of the World" by Robert Jordan, published by Tor.

There is a prequel to the series.  It was supposed to be a trilogy,  but was never finished due to his untimely death.  One book was published that I have yet to read titled "New Spring".

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why God? Why Jesus?

So, the questions raised in the title kind of says it all.  Why believe in God? Why choose Christ?  I believe to some extent the real question on the mind of people is why choose to impose the restrictions God has (seemingly, we will discuss this more later in another post) arbitrarily dictated upon my life?

This is a question I have wrestled with for most of my life. It always invariably led me to ask: what can God do for me? For the longest time I fought with God.  I was angry, bitter and resentful.   I was the center of all things.  I was the betrayed, heartbroken, persecuted heir apparent to a throne that was never mine.  So, I was disgusted God, Jesus, didn't see my pain and grant me the power to make it right.

So, I continued to suffer. Not sure if I even believed in God.  I knew the Bible and it's teaching and scoffed.  Jesus promises poverty, lonelines, persecution, and self sacrifice going unrewarded and what will seem to be unappreciated in the here and now.   His one comfort was that we would have indescribable eternal joy in the next immortal life.

I wondered what good was that to me now?  Why should I suffer now for some mysterious reward that wasn't me centered?

Looking at the world now I see the chaos and the hopelessness. The confusion and contradictions based on a philosophy of self.  Even when people are doing good for others or trying to lift people up it is all centered on self.  I give to charity and accept the adoration while accusing others of greeed.  I work to empower the minorities or non-Christian groups by preaching to them hatred and the theology of "what can you do for me?". We have unleashed a poison unto the world and see it, but insist that the cure is just more poison.  In a twisted way it is a cure.  The poison in our system now is only making us sick and if we take more it will kill us, therefore we are cured of the illness infecting our culture, thoughts, deeds, and beliefs.  This poison has a name.  This poison is pride.  The original sin. It is also sin in general.  And as the Bible warns: the wages of sin is death.  The world spirals downward increasing its descent and the blind, those who live in the darkness, deny what they see (spiritual blindness people).  Goodness still exists in the world and that is true, but it is being increasingly strangled by the evil and unrest in the world.  A spirit of restlessness has invaded the world.

So, what does the questions raised previously about God and Jesus have anything to do with our world falling apart at its seams?  Another sign of the times I suppose.  In recent history the answer to the question would be apparent.  I, like so many others today, was consumed with the faith in self.  Our world is empty.  We are empty.  We are the creatures obsessed with the created.  An empty glass doesn't fill itself.  I realized that God promises so much more than just pain, suffering, and an obscure promise of eternal life and joy.   Following His commandments requires the sacrifice of our will and want for ourselves.  It will cause pain, yes, at first and be a struggle at times.  It's not easy having God's Light shine in your life revealing to you the evil and emptiness in your heart.  The good news is that when you get that Light shined in your life you know God has taken it upon His shoulders and erased it and replaces it with Himself. (When I speak of emptiness I am speaking of no true substance or answer to the problem at hand)

Still, the question remains how is it related to the world.  The world can be described as a system.  A system is what?  Essentially it is the sum total of its parts. It could also be described as a machine used to produced goods.  The system of parts working with each other (notice not for self) produce the goods the creator of that machine intended.  Right now our machine is broke.  The parts are working for themselves and not producing anything close to what its Creator intended.  The Creator has shown the way to be fixed and it's just putting aside our own will and accepting His Will.  He has the plans and the blueprints.  He is the Cure we all ache for, but we just can't see the forest for the trees.  We long to see and be out of the darkness and yet we shield our eyes from the Light.

Putting the tried and failed self will aside and accepting God's Will is the only way.  Why God, why Jesus?  Because there is no other way.  God promises a lot of strife and an unseen afterlife, but He offers so much more. He wills that we put away ourselves and love Him with our entire being.  That we love eachother. That we follow Him and care for the unfortunate, sick and lost.  That we love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us.  It is family, friends, community.  We forgive those who have sinned against us.  We work together with the blessings of God to shine His Light wherever we go.  Do this and be amazed at what He can do.

I see how small and petty I was.  So pathetic and obsessed with self. It was only when I realized how vacuous  and how void I was of answers.  The same void is rampant throughout the world.  The hatred, offense, bitterness, and resentfulness.  People who can't put away themselves and put God and others in the center.  Until we can learn to do so we will remain broken, poisoned, and blind.  God promises one more thing.  One day He is returning to fix it all.  He came once to show us the way.  So that we have a chance to follow His Will in the world to make the world a better place.  The second time he comes is to judge. The mockers and scoffers.  The self absorbed and persecutors will be made to answer for not following His Will.  For being part of the reason why the world suffers.  And what excuse will they offer when Christ illuminated the way.  So, the choice is left up to us.  We can either kneel and rejoice in the beauty, genius,  perfect wisdom and love of our All Powerful Trinity or be knelt in absolute horror and disgust with our self.  So, taken as a whole lies the answer to the question of why God and why Jesus.