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Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Opus 2019-104: Headlines: The End Is Over

Another deadline has passed.  Maybe you count “the middle of June” different than I do but it looks to me we are there and so far the economy has not collapsed with a major reset which makes all the $100 bills you have under the mattress worthless.

My wife told me that things were so bad that there was going to be a total redoing of the way our finances are handled.  It think it involved shutting down the Federal Reserve, going to a gold standard and stacking our paper money by the toilet.  I may have missed a few details but it sounded scary.  In preparation I went to Costco and bought a six-pack of canned chicken.  Okay, maybe I would have done that anyway but I am ready for at least six days of suffering.

I have thoughts about how false prophets were to be treated in the Old Testament.
(Jer 14:15 KJV) Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
I thought it was stoning but this works too.

Of course the day is not over yet.  Check with me tomorrow.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Opus 2019-103: Well Done...

At the moment I am into proof texting.  Proof texting is where you take a quote, usually from the Bible, and offer it out of context to give irrefutable proof to back up your position.  One reason to use it is because you have a valid point, know the context supports you and the person you are talking to is too lazy to look it up.  Sadly that is a minuscule portion of the proof texting that goes on.  Most of it is done to deceive while gaining the support of someone much more reliable than you are.

It is the spirit of the second, deceitful style that I offer this.

How are we supposed to eat our meat?  Let me quote Jesus,
(Mat 25:23 KJV) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant;...
Now obviously I am proof texting but my point is still my point.

We are supposed to eat our meat well done, not rare.  There should be no evidence of blood when we cut into the steak.  Not only does the Old Testament tell us not to eat the blood but even in the New Testament, when the question is “What standards should we expect of the Gentiles?” we see the same restriction.
(Act 15:20 KJV) But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
Although they were not talking about the local grill the point here is that blood is not to be a food.

So if you see me sending my steak back don’t sneer at me.  I am just trying to be a righteous diner.

homo unius libri

Friday, June 14, 2019

Opus 2019-102: The Phoenix Needs to Trump Gravity, Part 3 of 3

Some manage to go against the flow.  I think of Ronald Reagan.  I think of Thomas Sowell.  I think of Donald Trump.  How did they end up more conservative as they grew older?  One indicator might be that they were liberals when they were young but smart enough to grow out of it.  You may have heard the saying that if you are under 30 and not a liberal, you have no heart and if you are over 30 and still a liberal, you have no brain. 

I think that it might also be a matter of inner integrity.  Integrity demands that you confront truth and respond to it.  If you are ignorant then that explains some of your confusion but if you keep seeking truth then sooner or later you have to acknowledge if a change must be made.  Integrity also has an element of being your own man (sorry ladies, just a figure of speech).  Real integrity demands the courage to stand with truth instead of going with the flow.  Donald Trump comes to mind.  I only voted for him because he was not Hillary.  I admit it.  I was wrong in my analysis even if I was right in my goals.  He has surprised all of us.  On the integrity issue I think that you need to keep in mind that he has endured a two year witch hunt financed by unlimited resources taken from our tax dollars and they have come up with nothing.  I mean absolutely nothing.  Nothing on him.  Nothing on his children.  This is a man who worked in the building trade in New York.  And they found nothing. 

Are there any organizations that are resisting the rot?  The one that comes to mind is the Salvation Army.  I still feel that they are fulfilling their original calling of taking the Gospel of Jesus to the poor.  I don’t think they have any executives that make seven figure salaries.  They are still on track. 

What about you?  What about me?  Ultimately that is the only point we will have any power to change or monitor.  If enough of us stay on the high road and keep on track them maybe we can pull the culture back.  Each of us has to do our part even if it doesn’t work.  That means a series of daily choices.  It might mean finding a way to pass on any family wealth in a way that does not destroy the next generation.  It definitely means how we treat our neighbors. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Opus 2019-101: The Phoenix Needs to Trump Gravity, Part 2 of 3

People and organizations need a Phoenix Moment.  In mythology the Phoenix was a creature that would be consumed by fire and then be resurrected from the ashes.  This should become a law of nature.  We have many colleges that need to sell all their assets and start over again at the struggle level.  I don’t know what they would do with the assets but they need to go away.  There was a day when today’s major universities were struggling little colleges.  The professors were living hand to mouth.  The students were dressed in hand me downs and were not sure where the next meal would come from.  They accumulated massive endowments, became powerful forces, drifted down hill and moral gravity took its toll.

The same could be said of mega-churches.  This is why I am convinced that church splits are not necessarily a bad thing.  Sure there is a bit of pain and a lot of unchristian behavior but at least one of the parties will see the light and have a Phoenix moment.  Revival will follow.

This is why old political parties need to fade away and be replaced.  The Whigs were once the opposition to the Democrats.  Then came the convention when they refused to take a stand against slavery.  The Republicans were in the wings waiting and they came to life out of the ashes of the Whig party.  It may be time for the Republican party to go the same way.

This is why computers need to be rebooted.  My son tells me that you can leave your computer on too long.  Over time it accumulates so many obstructions to its clean operation that it slows down and starts crashing.  When it gets the wrong virus the only answer is to Phoenix the hard drive and start over.

Many organizations are like a patient who has lost both kidneys.  They need to go on dialysis regularly to clean up their blood.  If they don’t, they die.  It would be better to go Phoenix. 

Maybe we need a law that requires all organizations to liquidate after a certain number of years.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Opus 2019-100: The Phoenix Needs to Trump Gravity, Part 1 of 3

Water runs downhill.  Always.  Why?  Gravity.  There seems to be the same tendency in public life.

We have seen the pattern.  People start middle of the road or lightly to the right of center.  They are put in a position of responsibility.  They begin to drift left and the movement becomes perpetual.  We have seen it with judges and members of congress.  We are now seeing it with Fox News.  The network still has voices of reason and balance, but the rot is setting in and the drift is becoming obvious.

Consider Jessie Jackson.  He was once a man I could support.  He started out really trying to help poor people and lift them up.  Along the way he had to make a decision and he decided to get back on the plantation and accept the largess of the left.  Which came first, the drifting or the selling out?

We see it in laws.  Take the various Civil Rights Acts.  They are passed for the best of reasons.  In the debates and explanations there are certain things such as racial preferences that are labeled as anathema.  Then they introduce Affirmative Action.  I have read even that was supposed to be balanced when it was introduced.  We have a concern for the environment that has morphed to a tyranny of petty, bored bureaucrats who love to throw around their power.  Concern for safety shuts down businesses and keeps innovative ideas from being developed. 

How can you resist the drift?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Opus 2019-099: New Terms: Do a Thomas Jefferson

As I was deep in discussion of the Bible with a friend I found him picking and choosing parts of the Bible to accept and parts to reject.  At least that is what it seemed like to me.  He didn’t see it that way.  I accused him of pulling a Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson did what modern cafeteria Christians are doing but he was a bit more clear in how he did it.  He took a Bible and literally cut out the parts that he did not agree with.  What was left is called the Jefferson Bible.  I think we have a lot of people doing that kind of thing.

A good example might be the mayor whose name we can’t pronounce calling Mike Pence non-Christian.  That is a Thomas Jefferson.  You see, the Bible makes a very clear statement about homosexuality and the mayor was very vocal about his homosexual union.  Mike Pence would say it was wrong because the Bible says so.  The mayor says Pence, and the Bible, are wrong.

We could come up with variations of the expression such as “Doing a Jefferson”, or “Don’t Jeff me”. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Opus 2019-098: Headlines: In the Marrow

I have been on the road for over a week as I begin to write this.  I am visiting with good friends on my final stop, staying at their house and letting them feed me.  One of the focal points of the visit is an ongoing dialogue, i.e. discussion, i.e. argument, about just about anything but focused on certain theological issues.  My friend is a King James Only guy and very serious about it but he still has not cried, “Heretic!”  He may mumble it in his sleep but not when his free will is operating.

On one of our tangents he brought up an article he had come across having to do with paleontology.  It was an interview with a researcher called Marry Schweitzer.  In her research she believes she has come across what appears to be soft tissue in the marrow area of some fossils and she thinks it is something that deserves study.  If that wiggles your antennae then go to the site and read the article. 

That isn’t what I wanted to comment on.

There were a couple of quotes that she offered in passing that I thought we important.  She is offering a theory that is in conflict with the Established Wisdom.  She says that if she is correct then scientists will either need to reevaluate the accepted age of the fossils or the theories about how fossils are formed.  Either one threatens some people and is resisted.

She is good with that.  She says she expects good science to challenge her theory.  She gets a little up tight when they reject her data.  She kind of says, “Bring it on!”  because that is good science.  If you know anything about the genuine scientific theory you will agree with her.  Then she said,
“I learned the role of science is to disprove, not prove.”  (emphasis in original)
When researchers offer an hypothesis they are supposed to set up experiments that will show a true/false answer.  In most cases is it impossible to prove a theory because you might have missed the one thing that would throw it out.  After enough people have failed in trying to debunk it, it is promoted to an established theory which is often accepted as fact.

Something else she said resonated with me because it echoed something I read somewhere else and liked.
“If you step back a little bit and let God be God I don’t think there’s any contradiction at all between the Bible and what we see in nature. He is under no obligation to meet our expectations. He is bigger than that.”
My basic belief when it comes to where life came from is found in Genesis 1:1.
(Gen 1:1 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The how and when I am willing to debate and listen to good science as they try to figure it out.  The why is where I run into problems.  I have no fear of good honest science.  The problem we run into is that much of the science that is being made popular is not good science.  It is based on models that were set up to show the desired results or it is edited to cut out anything that goes against the accepted truth.

An interesting article worth reading.


homo unius libri