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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.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Opus 2018-230: Good Faith, Bad Faith

One of the major differences between today’s Democrats and Republicans is that the Republicans still have a residue of respect for truth and belief that the end does not justify the means.  I say “residue” because it does not apply to all Republicans and the quantity of integrity varies with the individual.  The current character assassination of Bret Kavanaugh is just one example that stretches back for years.

The difference goes down to a basic philosophy of life.  I often add to the title of Democrat a list of other titles that apply (Liberal, Communist, Socialist, elites, leftist, progressives, RINO).  They all base their values and priorities on a rejection of basic Judeo-Christian ideas about morality and truth.  This came to mind when I was looking over some notes on a book.  The author references Ronald Reagan.
“Communists according to Reagan ‘...had a philosophical stance that expressly made it impossible to assume their good faith.’” p. 22
Believing Jews and real Christians base their behavior and choices on an awareness that there is a thing called truth and it does not change because you want it to.  Modern New Agers, like so many of their predecessors, believe that the truth is whatever advances your cause and it can change in a heartbeat.  We see this dichotomy in the #Metoo movement that ignores accusations against Keith Ellison and jumps on every rumor about Brett Kavanaugh.  We see it in believing stories 35 years old by a Trump hater but rejecting any accusations against Bill Clinton.  They have a double standard that cannot be trusted.

We need to assume that no Democrat (Liberal, Communist, Socialist, elites, leftist, progressives, RINO) is speaking in good faith.  I am willing, intellectually, to admit there might be exceptions but I am still waiting to be surprised.

Remember, they lie.  It is their nature.

Mead, Walter Russell.  God and Gold.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-231: The Most Important Election

I have been hearing a lot about how this election is the most important in our lifetime.  I have heard it on the radio, read it on the internet and was reminded again today.  This sounds serious.  This is true.

It is always true.

It doesn’t take long to give up the liberty that we have grown so complacent about.  Think about elections.  Where would we be if the polls had been right about Ronald Reagan being elected?  Where would we be if Jimmy “malaise” Carter had been reelected?  How much worse would things be if Kerry or Gore had prevailed?  Can you picture the Supreme Court today if Hillary had won?

Ronald Reagan took a bit longer view but the sentiment was the same.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Is this election vital?  Yes, just like the last one and the next one.  If getting excited by quotes like this gets you out to vote if it is a rainy day, well and good.  Remember the issues.  Think about what is at stake.

homo unius libri

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Opus 2018-229: Latest Conspiracy Theories

My wife keeps me posted on the latest hot news.  Let me share the last two submissions.

Obama was raised by the CIA in a Deep State plot to overthrow the United States.  While I would admit that his actions would fit such a scenario I don’t think we need to go that far.

Obama issued secret pardons to all of the people that are trying to bring down President Trump.  They already have them in their pockets so they have nothing to fear.

I will let you decide if this will change the flavor of ice cream you buy today.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-228: Digging into Deuteronomy: Idle Worship and Idol Worship

(Deuteronomy 4:23 KJV)  Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.

Most people have heard of the Ten Commandments.  I doubt if there are many who could list all ten.  If you are curious you can find them at Exodus 20:3-17.  I don’t know if the last six are listed by priorities but it is clear that the first are most important.  Actually they are a package deal and in spite of what you have heard, they can be obeyed.  The problem is no one wants to obey.  If we look at modern entertainment we find that most of them are violated on a regular basis.

The second commandment is being referred to here.
(Exodus 20:4-6 KJV)  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Most of us today would not think of actually building an idol and putting it in a special room to worship.  We are to modern for such foolishness.  Who wants a golden calf or a statue of pan in their living room?  This points out that idolatry can take many forms.  An idol is anything that we give a place to in our lives that represents anything that God has commanded us to avoid. 

For example take the commandment that says,
(Exodus 20:8 KJV)  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
How many regular habits do we have that occupy our day of rest?  You might have a garage full of lawn equipment and feel that Sunday is the only day you have to mow the yard.  You may feel like you have a need for a game of golf or other sport activity.  Maybe you honor the sabbath by eating out and making others do the work you are avoiding.  Those appropriate activities become idols because they get in the way of putting God first.

I think the point of violation will be different for each of us.  It may be subtle.  It will have eternal results.  Keep in mind that God will not be mocked.

homo unius libri

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Opus 2018-227: The Art of Life

As I was perusing the notes I had taken while reading Marcus Aurelius, I came across this line,
“The art of life is more like the wrestler’s than the dancer’s...” page 251
I find I can identify with that.  Wrestlers and dancers both use a lot of energy but have totally different experiences.  A wrestler gets down and dirty.  A wrestler always is involved with someone else and responds to what they do.  A wrestler is defeated by someone else.  I tried wrestling once in college and one day put me in bed for two.

A dancer can be a loner and doing their own thing.  If they have a partner they are working together.  Ultimately they are really competing against themselves.  A dancer is involved in an work of art.  In addition to the strength and endurance of a wrestler they also have elements of interpretation and creativity. 

Few of us has the gifts to produce a great work of art.  We can celebrate those who do.  The rest of us should be able to take some satisfaction in putting a half Nelson, whatever that is, on the next crisis that dares to look us in the eye.  A perfect cup of coffee is a rare treat to be savored but on a day-to-day basis most of us will have to be content with a cup of everyday Joe.

Aurelius, Marcus.  The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, from the Harvard
   Classics, Vol 2.  New York:  P.F. Collier & Son Corporation, 1937.

homo unius libri

Friday, September 21, 2018

Opus 2018-226: The Crime of Loophole

We have a genre of laws which add extra penalties for killing a police officer.  We seem to feel that labeling something a “hate crime” adds to the seriousness.  I think it may be time to do the same thing for politicians.  We could call them Loophole Crimes.

We need a law adding special penalties to people in positions of power who manipulate the political process.  This would need to isolate elected officials as well as appointed positions.  Thus it could even be applied to judges who ignore the law in order to advance their personal agendas.

This should apply even if specific laws were danced around.  We know that loopholes are bigger in the laws effecting the rich and powerful than they are in purchasing firearms.  At the present time congress seems to exempt themselves from the laws they lay on the rest of us.  Since cop killers seem to get special treatment maybe Constitution killers deserve the same fate.  We also should follow the money and confiscate all of the wealth that they and their families have gathered as they were lined up at the public pork trough. 

Since this would need to be written and passed by politicians I won’t be holding my breath.

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Opus 2018-225: Election 2018: Consider the Source

I have no intention to have anything to do with the current product of the porn star who has been trying to make money off Donald Trump for months now.  It is impossible to avoid other people’s fascination with what she has to say.

But I notice a parallel.

She is trashing the president on one level while Hillary is out on the game shows trying for the prize by trashing him on another level.  Did I say, “game shows”?  I meant news programs.  Actually, no I didn’t.  Her motivation is the same as the porn star and I would imagine her credibility is even worse.

What does it say that a former president is also out trying to trash the president?

November is coming.  Make your opinion of all this be felt.  Are you going to take the offerings of three over the hill losers or are you going to look at the economy, judges nominated, international progress, etc.  I know how that Democrat next door will vote.  The question is how will all of you that know the difference between to, too and two.

homo unius libri