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.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Opus 2022-029: Class Warfare: Turning Back the Clock

The Proregressives* want to Europeanize us.  As is typical for the extreme left in politics they want to turn the clock back to an age where special elites had comfort and power and everyone else lived from day to day.  That was the history of mankind.  Until the Founding Fathers came up with a better idea.  They rejected the model of Europe and came up with something new.  It worked well for 200 years but now is being destroyed.

Europe is made up of distinct countries.  In those countries you have different languages, cultures, ethnic groups.  Those are not the things the Founding Fathers wanted to purge from this new country.  What they wanted to do away with was the hatred, arrogance, warfare and class snobbery of Europe.  They wanted a political and economic system that would allow anyone who was willing to work hard a chance at a piece of the pie.  Gradually the Europeanizers have been whittling away at the structure.  We are now on the verge of a socialist police state.

In these ways Europe was just like the rest of the world.  The racial hate mongers of today want to take anything they can emtionalize and say it is a case of white privilege.  These qualities are not a white man thing, they are a human nature thing.  America was created to stand above this.  The way the elites have attacked it is to pick something you are getting without earning, such as you EBT card, and say that demanding hard work is a white hangup.  The Proregressives* will not be happy until the melting pot becomes the blast furnace.

We need to resist this as individuals.  We need to develop eyes that look at people as individuals and treat them in the way they deserve to be treated.  Martin Luther King, Jr. summarized the America all of us want with his comments about the content of our character, not the color of our skin.  We may not be able to take over the BLM and Antifa but we can continue to be Americans by treating our fellow citizens with dignity.  Included in that is the expectation that they deserve it.

Fight back, one conversation at a time.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, BLM, MSM, Deep State, etc.  Synonym for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Opus 2022-028: Job Report

What is the message of Job?  It is referred to a lot when people wax philosophical and discuss the problem of evil.  You have probably done so even if you were not aware of it.  “Why me?” is the beginning of the conversation.  

As I read the dialogue between Job and his friends I see a group of statements that are echoled not only all through Job but the rest of the Bible:

    God blesses
    God allows suffering
    God gives us an inner assurance
    God enables us to live righteously

The book of Job is a teaching tool but is the story history or parable?  Today I am leaning toward parable but then I think that is where I was last time I raised the question.  Like many parables it is probably based on a historic event, maybe in the life of the author.  It is possible a compilation of many struggles that were observed.  The focus was teaching about Providence, trust, righteousness and obedience.

Ultimately I think that there have been millions of Jobs.  I would guess that the reason the book resonates with so many is because we have all asked the same questions.  One of the elements of the Bible that I think verifies it as the work of God is that it does not dodge the big questions or ignore hard issues.

Put on your thinking cap, pull up a chair and let your philosophy gene out of its box.

homo unius libri

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Opus 2022-027: Firsts: Child Labor

I was babysitting while the parents of my grandchildren went out to dinner.  In a period of lax supervision my granddaughter shredded some streamers and the floor was getting a bit cluttered.  I got out a broom and dustpan and began cleaning up the mess.  My granddaughter wanted to help.

I said to myself, “Why not?”  I realized it would take much longer but it was a chance to teach her a valuable skill.  It was quite a game.  We swept, searched and swept some more.  It is amazing all the places little pieces of glitter can hide.  

Next time you are bored I suggest you find a three year old and try to clean house.  Try to look like you are having fun.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Opus 2022-026: 46 and Counting

I have been married 46 years.  I remember the wedding ceremony that established a covenant before God and man.  It declared that we would remain faithful “until death do us part.”  Not the nonsense they spout in the soaps of “as long as we both shall love.”  It is a covenant.  It is for life.

My wife comes from a long line of divorces.  In her background divorce is a common thing.  I don’t know how many times when we were going through a rocky time I had to remind her that “divorce is not an option.”  She has even quoted me to me on that a few times.  Through the grace of God and an understanding of covenant we have made it this far.

On to 47.

God hates divorce.

(Mal 2:16 NAS77) "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."
The only exception given to this condemnation is in the case of adultery.  That is because the covenant has been broken.

My thinking started with the question about breaking the marriage covenant.  I cannot, or is it just will not?  Does it make any difference?  This led me to think about the character of God and the covenants He has established with Israel and modern believers. The Bible uses the picture of marriage to represent the covenant between God and His church.  This is described in Ephesians 5.  Believers as a group are referred to as the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:6-9).   

Many Christians believe that once you are saved then there is nothing that can get God to break the covenant He establishes with them.  They like to use parts of Romans 8 to back up this thinking.
(Rom 8:35 KJV)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
That is a strong statement, but there is more.
(Rom 8:38 KJV)  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Very impressive and to be honest these verses give me a sense of security.  I don’t see them as secure as the Calvinists.

The verses don’t say anything about you changing your mind.  They don’t mention apostasy or backsliding.  They are understood to put God in a box and I don’t think God likes to be in a box.

God will not break His covenant.  The question is will He allow us to break it.  How do you tell the difference between “will not” and “can not”?  I again refer to marriage.  Just because I will not reject the covenant does not mean that my wife cannot.  It is a two way agreement.  Am I still married if she files for divorce and it is granted by a judge?

We are part of a living covenant.  It is not based on a dead promise of the past but on a living commitment of today.  I rejoice that I serve a living God who walks the daily covenant with me.  That is the kind of eternal security I can live, and die with.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Opus 2022-025: Firsts: A Cultural Experience

On a recent trip from Virginia to Texas we spent the night in Cottondale, just east of Tuscaloosa.  We were tired of eating out so we looked for a grocery store in the area.  Since we had never been to a Winn-Dixie, that was our choice for shopping.  When we got out of the car my daughter told her children they were in for a “cultural experience.”  

The store was nothing to be ashamed of.  It was clean and well organized.  There were more gaps on the shelf that I was used to in Virginia or Texas but as is usually the case you could get the type of food you wanted but maybe not the brand.  The thing that mystified us was the total lack of saltines of any description.  They had all the cracker variations except saltines.  We figured is was because of the hate crime of calling white southerners “crackers”.  Maybe it was because the aisle was blocked with people telling cracker jokes.

Then my daughter got in line behind a welfare queen who was having some kind of problem with her free lunch.

It was an interesting experience.  Far better than California but still not Texas

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-024: Headlines: Covid Tennis Balls

I am no longer a sports fan.  I found that as I played less I watched less.  I have never been one to follow professional tennis but I keep seeing the click bait about Novak Djokovic being denied a visa to Australia.  He appears to be a super star in tennis.  He has won the Australian Open nine times.  In my book that is a long time to be at the top of any sport.  The Daily Wire had an article about the shenanigans going on down under.  He was given a visa.  It was cancelled.  He got a judge to reinstate it.  The elected officials overruled the judge.

The article I read was objective and well balanced.  Let me throw in a bit of yellow journalism.  I am wondering if the reason he is being kept out of Australia is because he might win the tournament again and someone, somewhere has a reason for that not happening.  Perhaps it is to keep him from beating an Australian favorite.  Perhaps there is a player from another country who is having officials bribed to exclude him so they can win.  Perhaps some new “science” has emerged that actually shows the China Virus is deadly.  Perhaps unicorns really fart rainbows.  I digress.

I don’t know the answer.  Two things I do know.  Things are never what they seem and most conspiracy theories are a lot of hot air based on a grain of truth.

homo unius libri

Monday, January 10, 2022

Opus 2022-023: Monday Pulpit: 100% Natural

The pastor was dealing with the end of the book of James.  He read from a translation that was very close to mine, which says,

(Jas 5:17 NAS77) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
He pointed out that we have the same nature as Elijah.  I was good with that.  It is what the Bible says, but then he began interpreting that to us.  He said that we are all sinners like Elijah.  Then he went on with the standard Calvinist approach about how we are all sinners and need continual forgiveness for our continual sin.

Excuse me.  I may commit sin but I am not a sinner.  I have been saved by grace, redeemed by the blood and filled with the Spirit.  The Biblical term for me, and I hope you, is “saint”.  We are holy ones.  The church, eklessia, is the called out ones.  Don’t put me in the same category as the generic pagan.  That says that redemption didn’t make any difference in me.

But the Bible says I have the same nature as Elijah.  That is the human nature.  It means that we are fallible.  It means that before Jesus touched us we were in the bonds of our original sin.  At the same time it means we are created in His image.  It is what Solomon was referring to,   

(Pro 22:2 KJV)  The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
I did a few word searches and could not find the name Elisha in the same verse as “sinner” or any variation of the word I could think of.  Let’s try not to force the Bible into our personal interpretation or system of theology.

homo unius libri