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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, April 15, 2019

Opus 2019-066: Baby Talk: Millennial Minefield

We had the pleasure of a month long visit by my daughter and granddaughter.  Since they left we get on Skype and Facetime and watch as the child continues to develop.  Babies take time and effort if you want them to turn out as they should.

This experience has made it clear why millennials are avoiding having children.  Although there are many exceptions, most millennials tend to be obsessed with the world serving them.  They want the good life and they want it now.  Where previous generations drove old cars and bought small fixer-upers for their first home, these young people want sporty wheels and luxury homes with amenities that used to be only in exclusive spas.  If they can’t have that then it is Uber and security apartments, or living at home with mommy.

You can’t do that and do a good job raising children.  This is not just the current crop in their productive years.  It is not a millennial problem but a problem of human nature.  There is a reason historically why the birth rate drops as people become more wealthy.  It is part of the cycle that causes cultures to become lazy and decadent.  Then the barbarians come in and take it all away from them.

The thoughts that babies generate wander all over the place.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Opus 2019-065: Why Are People Smiling?

It is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.  Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do we have spring break in schools?”  It isn’t because the kids need a break.  It was because they needed to be involved in the events leading up to Easter.

For the general pagan population Easter is about bunny rabbits, chicks and all things chocolate.  It is about new clothes and Easter egg hunts.  It is about being out of school.  For the general population that considers themselves Christian is means all of that but also one of the two Sundays of the year that everyone goes to church.  The other is Christmas Sunday.  It might also mean you are familiar with the term “Good Friday”.

Historically Holy Week actually starts on Wednesday with something called Tenebrae.  This isn’t celebrated much any more.  Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper.  Good Friday remembers the day Jesus was crucified and of course Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection.  This is from the Western Church’s perspective. 

Although Christmas has caught the imagination of the world, Easter is at the heart of Christianity.  Some don’t like the term “Easter”.  They claim is has pagan roots.  Okay.  Call it Resurrection Sunday.  It is the most important belief that Christians have.  As the Bible summaries,
(1Co 15:14 KJV) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
So if you are a believer, Happy Holy week.  Rejoice.  If you are not a believer then you know why I am smiling.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-064: Big Words

When I visit a church I look at a number of things to get a feel for who they are.  One item I check out is the translation of the pew Bibles and the translation the pastor uses.  If they use one of the admitted paraphrases such as the New Living Translation or one that pretends to not be a paraphrase when it is, like the New International Version, I know that there is a serious problem with serious thought.

The same problem shows up in education and in what parents expect from their children.  If you are in a home and find “edited” versions of classics like Treasure Island, or even worse, “graphic novels”, you know you have a problem.  If they watch the cartoon version of the book you know it is all over.  That is the direction that schools have gone.

People justify new translations of the Bible and dumbed down text books by claiming some of the words are just too hard to understand.  This is a bogus smoke screen.  I don’t know if you have ever tried to listen to the jargon that is used by these same children.  You might wonder what language they are speaking.  The kids make up words and misuse words.  It works for them because they want to be cool and fit in.  They make the effort to learn.  If people would spend as much time trying to understand the big words in the Bible as they do figuring out the latest slang on their current You Tube videos they would have no trouble.

This is new age philosophy at work.  It actually has a title, “Deconstruction”.  It has been around longer than I have and I am getting old.  It has a lot of fancy explanations but for the average person it means that there is no meaning.  Words don’t mean what they are defined to mean.  They don’t mean what everyone accepts them to mean.  They mean what the speaker wants them to mean.  Thus there is no objective truth.  It is no coincidence that our schools are turning out snowflakes that are triggered by every challenge.

There is right and wrong.  There is good and evil.  There are acceptable standards.  For instance the issue of fidelity in marriage.  Every culture has a concept of being faithful in marriage.  It may vary in how it is applied.  Some cultures have multiple spouses.  Some cultures have a place for concubines.  They all have a line you are not allowed to cross.

Stand up for objective truth and reject any pastor, politician, teacher or leader that believes that truth is relative.

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Opus 2019-063: Wildflower Watch: Indian Blankets Spread

Yesterday as I was walking I saw the beginning of Indian blanket season. 

The blue bonnets are transforming into something that looks like green bean plants.  In my yard there are a few left but most have gone to seed pods.

The Indian paintbrush are fading.  They are still there but the colors are muted. 

And of course the gazilion types of yellows are everywhere.  I need to spend some time trying to find out the differences.  I have picked up no new names this year and I should do that before the season is over.

Morning walks at this time of year are a real joy and reminder of God’s creativity. 

homo unius libri

Friday, April 12, 2019

Opus 2019-062: New Terms: Ad Hominem

Actually it is not a new term but it seems to be one that conservatives have forgotten about.  We see the left using it all the time against us.  What is funny is that they are quite willing to turn it on their own also.  A good current example is the attempt to knock Joe Biden out of the race for president in 2020.  Instead of talking about his stands on the issues they are trying to destroy him by bringing accusations out of the woodwork about his behavior around women and little girls.  It is nothing new.  It has been obvious for years.  Now suddenly he has a problem.

Ad hominem attacks mean that you attack the person instead of the position he takes.  Such an approach to debate makes it impossible for communication to happen.  It is like parlor magic, based on distraction and slight of hand.  It is impossible to defend against.  If someone calls you a liar then nothing you say matters.  If people start laughing at you they will not listen to what you say.  It works well for the rank and file Democrat voter because they don’t care about facts anyway.

The right uses it too.  Adam Schiff is attacked as “pencil neck” and there is constant emphasis on his drug stupor stare.  We see constant reference to AOC being stupid.  If it were not so common it could be overlooked but we need to take a higher road, or at least both roads at once.

It takes time and demands patience.  Remember what it was like potty training your children.  You must find the key that gets their attention.  I remember when Obama was running for president.  The common statement of students was I would not vote for him because he was black.  I would laugh at them and then start down the list of issues he was wrong on:  Abortion, Second Amendment, homosexual marriage, immigration and anything else I could think of.  The strange thing is that the kids would often agree with me on the issues but still act like brainwashed robots.  That is probably because they were brainwashed robots.

I hope that conservatives can get beyond the insults and on to the issues.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Opus 2019-061: Democracy ≠ Liberty

I keep coming across a statement that goes something like, “Democracy dies in darkness”.  It seems to be the new slogan of the Washington Post.  When you consider how much the Post does to hide the truth you realize it is another case of Newspeak which is famous for its triplet of “War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength”.

That much is obvious to anyone who is awake enough to change the channel.  What is getting irritating is when I see people who identify as conservative parroting the phrase.  I have two issues with this.

First off it is liberty that dies, not democracy.  Democracy does quite well in totalitarian states.  They have elections.  Everyone is encouraged to vote.  In some places you are punished if you don’t vote.  The problem is that you only have one choice.  Our American press core is a great example of that kind of “democracy”.  It is kind of like the old line about the Model A, “You can have any color you want as long as it is black”.  Liberty usually involves a system of open and fair elections but it can also exist in anarchy.  Liberty means I am protected from the whims of a majority that hates me.  Keep in mind that Patrick Henry didn’t say, “Give me democracy, or give me death”.

Second, we are a republic, not a democracy.  We need to keep repeating that until the unwashed masses understand the difference. 

I recommend changing it to liberty.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Opus 2019-060: Even A Broken Romney Is Right Twice a Day

Remember Romney’s 47% and how the press lampooned him for it?  I keep seeing that statistic in the news.  To refresh your memory Mitt Romney said,
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
He was speaking of those who would vote for Barak Obama no matter what.  It was a private meeting and one reason that Romney was probably not a good choice for president was that he thought it was really a private meeting.  The problem was not in the accuracy of his number.  The 47% is real.  As a general rule they vote Democrat.  The problem was that all the people in the 53% who live by their feelings felt like he was being unsensitive.

The number lives on.  When I look at polls about President Trump it seems that the disapproval ratings are often right around 47% if not on target.  The truth is that there is a lump of people who are dependent on the handouts of the progressives and will not do anything to endanger that freebie. 

Are they totally loss to responsible adulthood?  No.  People can change.  People can be educated.  The problem is that the progressives control education, the media and are over represented in government workers.  They pastor most of the churches. 

So where do we start?  Run for school board and don’t sell out if you are elected.  Stop doing anything that puts money into the liberals who control the mass media.  Hold your pastor’s feet to the fire.  Educate your children.  Speak up with the knowledge that for the first hundred times you will be accused of being _____aphobic.  Make sure you speak for the 101th time.

Above all, if you are a person of faith, pray.  I qualify that because the Bible is clear that God isn’t listening to those living in rebellion.  God listened to Abraham when he pleaded for Sodom.  He listened to Moses defending the children of Israel.  John Wesley’s followers kept England from going the way of the French Revolution.  The American Great Awakenings transformed our country. 

And of course, buckle up, hang on, scream if you must but enjoy the ride.

homo unius libri