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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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Opus 2019-092: Donald and David

Sometimes I ask myself how I can approve of Donald Trump.  As a serious Christian I have certain standards that I think people should live up to.  If I look back over his life I cannot ignore the many times he has showed his flawed side.  I think of multiple marriages.  I think of locker room talk and crude statements.  He definitely has a flawed side and I see it.  Yet I still think of him as the man God has for this hour.

How can this be? 

I think of others who are in the same boat.  I could start with Bible characters.  I could look at how Abraham hid behind his wife because he was afraid.  I could look at how Moses tried to weasel out of God’s call.  For the life of me I cannot see why Sampson is lifted up as a judge of Israel. 

Then you have David.  Name a sin or crime he was not guilty of.  In addition to murder and adultery we have the example he set as a lousy father and a spineless parent.  How is it that he is considered a man after God’s own heart.
(Act 13:22 KJV) And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
I could go on.  I could draw examples from modern times.  It won’t clear things up. 

It is not always clear how to judge people.  Maybe that is why we are cautioned about judging.  Yet we must make judgements.  We live in a republic not a monarchy.  I guess we need to go back to David and try to understand why he stands out.  Let me give a verse that points to a solution to the puzzle,
(1Ch 17:2 KJV) Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.
The Bible is not shy about pointing out the many times that David failed as a man and as a servant of God.  The point it makes though is that those failures were points of weakness, not the desire of his heart.  His inner man wanted to please and honor God.  As a flawed human being, he failed often and spectacularly.  I can relate to that in my own life.

Back to President Trump.  I don’t pretend to know how things are between him and God.  I do know that as I look back in his life I see a pattern of loving America and doing countless quiet things to help people, things that the media does not tell us about.  I see a man who has raised children who honor him and are productive achievers.  Even his divorced wife seems to get along with him.  As I look past the failures I see a man who has a heart I can endorse that, if you will excuse the expression, trumps the obvious sins. 

Is he a “man of God”?  It doesn’t matter as much as “Is he a man God is using?”  Keep in mind that God used such figures as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Paul of Tarsus just to name Biblical figures.  He can use Donald Trump.  He can use you.  He can use me.

Good news indeed.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 20, 2019

Opus 2019-091: College Replacement Exams, Part 2 of 2

How can we ever get competent doctors, lawyers, teachers, pastors, engineers, taxi drivers and so on?  History gives us some examples.

We can use the apprenticeship model.  It still works for carpenters and plumbers.  Why could it not work for an engineer.  Young people find someone who is willing to invest in them for the future.  Lawyers used to get their education reading law in a lawyers office.  In the process they probably did some clerking and even swept floors but they learned what they needed to know at the feet of someone they considered qualified.  I could never have been a successful blue collar worker.  My hands don’t work that way, but I did learn some skills simply by being on the job with my dad and older brother.  No one ever sent me to a class on how to change a washer or install a faucet but I have done both.

We can use the medieval model if we are after academic knowledge.  The organization was pretty loose.  Students went to the classes they wanted and listened to the scholars they thought were worth hearing.  Eventually they would be tested on their knowledge.  There was no course of study or minimum requirements.  And in reality if they wanted to go out and start teaching without the test, who was going to stop them?  If they had something to say and people would listen, caveat emptor.  Keep in mind that people considered to be educated and highly qualified make some of the stupidest declarations you could imagine.  Having a degree does not make you worth listening to.

We can use the Abraham Lincoln model.  If my memory is correct Abraham Lincoln spent less than a year total in formal education.  Between what he learned at home and his personal desire to study he became one of the most literate presidents we have ever had.  He would borrow books and devour them.  He took responsibility for his own education.  It seemed to work for him, why not for you.

We can use the Frederick Douglass model.  He taught himself to read in spite of laws against such a thing.  He was a slave.  It was illegal to teach a slave to read.  It tended to make them aware of the outside world and made them very unreconciled to their position.  He would not settle for being someone else’s property.  First, he started to educate himself.  Then he ran for freedom and kept learning.  He should be an inspiration to all those people with degrees in worthless subjects who cannot get a job.

If we don’t do something we will be forced to use the Conan the Barbarian model.  That is the plan in which civilized society falls apart and the spoils go to the one with the biggest muscles, fastest reactions and sharpest sword.  The barbarians did not create, they destroyed while they enjoyed the fruits of other people’s labor.  Sounds like the socialists of today, doesn’t it?

Higher education is not.  It is broken.  We need to fix it or the barbarians with Ph.D.s will destroy us.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-090: College Replacement Exams, Part 1 of 2

Maybe it is time to totally reject the modern idea of a college education and our university system.  Actually there is no “maybe” about it.  The recent addition of an “Adversity Score” to the SAT testing should be the final nail in the coffin of “advanced” education.  Add that to such majors as “Gender Studies”, the classes on diversity training, coed dorms and totally left wing professors and you come up with the question of “Who needs them?”

In the interests of destroying excellence and making America mediocre, the left has pushed the idea that everyone should go to college.  I taught in middle school for almost 30 years and the mantra was that everyone needed and deserved a college education.  It doesn’t really matter that most people are not qualified.  The sad result is that the standards have been reduced so that everyone can feel good about what they are doing.  There was a day when a high school diploma meant something and a college degree was a mark of achievement.  No longer.  Now everyone graduates, thus making the honor meaningless.

So how could we deal with the need for quality doctors, top notch engineers and trained scientists?  We think we need them to have a government endorsed degree or attain a government license.  Not really.  Let the free marketplace take care of the qualifications.  Remember the mark on appliances, UL approved?  Remember the Good Housekeeping seal of approval?  Remember that the AAA sign on a motel used to mean something?  We need to expect people to be responsible for their own choices and the results.  Caveat emptor. 

I don’t need the government to tell me a barber is licensed.  If he gives me a bad haircut, I won’t go back.  I don’t need the city to tell me if a restaurant has a clean kitchen.  I don’t need the government requiring me to wear a seat belt.  I am a big boy.

So how do we get the qualified people we need.

To be continued....

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Opus 2019-089: Election 2020: Hugs

I am not a hugger.  I guess I was.  My mother used to say I was quite the hugger until I was around ten years old.  I don’t remember that but I will take her word for it. 

In spite of not being a hugger, I know how to hug.  I have no problem with hugging family and I have learned that some close friends are huggers.  I deal with it.  When I get introduced to some people and they get that look in their eye, I will ask them, “Are you a hugger?”  If they are I go ahead and join in the ritual, but I avoid it if I can.  Germs, you know.

So when Joe Biden says he came from an affectionate family, I can accept that.  You have seen them.  If it moves they hug it, unless it moves fast enough.  If it doesn’t move, they hug it anyway.  That may be how tree huggers got started.  He could be simply a hugger but he is also a fool.  Many people do not want to be hugged.  Many children do not feel comfortable with strangers touching them.  Many adults don’t want strange men touching their little girls.  If he would simply accept that and modify his behavior I could deal with it. 

His ideas and foot in the mouth scorched earth comments are another issue.  That is a serious defect that disqualifies him from the presidency in my opinion.  I think we should focus on his left wing ideology rather than his huginess.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-088: Headlines: Congressional Investigations

Why is congress investigating Donald Trump Jr. and not Hunter Biden?

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Opus 2019-087: Term Limits

One of the complaints we have about our political leaders is that they become career politicians and have not sense of who we are as a people.  They live in their beltway bubble and only come out to campaign.  Look at people like Joe Biden who has been in political offices for 50 years.  That doesn’t leave a lot of time to have worked a real job.  One of the reasons people in power don’t like Donald Trump is that he has been forced to meet a payroll and produce results.  He does not have the mindset of career politicians.  He does not fit in.

One of the solutions to this is term limits.  Term limits is legislation that limits the number of times a person can be elected to an office.  The only such limit in the Constitution has to do with president and that was not in the original document.  It was added in the 22nd Amendment as a response to the four terms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  His long run put people in fear of a popular president setting himself up for life as has happened so often in the world.  America has not wanted a king, at least in the past.

The Founding Fathers were not big fans of term limits.  If they had been then we would see it in the Constitution.  They seemed to feel that the arbitrators of length of service should be the voters.  They deliberately made it easy to vote out members of the House of Representative by having them all run for reelection every two years.  Since they were the authors of spending bills this made it easy for people to get rid of them and find a replacement.  The Senate, on the other hand, served for six years.  It was supposed to give them time to deliberate and not be so sensitive to the emotions of the people.  The Senate was originally elected by the state legislators which further isolated them from the fickle nature of the masses.  But there were no term limits.

Keep in mind that term limits work both ways.  It gets rid of dead weight but also dumps people who are doing a good job and have the experience to get things done.  Usually we have different people we want thrown out, depending on our political party.

At present I am against term limits.  Members of Congress are elected to represent the people they serve.  If the people don’t like them then vote the suckers out.  The fact that most people are not paying attention is no excuse.  As much as I would like to see Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer depart the scene, that is up to the people who elected them, not me or my cronies. 

The answer to the fools in Congress is to have fewer fools in the ballot box.  That means more discussion in the public square by you and me.  That means educating ourselves and plugging along.  That is why Face Book, Twitter and Google are so set on driving conservative voices out of the public conversation.

Keep talking while you have a chance.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 17, 2019

Opus 2019-086: Baby Talk: Skill Sets

I am developing my one hand skills.  It only requires one arm to hold a baby, but surely there is something you can do with the other.

Have you ever tried to blow your nose with one hand?  For that matter have you ever had trouble getting a tissue out of a resistant box with only one hand?  This is something that we don’t think about a lot.  Try to use a can opener with one hand.  How about tying your shoes?  The list goes on and holding a baby forces you to grow.

Of course some of us have trouble doing some of these things with two hands. 

homo unius libri