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, May 29, 2017

Opus 2017-162: Why Remember

As I was thinking about Memorial Day I asked myself, “Why is it important to remember those who have died to protect our freedom?”  My roving mind dredged up a phrase that I recognized from the Gettysburg Address.  Let me offer it up as a worthy way to focus on this day.

                           Lincoln's Address at Gettysburg

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.  We are met on a great battle field of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The phrase that came to mind?  “..that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain...”  When we don’t take seriously the battle we are still in, we surrender the victories and make the deaths of millions in vain.


homo unius libri

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Opus 2017-161: Woe Is Me

I was thinking about how many blessings I have.  It was a good process but as I thought it occurred to me that it has not been as smooth a sail as my current thinking makes it.  I am not sure what spurred the tangent.  Maybe the problems that I saw others experiencing came to mind.  Maybe I thought of some complaints I had heard.  Some people seem to have more than their share of pot holes.

It occurred to me that I have my own struggles I could share. 

Some people feel they were held down by childhood poverty.  I could tell you stories of meals centered around bread and gravy.  How about the Christmas that my brother and I got one toy to share?  Remember patches on the knees of your pants before they were a fashion statement?

Things did not get better overnight.  I once worked a minimum wage job with no health insurance and needed a doctor.  How about being a month behind in my rent with nothing but a can of soup on the shelf and no job?  Then there was the homeless period with a pregnant wife and ten dollars in my pocket. 

Children always raise the bar.  The hospital wanted $500 before they would release my wife and child and I had no money.  One of the doctors hounded us on the phone for a long time because we had not paid his bill.  Did I share that at the time of the birth we had no insurance?  Then there was the three year old on a gurney in a small town hospital sunk in a coma and no one knew why.  How about a child with a brain tumor or one who lost the use of her arms.

We could go on about cancers, but why bother.  You get the picture.

We have come through it all feeling very blessed, not put upon. 

Now if I could just find an honest newspaper.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Opus 2017-160: Headlines: Photo Editor Needed

When I checked The Drudge Report to see if the world had ended without anyone telling me I saw a picture of Hillary that gave me a moment of pause.  As I looked at it I thought it would link to the Onion or another site that does political spoofs.  I guess in a way it was because it told me it was the New York Magazine.  Although I might think of them as a low level humor magazine, they take themselves seriously.  So I clicked the link to check it out.

The reason I thought it was a spoof was because Hillary looked goofy in the picture, with apologies to Goofy.  At first glance she looked cross-eyed and spaced out.  I thought it was a Photo-Shop product by a disgruntled Republican.  Not so.  It was the real thing.

What really made it hard to take seriously was the title you clicked which said, “Hillary:  I Beat Bernie and Donald”.  Evidently she doesn’t read the newspapers that wish such delusion was true.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-159: Targets of Terrorism

In the battle against terrorism I often wonder how much the righteous are shielded.  I am a bit concerned with my train of thought here.  It doesn’t feel right but it keeps popping up.

I was reflecting on the young people, some call them children, who were massacred in Manchester, England recently.  I used a headline reflecting on the type of music when I wrote about it before.  I don’t have any real knowledge about the style or volume but I would be willing to bet that it was not Beethoven, Bach, Mozart or even Barry Manilow.  I am willing to assume that I would have not recognized it as “music” or been able to understand the words.  I am also willing to assume that it would not have been my children who died there.  I would assume it is not the children of any of my good friends who died there.

Here is where the value judgement comes in.  The music would have fit into the broad category I call trash.  The kind of people who would pay big money to hear it are not the kind of people I would trust to babysit my children.  The young people who attended have parents who don’t seem to care what their children do.  I am sure that there are exceptions.  There always are, but the generalization still holds true.

This does not make the murder any less evil.  It does not suggest a need to censor the kind of music people listen to.  It is not an attempt to send everyone to hell that disagrees with me.

It is a simple observation.  I think it is consistent with many of the terrorist attacks.  Not all by any means.  The killers have slain Copts in church.  They have targeted Christians.  If you believe in freedom and are not in their narrow world of non-infidels, you are a target.  But so far in the West the people dying are the ones who would have been at protests to “Islamophobia” and travel bans.

They will come for me and mine eventually if we don’t stop them, but it is comforting to know that living a quiet and respectful life, not to mention upright and righteous, may be one of the best protections you can find.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 26, 2017

Opus 2017-158: Digging into Deuteronomy: Immigrants

(Deuteronomy 1:16 NAS77)  "Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, 'Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him.

Immigration is a big issue today in the United States.  It has been an issue from the beginning of our history.  As should be expected the Bible has something to say about it.  The legal structure of Israel made allowance for dealing with the “alien” (1616).  This is the first reference to non-Jews in Deuteronomy.  There are more.  I have noticed three issues. 

First is the concept of justice even for foreigners.
(Deuteronomy 24:14 NAS77)  "You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.

(Deuteronomy 24:17 NAS77)  "You shall not pervert the justice due an alien or an orphan, nor take a widow's garment in pledge.

(Deuteronomy 27:19 NAS77)  'Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
I remind you that the Biblical idea of justice has nothing to do with the modern mantra involving “social justice”.  That is just a way of pushing a left wing agenda.  Real justice is based on unchanging truth and values.  Real justice does not change based on who is in power.  Write that down and underline it if you need to. 

The Bible says that even the alien is to receive justice.

A second principle for aliens is that they were also expected to celebrate the Sabbath.
(Deuteronomy 5:14 NAS77)  but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
The day of rest was a principle established by God for all of creation.  It did not just apply to an in crowd or ruling party

All of this being said, the third principle is that foreigners are not always held to the same standard of Jews.
(Deuteronomy 14:21 KJV)  Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
God did not expect the non-Jew to follow the same dietary laws as His people.  Food that would be rejected for a Hebrew was okay for a gentile.  This is a focused verse but it shows you the principle.

These are principles that should be taken into consideration as we think about the aliens in our midst.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Opus 2017-157: A Battle Plan for Defeating Terrorism

How do we fight terrorism?  That is an important question for those of us raised in liberty and reading about another cowardly atrocity in England.

Go to a concert.

Go to the mall.

Go to church.

Hang around in the park.

Keep living your life the way you would have lived it, because if you back off and live in fear the terrorists have won.

I am sure that owning guns and knowing how to use them would help.  You might want to reinforce your front door and avoid certain parts of town.  You need to up your awareness level.  But those are things you should be doing anyway, not because of the terrorists.

There are security measures that could be put in place to catch the evil butchers.  The problem is that the cure would be worse than the disease.  It would require actions which would make the Gestapo look like kindergarten crossing guards.  Sure we could lock up the murders but in the process we would also be confining a lot of totally innocent people.  We would lose our freedom of movement and association.  The cost would not be worth the cure.

That is what they want.  They don’t need to kill anyone.  All they need is for us to begin the process of becoming a police state.

Then, they win.

I confess this is easier for me than some.  I am old.  As a believing Christian I am ready to go.  Death has no fear and I have a confidence in God’s ability to guide history.  My children are launched.  I don’t have as much to lose as many of you. 

The principle is still solid.

Resist evil.  Keep living in liberty.  Eventually those willing to die will die.  The problem will solve itself and I will still have freedom of speech, the press, religion, petition, association and self defense.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Opus 2017-156: Connecting the Dots

Two days ago I wrote about the article in the New York Times about the CIA operatives being rolled up by the Chinese government.  Let’s be honest.  What that means is a group of people spying for the United States were caught, interrogated and probably executed.  That is serious business that is a part of the interaction of nations.  I do not fault the Chinese for protecting their interests.  I do fault the Times for their partisan hack reporting. 

I also want to connect some dots for you that I don’t believe the Times will get to.  I could be wrong but I am not going to pay them to find out.  I pointed out that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state while this was happening.  What did not occur to me until this morning that it was also the time when she was compromising the security of the United States by running an illegal server for her internet connections.  I think I have read that the Russians had hacked her.  Based on the timing of these deaths I think we can assume that the Chinese were also not asleep to the opportunity.

Does my timing work?  If it does, I would say it is pretty obvious that these agents of the American government were caught and punished because Hillary broke the law.  To me this is serious stuff, but how did Hillary put it, “What difference does all that make now?”

And they wet their pants because Trump does his job and talks to the Russian ambassador.  These people are insufferable. 

homo unius libri