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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Opus 2012-250, On the Street: Unemployment Observations

I have been noticing a difference from when I was young.  As a young man I was desperate to get my driver’s license.  I obtained my learner’s permit when I was 15 ½ and took my driving test on my 16th birthday.  I was a driver.  It was part of being a man.  Not so any more.  As I sat watching cars turn in front of me the other day I noticed that most young drivers were women and the men were riding shotgun.  I have seen this in parking lots as a couple would walk toward the car and the girl would get behind the wheel.  I don’t think this is just equality being practiced, I think we are seeing another result of the castration of males in our society.  It seems to be a castration that these boys are embracing willingly. 

Being a man no longer seems to mean being a provider and protector.  Now it seems to mean finding a woman who will keep you.  We used to call them gigolos.  Now they are players.  Obviously you cannot apply this in every case but I am listening to the boys talk in my classes at school.  They have no plans to get jobs.  They expect their parents to care for them as long as they want to sleep in.  It is okay for girls to be good students but not real men.  I understand that the enrollment in college is also showing a majority of women now.  There is a growing lack of initiative and independence in our culture and the charge is being led by the “men.”

The younger generation don’t have jobs and are not anxious to get out to work.  I notice the difference in two young men in our church.  One can’t find work.  He has never held a regular job.  He has graduated from college with a degree in a fun topic and had his hand out the entire time, literally.  The other is just entering college and had a job within a few weeks.  He refused some financial help offered until he had earned it

The current generation complains there are no jobs.  I understand that the economy is in the tank.  I don’t know what I would do if I were laid off.  I see plenty of jobs, that isn’t the problem.   The problem is they are low level, low pay.  For older men with problems this is a real hurdle.  But what about the younger men and women?  Why is minimum wage a problem for a big child living at home?  The stumbling block for today’s youth is that they are expecting to start at the top.  They see how there parents live after a life time of work and think that is the place to start.

We need to remember how Andrew Carnegie started.  He was a part of the child labor problem before he got his first messenger job and began to work his way to success.  He started at the bottom as a poor immigrant.  The moguls started at the grunt labor level.  Today we expect to party through law school and start at six figures.
In previous generations the guys were anxious to get out and get a job so they could get a car.  Now they seem to be competing for a girlfriend who has a car and a debit card. 

That is quite a castle to build from watching cars turn left.

homo unius libri

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Opus 2012-249, I Recognize a Crutch

I go to Panera most mornings.  The coffee is more to my taste than Starbucks and the refills are free.  I like their choices of bread and the music is real music not just organized noise.  I drink my coffee, eat a little bread and try to get a little worship time in.

If left to myself, I am quite happy to sit and focus on Bible study and thoughts for posting.  I am basically a loner.  I enjoy the company and the opinions expressed are outstanding.  But there is a man who often meets me there and engages me in conversation.  I know him from school where he volunteers and he is the opposite of me.  If he sees no one to talk to he thinks about things to talk about.  He is the extreme extrovert.  He is one of my crutches.

Often people talk about religion being a crutch.  I don’t have any major problem with that.  If you are cripple or lame, you need a crutch.  If you have a broken leg and refuse a crutch, that is your problem of denial, not mine.  I need crutches in my social process.  I know that I need to get out of my shell.  I just don’t have the inclination to do so.  My crutch comes along and engages me in conversation and in the process introduces me to other people he has engaged.  In the process they sneak past my ramparts and become a part of my world.  After I have interfaced with them I can engage them from that point on.

Today I was kibitzing with the baker.  We talk and joke around like old friends.  If it were not for my crutch I would not know him at all.

So I am thankful for the crutches of my world that force me out of my shell.

Now back to my computer.

homo unius libri

Friday, September 28, 2012

Opus 2012-248, Ode to Old: Point of No Return

As I write I have crossed a line.  I am now officially an old man.  The 65th year is upon me.  There is no turning back.

I am good with that. 

I remember when it first hit me that people saw me as older.  This was over 30 years ago.  I have been working on getting older for many years.  I was checking out in some store and I had my wallet open on the counter.  I was a new father and had proud pictures of my first born where the world could see them.  It was a bit deflating to have the clerk ask me, “Oh, is that your grandson?”

It continued at a fast food place where the cashier gave me a senior discount that I did not yet deserve.  I did not correct her.  It wasn’t the money, I have no problem returning miscounted change.  My motive was to not embarrass her.  Really.  I had seen people get all indignant at being considered a “senior citizen.”  I am what I am.

Last week it came full circle.  I was at Costco, buying about 12 cases of water.  My wife was temporarily concerned about TEOTWAWKI.  (The End of the World As We Know It.)  I had it loaded on one of those flatbed carts and was leaning into it, heading for my car.  One of the young employees asked if he could help me.  I told him that I would be okay but he must have really been concerned because he walked me to the car and helped me load it.  I must really be looking frail.

Oh, well.

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Opus 2012-247, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Separation

The United States was not established to run the world.  Excuse me if that sounds a little Libertarian and Ron Paul, but there it is.  Notice the terminology.

“to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,...”
Let me first touch on the idea of “separate.”  There was of course the need to separate from England, to become an independent country.  There was also a desire in the Founding Fathers to separate from Europe and the European way of doing things.  We were supposed to be different.  That required a time of isolation. 

George Washington’s Farewell Address warning against foreign entanglements.  To get a flavor go to the document and do a search for “foreign” and variations of “entangle.” 

If there is anyone who would qualify as a Founding Father it would be George Washington.  He is the central figure in the early years of transition from colony to independence without the usual pattern of petty dictator emerging.  Here are a few of his concerns and recommendations. 
“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens, the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican Government.”
Here he warns us to understand the motives of foreigners.  They are not out to make our system work.  They have other motives.  His focus was Europe.  That makes sense in his day.
“Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. -- Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. -- Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships, or enmities.”
Our concern is wider because technology has made our world bigger, but the principle is the same.

What would George Washington have thought of the United Nations, World Court, and all of the other Byzantine organizations we have been tied to?  I don’t think he would approve, even if he were alive today and understood modern concerns.

We are to be a separate and different people.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Opus 2012-246, Here Lies the Politician

I am constantly shocked by the ability of people to lie.  I shouldn’t be.  I deal with 8th graders who never met a lie they did not like.  It is second nature to them.  Actually, it is first nature to them.  They lie about little things.  They lie about big things.  They lie about in between things.  You can assume that if they are speaking they are telling a lie. 

Do I sound cynical and jaded.  I am not.  I am realistic based on the experiences I have had.  When I leave school I listen to the adults of the world.  Some are on the radio and TV.  More lies.  Some are in the print media.  More lies.

This is nothing new.  I was recently reminded of Ananias and Sapphira.  They sold some land and claimed that they had donated the money to the church to help the poor.  Actually they only donated part.  The problem was not in keeping part for themselves.  The problem was in saying they gave it all.  They lied.
(Acts 5:3-4 KJV)  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?  Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Why do they lie to me when they are sure to be caught?  Why do they say they have no gum in their mouth when it is hanging out the corner?  They were trained to be this way.  Their parents often believe anything they say because they don’t want to be bothered with moral education.  The school continues the pattern. 

The pattern has consequences, now and later.  Now it breaks down the foundations of society.  If you can’t believe someone what kind of life can you build?  How can you conduct a business,  marry, get along with your neighbors or even order dinner in a restaurant if honesty is gone?

It has eternal consequences.  It crossed my mind that so many of us are used to lying and getting away with it that we think we can lie to God.  We think that God is as dumb as our eighth grade history teacher.  We think we can con our way out of Hell. 

If our eternity is not in the balance, why worry about doing the right thing now.

Honesty should be taught.  Dishonesty should be punished.

Apply it where you like but remember November is coming.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Opus 2012-245, Testing, 1, 2, 3...

I had a frustrating experience on a quiz I gave in class.  It speaks to the brainwashing of the younger generation.

The quiz was open notes, matching.  I don’t make it easy to guess.  I have 10 questions and 15 possible answers.  The last answer is “none of these” and I regularly leave one with no match.  I sometimes use the same answer for more than one question.  You can’t just guess and cross off the answers so the last one is easy.

That was not the issue.  One of the questions was part of a definition from the book, “All people treated the same.”  This was used to define the “rule of law” in the text.  Not bad.  As one of my random answers I threw in “socialism.”  Guess what the majority of students put down?  The book doesn’t even refer to socialism at this point and it has not been part of the discussion except in passing yet somewhere in their past these eight graders have been so indoctrinated in the supposed virtues of socialism that they feel they don’t need to look at their notes for verification.

I wonder if Animal Farm is still required reading because one of the lessons of the book is that “all animals are equal, it is just that some are more equal than other.”   Maybe it has been banned along with thinking.

I fear for my country, and my world.

homo unius libri

Monday, September 24, 2012

Opus 2012-244, Please Excuse the Interruption

The announcement on the PA is getting a bit repetitive:
“Please excuse the interruption.  Teachers, bus ____ is late.  The students are just arriving.  They will be fed breakfast and sent to class.  Please to not mark them late.”
A number of observations here.  This is the third day in a row for this announcement.  It has been repeated numerous times in the last five weeks.  What is the problem?  It it the driver?  Is it the students?  Don’t you think someone could work this out?

Since when is the school responsible for feeding kids breakfast?  What happened to parents.  This is part of the nanny state that is trying to take over the raising of your children. 

Do you wonder why kids are not learning much?  Three reasons here.  First, they are in the cafeteria eating a free, tax payer funded breakfast while the teacher is teaching.  Second, the teacher fills the time with busy work until they get there but there is still less time for them to learn.  Third, the rest of the kids are robbed of an education because they are waiting for the late ones to have a catered breakfast.

Then there is something that never seems to occur to administration.  I don’t have any idea or way of discovering which students are on bus number ___.  Students who have a habit of being tardy hear this announcement and use it as a creative way to wander around campus with a get-out-of-jail-free card. 

Aren’t you glad that the teachers of Chicago got a 16% raise.  By the way, that was already agreed to, it was not the cause of the strike.

Welcome to the world of public education.

homo unius libri

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Opus 2012-243, New Terms: Noblesse Oblige

Once again, this is not new, just long ignored.  It was a term that came from Europe and was used for the enlightened nobility who desired to live up to the responsibilities of their position.  It was important to keeping society going and if applied correctly had a sense of Christian compassion.  They viewed themselves as servants of God and responsible to Him and Jesus had this to say,
(Luke 12:48 KJV)  ...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
That is the lofty view in a world in which the social classes were very real and freedom was limited.

In my last post about the Declaration of Independence I was reminded that this feeling has returned but without the noble aspect.  We no longer live in a culture that accepts one man is better because of his birth.  Unfortunately there are a growing number of people who do not believe this.  They feel they are above the masses and have the right to decide what is best for the masses even if the masses don’t want it.

Jonah Goldberg was speaking to the Young Americans Foundation.  I listened to the podcast in the car and one thing he said was something like this, “A Progressive is someone who believes they know what is best for everyone else.”  He was speaking in the context of the current mayor of New York who had decided that people should not be able to buy a sugary drink larger than 20 ounces.  It was totally arbitrary.  It was totally his idea.  It was for their own good.  It was Noblesse Oblige.

 Noblesse oblige is a good description of what the modern elites feel.  It is a corruption of what was a sense of humility.   Then is was trying to make things better.  Now it is tyranny.

Be aware:  They want your freedom, not because they are evil but because they are superior and you cannot be trusted to drink right, eat right, read right, exercise right or anything else right.  It is just a coincidence that most of these people come from the left.

November is coming.  Vote out anyone who thinks they know what is best for you.

homo unius libri

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Opus 2012-242, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Rejection of the European Model

Today our leaders are trying to lead us to be more like Europe.  By doing that they are rejecting the very purpose that this country was founded.  We were to be different from Europe.  We see this desire for change expressed very early in the Declaration of Independence. 
When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another,
They are going to dissolve the bands that tied them to the European way of doing things.  Think for a moment about a few of the differences that were desired.

The Founding Fathers rejected the class system.  We are so used to the idea that everyone puts their pants on the same way we have forgotten as a people that in Europe that was not true.  In Europe the elites had servants who would pull the pants of the Lord up, fasten the buttons and arrange the drape of the coat.  They would do this while the person of class stood there and looked bored.  You were expected to step out of a person’s way, not because of courtesy but because they were better than you.  The Founding Fathers rejected this idea.  Our current leaders want to bring it back, after all, they know what is best for us.

The Founding Fathers rejected the idea that the central government should have the power over individual lives.  This is an extension of the rejection of class but it is important to realize.  When we get to considering the Constitution we need to realize that it’s purpose was to limit the power of government, not extend it.

The Founding Fathers believed in the importance of personal property.  Many of the people that came to this country had heard this strange rumor that in America common people could own land.  They could have a claim to their own homes.  They did not have to be tenant farmers.  There were no lords to fence off the grass where their sheep grazed or raise the rent because they felt like it.

The old way of doing things had to go.  Don’t let them take us back.

homo unius libri

Friday, September 21, 2012

Opus 2012-241, On the Street: Beauty Is a Fickle Measurement

I was between pod-casts and a song was on the radio.  I have no idea who the artist was or the name of the song.  All I heard was a long, hedonistic song praising beauty in its perfect now.  The guy was talking about some babe in his life.  She must have been a sight for sore eyes.  In the course of the song he expressed the sentiment, “Don’t ever change.”

Sorry, Charlie.  It ain’t gonna happen.  The chemistry of her body will overcome the chemistry of your glands.  Gravity will eventually cause sags.  Time will cause wrinkles.  That is assuming the whole package is real and not just a product of cosmetics. 

This is nothing new.  It is not a product of our culture.  It is as old as the existence of two sexes. 

So just a word:  Buddy, she will change.  She is changing as you watch.  If you can’t find something more lasting than tiny love handles your life is a doom waiting to wake you up.  The Bible's view of love is a little more nuanced: 
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NAS77)  Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
That kind of love is God based not gland based.

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Opus 2012-240, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Adding to the Pool of Knowledge

The Founding Fathers were very much aware of history.  As they were debating the options open to them they made an in depth study of the patterns of thought and action of our ancestors.  They looked at the consequences of those actions.  Since they knew that they owed a debt to those who went before them they also felt a need to pass on their reasoning.  Thus they continued in the Declaration of Independence,

“a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.”

They are going to lay out their reasons for their actions.  They wanted it very clear why they were doing what they were doing.  This would give people in the future a chance to evaluate the results of their choices.

I wish that the current generation of leaders and followers could understand this concept.  Most of the political fixes that are being proposed have been tried before.  Most of them led to disaster or at least frustration.  One of the brainwashing techniques of post modern educators is to deny people the opportunity to say, “We tried that and it didn’t work.”  This is attacked as negative and defeatism.  We are told to stop living in the failures of the past and get on board.

Our Founding Fathers knew better.  One of their standards was expressed by Edmund Burke who said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Our republic is based on learning from the past not just hoping for the future.  The way we help the future is to make a clear record of what has happened and why it happened.  The Bill of Rights was still a long way in the future but do “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press” sound familiar?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Opus 2012-239, On the Street: A Matter of Conscience

I have a radio in my car now.  I had it installed when I moved to a newer used car.  The previous owner had removed the face of the stereo so it was useless.  I wanted a way to plug in my I-pod which meant I needed to upgrade. 

One of the side effects of having a radio is that it is on between pod-casts.  I caught a commercial the other day.  I had heard it before but this time I actually listened.  It was a praise song for the foo foo coffee that one of the fast food chains was offering to make life worth living.

I suddenly realized that the voice on the speaker was having a conversation with his conscience.  It seems that his conscience had an opinion on the type of flavoring that should be added to the coffee. 

I realize it is an advertizing gimmick.  It was a clever way of getting our attention.  It also says something about our culture.  Traditionally, if you will excuse the word, the conscience was that inner voice that spoke to us about morality.  It reminded us that there was a right and wrong.  It was a painful goad if we stepped out of line.  It was a link to the eternal.

Now it is about fluff and foam. 

A small thing but it is the substance of the current moral compass.  Maybe I should say it is the smoke in front of our current cultural compass.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Opus 2012-238, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, A Knowledge of History

The first words of the Declaration of Independence remind us that our nation was established with a consideration for the known history of mankind.  The Declaration begins,
“When in the Course of human Events,...”
One of the most frustrating questions I get from middle school students is, “Why do we have to study history?”  Usually it is not offered as a serious query about the value of knowing the past.  Usually it is whining because they have been asked to work and are looking for excuses to avoid turning on their brain. 

There are many answers.  All of them demand a willingness to listen and think.  Our founders felt that a knowledge of history gave people the foundation of knowledge to make intelligent, informed decisions.  If you go to a doctor and he prescribes medication without finding out your history, find another doctor.  If you marry someone without knowing their history, start setting money aside for a divorce lawyer.  If you elect a president and ignore his history you end up with empty hope and destructive change.

So one of our foundations is an awareness of the past.  What has worked and why.  What has not worked and why. 

Or republic depends on an informed electorate.  That is one reason that the Progressives in control of education do not emphasize history and are so set on dumbing down the curriculum.

homo unius libri

Monday, September 17, 2012

Opus 2012-237, Discernment Watch: Making America Stronger

The Los Angeles area used to have a newscaster named George Putnam.  He would finish each broadcast with the words, “Here’s to a better, stronger America.”  It was clear that he loved this country and wanted the best for it.  I think he had different ideas about what that means contrasted to the website with a picture of Jerry Brown in the corner.

This sight talks about a stronger America also.  Here is the paragraph that caught my eye.
“Making America Stronger” commemorates the 30th anniversary of the reforms achieved by the Food Stamp Act of 1977 by telling the story of how food stamps dramatically reduced the extent of severe hunger in our country, how they continue to help Americans in need, and how this essential program can achieve still more.
Where George Putnam thought America would be stronger if people were informed and stood up on their own two feet the Progressive (Democrat, socialist, elite, communist) leaders of the People’s Republk of Kalifornia have a different definition.  For them a stronger America is a land where everyone is on welfare.  We become strong as a nation when everyone is weak and depends on the largess of the government to supply our needs.

It worked so well in the Soviet Union and in China.  My father went through the Great Depression.  I was raised in a family that was working class and far from wealthy.  There are no tales of hunger in our family.  We ironed patches on our knees, darned our sox and ate lots of potatoes and gravy but where was all this hunger that is talked about?  I was not aware that the Communist countries were sending us boat loads of food to avert starvation.  Thank you Joe Stalin.

Look at the end of the quote.  These people want to “achieve still more.”  They will not be satisfied until people with jobs are taxed out of existence so that the government can show how much it is needed. 

November is coming.  Vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-236, Cornerstone Considerations: The Mayflower Compact, The Authority

Who did these people think they were?  Why did they think they had the right to make decisions without the guidance of the king, God’s anointed.  This points out another factor that makes America what it is, or at least, was.  

Notice how this document is framed.  It begins with these words:
“In the name of God, Amen.”
This was not just boilerplate to them like it is in our political speeches.  It was a statement of who they were and what motivated them.  They were under an authority higher than the king, God Himself. 

And notice that word, “Amen.”  To laymen it is something to say at the end of a prayer or if you agree with the preacher.  There is a reason for that.  It means, “So be it.”

Also below the radar is the final statement:
“Anno Domini 1620"
Anno Domini is where we get the abbreviation AD that used to accompany dates along with BC.  It does not mean “after death.”  It is a Latin phrase meaning “in the year of the Lord.”  Our republic was created in an atmosphere that acknowledged that all dates were tied to Jesus.  He is the Lord being talked about here.

We are getting away from that.  This is being done deliberately.  Scholars are now starting to talk BCE, before Common Era, instead of BC, before Christ.  They are talking about CE, Common Era.  The republic that was established in acknowledgment of God’s will and place in history is now concerned about offending people who might not agree.

It is and will make a difference.

homo unius libri

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Opus 2012-235, Tax Dollars at Work: CalFresh

When the advertizement started I thought it would be an ad for Whole Foods or a vegetarian co-op.  It was about something called CalFresh.  It was very upbeat, featuring an precocious  child, an involved father and an obvious happy home.  Father and daughter were preparing a meal.  When they were ready they called mom to join them.  In the process they talked about the joy of a well balanced meal and family togetherness.

Inserted very quietly was the poison.  CalFresh is the new name for the program that used to be called Food Stamps.  It is welfare.  It is paid for out of the pockets of every working Californian.  Since that number is declining it will take a constantly bigger chunk out of my check until I am forced to join those fleeing the state.

Try to get the big picture.  The People’s Republik of Kalifornia is on the verge of bankruptcy, if they have not arrived by the time this is posted.  The hole keeps getting deeper.  So at this crisis time the Progressive (Democrat, socialist, elite, communist) leaders of our state write another big check to produce a frisky commercial trolling for more people to sign up for freebies we don’t have money for.  Do you get the logic?

The goal is to drive as many people as possible into the arms of the government so that they will continue to vote early and often to keep the People’s Republik in the hands of the Progressive (Democrat, socialist, elite, communist) sugar daddies.  The problem is that the sugar is coming out of my pocket.

November is coming.  It may be too late for California.  We already are past the tipping point.  Your state may not be there.  Vote the suckers out.  Or apply for welfare, whichever way you lean.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-234, Cornerstone Considerations: The Mayflower Compact, The Audacity

Then they had the nerve to write an agreement among themselves.  Sure, they gave lip service to the king, and some of them probably meant it.  But their agreement was based on the promise to “covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic,....”  We do this all the time.  They were stepping out on a limb and cutting it off.

It gets worse.  They promised
“to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”
Notice that they were promising to submit and obey to the agreement, not to the king and his parliament.  They were going to “enact” the laws they felt were “most meet.”  They were not going to go to the king with hat in hand saying, “Massa, please.”  Just who did they think they were?

They were the beginning of what we call Americans.  They were binding themselves to the rule of law, agreed upon by the governed, not imposed by the crown.

It was a beginning.

homo unius libri

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Opus 2012-233, Cornerstone Considerations: The Mayflower Compact, The Situation

So what is the big deal about the Mayflower Compact?  Why is this supposed to be of any importance.  It may not look like it but this document bordered on rebellion and could have been called treason.  This is the day of the Divine Right of Kings.  Nobility had limited freedom.  Common people had no rights.  It was almost impossible to own land.  Very few were allowed to vote or run for office.  If the king did not endorse it, it did not happen.

Take for instance what many people call the King James Version of the Bible.  It is officially called the Authorized Version because it was developed with the approval of King James I.  It was only because he gave them permission that they were able to work.  It was only because he endorsed it that the translation was published and became the standard Bible of English speaking Christians.

So lets get back to the Pilgrims.  They had the king’s permission to go to Virginia and start a colony.  Unfortunately, a storm blew them off course and they landed far north of where they were supposed to be.  So to start with they were in the wrong place.  Then, instead of heading south like obedient subjects they decided to stay where they were and become citizens.  They did not have permission to do so.  That was an act of rebellion right there.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-232, Headlines: Naked Truth

I admit it is a poor title, but it is a poor story.

As I checked the headlines on The Drudge Report I noticed several having to do with more pictures of naked English nobility.  I did not go past the headlines but one of them indicated that the “royals” were indignant.  They talked about how no one is safe. 

I think I am.  You see, my theory is that if I never parade outside naked no one will ever be able to take a picture of me outside naked.  That makes sense to me.  And if I were in a position socially in which I knew people were hiding in the bushes waiting for me to do something stupid, I think I would either have a motivation to not do stupid things or else I would plan my stupid things for the most exposure.  Yes, pun intended.

If “naked royals” are your thing, go for it, and accept my sympathy.  You really need to get a life.

homo unius libri

Friday, September 14, 2012

Opus 2012-231, Cornerstone Considerations: The Mayflower Compact, The Document

I have decided to go back a little farther than the Declaration of Independence as I look at the Cornerstones laid in the foundations of our Republic.  Most school children have heard of the Mayflower Compact.  Few have read it.  It is only one paragraph long.  Take a moment to peruse this short and significant document.

                                           MAYFLOWER COMPACT
                                                 by William Bradford

In the name of God, Amen.  We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.  In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

Read it but don’t weep yet.

The 8th grade text book I am using defines the Mayflower Compact as “a formal document...which set up a civil government.”  I guess that is happening but it is much more.

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Opus 2012-230, Discernment Watch: Google Bias

In the previous post I mentioned that I could not find the article on the net.  I did a search by typing in the title and even tried it using Sowell’s name.  What was interesting to me was that even though I did not find the article I did find an advertisement for the Obama campaign.  Understand, I was looking for an article that was critical of the president and the first listing that came up was a link to the official Obama campaign site. 

Interesting.  I wonder how much the Obama campaign had to pay to get that high of a listing.

Understand that Google is not an agent of free speech.  It is a search engine that has a bottom line called “profit.”  I have no problem with that.  “Profit” is not a dirty word.  More power to them.

At the same time, be aware.  Or should I say “Beware.”  Don’t assume that because it is on the internet it is free of values and bias.  Keep your thinking cap on at all times.  There are also other search engines but I don’t assume they are any more righteous than Google.  Government coercion can be extended to anyone.

As another president said, “Trust, but verify.”

homo unius libri

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Opus 2012-229, Headlines: Sowell on Executive Orders

Thomas Sowell had an interesting editorial in The Washington Time National Weekly of August 27, 2012.  It was entitled “Obama’s America: From citizens to subjects.”  In it he is focusing on President Obama’s use of executive orders to get around the law.  I could not find it on line to link to.  It may show up later.

He is concerned that Obama is destroying our country.  He says “The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration...”  The example Sowell uses is the recent executive order that exempted from certain emigration laws the children of illegal aliens who were brought into the country at a very early age.  He says by focusing on the details of the case we are missing the big issue.  The president is ignoring the law and ruling by fiat.

Sowell points out,
“No President of the United States is authorized to repeal parts of legislation passed by Congress.  He may veto the whole legislation, but then Congress can override his veto if they have enough votes.”
The president is openly and knowingly breaking the law by his declarations.

Sowell is talking about the election and how serious this is.  I would say that this sounds like a case of high crimes and misdemeanors.  That is reason for impeachment. 

At this point we know that is not going to happen.  You and I cannot impeach.  Only the House of Representatives can do that.  They have ignored repeated violations of an oath to support and protect the Constitution.  I don’t know how the presidential election is going to go but maybe it is time to vote out all of the weak willed politicians who will not hold the president’s feet to the fire.

November is coming.  Vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Opus 2012-228, Cornerstone Considerations: Lest We Forget

Today is a day we stop and remember.  On September 11, 2001 the United States of America received a wake up call.  We were slapped up side the head and informed that the world does not conform to our heritage of turning the other cheek and giving the benefit of the doubt.  Our standard of the rule of law and fair play were violated.  We as a nation were raped by barbarians riding to sack the civilized world.  They were riding airplanes instead of horses and waving box cutters instead of swords but their goal was the same, to destroy what they could not duplicate. 

Stop and remember.  Stop because we get too busy with smaller issues.  Remember, not to seek vengeance but to keep up our guard.  Remember, so we can punish evil.  Remember so that we can seek out those who still want to do us harm for no other reason than we are different and they are full of hate.

That being said, I am going to begin looking at what makes us different.  Why do they hate us so much.  Me they hate because I reject Mohammad as God’s prophet and worship Jesus.  You may not be a follower of Jesus Christ but they hate you also.  Why?  Part of it is the decadent lifestyle of our culture but it is also because we live by principles that are found in our religious background even if you do not accept the source.  I am going to look at those principles as explained in the Declaration of Independence and organized in the Constitution of the United States.  I may even get back to the Magna Carta, but that is a long shot. 

Although they may come up, the focus will not be on the Bible and the Koran but the Declaration and the Constitution.  This will not be a theological statement but a political statement.

So many topics, so little time....

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-227, On the Street: “Our First Job Is Safety”

I was driving down a narrow, two lane street that is the major artery to my middle school and the elementary school across the street.  Traffic is heavy with parents dropping their children off.  The sidewalks are bustling with parents walking their children to school.  It is the busiest time of day for this section of road.

Guess when the powers that be decided to trim trees on this route?  You got it.  Right now.  A huge orange truck with one of those cherry pickers on a hoist was against one curb.  Orange cones protruded out into the street making it difficult for cars to go both ways.  The sidewalk was blocked off because the branches were falling.  The city has hundreds of miles of low usage streets with trees that need to be trimmed but they are here where everyone else comes every day at this time.  The great cherry on the top was the sign on the truck that declared “Our first job is safety.”  There first job should be thinking.

You have seen this expressed in many ways.  Think of the garbage trucks that block busy streets during rush hour.  Think of school buses that literally stop traffic on wide divided highways because the bus stop is convenient.  Think of crews filling pot holes at the exact time that people are trying to get to work. 

How about if some of you run for city council?

homo unius libri

Monday, September 10, 2012

Opus 2012-226, On the Street: How to End a Pointless Conversation

This morning I was talking with an acquaintance who is retired.  He was a businessman who was successful in manufacturing and production.  He employed thousands of people during his time and I would guess is a multimillionaire today.  He never married and has no children.  He is working hard to give back to his community.  He donates his time and large chunks of money. 

He was successful because the current epidemic of tax-and-spend was not in place when he was in business.  He was successful because he worked hard and took risks.  But he is a man of the left.  It is like the right side and left side of his brain never talk.  He has forgotten most of what he knew that made him successful.  He follows the stock market and investments constantly.  In that area he is aware but when it comes to the obvious he is ignorant. 

He had never heard of “American Exceptionalism.”  He is totally unaware of how our current president goes to other countries and tells them America is nothing special.  He brought up the “fact” that we need to find a way to limit people to one child because of a lack of resources.  He did not know that the birthrates of all the developed countries except the U.S. are below replacement level, thus he still believes in the myth of overpopulation.  He never heard of the book The Population Bomb that forecast the world would dissolve into chaos in 1980 because of too many people and not enough food. 

I enjoy talking to him.  He is a good man even if he lives in denial and ignorance.  When I get tired of the nonsense, though, I know how to get him to look at his watch and say he has to go.  I simply start pointing out what Al Gore would have called “inconvenient truth.”  The one difference is that the things I point out are really true, not the product of my Progressive dream land.  I start quoting words and citing numbers.  He has to go.

So if you ever want to end a conversation with a liberal, just start listing all the facts you know.  They have other things to do than brush up against reality.  That might be inconvenient.

homo unius libri

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Opus 2012-225, On the Street: Power to the People!

Has it happened to you?  It is 3:00 A.M.  You are sitting at a red light.  It is one of those intersections with no obstructions.  You can see for a mile in each direction.  It looks like the rapture came and you were the only one left behind.  You seem alone on the earth.  Just when you are about to make a rash decision the light turns green and you go on your way, another moment of your life gone forever.

This comes up because I almost broke down and became civilly disobedient.  I had to sit at a left turn signal installed by a bureaucrat who obviously never drives this route.  If it were a regular signal I could have turned and been on my way.  If it was a stop sign I could have turned and been on my way.  If I wasn’t such a stick-in-the-mud I would have turned and been on my way.  I am getting tired of being law abiding in nonsense situations.

I am considering becoming a civil rights rebel.  I realize this is not on the same level as traditional civil rights protests.  This is almost childish, but I am getting tired of sitting at red lights when no one is going the other way.  I am thinking of starting to make left hand turns before the arrow comes on when there is no one in sight.  Is that wrong?  I don’t know.  I’m asking you. 

Later I saw an old guy in a beat up car get tired of waiting and do exactly that.  I gave him a thumbs up.

homo unius libri

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Opus 2012-224, New Terms: Detroiting

I was reading at “Notes from the Bunker”  and came across an interesting comment. 

“(Hmm..I may have to start using ‘Detroit’ as a verb and an adjective. “Hey, did you see that earthquake Detroited Haiti?” or “It’s been seven years since Katrina and parts of New Orleans are still Detroity”.)”
I don’t know if it was original to him but I liked it.  You can read the entire post under “Mundane-day-to-day-stuff.” 

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-223, Discernment Watch: Teacher of the Year

Back in June I was driving to work as a public school teacher.  I noticed a billboard put up by a local college about one of their alumni.  Evidently she had been awarded recognition as California School Superintendent of the year in 2011.  About the same time I received our California Teachers Association monthly propaganda mouthpiece.  It had an article about the CTA teacher of the year.  Shortly after that I was reading an article on line about a teacher who had received a Teacher of the Year award from either his school or district.  That wasn’t the focus of the article.  The article was about how he had just been arrested for posting pictures of himself nude on the internet.  Now THAT is what I call finding ways to relate to the children on a level they can understand.

Awards.  They can be significant or fluff.  We need to be discerning about them.  We need to learn to ask a few questions.  We need to ask such things as, “Who gave the award?  Who set the standards?  Who evaluated it?”  In reality when people are patting themselves on the back the results are rather meaningless. 

Let me give you an example.  On our district we had a principle who received the Middle School Administrator of the Year award.  That sounds impressive until you realize there are only three three middle schools in town. 

Not exactly a Nobel Prize, but then the Nobel Prize is no longer the Nobel Prize.

Actually that is probably a good example of how to view these things.  Remember that Yasar Arafat, world renowned terrorist, received the Nobel Peace Prize.  Remember that Al Gore received some kind of Nobel Prize for his ground breaking lies about global warming.  And of course you remember that our president received a Nobel prize.  He was nominated long before he was even elected.  Why?  He had never done anything but write two autobiographies.  And it wasn’t the Nobel Prize for Literature he received. 

It starts in your local school.  You didn’t know that, did you.  I am sure you have seen the bumper stickers and lawn signs about student of the month or some such synonym.  I am sure that our school is typical.  When it started each teacher was supposed to pick two students a month.  I participated at first.  We had a little reception before school, invited the parents, served light refreshments and said a few nice things about the kids.  Then came the day when we were told that no child could receive the award twice.  It kept going down hill.  In the last assembly we had one teacher that called her entire class up and awarded them student of the month.

Awards are nice if they mean something but in our feel-good, self-esteem culture they are losing any contact with reality.  However, since there is a large check involved, feel free to nominate me for a Nobel Prize.  I will even write a few autobiographies if that will help.

homo unius libri

Friday, September 7, 2012

Opus 2012-222, Firsts: Being a Hunk

It was a weird sensation.  I was on an elevator in Las Vegas.  When I boarded I had nodded and smiled at two elderly ladies already on board.  Courtesy is nice.  As I was waiting for the elevator to finish it's descent I noticed one of the ladies elbow her friend and nod in my direction.  Now, they may have been impressed by my hat or my choice of wardrobe, but I think I was being checked out.  This has never happened to me before, at least that I have noticed.

So it is now official.  Another first, I am now a hunk because I have been leered at.  We will play down the location, an elevator in a second class gambling casino in Las Vegas.  We will overlook that obvious age of the ladies.  Who knows if they could even see across the elevator.  The fact remains:  I was ogled. 

My wife complains that men get better looking with age while women go down hill. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Opus 2012-221, Discernment Watch: It’s for the Children

How about another Alistair Begg moment?  I can’t help it.  He challenges me and makes me think whether I agree with him or not. 

I was listening on the way to work and I heard this, “Don’t get this silly idea in your head that the future of the church is the children, the future is you.”  I backed the podcast up to make sure I heard it right.

I don’t remember what his context was but the point was painful and welcome.  As a public school teacher I am used to people making any compromise and approve any expenditure if it is “for the children.”  Usually this is just a distraction to avoid thinking and dealing with hard issues.  Money is wasted and lives are destroyed so that people can feel like they are doing good.  This thinking makes people think they are taking penicillin when all they are taking is an aspirin. 

Children will only be the future if they are raised properly.  They will only be the future if you and I are there to lead them into it.  That requires us to accept the responsibility that goes with being a mature adult.  It requires sacrifice on our part today so there will be supplies tomorrow.

Thinking that children are the future is often a way of avoiding hard choices today.  It lets the wants and demands of the child be the measure of wisdom and priorities.  Picture what the future would be in your family is your five year old were allowed to do the shopping, plan the menu and schedule the baths. 

The future would not be pretty.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Opus 2012-220, Rigor or Rigor Mortis

I was leafing through the current edition of the magazine of educational propaganda called NEA Today.  It is a platform for the Progressive (aka socialist, elite, Communist, Fascist, Democrat) movement in the U.S.  I rarely read any of the articles but it helps me to see what current foolish theme they are harping on.  It also helps me in voting.  I check their recommendations and go the other way. 

Since I am not going to waste my time reading the propaganda I was looking at the advertisements and was struck by one plugging a university that I had never heard of.  In the picture is a young teacher standing in front of a class of elementary age actors, sitting at desks and trying to look like students.  The teacher has a look of joy on his face and every child in the picture has a hand raised and is portraying an attitude of “Pick me!  Pick me!”

I have to ask myself what question was asked.  The only time I can get the kind of response in the picture is when I ask, “Who would like to leave early” or “Who would like a piece of candy.”  Recently I asked, “What major event in history took place in 1492 that allowed Columbus to get funding to make his voyage?”  I got blank stares.  The fact that they did not know was not the problem.  I imagine that even you don’t know.  (The last Muslim army was driven out of Spain after a 700 year war called the Reconquista.)  The problem was they did not even care.

Out school district, an I imagine yours too, makes a big noise about demanding rigor in schools.  At the same time they close the library, lay off teachers and hire district administrators.  If you compared our text books with the ones you had in Junior High you would not see rigorous.  You would see rigor mortis. 

When you see advertising for education, ask yourself what kind of questions the teacher is asking.  How many difficult questions do you know that would have everyone raising their hands to answer?  I don’t see any hands.  I guess that answers my question.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Opus 2012-219, Blood Work

Before my recent annual visit to the doctor I had to have blood work done.  I used to have it done at the hospital.  They were on the lab slip and actually the only place I could get the work done when I needed to be fasting.  My wife started using a lab by her doctor’s office.  In her usual thorough way she compared the costs of the hospital tests and the independent lab.  She was shocked.  The hospital charged significantly more than the other lab.  We checked around and found one that was open early and I started going. 

It has been a rewarding change in three ways.  First, it lowers the amount of money spent by the insurance company.  If we want to keep medical costs down this is important.  Second, the amount I had to pay was lower.  I can live with that.  Third, it was much faster.  It seemed like every time I went into the hospital I had to fill out all kinds of forms and sit around until someone decided to show up.  At the other lab they took a picture of my insurance card, I filled out my name and address and the needles came out. 

Cost and speed are a good combination.  This is a good example of how the smaller company, working in a small office, can compete with the behemoth hospital.  When we gripe about how the big chains are driving the small guys out of business, that is not always the case if the small guys are willing to work.  People will respond to an excellent product and good service.

I want the government to get out of it and let the market make the decision about who is successful.  I don’t care if it is health care, food content or how my car is powered.  Let me make the decision that is best for me.

Of course the other side of that is I must be willing to live with the consequences but that is a rant for another day.

homo unius libri

Monday, September 3, 2012

Opus 2012-218, Links: “Time Out”

One blogger who posts infrequently is “According to the Book.”  He is worth waiting for so you might want to follow him if you are not already.  I enjoyed his recent post “What if Jesus had called a ‘Time out?’”   One part got me to thinking and sent me on a tangent to follow up a little on what he said.

He commented on how parents give children a “time out.”  During that time they are supposed to calm down and have a new attitude when they return to civil society.  We used this on my son.  It worked better than any other discipline when he was small.  Then the post goes on to mention how God took a “time out” on the seventh day.  He then goes on to develop his thought. 

My mind put those two ideas together and thought about one of the great benefits of the Sabbath that most Christians celebrate on the Lord’s Day instead of the seventh day.  We worship.  We enter into His presence with singing.  We fellowship with the body.  If we have done it right we are like the little child coming off the chair or out of the corner.  We have a new attitude.  We have adjusted how we see the world.  We are better prepared for a week of service representing our holy God.

I hope you took your “time out” this week end.  I hope you can find one each day.  You might start by reading his post.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-217, Prepare for the Probable

On August 12 we had a power outage.  It didn’t make any sense.  It was in the cool of a Sunday morning.  I think it was the government messing with us somehow.  I took it as an opportunity to learn a little bit about the first level of preparedness.  These are the simple inconveniences that happen too often but do happen.  They are not life threatening unless you are on something like a respirator.  They are mainly irritating.

What helps in the little things?  For your computers there are battery backups.  A laptop is great because it comes with automatic kick in.  I found that even in the middle of the day flashlights were helpful.  There are many corners that are normally lit by a bulb and go dark without electricity.  An unexpected point I realized was to be prepared, doing the work the night before, instead of waiting until the last minute.  Keep your freezer full even if it is things that don’t need to be frozen like crackers and cereal.  It resists the heat for a longer period of time.  Many small appliances like clock radios also have a place for a battery so that you don’t need to reset them.  A few battery operated clocks so you don’t lose track of deadlines also help.

No big deal.  Common sense.  You probably already had them in place without thinking.  We can’t do much to prepare for the giant meteor that is going to strike any day now or the earthquake that will destroy life as we know it.  We can be ready for life to go smoothly in the little disruptions.

Yes, I do like to preach to the choir.

homo unius libri

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Opus 2012-216, Closet Republicans

I continue watching You Tube videos of the RNC.  I also heard great things about Susana Martinez and what she had to say.  I watched.  I laughed.  I came close to tears.  I felt pride.  What I wish everyone I work with could see and understand is the moment when she turned to her husband in the car and said, “We’re Republicans.” 

I have talked to people.  I have listened to people.  If they would listen to their own dreams and get beyond the Progressive talking heads on TV and radio they might realize that they also were Republicans.

There is hope for the future of our country and, because of who we are, for the world if the average brainwashed people of this country will wake up, smell the roses, engage their brain and put there feet where there values are. 

I am a Republican not because I agree with every Republican on every issues but because when I look at the official policies they endorse I find they are the closest to what I believe is right.

November is coming.  Elections make a difference.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-215, “Make My Day”

I was not able to watch the Republican convention.  Part of the reason was that I don’t know how to turn on the TV.  But my wife called and said I needed to watch Romney give his speech.  Okay.  To keep peace in the family I decided to do as I was told.  It only took me about 10 minutes to find the controllers, figure out which one was for the TV and then go through the process of figuring out which buttons to push to find an actual channel that had the convention.  I noticed there was no RNC button on the controller.  So I watched it.

Since then I have begun going back to look at some of the speeches on You Tube.  I just finished watching Clint Eastwood.  I had been reading about how he was disjointed, unscripted and wandering.  Once again I am struck by how many people in Lala media land don’t know which end of a fork to stab their peas with.  Eastwood was not disjointed and rambling.  He was not disoriented.  He was a master actor giving what may be one of his last performances and he did a stellar job.  Anyone who thought he didn’t know what he was doing obviously thinks that Barak Obama does.

November is coming.  Are you being honest about where the country is going or is your head still in the sand?

homo unius libri

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Opus 2012-214, Headlines: Hen Hope

The only hope for California is good old party politics, partisanship, the spoils system.  If the Republicans can get a strong enough victory in the national elections they can apply some strong parenting to this wayward child.  They might be able to return the People’s Republik of Kalifornia to the Gold State of California.  It will be painful.  Growing up often is.  But it is a pain that can save countless futures and give hope to a mass of immature, narcissistic, selfish basket cases.

In the real world it is called teaching responsibility, helping children grow up, making people pay the piper, cause and effect, suffering the consequences and a lot of other unpopular phrases.

People, whether you use the term as singular or plural, will not grow up unless they are forced to face reality. 

What brought about this rant?  I just read an editorial in The Washington Times, National Weekly dated August 27, 2012.  It is by Wesley Pruden and titled, “No campaign in the land of lotus” (sic on capitalization).  He quotes the writing of Victor Davis Hanson and gives a lot of factual data about the hopeless situation.  He is focusing on the fact that neither party campaigns in the state because it is so far gone into blue that the Democrats don’t need to worry and the Republicans don’t have a chance.  You can find it on line at Pruden & Politics

I agree with what he is saying about the present but I don’t agree with the future.  What drives some people to get up and go to work?  For some it is pride, ambition and a sense of responsibility.  Those people are moving out of California.  For many it is hunger.  Those people are still here and more are coming all the time.  As long as the food is free, everyone will show up at the banquet.  So the federal government needs to cut off the spigot of pork and let California stew in its own juice.  Cut off funds for medical, education, infrastructure, military purchases, EBT cards, and the many other bribes that I am not aware of.  Eventually people will be hungry enough to go out and start working.  We need to be the Little Red Hen when the bread is ready to eat.

It will be painful.  It will be tragic.  It is the only hope.  If the bullet is not bitten then it will eventually blow up and destroy.

Am I missing something here?

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-213, Imputed or Imparted? Part 2 of 2

Last post I discussed the concept of “imputed righteousness.”  Let me repeat in case you just dropped in, if you don’t like theology you can skip this post.  If you have a short fuse it might also be a good idea to update your I-pod instead.

The other way of looking at God’s action in salvation is called “imparted righteousness.”  When you impart something you give it.  You don’t pretend, it is actually transferred.  Thus when we are washed in the blood and filled with the Holy Spirit, God imparts His righteousness to us.  He makes us righteous.

Let’s use the Biblical concept of adoption.  Five times in the NASB it refers to our “adoption as sons.”  Paul was writing in Greek.  Adoption had a much higher position in the Roman and Greek world than it does today.  Today people adopt when they can’t have children.  In those days adoption was considered a higher way of passing on the inheritance.  As Paul was writing even the Roman emperors were passing on the crown by adoption, not blood.  The adopted didn’t just happen, they were chosen because of the qualities they offered.

But even today we can get a glimmer of this idea of imparting righteousness when we are adopted.  If we were to adopt a child and bring him home and he had come out of some rotten environment we would not bring him home and just dress him nice and call him nice.  We would not poor perfume on him and declare him sweet smelling.  We would take the child in and scrub him down and get rid of all the dirt before we gave him the nice clothes and perfume.  And then we would take him to the doctor and have him inoculated to make sure there were no residual diseases.  We would keep scrubbing and checking up until we are satisfied.  Make the application.  God is not satisfied with sinners.  He makes us saints.  Jesus died for us when we were yet sinners but He did so to make us like Him.

Imparted righteousness.  It may not fit your theology, but it fits your Bible.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-212, Imputed or Imparted? Part 1 of 2

Time for a little theology.  If that subject bores you maybe it is time to go see if the oatmeal is boiling yet.

Christians cannot deny or ignore that the Bible teaches righteousness.  We are to be holy.  It is not an option.  Well, I guess they can deny it, and they do, but they must ignore what the Bible says in order to do so.
(1 Peter 1:15-16 KJV)  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
This is not just an isolated, out of context proof-text.  Peter is quoting from Leviticus.  This is a recurring theme in scripture. 

So now we come to one of those theological moments like the political moment we had when President Clinton said, “It depends what the meaning of ‘is,’ is.”

It all depends what you mean by “being righteous.”  Here the theologians step in and start trying to rationalize away a clear teaching.  Some say that this is “imputed righteousness” rather than “imparted righteousness.”  What is the difference?  And what difference does it make?  It means both everything and nothing.

To impute means to declare something to be true or accurate.  You attribute a quality.  In an argument you might say, “Are you imputing that I am lying?”  I realize you would not phrase it that way to modern, public school graduates, but years ago people would understand that word.  You might not be lying but the charge stands.  You are labeled a liar even if you are not.  In this way some theologians, professional and pop, say that we are not really righteous, we are just called righteous.  We are declared righteous but we all know it isn’t really true.  There is something dishonest and tricky about that point of view to me.  It is like we are saying God was just kidding. 

Some say that it is impossible to actually be righteous.  We are incapable of living without sin.  In one sense that is true.  We are not capable in our own power and discipline of living above sin.  But these same people who claim we cannot live above sin believe that we can be forgiven of our sins?  How does that happen?  By grace and the power of God.  We cannot earn our forgiveness, but we are forgiven.  In the same way we cannot live above sin by our own power, it is through grace and the power of the Holy Spirit.  Why is this such a big jump?  Why does the sovereignty of God make it possible for us to be forgiven from sin but somehow it does He does not have the power to actually break the power of sin?

To be continued...

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