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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Opus 2013-371: Firsts: Popcorn for Breakfast

Being acquainted with grits and steel cut oats, popcorn begged to be admitted to the club.

When I stay with my son I experiment in the kitchen in ways that would drive my wife frantic with anxiety.  Popcorn is not exactly a major risk but what about for breakfast? 

With bulk popcorn and a microwave it is possible to turn out a reasonable amount of cereal in a reasonable amount of time with no oils or additives.  We put it in bowls, added milk, sweetened to taste and gave it a whirl.  It was declared a winner.

If you try it, be careful to get the unpopped kernels out of the mix and chew carefully in case you were not perfect.  Maybe this is old news to you, but it is new to us.

Does anyone know how they get puffed wheat and rice?  I have tried wheat in the microwave and all it does is burn.  There are still uncharted shores to visit.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 29, 2013

Opus 2013-370: Firsts: Shopping on Thanksgiving

Did you violate the spirit of the holiday by going shopping? 

I do not mean did you have a medical crisis and need to get a prescription.  What I am referring to is the merchants’ making the monumental decision to open their doors on Thanksgiving.  This is one of those watershed moments that begin to change a culture.

There were two holidays that were still sacred, even to the profane.  Even those who do not believe in God celebrate Thanksgiving and those who believe Jesus is a silly children’s story get into the Christmas spirit.  Now one of those becomes just another shopping day, another finish-your-dessert-so-we-can-get-to-the-sales moment.

Have you ever complained about the materialism of Christmas?  Have you complained about the commercialism that markets Santa Claus and wise men?  Did you go shopping yesterday?  Were you tempted?  Would you have gone if no one would know?  Then welcome to the world of hypocrisy. 

If there were not so many stores that opened I would call for a boycott.  I have not heard yet, but I hope the day was a miserable failure.  I hope that the American people were horrified and repelled.  I hope they stayed home and enjoyed family and friends.  I hope but have little assurance.  I do know that if the people who called themselves Christians had refused to participate the day would have been a failure.

If this was a success then expect the same on Christmas.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Opus 2013-369: Why Me?

I hope you have a happy thanksgiving. 

It is so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the struggles, failures and shortfalls of our lives.  I do it often enough but by making it a habit of starting every morning with, “Good morning, Lord” I start off on the right foot.  I am working on meditating and writing on Proverbs at the beginning of every day.  Between the spoken words and the studied Word it puts a spring in my step.

Today is the big pause that refreshes.  If you don’t have a personal faith I guess you can be grateful for the previous generations that have built our world.  I can do that and also see the hand of God in the general peace and prosperity I am surrounded by.

I often wonder, “Why me?”  Not in sorrow and complaint but in wonder and gratitude.  I could have been born in the middle of the chaos of the French Revolution, the Mongol invasion, Haitian slavery, the Black Death.  I could have been born in a poverty stricken third world country controlled by a crazy tyrant.  Without pride or arrogance, I can be grateful and continue to wonder, “Why me?” 

To that I add thanks.

Will things fall apart in the future?  Will sickness or poverty come?  Will tragedy stalk my footsteps?  Maybe.  I hope that I still trust my God and know a spirit of thanksgiving.  Remember that when the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the new world, they had suffered tremendous losses.  Yet they were thankful.

“Why me?  Thank you, Lord!”

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Opus 2013-368: Heresy 101: Sinful Use of Music

I have just a word of warning for those of you who are on the verge of giving in to temptation:  Don’t play your Christmas music yet.  It is not allowed before Thanksgiving.

I am sure that everyone who is mature agrees and is standing strong.  Christmas music before Thanksgiving is wrong.  You may see sales in the stores.  You may be getting adds already.  I understand that stores are planning on opening on Thanksgiving.  I even saw a Salvation Army kettle outside a store yesterday.  That does not make it right.

It is not allowed before Thanksgiving.

In case you think I am being too hard, I will allow you the flexibility of deciding whether you must wait until the day after Thanksgiving or if you can begin after dessert.  In no case should it be before dessert.  Be strong.  Take the high road.  Resist temptation.

Have you already succumbed to the siren call?  Then perhaps some sort of penance is due.  Maybe you can listen to rap music for the afternoon or perhaps country would punish you enough. 

Remember:  No Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Opus 2013-367: Basic Beliefs: God Is..., Part 3 of 3

In addition to being spirit and light we see that God is love.
(1 John 4:8 KJV)  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
“Love” here is the Greek agape.  It is a type of love that the world does not accept.  It is summarized in I Corinthians 13 where the KJV calls it “charity.”

We hear a lot about love in our day and age.  It is portrayed as something of great value.  It is said to be lacking.  It is supposed to be a panacea for all that is wrong with our world.

The problem is that the “love” that the songs, posters and counselors talk about is not agape love.  The “love” of the songs is basically lust and physical gratification.  The “love” of the posters is spineless accommodation to narcissism.  The “love” of the counselors is self centered. 

Agape love is summarized in patience, kindness, forgiveness, self sacrifice.  It is a commitment, not an emotion.  Agape love is what is sometimes called “tough love.”  It makes hard choices and does not make excuses.  When correction is needed, it corrects.  When punishment is needed, it punishes.  But it always acts this way for the improvement of the target.  It is full of encouraging hope based on reality.  It is not about the lover or lovee feeling good.  It is to make good.

It might help if we said “God is agape” rather than “God is love.”

So.  God is spirit.  God is light.  God is love.

Something to think about.  Something to believe.  Someone to follow.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 25, 2013

Opus 2013-366: Basic Beliefs: God Is..., Part 2 of 3

God is spirit, not material. 

There is a second declaration that the professor  brought to our attention.
(1 John 1:5 KJV)  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
So we see that God is light. 

Here again we see a place where we need to suspend our literal, physical understanding.  Our common understanding is that God is “a” light.  We think in physical terms and that works well up to a point.  Light reveals.  Light gives life.  Light helps us see our steps.  These are all good applications which are true, but God is more than that.

We are not talking about God being a stream of photons or energy which could be measured if we had a big enough meter.  That is a characteristic, an attribute not an essential essence.

In this verse it is contrasted with darkness.  Other places we see this distinction.  Isaiah gives some contrasts.
(Isaiah 5:20 KJV)  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

(Isaiah 42:16 KJV)  And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

You see the division of good and evil, bitter and sweet, crooked and straight.

John gives it as a mindset.
(John 1:5 KJV)  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

(John 3:19 KJV)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Paul points out that light and darkness cannot be joined.
(2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV)  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
I think that we are talking about the righteousness of God, the holiness of God or the purity of God. 

Anyway you want to slice it, to me, the light is the place to be.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Opus 2013-365: Basic Beliefs: God Is..., Part 1 of 3

Years ago in a seminary class the professor stated that there are three categorical statements about God in the Bible.  These are in addition to the attributes stated or implied.  These are statements that begin, “God is....”  When I did a search for “God is” in my software I came up with 169 hits.  Most of them are simple statements like “God is giving to us.”  Those obviously don’t fit this category.  Others are more subtle like,
(Deuteronomy 4:31 KJV)  (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
I want to look at the three statements given by that professor.  Interestingly they are all from the writings of John, the last writer and the one with the most time to reflect.  This is not intended as a required doctrinal statement explaining God.  It is simply a look at some of the basics.

The first statement,
(John 4:24 KJV)  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
First, lets deal with the translation.  In the KJV and other older translations this describes God as “a” Spirit.  Modern translations drop the indefinite article and simply have “God is spirit.”  Greek does not use the articles the way we do.  The definite article, “the,” is used sparingly and seems to indicate emphasis.  The indefinite articles, “a” and “an,” do not exist in Greek so anywhere you see them they are added on the opinion of the translators.

The theological point here is that the eternal God is not a physical being.  When the Son came to earth he was “incarnated.”  That means He crossed a line and took on the physical nature of human beings without giving up the divine nature.  In essence though, it means that we are not to think of God in physical terms. 

There are numerous figures of speech in the Bible that are used to teach us about God.  They help us to understand bigger lessons.  There are times when the word picture is clear in our minds and seems to indicate that God is physical.
(Mark 16:19 KJV)  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
But if God is not physical, He does not have hands.  It is just as powerful to accept this as a metaphor and learn from it.  Everything is the Bible is not to be taken literally.  How do you know?  Paraphrasing the realtor who asked what was most important, “Three things:  Context, context, context.”Try to understand the Bible in the context of the Bible. 

For example.
(Psalms 91:4 KJV)  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Does that mean that God is a chicken?  If you insist that everything is totally literal that is your declaration.  If you accept that this is a metaphor, then don’t insist everything is literal.  Accepting the inspiration of the Word is not the same as demanding a literal interpretation.

More could be said but the first point is that God is Spirit, not material.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, November 22, 2013

Opus 2013-364: Did You Forget to Vote? Good!

We need fewer voters.  If you forgot to vote last election you probably should not have been voting anyway.

Think about it.  What is required to vote?  You must be 18.  You are supposed to be a citizen.  You have to register.  That is about it.  Are you good with that?  I’m not.

I would like to see a higher bar for voting.  I would like some minimum requirements.  It should be in reach of all concerned citizens and out of reach of the lazy fool.  The problem is that I can’t think of much that would not eventually be abused.

Most people are afraid of this idea because historically it has usually been implemented as a method of oppression.  That is definitely a valid concern.  For instance, after the American Civil War some Southern states were trying to find a way around the Federal law designed to give the freed slaves political clout.  One idea was a literacy requirement.  You needed to be able to read and write.  Sounds reasonable.  But some freed slaves had learned to read and write.  Others were learning.  The “solution” was to give different tests to black citizens than were given to white citizens.  Blacks would be given extremely hard tests; whites, a simple one.  A reasonable requirement became a tool of manipulation and racial oppression. 

Most of the standards I can think of could be misused just as easily.  Most attempts at reform can bring greater problems if misused by people of not good-will.  Think of the times one political party has implemented reform and had it abused by the next president or a new Congress.  I would not hesitate to give George Washington or Calvin Coolidge certain powers that would give me nightmares if Carter or Obama had the reins.  We do need to think about it.

What would I like to see?  How about a simple test before you got your ballot.  A few simple questions.  Who are your current senators?  Name one political party besides the Republicans and Democrats.  How long does the president serve?  How many states are there?  Name one issue the candidates differ on and where they stand.  I am open to honest suggestions.

I would also like to see people who do not own real estate be barred from voting on property tax and bond issues. 

People receiving checks from the government not related to jobs should be barred.  Possibly all government employees should be banned because of conflict of interest.  That would include teachers like me.

Ballots should only be in English and the voter should be able to read them.

Photo ID should be required.

Should we implement any of these?  It would be worth a try or at least a discussion if we could do it without someone yelling “racist” because they don’t have a better objection.  We also need to keep in mind that Carter happened.  Obama is happening.  Tread with care.

Do you have any honest, better ideas?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Opus 2013-363: CCC: What about History and Science?

Everything I looked at in the Common Core Curriculum (CCC) was written for two disciplines:  Math and English/Language Arts.  It you go to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section you find I am not the only one wondering.

From the FAQ section
“Q.  Are there plans to develop common standards in other areas in the future?

A.  CCSSO and NGA are not leading the development of standards in other academic content areas. Below is information on efforts of other organizations to develop standards in other academic subjects.”
It then list multiple groups that are theoretically working on science, “world languages,” and Arts.  There is no mention of history, government, economics or any of the related subjects.  It says that the “states are developing the Next Generation Science Standards.”  Maybe.  If the government subsidies hold out.

Since most of these people are from the left I am not sure I want them developing standards for history anyway. 

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Opus 2013-362: The Zombie Times

I am at the point in life where I will not even read the L.A. Times if I find it free.

If I were stuck on a desert island, and there was a kiosk offering the L.A. Times, and I had plenty of change and no where else to spend it, would I bother reading it?  Not unless I wanted some fantasy or light fiction. 

It came to me why I find the Times so unsatisfying.  I don’t like fantasy as a genre.  Fantasy has little contact with reality.  It is so irrational that it offends my attempts to suspend reality.  It manipulates plot lines with Deus ex Machina moments.  On occasion I can find an author that does it well, but they are few and far between.

Zombie movies are the same.  I don’t have enough imagination to believe in the walking dead.

One of the reasons I don’t like the L.A. Times is because I don’t like fantasy.  But then the L.A. Times is a good example of the walking dead.  It can’t seem to be killed.  It has no visible means of support.  It infects and kills all it touches.

Run for the hills.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Opus 2013-361: CCC: Out with the Classic, in with the Mediocre

One of the complaints I have heard about the new Common Core Curriculum (CCC) is that it is throwing out the use of literature in teaching and substituting boring selections taken from practical sources such as operator’s manuals and travel brochures.  Based on the “literature” that has become standard in education I am not sure that is a bad thing. 

What they don’t tell you is that they are also taking out the literature part of English.  Actually they deny it by saying that they still allow literature.  The truth is that it becomes a junior partner.  I just sat in a training session where the new jargon was introduced.  We now speak of “Informational Texts.”  Here is a portion of what was presented,
“Students read a true balance of informational and literary texts.  Elementary school classrooms are, therefore, places where students access the world - science, social studies, the arts and literature - through text.  At least 50% of what students read is informational.”
If you are bored and need something to do you can see the entire packet that was downloaded from the internet at the following site.

Notice two important phrases, “true balance” and “at least 50%.”  How do you define “true balance?”  What is the opposite, “false balance?”  And people assume that “at least 50%” means about half when it could also mean 95%.  This way of writing is designed to make you feel comfortable and leave them free to do whatever they want.

A quick glace at the examples they gave showed that they all came from personal journals of period pieces that left a lot to be desired in the quality of the writing.  Primary sources are important in teaching but who chooses the primary source.  The personal letters of someone’s Aunt Sophie are not necessarily as important as a letter by Thomas Jefferson.  It turns out that well known writers and classic literature need not apply.

I am afraid that a primary reason history is not emphasized is the same rational that has removed classical literature.  If you know your heritage and the struggles of the past you are harder to control in the future.  They give you a foundation to anchor you as you stand up for the important issues of life.  Without that knowledge you are trying to keep your head above water in the rapids of liberal jargon.

Progress is a wonderful thing, if you are a Progressive.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Opus 2013-360: The Nanny State: Now Saving You from Transfats

I usually don’t finish my coffee when it is decaf.

I can’t explain it.  I am not such a connoisseur that I taste a big difference.  I don’t notice it until later but when I am driving if I am drinking regular coffee I finish it before I arrive.  If it is decaf I always have some left over.  There is something that does not satisfy.

A recent headline has been that the government is moving to remove trans fats from our foods.  All the logic is good.  Trans fats are bad for us.  Trans fats damage our health.  So remove them.  And they promise it won’t effect the taste of the food.  Right.  And we can all have great health care with no increase in cost.  Just let the government take care of you.

When the government removes the trans fats you will see another decline in the economy.  It will be subtle and you won’t see the connection so let me point it out.  The food will not taste as good.  It won’t be terrible.  You can’t put your finger on it but you buy less when you eat out and you eat out less often because it just doesn’t satisfy you.  As a result the income of the food industry declines.  Profits go down.  People are laid off and cut back.  Fewer taxes are paid.  The spiral continues.

Will it improve our overall health?  I doubt it.  Most people will substitute other foods that give them the satisfaction they got from the trans fats.  They will not substitute raw broccoli for french fries.  They will probably go to bacon.  The problem isn’t the food but how much of it we eat and how much exercise we get in between. I have noticed that when I buy a low calorie food I end up eating more of it. 

The government means to do well.  That is the curse of the Progressive.  They are from the government and they are here to help you.  What they don’t allow for is the law of unintended consequences.  We see it all the time.  For example, when people stop smoking, they eat more.  They replace lung cancer with heart attacks and strokes.  There is always cause and effect.

People need to be taught to be responsible for their actions.  They do not need a bigger nanny state to give us an authority figure to manipulate and work around.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 15, 2013

Opus 2013-359: On the Street: Blue Lights and Red Lights

Don’t tell me that writing tickets won’t slow down crazy drivers.

It happened again.  I was reminded of how if we would simply enforce the laws and rules it would make a dramatic difference.  You see it everywhere and ignore it. 

Traffic was flowing well.  Suddenly the freeway came to a halt and began to creep.  What stopped everyone?  Was a car stalled?  Was there an accident?  Were young people running across the freeway in protest of the Florida shooting?  No.  All we had was one motorcycle cop sitting on the side of the road with his blue lights showing in the darkness.  He had not pulled anyone over.  He wasn’t using a radar gun.  He was just sitting there.  He was probably trying to figure out where to go to get coffee and donuts. 

As soon as we got past him traffic picked up again.  The flow returned.  Don’t tell me enforcing the speed limit would not slow people down.  If two blue lights can stop American drivers then just think what a few red lights would do.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Opus 2013-358: The Theology of Obesity

Why are Bible believing Christians so fat?  Okay, so they are not all overweight, but like the rest of the American population obesity is a problem.  Part of it comes from the Christian heritage that the nation used to have.  The common person on the street isn’t aware of it but their weight problems go back to a point of Protestant theology:  We live under grace not law. 

Christians believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  This payment is extended as a gift from God to those who believe His death was enough to pay for their sins.  There is nothing we can do to earn forgiveness through our efforts or work.  It is a gift freely given by God.  It is grace.

(Ephesians 2:8 KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Well and good in theology but it becomes a problem when we extend that thinking to our diets.  We tend to think that because our sins can be washed away because we believe, then maybe that chocolate chip cookie will be forgiven too if we believe it to be true.  It is not unusual at a church potluck to overhear someone say “It’s Sunday.  That casserole doesn’t have any calories.”

So we indulge in food and we get fat.  Unfortunately when it comes to food we are under law, not grace.  If we are overweight, blame it on the Protestant Reformation.  It is all the fault of Martin Luther and John Calvin.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Opus 2013-357: CCC: Another Battle Lost

Is homework now another dinosaur of education?

We were at a meeting with a parent.  I was asked about homework for my class and was explaining that my assignments are all long term.  I work my eighth graders through the process of research ending with a 5-10 page term paper.  There is always something to be doing but progress is checked every few weeks in the form of note cards, outlines and such.  As I was explaining this I said what I have often said to try to reinforce other teachers, “It isn’t like math that has homework every night.”  To my surprise the math teacher said, “Not under Common Core.” 

I did not have time to follow up the discussion but what I got from it is that with the new Common Core Curriculum in math the students do not have homework every night.  I can hear the children cheering now. 

This is another example of how the forces of dumbing down are winning battle after battle.  This is another one of the conflicts that has been waged in education.  A growing pool of parents and teachers have been trying to do away with homework assignments.  They feel like it puts too much stress on the student and of course “everyone” knows that it doesn’t do any good.  My response is that of course it doesn’t do any good if the students don’t do it.

I am sure that there is a very good explanation for the change.  I am sure that they can quote studies and position papers.  I am sure that you can be made to look ignorant because you don’t understand the latest jargon.

It is like telling weight lifters that they don’t need to lift weights.  It is part of the syndrome that believes you can eat what you want and lose weight.  It is the fantasy that we can have total, high quality health care for everyone and lower the costs.  It is believed by the same people that believe the billboard about the new car that gets 108 MPG.

I guess education is just catching up with the rest of society.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Opus 2013-356: On the Street: More Violence Coming

If you don’t have a gun you might want to buy one.

We should soon have the Norwegian Pagans rioting in the streets.

Why?  I am glad you asked.  Recently I noticed a billboard for a new movie called “Thor.”   In case you went to public school let me point out that Thor is a Scandinavian god.  I believe he is associated with of thunder but it is probably more than that.  You can check it out at Wikipedia if you want more.

Remember how the Muslim community responded to pictures of Mohammed?  It was almost worldwide chaos.  How many were killed?  My question is, “Will this perpetuate a wave of mass murder and suicide bombers by Norwegian Pagans?”   That is what the Muslims do.  What is good for the goose is supposed to be good for the gander.

Maybe we should start to worry about the response of the pagans.  Maybe we should ban the movie.  Maybe we should require the producers and actors to attend diversity training workshops.

I am going to check the bars on my widows and make sure my baseball bat is handy.  Maybe I can hang a hammer on the front door in solidarity.

Maybe I can get on with life.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 11, 2013

Opus 2013-355: Old and Young: Simple Words Are Not Always Simple

It is so easy to forget how ignorant today’s students are.

Last week I was going over the Bill of Rights and trying to get the students to understand their importance.  I was working through the First Amendment to the Constitution and reviewing the five basic rights given there.  I ran into a problem when I casually asked them what was the “press.”  I wanted to go on to a discussion of the modern application to internet.  My question was simply to set up the next step.  I wanted to hit them where they live so they would begin to see that the issues of liberty did effect their lives.  I quickly realized I had a problem.  All I was getting was blank stares. 

They had no idea what the Bill of Rights meant by “the press.”  Later in the day I got some comments about people who take pictures but no one seemed to know what us older folks take as simple information.

It is so easy to assume that people understand basic ideas and vocabulary.  It doesn’t work that way with the generation being taught by post moderns.  Words mean what you want them to mean.  Anyone who has ever worked on a car knows what a ratchet wrench is.  My eighth graders have been using the word for a year and a half.  I still don’t know what they mean by it but I get the impression it isn’t good.  Every time I pull out my ratchet wrench I just get peals of laughter.  The word means what they want it to mean.

Press means nothing because they don’t want it to mean anything.

I realize that educators bear some of the blame but these same children have spent even longer in the presence of their family.  Does anyone do anything but text and rap any more? 

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Opus 2013-354: Headlines: Media Breakthrough, Media Blindness, part 2 of 2

The media still has trouble connecting the dots. 

I mentioned a “news” story on the radio.  I did not tell you what the fuss was about.  The Beautiful Voices reported that economists were surprised by the recent report on job creation.  They were expecting the numbers to be down but they were up.  That is no surprise since most of these projections are arrived at by tea leaves and dart boards.  Economists tend to overemphasize their importance and accuracy.

What was amusing was the reason they thought the numbers should be down.  They said something to the effect of “due to the government shut down.”  They assumed that the government being shut down would lower the number of jobs created.  Poor Progressives.  Sorry Socialists.  Lobotomized  Liberals.  Deluded Democrats.  They think that the government is the source of jobs. 

I think it is obvious.  The government being shut down is the reason more jobs were created.  I can’t explain it like an economist does, with charts and graphs, but I can make a simple statement:  More government, less jobs.  Less government, more jobs. 

Maybe we should try it again.  Let’s shut down the government and watch the recovery.

homo unius libri

Opus 2013-353: Headlines: Media Breakthrough, Media Blindness, part 1 of 2

Things must be really bad, the media is noticing.

When I turned on the radio yesterday morning to check the traffic the lead story was the economy and the new jobs projected.  Let me start with the second thing that jumped out at me.  This is the breakthrough.  It was the most startling because it seemed like the media heads and voices might be actually paying attention.  Nah, probably just a fluke.  It came when they quoted the government statistics on job creation and then inserted something that sounded like, “...if you can believe the numbers the government is giving us.”  At that point I felt like a character in The Music Man who said, “I think she’s got it.”

It is a miracle when a member of the Biased Class recognizes something that the rest of us have known for a long time.  The government lies.  This current administration has set new levels of low when it comes to lies. 


To be continued...

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Opus 2013-352: The Jets, Mark Driscoll and P.J. O’Rourke, part 3 of 3

The Jets:  “Deep down inside we’re just no good.

Mark Driscoll:  “The Bible says, ‘You are bad.’”

How does P. J. O’Rourke get into this discussion.  He is not known for his theology so, to be honest, I don’t think he knew he was agreeing.  Based on the things he finds funny and his coarse vocabulary I find it hard to imagine that he has any serious Christian beliefs.  I still enjoy reading his spin on society and culture.  When I found one of his old books recently at a used book sale I bought it and began reading.  To my surprise I found that he agreed with the Bible.  He puts it in political terms but the philosophy is the same.

“Neither conservatives nor humorists believe man is good.  But left-wingers do.  They think man’s misbehavior is caused by a deprived environment, educational shortcomings, and improper bonding within the family unit.  They believe there are people so poor they can’t pick up their yard.” p. xv

So there you have it from three diverse sources.  It makes a difference.  I determines how you think our broken culture can be fixed.  Individually, eternity is in the balance.  Culturally, it is a question of survival in a way that preserves liberty.

O’Rourke, P. J.  Republican Party Reptile.  New York:  The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Opus 2013-351: The Jets, Mark Driscoll and P.J. O’Rourke, part 2 of 3

The Jets confessed,  “Deep down inside we’re just no good.”  Society disagrees.  Mark Driscoll agrees.  In a podcast titled “Jesus Preached the Gospel,” breaks it down this way.  This was typed by listening so the punctuation is mine.  I may get a few words off, but it is close enough for understanding.
“Therapy has overtaken theology....A therapeutic model begins with this assumption:  You’re basically a good person.  And what is holding you back is the sins of others and the nature of the culture.  So what we need to do is encourage you to love yourself; to love yourself, to embrace yourself so that you could maximize your goodness. 

“The Bible says, “You are bad.”  A completely different assumption.  And you don’t need to just embrace yourself, you need to become a new self.  You don’t need to just accept who you are, you need to have God change who you are.  And what you need is not to just feel better.  You need to be new.

“And so it is a very different set of assumptions that are working for having to deal with the human condition.  So a Christian will come along and say, ‘Let’s talk about repentance.’  Whereas a non-Christian will come around and talk about something other than repentance.  Do you love yourself?  Do you have a high self-esteem?  Do you feel good about yourself?   You know, are you actualizing your potential?  Do you know how good you really could be? ....  It’s not centered on God as the standard of holiness and right and wrong.  It’s centered more on my feelings and my vision for my life...”
A lot of words.  Too many modern pastors do not accept this clear teaching of the Bible.  Driscoll did not surprise me.  What surprised me was the agreement of P. J. O’Rourke.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, November 4, 2013

Opus 2013-350: The Jets, Mark Driscoll and P.J. O’Rourke, part 1 of 3

It is a great day when you find three radically different sources agreeing.

First, we have the Jets.

If you are old enough you remember the musical, West Side Story.  One of the musical numbers has the Jets singing to Officer Krupke.  They dance and sing about how so many experts have tried to figure out why they are such hoodlums.  After going through all of the explanations that have been given for their anti-social behavior by psychologists and social workers they came to a timeless conclusion.
“Deep down inside we’re just no good.”
Today that is rejected.  Then it was obvious.

One of the foundational concepts that has molded our culture is the view of the nature of man.  Is man basically good or bad?  If he is good, why do things go bad?  If he is bad, can he become good?  How?  These questions are at the root of our social institutions and are ignored by most people.  We don’t want to deal with it.  It strikes too close to home and might demand changes in us.

The United States as a nation was founded on the basic idea that man was evil and needed God’s intervention to do good.  That is why we have checks and balances in the Constitution.  The current cultural leaders in education, science, the arts and government reject that founding philosophy.  They believe that man is good naturally but has been corrupted by society.  By society they mean people who disagree with them.  That would be me and, I hope, you.

If you are a Christian then you have no choice really.  You must believe that man is sinful.  It is a clear teaching of the Bible.
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The Jets knew it.  Do You?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Opus 2013-249: On the Street: End Times Evidence

I think I am going to invest in bean sprout futures.

Recently I was driving to work and pulled up behind a Porsche.  I don’t fit in them and would not want the cost of maintaining one, but I thought I could admire them from afar.  What was unusual was the model name displayed below the Porsche name.  It said, “Panorama S Hybrid.”

Porsche has a hybrid?  What is the world coming to?  I have always associated Porsche with performance and power, not with electrical outlets. 

I think it is time to close up shop and go home.  It looks like they have won.  In the future the Indianapolis 500 will no longer be a race to see who is fastest but a contest to see which battery pack lasts the longest.  Instead of beer and hot dogs they sell herbal tea and tofu.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Opus 2013-248: Links: Political Parties Do Make a Difference.

Check out this post at Gorges’ Grouse.  It involves the Senate almost voting to give away the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  Make sure you check the party affiliation of the people voting to turn you over to the one world government.  Notice that the only one’s who do not have a “D” by their name have an “I” which probably should be “S” for socialist.

You say it doesn’t make a difference who you vote for?  Guess again.

Vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Opus 2013-247: Religion and Culture: Paganism Comes Out of the Closet.

We have survived another Halloween.  I noticed a lot more lights around the neighborhood.  It almost felt like Christmas except the colors were different.  I vaguely remember reading about how the spending on Halloween is growing exponentially.  It is becoming one of the most expensive holidays on the calendar.  I overheard a conversation in the store about how more adults seem to be getting involved.

I think it is appropriate that Halloween take on the trappings associated with Christmas and assume the lead in our holiday celebrations.  We have embraced paganism as a nation and a culture.  It is only appropriate that the peak pagan pageantry become what we look forward to.

Brace yourselves as the pagan values continue to work their way through our daily lives.  Both Christmas and Halloween have the appeal of children and parties.  Both are celebrated by people who believe and understand and by those who enjoy the fun and games.  The similarities stop there.  Christmas for believers involves the incarnation and the beginning of the salvation process.  It’s key words would be joy and hope.  Halloween for believers involves death and fear.  One if staffed by angels and lambs.  The other is full of demons and ghosts.  In one you put out cookies and milk as a gift in the other you offer blood and zombies. 

Halloween this year fell on the day we put out our trash for collection.  I had it on the street before I was reminded of the day.  I removed it from the path of temptation.  If the holiday was Christmas I would have put it out a day late because the trash men had spent the day with their families.  On Halloween I hide it because the celebrants were spending the day with their wannabe families.

The zombies are a growth industry.  Welcome to the future.  I have no fear of the long view of history but I am concerned about what the ignorant of our society are molding.

Happy All Saints Day.  Advent is coming.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 1, 2013

Opus 2013-346: The Up’s and Down’s of Loads

As I was listening to a sermon by Mark Driscoll he commented on how in the last year their website had downloaded 25 million sermons.  Even when divided by 365 that is an awesome number.  It comes out 68,493 a day.  That is encouraging. 

What makes me sad is that it means there are a lot of people out there who are not being preached to in a meaningful way.  Too many pastors are giving public service messages or self-help lectures and ignoring the eternal Word of God.

We will not have revival in the church unless we hear more of what God has said.  We will not have a renewal in America unless we have revival in the church.  Sad to say, if America is lost as a force for right, the world will become an even more ugly place.
(Romans 10:14 KJV)  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
If you have a real preacher, treasure him.  If you don’t, try to help him.  Pray for revival.

homo unius libri