Mind Slaves

If you change someone’s mind on something, you haven’t accomplished much. Sure, it probably comes with a package including the person’s actions and words, but that’s just physics.

It’s hard to overstate the perversion of Western mythology. Let’s remind ourselves of the proper biblical approach to thinking about our existence. On the one hand, Creation is a marvelous expression of God’s character. What He has done naturally reflects His Person, and the link between Creator and Creation is a living thing in itself. The very moral fiber of His divine nature keeps Creation intact. As soon as He loses interest, it all goes away. Creation is a direct and wholly dependent fabrication of His imagination. Try Colossians 1:16-17.

Do you notice how language breaks down trying to express it? How do you pull all that higher truth down inside of Creation when Creation is just a figment in His mind?

So we acknowledge that Creation is unspeakably grand and beautiful because He is also unspeakably grand and beautiful. Why do we have so much sorrow then? The Bible doesn’t explain all the details, but God gave us a certain amount of free choice in this thing and we chose wrong. Your consciousness isn’t the issue; it’s His thoughts on the matter. So all we really know is that we somehow enter into this life flawed, and trying to pin the blame somewhere else is pointless. Whatever it was or could have been or should have been is not down that path. The only path out of this mess is accepting the Creator’s assessment of things.

Indeed, it’s so simple and easy we are rightly shocked more people don’t take it. All we have to do is embrace His assessment. He’s the one who made it and keeps it working, so why argue with Him about it? Suddenly the world becomes that unspeakably beautiful place He made it, instead of sorrowful place we made of it. Creation is not fallen; you and I are fallen. Unfortunately, we are the pinnacle of Creation, so our fallen state afflicts all of Creation in certain ways we are hard put to describe. In Romans 8, Paul doesn’t try to explain it but offers a dramatic image of how Creation moans and groans to God about being confined under or fallen nature. Creation itself is looking forward to our redemption.

In various ways, Paul and the other Apostles teach us that some measure of that redemption takes place here and now, but that the full realization is still down the road somewhere ahead of us. In that same chapter of Romans he notes how beautiful life is under that redemption right now, but how it just doesn’t compare well with what comes later. Celebrate your redemption now as a foretaste of what is to come.

Sadly, Western minds have turned that redemption into a mere cerebral exercise. That in itself is a form of blasphemy. Western Christian religion is all about proper ideas and thinking and actions, but this whole business of genuine personal connection back to God is shoved off into “Woo Land” that, not only can we not describe it, we can’t even really believe it. We can assert spiritual birth as orthodoxy, but Western thinking excludes the actual boundary layer between this fallen existence and the Spirit Realm. It’s an orthodoxy connected to nothing. Western thinking just barely accepts the notion that there is an entire brain and nervous system in your chest, but cannot possibly admit that there is any faculty above the human intellect. So whatever Western minds make of the heart-mind, it cannot be superior to the brain in our heads. It is permitted only to offer a little advice now and then.

Since God says in His word that He doesn’t speak directly to the mind, but only to the receptors in the heart, that means those who count themselves redeemed are wholly unlikely to know how to talk to God. They can stir up lots of emotion and imagine that somehow it’s not mere emotion, that this particular brand of excitement is holy and what you see at football games is secular. The problem is, however much religion and faith gets stirred up in those football rally worship experiences is as ephemeral as your team jersey. And all the orthodoxy of the teaching and endless classes in the mere words of the Bible, for all the artistry they may indulge, is still just an exercise in the brain. The heart is not reliably affected because nobody admits the heart can be engaged consciously as a superior faculty.

All that’s left is orthodoxy and activism, with some varying measure of emotion thrown in. There is no heart. Nobody accepts the true power of Romans 1:20.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (NIV)

It’s all reduced to a mere figure of speech. Westerners can’t imagine a literal sensory heart that “sees” the truth in Creation. Well, Creation doesn’t witness of orthodoxy; Creation witnesses the living moral character of God. There is no such thing as “objective truth” because there is no objective reality. It’s just whatever God says it is, and since we are fallen, His truth is expressed in terms of Law Covenant. But it’s not Western law; it’s Ancient Near Eastern feudal law — you must become family or you will be a slave in the personal dominion of God. And family will remain personally devoted and loyal to the Person. That’s “Law” in the biblical sense.

If all you change is someone’s mind, then they are still a slave at best.

Psalm 86

Don’t go looking for the precise spot David occupied when he composed this sweet hymn. We have no idea what human historical context goes with this impassioned plea, and precious few humans can even begin to share the moral place he stood. That’s what makes all the difference in the world, because it’s not enough to translate the words if we can’t transport our souls over into that moral sphere of the heart where Heaven calls us to rise from our natural fallen state.

Nor could we guess why the Temple music director pulled this psalm of David into the midst of their collection of songs, but we do understand how this fits into a penitent call that robes every soul sincerely seeking God’s favor. Without the moral tenor carried in these words, it won’t matter where you stand in the entire universe, you won’t stand in God’s Presence.

David begins by depicting a young child begging his father to bend down and hear his tiny voice. The Hebrew figure of speech often translated “poor and needy” is not merely an economic condition, but a sense of total dependence. While most English translations have David referring to himself as “holy” it might better be rendered as “godly” in the sense of morally consistent with God’s character. It’s the image of someone who manages to gaze upon this messy reality from an eternal viewpoint and then acting accordingly. The context is a claim to feudal loyalty. And it’s not so much that David cries all day long like a whiner, but that he cannot imagine going anywhere else with concerns that are far bigger than he.

A mighty lord in David’s time would surely rescue even his own domestic herds if they fell into a tight spot, so there’s nothing wrong with a human servant asking for a rescue from trouble. “Give me another reason to shout to the world what a mighty and good God you are!” So David refreshes his request for an honest hearing of his plea. This day and any day when things are difficult, David will call on no one else.

He goes on to contrast how Jehovah is not like any other deity. Whose gods could claim dividing the waters and making the seabed dry? Whose idols could speak with fire, smoke and earthquakes? Which of the gods dropped food from the sky daily for years on end? Which of the deities drove out entire nations of giants and massive armies with better technology? No god had such a record, and so David notes he can’t imagine thinking of any of them as actual gods. David paints the image of a mighty warrior king leading a vast army that includes all of Creation itself.

Verse 11 rings across the ages and appears in many modern worship songs. Reshape me, David says, and make me like You. Ancient Near Eastern law was conceived not as mere writ, but as the character of the ruler Himself, and David asks for insight into what God intends in His realm. “What would I do if it were You at work here?” In giving fresh life to a ruler’s moral character, David hopes to warm himself in the glow of divine truth as a living force in Creation. “I wanna make You look good, Lord!” After all God has done by bringing David into His empire, how could David not bring God fame? It was as if God had breathed life into David’s dead corpse.

And what did it bring him? David faced relentless opposition from those who were hostile to God’s revelation, those who rejected His call. David simply could not fathom how people might walk away from God’s mercy. In the final lines, he admits he’s just a nobody, wholly undeserving of any good thing. But he does make himself fully available, so if for no other reason, let God reshape David into an ensign of divine authority just to shake folks up. Show them You are Boss, O Lord!

Virtual Catacombs

Step inside my madness for a moment; I’ll leave the door unlocked so you can escape when it gets too much for you.

Review: The Cult is not so much a physical presence, but an avatar, a mental image of a perverse moral presence. We know them not by their physical presence but by the fruits of their labor. My description of The Cult is an abstract of consistent behavior, of how they have operated so far in human history. In broad terms, their aim is to prevent souls escaping the domain and servitude of Satan. Try not to oversimplify how they go about this. By the same token, don’t buy the wild speculations offered to confuse everyone about things.

I’ve mentioned in other places how the scandalous document — The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion — is at least partly true if we read it as a description of the plans of The Cult back around the time that booklet was published. There is plenty of exaggeration and broad satire in the document, but a kernel of truth peeks out at us from behind the curtains. However, the plans and expectations were not carved in stone. Some of the ideas didn’t pan out. Still, the general tenor of the basic plan from so long ago is our current reality today.

The Cult favors no identifiable human element outside the boundaries of itself. I’ve noted The Cult has has a vast army of servants, and some quite highly placed in the scheme of things. But most of those names and faces that we would recognize as powerful public and not-so-public figures are not actually part of The Cult. They are guided and used; sometimes they retire well and sometimes they are tossed aside as a reminder to others that none of them are indispensable. I’ve warned that some major projects hold the same status. I sense that the modern State of Israel is one such dispensable project; it’s value is merely contextual. The Cult will eventually let it go because it is neither the objective nor a necessity for the objective. It’s been a very effective tool in deceiving humanity regarding their objectives.

I get the sense that a major turnover is at hand, that we are about to see a great many other projects and people thrown under the bus very soon. Some of the old team will go down with the scuttled ships they crewed. A new crop of servants will replace them and herd us on board other vessels. Some of the old goals and plans are obsolete, as well. But the broad moral deception and control are still there. The only reason the new rising figures survive and are not marginalized or smothered is because The Cult sponsors them as the means to keeping the deception going and the power in their hands.

The biggest challenge for the cult remains the Internet. They are learning to use it, but they cannot change its nature. On the one hand, it is no longer possible to rule without it. On the other hand, it is absolutely essential that they insert a layer of abstraction between common folk and the Internet itself. Since there is no way to actually assert any useful controls at this point on the Net, there must be a way to control the people via their access to it. Currently the primary focus is through massive changes in the operating systems of commodity devices. Not so long ago began a very intensive effort to steer people’s browsing behavior into acceptable channels. Making a certain class of services socially essential was part of this plan, even as the services were incrementally modified to insinuate various forms of control. Look for these same services to become required for certain government services and each other. Look for the services to become interlocking in new ways.

Most of this is easily defeated if you posses some measure of technical expertise. The Cult has also been trying to squeeze the computer technology middle ground, like an obnoxious child who insists on squeezing the toothpaste in the middle. The underlying trend is making the technology more demanding so that users either give up trying or invest a far greater share of available resources just to stay even. The price of expertise is rising while the price of devices and access is dropping. This takes place against a background of general decline in the quality of education so that real life-long learning becomes decreasingly likely. The Internet services and information sources are being dumbed-down to enforce this trend.

As I consider the calling on my life, I find I cannot avoid the task of embracing the greater expertise. If just a few of us who are driven by moral purpose and heart-led awareness can seize some cyber hideout, we can offer refuge, an antidote to some of this moral poison. This vision keeps morphing as I walk farther along the path. There are other areas of expertise than what calls my name. I need brothers and sisters who will find themselves in those other fields of glory to stand with me, at least in the sense of using this virtual parish as the place to offer your particular antidotes to the moral poison of The Cult. This is behind my hopes for a virtual library. I’m hoping to create a catalog that we can share so that visitors need only click on a link to call the file from this FTP server; there are technical reasons that I can’t put a webpage on the FTP server itself. So if you contribute to the library, I need from you some kind of explanation of the item’s value. It’s not the idea that I would examine every item in detail (though I will probably scan for malware and viruses) but that we would work together to build a free information community.

Naturally I’ll have to put passwords on this thing for now. It’s not about secrecy but keeping control. That means you would need to build an element of trust with me in order to gain access. I’m still working through where to draw the boundaries so we can stay below the radar. We have to weigh the risks and sense where God says He’ll cover it with His mercy. We have to discern the boundaries of His covering.

I’m working as fast as I can on this stuff, so pray with me.

Construction and Renovation Continues

I found a much better theme; it was also much simpler to adjust some of the details. The picture at the top will change from time to time; I will eventually get enough of them to turn on automatic rotation. The fonts it calls up are in this order: Georgia, Palatino, Times, serif.

The static site is where I really invest a lot of time. As promised, I’ve begun reformatting some of my books into plain HTML webpage. I’ve updated the links and formatting of A Course in Biblical Mysticism, added The Mind of Christ and a couple of articles referenced by those books. In part, I’m hoping to emphasize the academic character of the ministry on the static site. Thus, I won’t include the computer or fiction works, just the religion and Bible stuff.

Thanks for stopping by!

Shepherd’s Wrath

What follows is a blatant rejection of social standards.

It’s no secret that I despise Western society. This is not some kind of perverse self-hatred. Were that the case, I would still be acting by Western assumptions about reality as some kind of activist. That’s where you get crazy campaigners and mad bombers. No, this is a long and deeply considered rejection after having studied the whole issue academically for years. The shape of my rejection and the resulting plan of action will be anti-Western in itself.

This is challenging, because I’m still feeling my way along. Aside from bits and pieces of insight, no one else that I know of pursues a comprehensive vision of pulling away from Western Civilization. They don’t look at the underlying sickness; they don’t go back to examine the very foundation on which it stands. It’s one thing when someone disputes the details with me, but I find myself too often confronted with people using a distinctly Western approach to the discussion of how to depart Western mythology. Sometimes their arguments only sharpen my understanding. Too often, I find myself sucked into the vortex.

This is not the City of God; it is not built on the rock of truth. Most of what I’ve seen people doing simply tries to rebuild little portions of this big lie. Renovation won’t help when your city is built on sand, and asserting that sand is stone won’t turn grit into granite. I try to flee, but I’m catching hell every step of the way from people trying to drag me back inside. Sometimes I miscalculate how to escape their grasp. Complicating things is that I still have to do business inside this rotting swamp. I am not Jonah and this is not a penitent Nineveh. Nonetheless, I retain the prophetic mission calling to warn the residents to flee before it collapses.

It gets uncomfortable at times. English doesn’t offer the repertoire of expression for talking about the fallen nature separate from the mortal coil. That’s in part because Western thinking makes no such distinction. It requires a mystical turn of mind and our entire civilization rejects that before the discussion even starts. So I’ll tell you that it can be messy even when I don’t walk away with any sense of guilt from some bad experiences. At the same time, it may take some work to regain my sense of peace because of the jarring discontinuity that grates on my shepherd’s sense of protective justice.

The body is wired for anger; it’s hard to summon all the resources to strike at predators without some sense of wrath. Our society cannot accept the idea of justified anger except under the strictest controls of official sanction from the ruling class. Our culture is schizophrenic about that. We talk bad about the ruling class, but create a new one by vesting people with authority that allows them to deny personal accountability. We permit anger and wrath only when we imagine it is exercised in selfless defense of some bogus ideal of defending our system and our “way of life.” This is a blatant rejection of what God says about such things. Personal anger is not a sin because everything is personal. God holds individuals accountable even when they hide behind some imaginary shield of objectivity. Truth is not objective; truth is the Person of God or it’s a lie. It’s God nature that He deals with us in terms of personal feudal grants of dominion.

Even if you get a little confused about the boundaries of your God-given domain, you should never be ashamed at feeling anger and wrath toward the evil others do. Using harsh words, dramatic demonstrations, yelling and general intimidation — these are socially unacceptable in most cases, yet are very godly nonetheless. Our society instinctively throws all of that into the bucket labeled “childish.” They insist that dramatic displays of dislike are “violence” and inherently evil because it didn’t take place under official cover.

Yet the biblical moral requirement is that we separate that moment of loud objection from any actual physical act of violence. When something in your heart (AKA your convictions) crosses that line from idiocy to real danger, you know instinctively that the anger turns to ice. It’s not a berserker’s rage; it’s purposeful. Western society denies such is even possible. Western mythology insists it is always rage. Take a look at the perverse manipulative psychology behind the so-called “anger management” courses. They deny that there is a God, and deny that He can work through the righteous anger of men and women who defend what He gave them. Those courses assume, and sometimes assert in manipulative language, that you are property of the state. However, the term “society” is often inserted in place of “the state.”

The New Testament says we should not lose sleep over feeling anger (Ephesians 4:26). This presumes you understand that the anger reflex is not a curse of the Fall, but that our fallen nature can lead us into false anger. Passionate displays and so-called “abusive language” are not evil in themselves. There most certainly is a petty and childish kind of anger, and it’s a paradox of Western society that actually cultivates that, but you are supposed to do it with cutting words and lawsuits. You’re supposed to get the state to exercise its wrath for you by proper invocation, and though we make a facade of denying it, you’re supposed to use whatever means of political pressure you can dream up to include bribery. We call it “lobbying.” God calls it “oppression” because everything is personal; that is God’s Law.

There are no easy answers, but if anything keeps you awake at night, it should not be any false sense of shame about being angry and letting people know about it. You might lose sleep because someone manipulated you into assuming dominion over something God didn’t place in your hands, but that’s a separate matter. Turn the disquiet over to your heart for clarification of boundaries and sooner or later you will regain your sense of peace with God.

Vision for a Virtual Parish

Some are just passing through.

We aren’t seeking higher numbers of those who hang around just so we can feel big and important. Instead, we want more people to experience this faith so they can take it on to wherever and whatever God calls them. Only a few of you will feel the need to hang around stay connected; that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

I feel like Peleg (Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19) in whose lifetime the earth went through major tectonic shifts. Every step I take puts me in a place I’ve never seen or expected. If I try to step back, what was behind me is already gone. My heart demands I keep moving forward. I know the direction but not the landmarks.

This whole thing started with a conversation about private communication protocols, passed through the idea of getting a home server, and ended up with a wholly different mission path. This is not at all what I expected I’d be doing. This is not at all what I anticipated or what I had dreamed for years, and yet I am hardly disappointed. I’m struggling with the means and methods for an unexpected kind of mission. The one thing I know for sure is that God is preparing this virtual parish for whatever it is He does next in this world. One way or another, I am seeking to answer the missionary call, but it’s for a world not yet fully born.

God is most certainly steering events in the work I’ve done lately. My human inclinations lie shattered on the ground, forgotten as things moved too fast for me to mourn any loss. For example, I know where that business of using CentOS went: That’s the OS running on our webhost service for soulkiln.org; it’s what is behind the new blog and the static website I’m still developing.

I’m going back and reformatting some of my books into HTML documents. The ebooks are still at Smashwords where they appeal to that audience, but I want a way to reference that material directly from the new blog running on the same server. Turning them into webpages is a much smaller format so as not to crowd the limited space on our account with the webhost. It’s a bit of work because the only way to do it right is by hand, starting with plain text and adding just enough HTML markup to make it display in a browser. I’m also going to host here at home an electronic library, a larger private collection of files to share with parish members. So far it’s already a very eclectic pile of things I’ve found to have some value to my faith. Hopefully some of you will be able to add to this virtual library and fill the shelves. Meanwhile, I’m keeping most of the technology chatter and hobby stuff on the old blog.

At least, that’s the current plan.

While I can feel the big push driving me forward, my eyes can’t quite make out what’s down the road ahead of me. I knew a long time ago that the old way of “doing church” was not God’s plan for me, neither in teaching nor in physical form and structure. In place of that is only the vaguest idea. It reminds me of all those scenes in places like New York buried under so much snow you aren’t sure what’s under the humps. I’ve never been here before; is that a big bush or a car? It’s still winter and I’m out here enjoying the sparkly newness of it all, feeling my way around. I’m wondering how all these changes are going to make that much difference in helping people find their own faith.

Somehow the demands of life in our changing world will drive a portion of folks out of their comfort zones, and some of them will pass through what we do here. The nature of this virtual parish is that it’s just dandy for you to pop in and then disappear again. Some of you are bound to feel called to hang around for awhile, at least. Take what you need because we have lots more where that came from; it’s falling upon us from Heaven. God provides in abundance and we are struggling to give it away. And it’s for sure that some of you will carry it places no one else can go.

Don’t think I’m not enjoying myself playing with all this technology stuff. Part of it is hard work, and I’m compelled to engage elements of it that never really held my interest in the past. But I know I can’t move forward without it, so I’m still studying all the networking technology so I’ll know what’s there. Who can say when I’ll have to use it later? Still, some of this strikes me as really cool stuff. For a few of you who feel the same way, I’m going to offer ways you can interact with this fancy machine the parish donated to buy. We’ll keep it out of everyone else’s way, but God has plans we can’t guess. He’s going to need some soldiers prepared to fight in a totally different kind of warfare.

How can I help you?

Internet Infiltration

How we operate on the Internet follows the same fundamental moral reality that we apply to everything else: It’s all a question of boundaries and dominion. As followers of Christ, we regard our entire human existence as property of God, assets for His glory. Your device is His device; your use of it must reflect His divine character.

A fundamental expectation is that we will not permit Darkness to use our lives. That we are fallen creatures in this world where Satan holds some measure of default dominion means that we must continue in resistance in the sure knowledge that there will be some measure of performance failure. We don’t get wrapped up in the actual practical outcomes because Our Father warned that our human existence cannot be perfected in that sense. His favor is not dependent on performance, but desire. Our exercise of dominion in His name is very limited. Rolling back the powers of Darkness is His gift to us.

So the message of Christ is loaded with a sense of continual battle until the ultimate victory of leaving this dimension of existence for some other — one that is beyond our comprehension. While we remain here, our human nature will hardly remain subdued and obedient. Much less so would we expect the fallen nature of the rest of humanity to play along with moral justice. Each of us has to decide what we are called to do and work hardest at that narrow range of holy endeavor. We shine in the things He chooses for us; it’s His mercy that He doesn’t expect us to do everything. We fight the battles for which we are best armed and allow our fellow believers to help us with things they do better.

So I’m called to make much of this virtual world of the Internet, among other things. In some ways I can use my expertise to lighten your personal load of care; in other ways I work at things you don’t even understand because it’s not your calling. I can tell you that, on the one hand, we do have some allies out there in virtual space. On the other hand, there aren’t very many of them. So I do what I can to help you work with our allies insofar as they can bless us. Some of their works can help us maintain our individual moral boundaries against the Darkness on the Net.

Lots of stuff out there is for us a taste of that Darkness. Some of it is a matter of individual calling, but a lot of it is the relentless demand that we submit to someone else’s controls with an aim to defraud us of God’s glory. That’s Satan’s aim; most of his servants have no clue. For the most part, they simply don’t care about the whole question. They want what their lusts demand and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. Their moral awareness is shaped entirely to fit their desires. Their minds will buy into whatever lies it takes to justify what they do. Thus, they regale us with messages according to their perverted sense of moral value, and they complain loudly when we exercise dominion that denies their control.

It’s possible that we might help this or that individual across the threshold into Light, but on the whole we have no expectation of changing what they do. And we still have to go out on the Net and interact with their crap in order to pursue our divine calling. For the most part, we are infiltrating into their world, and striving to pass through while shielding ourselves from their attempts to control us. Our shield of faithfulness to God’s moral character extinguishes their fiery darts of temptation.

So this is what’s behind all my blather about browser add-ons that block this or that, especially advertising. Or my advice that you use this or that browser or run this or that operating system. I’m not dictating for you what constitutes holiness, just sharing my experiences. That’s my calling. Your calling is to filter out what doesn’t apply to your Kingdom service. Together we infiltrate into the virtual space with our vessels of divine Presence.

God bless you with a sense of heart awareness to what matters for you.

Eyes of the Heart

“You’re just seeing things!”

How often have you heard that? We understand the fundamental question addressed here: Most people react to their perceptions in fairly simplistic ways. If you see an obstacle in your path, you would normally step around it unless it seemed more appropriate to push it out of the way. There is a wide range of moral discussion about whether and when it’s appropriate to avoid or push, and this is a separate question.

Perhaps you can see how this is connected to my fundamental assertion about Western (Aristotelian) epistemology. A Greek philosopher named Aristotle, whose ideas have had a powerful effect on our modern Western society, used that word “epistemology” a great deal in his teaching. Yes, I know that’s one of those hifalutin words, but it’s not pointless. It does apply to normal human life. While it can be abused like any other fancy term, it can also serve to condense the discussion by putting a simple label on a big issue. The academic discussion of epistemology seems focused on the question of, “What is true or truth?” Another formulation is, “What can we claim to know?” However, there is a motive behind that question itself that assumes we are somehow obliged to order our conduct in this world based on what’s real, or at least what’s important. In other words, it’s a question of, “What can we say we know, such that we can act on it?” There is an assumption that we have to justify our choices according to some universal standard. The underlying issue is really quite pragmatic.

And that brings us back to that quoted line up at the top. In our English-speaking society, we can find ourselves irritated by people who react to obstacles that we don’t see. Is it really there? And is it really an obstacle? In similar fashion, we can ask whether something is a threat we should avoid or flee.

But the whole issue rests on yet another fundamental question: What difference does it make to you what I see? That quoted line above assumes a moral accountability. It’s bad enough that our Western society struggles with matters of perception, but we have a serious problem with people poking their nose into the lives of others, as if we are all under some assumed accountability that gives people the authority to intrude. There is a powerful common assumption that some portion of our human existence is common property, that we owe something to the folks around us. And the problem is not whether we do, but what.

Here is the moral question of boundaries and dominion. There are two questions here: (1) Does you choice affect me and (2) should I be allowed to do something about it? We can’t deny that a lot things we do touch the lives of others, but whether they should endure it gracefully is separate matter. For example, we know that a child’s home life can impair their educational progress at school, but does that then hand some moral authority to educators to intrude in the home life of every child they educate? Most Westerners tolerate a very high level of intrusion under a wide range of assumptions about accountability to society at large.

This is the source for the structure and shape of Western government. We assume a certain kind of social accountability that opens the door to this kind of intrusion. The only question we ask is how much intrusion is correct in a given context, instead of addressing the fundamental question itself of whether it’s anyone’s business in the first place. Western social mythology draws the boundaries in the wrong place, and grants dominion to the wrong people. It’s not enough to claim being libertarian, because that still assumes a false morality of how much dominion.

And give this a thin veneer by falsely conflating “caring” with “control.” If you care enough, you will assert measures to force the object of your caring to do it your way? This is part of why most Westerners are so very confused about God and His authority. This is the source of that silly question about, “If God is all powerful (omnipotent) and all knowing (omniscient) and loving, why does He permit this?” The question assumes a logic that is all wrong in the first place. It’s where we get such petty declarations as, “That’s just mean!”

Don’t read this back into Scripture, or you’ll be the one who is “just seeing things.” The single biggest issue Westerners have with divine moral justice is tied up in understanding the basics of dominion and boundaries.

Biblical logic goes like this: God has created all things. He did so in accordance with His own character as a Person; His moral character is woven into the very structure and nature of reality. It works as He designed it. Justice is a matter of living consistently with that divine moral character. Not merely the performance, but the desire to please Him in feeling our way along from our blind fallen nature is the primary path of redemption. Not just in His written Word, but in Creation itself can we find that path, but it requires first engaging reality through the heart-mind. In living by our hearts, we will discover in any given context what it is that keeps us consistent with His moral character, and that brings Him glory. His glory in us is as much redemption as we can experience in this life.

Stop seeing it with your senses and your logic; that’s “just seeing things.” See it with your heart.

The Furnishings

I wanted to orient my regular readers to this display theme. There aren’t that many free ones offered once you run WordPress on your own service and I felt I could do more with this one. I was able to add the blue color bars on the sides and easily change the photo at the top. I will do that from time to time, taking advantage of the scenery from my long bike rides.

The default font has been changed so that it depends on what you have on your system and what you have selected for your browser. The order of preference is Palatino, Times and then any serif font.

If any of these posts have comments, they’ll be displayed as a little blue “balloon” on the upper right of the post heading. I’m not thrilled with the huge tag markers at at the bottom but it will take awhile for me to figure out how to change that. I’m not that good with PHP and these theme files are broken down into lots of tiny bits.

The private message input form on the lower right has been tested and works well. What happens is that anything you send that way is handled by the email system on the server itself and is dropped into the inbox for my SoulKiln admin address. I’m still working on a general webform for the rest of this website. However, comments work the same as they do for any WordPress site.

You can make suggestions and I’ll see what I can do. This is your new parish facility, so don’t be afraid to speak up.

By the way, I am told the server is physically located in Washington, DC, which is a major Internet hub with lots of fat pipes. We aren’t hiding from anyone so I’m not worried about government snooping.

Welcome

Come in and take a look. The place is nearly empty but as soon as more folks show up and speak their minds, this place will start to feel more like home. Now is a good time to start commenting on things you’d like to see.