You Are Entitled

You are entitled to your own fantasy world.

Most of our world shares a certain common core of fantasy in the first place. That fantasy presumes that there is such a thing as “objective reality.” That’s a bad lie and it has dominated society for way too long. All they really have is an agreement to proceed on a highly enforced track of a particular set of false assumptions.

It so happens that God permits folks to do this. In His longsuffering mercy, He has granted people enough moral rope to hang themselves. And there’s a whole lot of hanging going on right now.

It doesn’t take much to realize that we stand in the midst of very loud and ugly dispute that fractures and divides the common belief system into competing sub-systems. This has been encouraged by manipulators who were just a little bit smarter — in a predatory sense — but still suffering their own blindness about what’s real.

And there have always been a few who realized that all the flavors of this social orthodoxy were wrong, but lacked the moral discernment to reject it assertively. Instead, they fled from it into all manner of diversions that at least seemed to feel okay at the time.

In all of these efforts to chase one flavor or another, the primary missing ingredient is not a failure to choose the “right” flavor, but in the fundamental assumption that there even is a “right” flavor. There is no such thing. The truth is not available on that level in the first place. The search for such an answer is doomed from the start. It’s not that we cannot get along and share a certain amount of functional assumptions, but that we take too seriously what should be regarded as provisional.

There was a time humanity didn’t suffer under such delusions. People managed to get along fairly well working from their own unique approach to fundamental questions of reality. That is, however much peace and stability is possible in the first place, they were doing a decent job of obtaining it through that provisional agreement. Most of the human race was cynical and skeptical about their senses and their own logic and regarded “reality” in that sense as a dubious proposition. They accepted that one must make decisions and act, but that the sense of identity and stability didn’t rely on such things. They never expected any two people to consistently see the same thing in any particular shared experience.

They didn’t trust apparent “reality” and whatever part of them lived within that sphere. Instead, they understood quite consciously that we all have a faculty well above that level of existence, a faculty that connected to something beyond. Most of ancient humanity had learned to develop a different faculty, above and beyond mere intellectual capability, a faculty that was fully able and ready to handle the chaos of reality that was alive and active, sentient and willful, and entirely personal.

We seek to understand this ancient society and their higher faculty. Whether or not we have achieved anything isn’t important; we are at peace with a capricious and unpredictable reality because we believe we are friends with it. We proclaim to you that your fantasies, however outlandish they may seem to others, are no less appropriate than what the mainstream pretends is reality. We believe it’s possible that you can find your own place to stand and experiment with what calls to you from inside your soul.

We will share our own approach with you, but only if you feel drawn to it and you sense it will work for you. We won’t rush to correct your alleged fallacies. We will most certainly not waste time squashing your personal reality unless you ask for help making adjustments. That help will consist of pointing how we do things as an example, not as a template. And while we do have a template, it cannot be expressed in concrete terms, but requires teaching the intellect to serve, not rule. We know that truth makes its own path in your soul, and if this is going to do you any good at all, our best hope is helping you see the barriers and letting you remove them yourself. We are utterly confident you’ll find your own answers after that.

Don’t let anyone take your fantasies away from you. They will die on their own as you awaken and allow that higher faculty to set all things in order for you.

Nagging Memories

There’s something troubling me.

On the one hand, your sense of moral conviction does not reside in your physical heart. The lamp of spiritual truth would burn just as brightly if you depended on an artificial heart to pump your blood. On the other hand, there is simply no way to deny the unique ability of the heart as a sensory organ. If it’s not your physical heart pushing out that powerful electromagnetic field, then something in your body near the heart is doing it. The field has been measured and it emanates from that spot just to the left of your sternum and inside the ribcage. I suppose the question of whether an artificial heart takes away that measurable field is something that hasn’t been tested by the medical researchers who discovered the heart’s sensory field. Thus, I am not able to explain just exactly how the literal sensory heart connects to the metaphorical heart of moral conviction, only that there appears to be a connection.

What I can declare without reservation is that when you make a conscious effort to connect your awareness with that sensory field in your heart, it changes your whole perspective on reality. It’s more than my personal experience; it’s amply testified by others on this blog and in other places on the Net. Further, once you’ve entered that realm of awareness, there’s no going back without something inside of you dying first.

As part of that shift in consciousness comes a sensitivity to moral health. Not just your own, but the environment in which you live. More to the point, it pulls you into a place where your moral health becomes deeply connected to the moral environment. It’s not a question of dependency, but the interaction is there. Your sense of internal peace can be afflicted by what’s wrong around you, and there comes a call inside of you to deal with it in some way to avoid going insane. Each of us in our unique calling from God has to discover what we were meant to do about the context in which He has placed us. Between you and the Lord, no one else can fully understand just where you will find that balance point between bearing up under sorrow and taking some action to reduce the sorrow.

But there are some common elements for all of us. A part of that is healing old moral wounds. That is, the Spirit of the Lord works through this moral sensitivity to heal those wounds, but the means of doing so is where things tend to be unique. A part of the common experience is how the ghosts of bad experiences come back to haunt you. Pay particularly close attention to something that makes you feel out of sorts, as if you were being pulled out of your normal self. In the mirror of such moments of torment, anything that makes you feel like someone you don’t really know — someone you may not like — there is a signal in the heart to seek the Lord’s face for an answer: What does this torment signal for me?

I can assure you that sometimes the answer may literally take years before it reaches some point where your conscious mind knows what to do about it. That’s not meant to scare you, but to assure you that there is always an answer. You have to realize that it may require moving you a very long way before you are in the place where it starts to make sense.

Over the years there have been a handful of troubling experiences that play over in my mind, creating a very disturbing atmosphere in my soul. It’s not some sort of guilt, either false or justified. It’s an unanswered question: Why does this still trouble me so much? Why does it provoke deep emotions that conflict with each other? I replay this event and test variations, changes in how I could have responded, to see if any different choices make better sense. Could I had done it better? Sometimes that’s enough to find a solution and I get peace about that thing. Sometimes it continues beyond that, typically because it’s much bigger than my own failures. When something from the past makes me angry enough to kill, it’s a signal that there is an unanswered question with a much wider implication.

What’s troubling me today is something that merits a separate blog post.

The Bath of Wrath

Context first: I don’t dispense truth for your consumption. At most, my writing exposes to your awareness things your heart already knows. Some of us are able to subject our minds to our hearts, and we get to a point where the mind pretty much knows better than try to resist. Instead, we discover the sweet security (shalom) of learning to trust something far higher than our own senses and reason. The mind receives it’s grandest purpose — organizing and implementing the practical requirements of God’s moral truth written in our convictions. What I write here is merely my own narrative, the story of my encounters in my own mind’s exploration of the Land Without Words.

Most of humanity manages to function with a certain amount of unconscious assumption about reality. There’s a kind of glue that holds together all the pieces. It doesn’t require absolute reliability, but enough that the surprises can be assimilated. It really does vary with the individual, but we can make some broad generalizations for the sake of common understanding. What we usually mean by the term “coping mechanism” signals that a certain amount of breakage is expected. Our mind maps out reality and has to make changes now and then, so the really smart people draw their maps in pencil. But the whole map dissolves without that glue to keep the paper intact.

As you probably know, neurosis is when the glue fails in spots. Psychosis is when the glue fails wholesale. There has to be a certain amount of space in the mind for drawing the map.

So our human function isn’t tied to the facts — the details we draw on the map — but to the existence of a map in the first place. And as noted, for most Westerners in particular, it’s seldom a conscious factor of awareness. For the most part, the mapping manifests in a body of assumptions about what is morally right and wrong. It’s the individual moral ground of assumptions that make up the material of the map of what “ought to be.” Drastic changes in the facts are tough to handle, but losing the structure of knowing will drive folks crazy.

The wrath of God is rather like a good soap-and-water bath. If your map is just cheap paper, it will come apart when God’s wrath rains down in your life. If you manage to weave in the threads of God’s moral character as the fabric that holds your map together, it’s a whole different experience. Instead of destruction in your life, His wrath is just a nice bit of laundering. Afterward you feel fresh and ready to start again. Western moral reasoning is just cheap paper, rather like the mass-produced rough stuff you get with dollar store coloring books.

When I prophesy that God is shifting reality, it’s not as if I’m saying the sky will turn green, or clouds will become mashed potatoes, or something noticeable like that. Rather, I’m warning that God will rain down His cleansing wrath on peoples’ maps. It’s too subtle for most of them to notice, but He’s taking away the temporal appearance of moral substance on which people have built their assumptions.

You see, Satan is the author of a lot of cheap garbage that passes for moral truth. God in His ineffable, inscrutable plans allows the Devil to do certain things for some limited time. It serves to entice and enslave folks who swallow the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It’s not that the apparent facts of our existence here changes that much; it still looks the same. It’s much more subtle than that. The big lie is something people seldom think about consciously, a raft of assumptions what we should expect if we just push hard enough to figure it out.

For example, just about every person influenced by Western values assumes that we should be able to fold up space and travel across light years in seconds, if we can just figure out how. They assume we could, in theory, travel across time barriers and carry our conscious existence into the past or the future. And we have even been led to imagine that we humans have the power to make substantial changes in this earth, like change the climate.

Yet, if you can read between the lines in the Bible, you’d find those three things are flatly impossible. And failing that, your heart would kick your brain with the recognition that those things will never happen. The boundaries are not factual, but moral in nature. God is actively watching and won’t let it happen.

Thus, at least a portion of what God is doing in our days, right here and now, is reaffirming His revelation about those moral limits on us. He’s washing away those subtle lies under the very ground on which most minds stand and walk. While those minds are, for the most part, wholly unconscious of it, they can’t understand why everything they’ve built on those false assumptions is starting to come apart. God is actively watching and His hands are busy. It’s just the same as you and I shaping things with Playdough, though far less discernible to the human senses.

Obviously our Creator is wiser than to just make it too obvious. His revelation warns that there will always be plausible deniability of His handiwork. If you exclude His revelation, you cannot perceive full reality. If your heart is actively ruling your mind, then you can sense it these things directly. You know reality is shifting daily as people are struggling to keep things together. And failing. We know the truth of God’s wrath falling like soapy rain on all human works, and we look forward to a good bath for our lives.

Legitimate Suffering

Re: Suffering Is Your Ally — Steven raises a common and important issue Westerners have with suffering and pain.

On the one extreme, we have a typically middle-class American doctrine in the Prosperity Gospel. This idea stands on the ancient ground of the Pharisees, something we detect when the Twelve seem bewildered when Jesus suggests that material wealth is a major hindrance in moral redemption (Matthew 19:16-30). We dig a bit into the rabbinical traditions to discover they taught that the primary mark of God’s favor was material wealth. Thus, the wealthy (Jews) were already favored by God, while the poor were accursed. So the Prosperity Gospel equates poverty with spiritual failure. Alongside this, the only reason you aren’t instantly (or at least quickly) healed of every possible ailment is that you just don’t have enough faith.

Apparently, even mere discomfort is somehow attached to spiritual blindness, because “God didn’t intend us to suffer.” Well, God didn’t intend for us to die, either, but even the most notable sages of the Prosperity Gospel die from serious conditions often related to aging. You’ll hear all kinds of excuses and legalistic nit-picking and semantic gymnastics defending their petty materialistic excuse for theology. Jesus called it worshiping Mammon.

On the other extreme are the weird ascetics who suggest that suffering has some magical saving power. They go out of their way wallowing intentionally in distressful exercises in self-discipline to cleanse their souls — or something like that. Nothing in the New Testament promotes this unless you insist on some perverted legalistic reasoning from the words meant to be read as parable.

I can try to untangle all of this. Basic theme: Pain is a part of living in a fallen world. We are wired for pain, and not all pain is the result of moral culpability. Walking in faith is not a magic spell against pain and death. Sometimes obeying God in a particular context means accepting painful consequences, permanent disability or even death. We don’t make a virtue of suffering; we make a virtue in tolerating it for the sake of God’s glory.

Suffering becomes an ally if you respond appropriately internally. It reminds you that this fallen life is a mixture of sorrow and joy and each has their place. It reminds us that we are fallen and need to keep our eyes on His glory, allowing Him to make the decisions. We see pain as an ally when we remember that He intends it will drive us into His arms. And Paul in the Corinthian letters says that our obedience to God’s moral laws makes us a friend of Creation and an enemy of fallen people. People with a perverted view of morality will stain everything they can touch, so some elements in our natural world will reflect the pervasive perversion. Walking in divine truth makes you a threat to whatever people imagine is their justification for moral perversion.

Thus, we should expect a certain trend of increased suffering as a sign of obedience — but this assumes you are reading these things from your heart, not your reason. In return, there is a balancing sense of peace reflecting back from our convictions, something the fallen world cannot have.

So we might sometimes do things to bless and redeem other lives that we know is going to cause some sorrow on the way. But we do not go out of our way to increase human suffering as a whole. There is no glory in torment, so things like hazing to join a club has a limit before it becomes sin. You and I will judge things differently, but the mere presence of hazing shows a complete lack of heart-led awareness in the first place. Getting involved in something inherently difficult already requires a certain amount of “pay your dues” without adding artificial suffering to create a false pride.

This bleeds over into a thousand other moral considerations. That’s how it works with God’s living moral character, AKA faith, moral discernment, biblical laws, heart-led living, etc. It’s organic and living, not objective and rational. There is no “ideal” and no absolutes; ultimate reality (moral truth) is seldom binary in this world. It’s that quantum morality thing again, where you have to discern things on multiple levels simultaneously, which is particularly difficult for Western minds trained in linear logic. There may be no single right answer, where God Himself lets you choose any of several paths because He’s prepared to work with you whatever you choose. He’s a real person, too, not some abstract objective ideal.

The Urge to Torment

Sometimes it’s not enough to say it comes from Satan; in our culture that can serve to dismiss any number of horrible sins and leave us no way to uproot them from our own souls.

The psychology of Christian Mysticism aims to recapture in some measure the state-of-mind from the Bible that we can use today. This is not a psychology limited to what behavioral science can detect, but presumes to explain a whole range of influences that are typically labeled “subconscious.” We seek to pull some of that into the light and offer norms that Western social sciences resist by relying on ancient wisdom common to folks before the West arose, because the Bible belongs to that pre-Western world.

For example, The Cult is a sample of typing psychology. It isn’t about a concrete entity, a literal group of people forming a cult. Rather, it’s a characterization of a psychological influence that can be discerned as consistent over long periods of human history. It works the same as a religion or cult, yet is not organized by people, but by its own nature. It manifests in other human organizations. You can tell when people operate under this influence and know what to expect. It’s a reliable predictor of future behavior and explains the motivations, etc. It also clearly separates between those who consciously embrace it — very few in number — and those who are simply steered by it — the vast majority.

A critical element in this influence is the perverse delight in tormenting others. But people who consciously embrace this influence seldom engage directly in torture, preferring to let others do it for them, as a means to pervert those who serve without full awareness. Most of the people who do the performing of torture are totally unaware what it does to themselves. A critical element is the compartmentalization of conscious awareness — it induces a kind of schizophrenia. It’s not psychopathy, but a deep perversion that remains in its own space and operates alongside the rather mundane and decent personality most folks manifest. Within the realm of activity ruled by the bureaucratic consensus, the actor is dominated by the evil self and there is zero conscious guilt of moral wrong. You should understand that grisly and horrific torture is just the outer edge of a singular tendency that often shows up somewhere short of that.

In other words, it is essential to bureaucracy itself. Where did it come from in our culture? It’s part of the worst elements of Germanic tribal mythology generally (Anglo-Saxon specifically), whose chief deity is that grouchy Nordic sonuvabitch we all recognize as the soul of the Western conceptions of God. Once you can make that connection, you understand how bureaucrats can operate with zero conscience and go home feeling morally approved after a day at the office tormenting their fellow humans. It’s not mischief; it’s perfectly normal for them. You deserve that torment. And if you review the history of this Anglo-Saxon middle-class bureaucratic cancer on the earth, you’ll recognize the relentless slow creep into greater dehumanizing depravity. It cannot help but get worse over time.

I feel sorry for those of you who work in a bureaucracy, because it is very hard work to remain sane. Stranger yet, working in that atmosphere is no insulation against bureaucracy you face when working outside your own. It really is a horrific, perverse thing.

So your response needs this kind of understanding. This is why I warn folks that legislation means nothing, because the folks who write and implement that legislation, and who interpret and enforce it, are all bureaucrats at heart if not in fact. How do you stop it? You don’t. God could if it matches His ineffable wisdom and planning, but we already know He confined Satan to this earth for a particular purpose. That you suffer personally is not the objective, but to make sure that sin reaps what it sows. Satan’s punishment is holding the job roughly equivalent to Potiphar in the story of Joseph in Egypt, though not Potiphar’s character. If most of humanity is confined within Satan’s dominion, then they are slaves to things they seldom comprehend. They are victims in their own right. Whatever we might do toward their redemption and release includes not taking it personally, but recognizing this world is no longer Eden. It is a fallen realm of Satan’s dungeon, in effect. Torment is built in.

Don’t get in a huff because that’s just the another feature of the same dungeon. It serves to enhance the torment if you buy into the idea of rights and laws as if they made any difference in outcomes. No system devised by humans will ever restrain this evil, because the systems arise from the same perverted atmosphere that allows torment in the first place. The bureaucracy is simply the latter stages of the same crop of fruit. Recognize the tree as poison and don’t eat the fruit.

Learn to discern the system and how it works.

Calm Down

This is your elder/pastor writing, the shepherd who loves you because God taught him how to love: You need to calm down.

Okay, some of you need to calm down, or maybe you can try to help folks who aren’t in on this virtual parish. Let’s offer a gift of love that doesn’t really require our religion to understand. Honestly, it’s already been explained, but we live in a culture that values moral outrage as a distraction from moral living. The Spirit of God brings peace, not tumult.

Once more: I’m citing Glennon from his book, National Security and Double Government. Not his words, but the contextual awareness that our society is under the thumb of some broad collective consensus so that we cannot blame any one person for the insanity of our government. It’s intentional — create an atmosphere that dehumanizes and instills a petty fear in just that one sphere of human activity of people in the workplace as bureaucrats in government service. I have served in this atmosphere; I did so after getting a very good education in psychology and other social sciences. Not only was I morally aware of the serious danger, but I could trace the very structure of this thing from several angles. Glennon’s book simply added a refreshing explanation that helped crystallize what I already knew.

Example: Over the past few years, we have seen stories where public education officials have called police on parents who had the gall to approach the school facility as pedestrians. The parent(s) notified us all via news stories and social media of this utterly senseless act. When someone managed to get the school officials to explain, it comes out that it is a security policy: You are required to approach the building in a motor vehicle, even if you live across the street. You may not exit this vehicle while in the proximity of the school facility, but must wait for school employees to direct your child(ren) to your vehicle. You are considered a threat in this environment.

I understand this. That doesn’t make it sensible.

Please, try to understand that these officials belong to that Trumanite bureaucratic culture. They exist in an alien environment detached from the reality almost everyone else experiences. The bureaucrats do not realize just how freaking insane it is, and will flatly argue that you are the one who is nuts. The world of bureaucratic consciousness is an alien place, rather like Hell. I mean that literally in some ways — Hell. This beastly state of mind is precisely what Satan wanted and he loves it. Bureaucrats are the true Church of Satan. Everyone who worships at that shrine — every bureaucrat — does not realize that their lord is Satan. They are convinced it’s all impersonal, that it’s just “common sense.” They cannot imagine why in the world you would object to their policies, but they sure as Hell don’t mind punishing you for it.

Here in the US, we are particularly devoted to this peculiar insane religion. Think of the worst horror stories of government oppression in, say most European countries, and that is our routine. This is why I often say nasty things about child welfare policies in the US. On average, even by state policy definitions, the handling of children while in direct custody of the government is often worse than whatever “abuse” they are trying to resolve. In other words, social workers are some of the most horrific bureaucrats in the world, utterly lacking in anything that resembles a conscience. The process for vetting foster parents guarantees that hard-core child abusers are often the first ones approved for the program. Again, this is by the state’s own definition of what constitutes “abuse.” People with a functioning conscience find the child welfare programs abominable. Good moral people cannot tolerate the system, and only the low-level psychopaths will tolerate the bureaucracy.

You want to change this? Make sure you understand what Glennon says: You would have to slaughter at least 100,000 bureaucrats just to get their attention in one state. Want to reform the federal government? I estimate that it would require the public execution of roughly 2 million bureaucrats. That means every single armed, badge-bearing federal enforcement officer, and the vast majority of those who rely on their armed presence to force us to obey their edicts. If you somehow managed to isolate any particular individual from the herd for a long enough time, they might be saved from this insanity. Do you have the resources to do that to some 2 million all at once? Because it’s worse than any drug addiction you’ve ever seen. From personal experience, I’m telling you with all seriousness it is just that bad.

Now, take a deep breath and think: This is the “normal” for our world. It might be less of an issue in other Western countries, but still bad enough in their own way. And our God says in His Word that He is in charge and we are not to attempt changing this situation until He gives us a calling and authority to carry it out. Are you willing and able to slaughter a few million folks? That’s the only way you can change things in this fallen world. If you believe God has called you to that, don’t say it publicly because you’ll be a target for all kinds of awful. God has not called me to that, I can assure you.

God has called me to help my fellow believers learn to live with this. Part of learning to live with this is that you stop reacting with shock and froth. Yes, it’s crazy, but we can do without that “Ain’t It Awful” game. That distracts from the work of mercy in our lives. Instead, get used the idea that it will get steadily worse. The bureaucratic hive-mind cannot turn around; it can only run farther down the slope into Hell. Bureaucrats are increasingly out of touch with the folks they rule. And while the bureaucratic hive-mind is aware in the sense of making intelligent preparations for resistance, their discernment is limited. They simply do not realize that there is a breaking point. Their calculus excludes the very notion that this could all come to a screeching halt. Their bureaucracy is sacred; they aren’t allowed to imagine it ending. They will all be utterly shocked when the society they rule erupts and starts destroying the system.

The only question left is just how discerning the revolt will be, and thus the accuracy of their targeting and tactics. I predict that the populace at large is no smarter than the bureaucracy, so it will be long, ugly and painful. In fact, most folks will not discern when it starts or when it ends, nor much of what it really meant.

Now, one more complication: Bureaucrats will fight with each other. That is, once a bureaucrat is outside his/her official domain, they tend to become rather ordinary victims of the other bureaucrats in other domains. So the shit-head principal at school who had you arrested for walking up to get your children will complain and threaten to raise hell when the county raises his property taxes to give a pay boost to some other bureaucratic office. Now that is really insane.

A Word for Men

The biggest problem is not so much what we do as it is how we abuse God’s wonderful gifts.

As always, what follows assumes you have already recognized the grand failure of Western Civilization. As much as possible you must disentangle your mind from a vast substrate of lies that serve as the foundation for modern Western thinking. I know — it’s a tall order, but if you don’t get started you’ll never make any progress in walking with Christ.

From my experience, America is the epitome of all that’s wrong with the West. Whatever other Western countries might do wrong, America seems to do it even worse in terms of violating God’s moral character. Thus, as I write with a prophetic castigation of American culture in particular, it may or may not fit that well with some other Western society outside America.

In America especially, the model for male consciousness is some grouchy Norse deity with varying names. He’s always capricious and obnoxious, perpetually looking for an excuse to explode with rage, and softens only when he’s drunk. The model for feminine consciousness is derived from the very worst elements of Oester mythology — solipsist to the core, she manipulates with the utter conviction that she is by far the superior sex, the only thing that saves humanity. Variations on these two don’t change how they have pretty much shaped our entire consciousness of sexual identity.

So let’s resolve one thing up front: We are all pussies in God’s Presence. No living being could ever be more masculine than God. And while there is a boatload of blasphemous nonsense about it in Western religion, God is also feminine and nurturing more than any woman could be. He made women, too, and they reflect His divine nature in their own way.

But the one thing Western guys need to understand is that when we come to Him as Lord, we are all the Bride of Christ. Men, we are wired to do this. We have within us the capacity to operate as a female in spiritual terms as His Bride. Sex is a very pale comparison, but it still symbolizes the rapturous communion with God in our spirits. The problem comes when men don’t realize how that wiring exists for that purpose and take two general tracks into abuse of it.

Most Western men have a phobia about this, so they try their darnedest to bury it. This is partly why men can manifest that grouchy Norse sonuvabitch deity aspect. Instead of simply going away, this marvelous gift from God oozes and extrudes and manifests involuntarily because it cannot die. So the instant a man has a clue what it is, he overreacts to stomp it back down into the basement where he never goes. The result is some really stupid reactions from what men don’t understand about themselves. When you fight your own nature in one way, you tend to fight it in other ways.

The other common track men take is obvious: homosexuality. If you doubt that God says it’s a sin in all contexts, I cannot help you. The problem is not that men aren’t supposed to feel or act like females at all, it’s that we have only one right place for that wiring, and that’s in spiritual communion with God as part of His Bride. Submit emotionally to God, not other men.

But you’ll notice that we are not under the Law of Moses and that a man who can’t or won’t understand why some other men go that false route, such a closed mind is not fit to lead as a shepherd of His pasture. It’s simply a bad way to do something entirely natural for men as males. Get over it. Meanwhile, it also means you have no excuse for not understanding how your wife feels about things, at least on some level. But that grouchy Norse deity is not the God of the Bible, and Western social structure is inherently anti-Christian.

I will let you explore the implications on your own, but this is a prophetic Word from God.

When It Doesn’t Work Out

How does the heart handle disappointment?

The problem is our minds and limited understanding, not the heart. As we progress from a worldly viewpoint to a heart-led life, we drag with us a lot of mental baggage. It’s not all evil, so nobody here is telling you to pretend you can empty your consciousness and start from scratch. That’s a myth that comes in the package with certain Eastern religions and it’s bullshit. God doesn’t work that way and we aren’t designed for it. The baggage is part of the journey, but it requires repacking and changing the contents.

You most certainly can step outside your customary fleshly consciousness. That’s challenging enough, but when you manage it, and to the degree you manage it, changing what’s packed in that baggage is much easier. It’s more like an attempt to step into a private room and disrobe. Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t actually fit and put on something that does. (And there’s nothing wrong with someone else picking up your cast-offs.)

But as your life progresses on the path of redemption, yesterday’s togs may not work for tomorrow. So an idea, plan or commitment that was good and righteous in one context won’t work in the next. The problem most of us run into is thinking. Our intellect does its best to interpret the message from the heart, and the mind needs as much work as the rest of this fleshly shell. So we might imagine that we understand the nature of our calling and even announce the plans according to that passing grasp. But somewhere down the road it becomes apparent our best understanding was still flawed.

God help us if we ever come to imagine that there’s something wrong or embarrassing about changing like that. We should learn to celebrate with each other that something unfit to go the distance has been discarded. Some of us will change more frequently and more loudly than others. That was a part of what made people tease Peter about his name, and what made the declaration by Jesus more surprising that Peter was a rock. Peter changed his mind every few minutes, if you asked his friends.

Yes, there probably comes a point when that stuff settles down, but that has more to do with with how we express ourselves and stop making major declarations about minor changes. It’s the chatter that’s silly, not the changes. We can look past the silly chatter and see that it’s just a difference in personality. God help us if we ever start to think someone who takes God seriously is a goofball just because they don’t work through their fallen nature the same way we do. How about not taking yourself so seriously as the divine model for humanity?

I can’t turn off the turmoil in your soul any more than I can turn off my own. But when something that seems so divine fades into mere mist, this is no time to wallow in condemnation. The same can be said if you find yourself forced to rain on someone else’s parade. See the incident as another step on the path, another corner somebody has to turn to dodge something they didn’t see before. Learn to see it as normal. Learn to see it as God taking you down a convoluted path because there’s a lot of crap in your life that doesn’t belong and it’s no simple matter to drop it. Those things have roots and you cannot rip it all out wholesale without destroying something valuable (see The Parable of the Tares).

It’s the journey, not the sights and campgrounds along the way.

So Speaks the Redbud

Sometimes I struggle with the words.

When I climbed up the embankment at the crash site yesterday where Midwest Boulevard passes under Turner Turnpike, what passed between me and that redbud tree with magenta buds peeking out on its branches was more than just some diffuse emotion. The physical contact was comforting and reduced my own internal jangling confusion just a little. I had ridden up there in response to some wordless moral imperative in the first place.

You could call it a sense of conviction, but that moment shared with an unfallen member of God’s Creation passed something to me that didn’t register on my conscious mind right away. The conscious mind is too immediate to process eternal moral stuff. I could tell you that God spoke to me from the middle of a bush that doesn’t yet appear aflame as it will later, but you might get the wrong impression from such an image. If I remind you that all Creation sings of God’s moral character, it might make more sense. But the tree itself had experienced things individually in its odd location there.

And perhaps the concrete abutment or the grass and dirt itself could have told me things, too, but I didn’t hear what they had to say. God chooses His own voice in His own time, and moral conviction cannot be expressed in terms of factual content. But there would be no point if there wasn’t some useful application. Let’s just say that using your heart as a sensory organ and allowing it to process those moral impressions independently will improve your understanding of God. And that’s the whole point, because Ultimate Truth is a Person, not a collection of mere data. I touched a living thing and it touched me in return, preparing me to discern things to which I might otherwise be blind.

So I can’t pass to you a precise outline of how it works, but I can share with you some of the results.

The rate of human mortality sits as a background fact in our awareness. The moral meaning of it is a little harder to assess in those terms. The redbud didn’t tell me what kind of man it was who crashed his vehicle into the concrete, nor what kind of stresses led up to that event. Instead, it told me of the moral distress his death represents as a change, part of a larger shift in the moral climate that includes a level of human torment not previously seen by anyone alive now. His death was not just the same old stuff we’ve seen in the past. His death is distinctly part of something bigger: More people will die in more unpleasant ways than we are used to hearing about. The hearing about it is the part that should worry us a little. Getting an accurate report is a sorrow that looms as ugly as does the facts of human torment.

I don’t pretend to know anything about the state of mind of the photographers and that KOCO info-babe wandering around out there in reflective safety vests. I do know that the images they gathered, if used at all, will be used to mislead people about the real moral importance of things. I know that because such is the very reason those broadcast companies exist. Nor do I imagine that my own private reverie was the one final truth of things there. I am altogether conscious about God using me, but I have to wonder how conscious those other folks were about dealing with our Creator. I wonder because I know beyond all doubt that this entire society is built on a substrate of lies and whatever folks have been doing to make things different is still built on that same false foundation. It won’t matter if folks pushing changes imagine those changes represent good or bad.

What the redbud had to say presumed that understanding.

What we have is the fruit of deception on a level so vast that it boggles the mind. You can see the tiny budding red blossoms, along with the greening of the grass as the fresh verdant sprigs come up in the midst of the dry golden strands. Can you see the destruction growing slowly around us? It was all put into place precisely so that it could be destroyed painfully. Our Enemy means to devour us. Humans souls were ground into hamburger from the beginning, and more will be masticated and burned beyond recognition very soon as it all comes to some kind of fraying edge that hides the end.

This is what’s on my mind as I process what passed between the redbud and me, and it’s what stands behind today’s post on the other blog.