God Searches Hearts

God called me as a prophet to America. Sometimes I feel like the Prophet Jonah, but with none of the advantages he had in Nineveh. He got them to listen, but my country is yielding so far only a tiny handful of penitents. We have a nation of dead hearts.

There was a time when the heart-led moral consciousness was the basic expectation for everyone. It was the foundation for the whole range of Ancient Near Eastern cultures, and was enshrined in government policy. Not that everyone was above mere intellect, but it was considered the norm.

God’s Word says it’s supposed to be that way. The Law of Moses was designed to rest on a genuine heart-felt commitment to God as a Person, as the Kinsman Redeemer who ruled the nation and was the Provider. Of course, the Covenant could work with only a slender minority in leadership clinging to the heart-led way, but that was not the norm. The leaders were expected to keep the fires of devotion lit any way they could. Priests and Levites went on tour and preached during the good times in the history of Israel. That’s what made those times good.

Prior to the monarchy in Israel, there were “judges” who kept the fire burning. God appointed charismatic figures to execute divine justice. It wasn’t always vengeance, though it did surely include that. But the mission was the much broader divine justice of restoring the heart-led way of dealing with reality as a whole. It’s hard for Americans to see that because we have reduced the word “justice” to mean punishment, not blessings and shalom.

Worse, our American sense of justice is founded on heathen moral values. Don’t worry about America being a “Christian nation.” Many governments in the past have tried to hijack that label, but they have all been contrary to Christ’s teachings. It all stems from the horrific compromise the Early Church Fathers made with pagan Roman government. The Greco-Roman Civilization was all about man-centered religion and destroying genuine mysticism. All Greco-Roman deities were man-made. All visions of things beyond this realm were merely extensions of this realm. And then along came the invading Germanic hordes and the church compromised even further by embracing Germanic heathen values and rewriting the gospel message to fit them.

Thus, the ostensible organized Christian religion passed through Medieval Scholasticism, then Reformation and finally Enlightenment. Each was a step farther and farther away from the Hebrew mysticism of the New Testament churches.

God’s wrath on America has nothing to do with some kind of imaginary “Christian” standard, as if Christ had anything to do with our founding or our history and government. It’s not as if we could never develop and move toward the real thing, but to be even a tiny bit closer to what Christ taught about human government, we would first and foremost have to apply the Covenant of Noah to America. Not only that, but it requires all the implications of that covenant, to include a tribal society and covenant feudal government. That’s the only path for America to gain God’s favor.

Fat chance of that.

Not because it’s undoable; it’s eminently doable because God says so. It’s why He offered that covenant in the first place. It’s doable, but America is utterly opposed to it on every level. It requires wiping away any affinity for Western Civilization.

So America is not being judged because of rampant liberalism or because we have surrendered to the Sodomites. Nor is it because we are destroying the environment and being too mean to whiners. Those are just symptoms of something far, far worse. America was founded at the Gates of Hell and not as an invading force; that’s why we are under God’s wrath. America never was morally just in God’s eyes. She was an ally of Satan from the start, so there’s nothing to save or recover.

The breakdown of the US government and the partition of the empire is just the beginning of woes.

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Can We Keep It?

We emphasize the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. This is exactly backwards from what the Reformation did. Reformed theology is the basis for Dispensationalism, that heretical belief that the only proper understanding of God’s hand in human history is to see clean legalistic breaks between certain ages or “dispensations.” Each of these dispensations represents a radical break in how God dealt with mankind, to the point He’s almost not the same God.

So to understand Radix Fidem, you have to wipe away all that crap and try to see how revelation never changed, but that God kept making it easier to understand and it all climaxed with the revelation of His Son. We see no distinction between Law Covenants and grace. The only reason God went so far as to offer Law Covenants was because of His grace and mercy. So today as we walk about on God’s created Earth, we still need to understand Biblical Law in order to claim His “unmerited favor” (AKA, grace).

So we emphasize that His favor makes some demands. If He raises your spirit from the dead, then there is a reason for that — so you can walk in His glory and obey His Word. Sure, we can talk about spiritual birth or “born again,” but that’s something God alone handles on His end. The only thing we can do much about is our obedience from the heart. Thus, our time on earth is not a matter of trying to get folks born again, but to get folks under His favor.

We already know no one can live in His favor without that spiritual birth, so the emphasis is on the doing, in the sense that His Law will sift humanity. Again, it’s the only part of the story we get to tell. So we keep reminding folks that they can’t expect to even understand until they understand from the heart. Another way of saying it is that you have to focus on your convictions; convictions are burned into your heart by God. You can’t know the Spirit or the living Word/will of God with your head. The Bible itself uses the language of heart-led living.

And yes, we boldly proclaim that this is Christian Mysticism or Biblical Mysticism. No bones about it; what we teach and do is not part of any existing institutional religion. Nobody says you have to leave your church, but we warn you that if you teach Radix Fidem, your church will leave you sooner or later. And we keep warning everyone that this also means you have to reject Western Civilization. Even though we are stuck here in it, we aren’t really part of it. We belong to something else entirely.

However, condemning Western Civilization makes a pretty poor evangelistic sermon. Most people have no idea what the term means anyway. We have to talk to them where they are. That means we can address any aspect of their existence from the high ground of Biblical Law. Sure, we condemn their whole existence, but the way to get their attention is typically by sharing snippets of divine wisdom about various details of their lives. And we gain the credibility to talk about it by first living it out before their eyes. They need to see what Biblical Law looks like in our conduct, and more to the point, they need to see the way God’s glory shines in the blessings of shalom.

So we invest in the language of adapting ourselves to the moral fabric of Creation. We talk about all the ways the intellect needs to adjust it’s frame of reference so that it can organize and implement what our convictions demand. If we surrender ourselves to that burning drive to obey from the heart, God starts changing our situation so that it more closely reflects the ideal depicted in His covenant promises. We talk a lot about that.

And these days I’ve been led to start asking you to talk about how we can make this come to life on the earth again, to reestablish covenant living with a tribal feudal nation of God’s people. I’m asking you to embrace the vision of building once again a distinct people of shalom with a longevity that will last across multiple generations until Christ returns. How do we make this stick without compromising and taking the failed path of the institutional churches? How do we keep from losing this again, the way it disappeared after the last disciple of Jesus passed away?

It’s not a matter of thinking we are smarter than the Early Church Fathers, but we simply cannot waste this precious opportunity. God has given us back the heart-led way; let’s see if we can keep from losing it this time.

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Only If You Tell Me

A critical element in pastoral counseling is helping people accept who they are and what they are made of, and to stop trying to change things that don’t need changing.

It’s an art, a moral art form that yields precious little to any kind of scientific approach. There’s just no way to encompass the vast range of human frailty with any kind of precision. If you are actually paying attention, you end up using your observations of people’s maladjustments as meta-data. It’s more instructive in terms of what’s possible than it is what’s likely. Only by collating with the context of culture do you have any hope of estimating where to find a path they can actually walk out of their sorrows.

Most cultures arise from multi-generational experiences of life and the struggles within a given ecology. We include in that mixture the mythology or imagery by which people develop a range of expectations and norms to answer the question of what we can expect life to throw at us. But cultures are generally living things in themselves, and they drift. If the education in norms and mythology isn’t that good, then the transfer of culture is insufficient. Crowding large numbers of people together in groups of age peers fosters a whole range of departures from culture, innovations that seldom take into account the broader cultural environment. It leads to maladaptation on a massive scale, as it is utterly artificial to spend your whole day among the company of only age peers. It never happens outside of the school building.

Yet, that’s where America is today. The current cultural milieu is a multitude of subcultures that have departed significantly from the foundation on which everything in America is built, and we have had several generations of people desperately ignorant of the foundation. I am amazed at the mythology for dealing with the material infrastructure based on the now forgotten American culture. Worse, it was a really bad culture in the first place, so that current generations suffer multiple layers of neuroses and psychoses and most of the population is just barely hanging on to life. They aren’t even aware of just how messed up they are, so they blame everything and everyone around them.

This makes the task of pastoral guidance monumental for even the smallest issues. Showing someone just a slender glimpse, a bare outline, of the truth as God revealed it is asking them to become radically alienated from their own world, because it’s a world utterly alien to who and what God intended they be. Anyone who feels led to the mission of pastoral counseling often finds it necessary to address some fundamental issues at large, often by writing books or recording videos.

This is where I find myself. It’s hardly the whole story, but it gives a sample of where my writing comes from. Of course, teaching is just an extension of that; I’m actually a pastoral counselor for the most part. There is also a heavy calling to prophecy to help fire the preaching and writing, but if I were doing what I really felt called to do, most of my time would be consumed in pastoral counseling sessions. And I do some of that, mostly via email, because the parish to which I give counsel is geographically remote.

That makes it very hard to offer meaningful guidance, because I cannot possibly see first hand what people are facing. If they can’t give me an honest report of what they experience, my counsel will of necessity be somewhat missing the mark. It’s very hard to be internally peaceful knowing that.

So I’m always wondering if I’m getting anywhere. I get very little feedback, so I want to encourage more of you to comment, even if you don’t like what I write. Speak up once in a while. How can I know if I’m coming across? Only if you tell me.

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Team, Family, Church

I was right, but for all the wrong reasons.

My first job out of teachers’ college was at a private school as a long-term substitute. I finished out the year for a Social Studies teacher who had walked off the job.

I divided all my classes into teams. On the one hand, I had heard about this during our “how-to” pedagogy courses. On the other hand, I knew most of what they taught us was hype, but it felt instinctively proper. There was something about it that my heart knew had potential. And it was approved by the administrators, though almost no other teacher used the technique.

It turned out okay; the classes were manageable. It does draw on human instinct, but it ran against the brutal juvenile culture in American schools. The only reason it worked was frankly because of my overbearing presence in the classroom. I wasn’t an ogre; I really did encourage independence. Still, I knew that nothing would work in that environment if I didn’t call up all my theatrical skills to present myself as larger than life.

But the important things I learned took a long while to germinate and bear fruit in my soul. What we can learn working in teams like that is more important than what school pretends to teach. People who lack the ability to prosper in a team environment like that seldom accomplish much of what school is supposed to make possible.

Our American culture in particular, and Western culture in general, has this thing backwards. Individual achievement and heroism is just the opposite of what the Bible teaches. Sure, communism steals away one small part of the biblical image here, but still gets it all wrong. We are designed by God to find our meaning for our human existence in the group. Not just any group, not the random herding of a secular society, with it’s pretense of scientific accuracy, but we are designed to find meaning in covenant family units.

Jesus warned that the DNA-based family unit was a fragile model, because you can’t count on everyone in the household embracing the heart-led way. It would be ideal if we could, but it seldom happens in practice. So we prefer a family grouping based on a covenant, something that requires a conscious awareness of what holds us together. The Holy Spirit enables a covenant family to be stronger than mere instincts regarding blood kinship.

The ability to form and commit to a covenant family is the mark of moral maturity. Our greatest human potential outside of Eden is wrapped up in the drive to form a covenant family group and make it work. This is the meaning behind the word shalom as the blessing of God. His revelation points us in that direction as an expression of His divine moral character at work in us.

Right now the members of this virtual parish struggle to experience anything like that in the flesh. Most of us are isolated in a world that rejects everything we embrace, a world that threatens to do to us what it did to Christ. Still, it is critical that we learn this to the point we start longing for it long before it’s even possible. We need to see this as the core reason for our existence in this fallen world. The only reason we stick around is to reflect His glory, and a core element of that is how we fellowship with folks who share any part of our faith.

Individual achievement as this world measures things isn’t going to make it into God’s accounting of our lives. What He will remember is how we sacrificed for the sake of the team to which He leads us as our covenant family. Invest your energy in that vision. Somewhere out there in the future for Radix Fidem is a situation where we can start to form these families called “churches” and experience the reality of our visions and dreams.

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Return of the Plagues and Exodus

Yes, the system is broken all to Hell and back.

Without having a glimpse inside the Trump Administration, I suppose we could say he honestly tried to fix things. Fixing things would require stepping outside the partisan entanglements and doing things to remove big chunks of the “business as usual” mechanisms. Left or right wouldn’t matter, since that’s all illusion anyway. Just pulling down some of the bureaucracy would be a blessing from God.

Trump missed the window. During the first two years, his voter majority support didn’t crumble until we got close to the most recent elections. During that time, he could have exercised his Executive authority more forcefully and changed critical parts of the system. He allowed his entourage to restrain him too much. Had he taken more bold action, he would have kept his constituency.

His administration reminds me of what’s so very wrong with a particular bureaucracy that exemplifies why the US is doomed: the military. Consider that the most powerful people in the system are groomed to take certain bureaucratically established career paths instead of putting actual leadership first. “Leadership” is dumbed down to mean “ambitious for self gain within the system.” Nobody is willing to sacrifice anything for the greater good. The system is god. This is how Trump’s advisors have handled him, to force him into a career track instead of helping him follow his own instincts to really change things and then get the heck out.

So we have this institutionalized mediocrity and it’s going to crash. Instead of bold people taking real action, the only real action will be when the system grinds to a halt because it’s utterly unsustainable. Since it’s just too damned big and incorrigible, nobody believes the undeniable symptoms of failure. Have you noticed how everyone operates under the presumption that things will keep going like this forever?

Instead of a purposeful dismantling of the system, it will crash. The window of opportunity has closed. Any real leader who arises now will preside over the slow-motion wreckage. There will be at least one such leader. Maybe we’ll have several, but they won’t be working together except in the sense of each salvaging what they can to rebuild something worth keeping in smaller chunks. So prepare for the US to be torn apart, because that’s the only way anything good will come out of this mess.

Only God knows the breaking points for things like this. There are too many factors for a sane analysis, even if you take into account the heart-led way of moral truth. Unless the Lord simply reveals His hand on this matter, we should prepare for some big surprises. We should also prepare for a surprisingly long delay in some parts of this trainwreck.

I’m not the only one who senses prophetically that the tension is building. I’m sure I’m not the only one who breaks out in tears from time to time just feeling the wrath the come. Paint your doorposts with the Blood of the Lamb, lest your own blood be shed inside. May God have mercy on us as we prepare for our exodus.

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The Apostles Were Not Perfect

There are three primary reasons why this Covenant of Radix Fidem cannot rest on my work alone.

1. The distance we must travel is too great for a single generation. It’s hard to fathom just how very far we are from the kind of mentality and reflexes required to implement a heart-led faith consistent with the Bible. This is not something we can just pick up in the first generation. We have to lay the groundwork for future generations to start out thinking along these lines of surrendering the intellect to the convictions. No matter how much we accomplish, we have just begun.

2. It’s a matter of contemplation. We can’t sit down and reason this out, so all the genius in the world isn’t going to accelerate the process. It takes time and exposure in the heart-led way just to start asking the right questions. Each of us working on this now will have to wait until the Spirit can break through our hardened intellectual patterns. I’m no genius by any means, and I still feel like I’m just taking the first steps. There are long periods between small shifts in my thinking, and it all seems so very profound.

3. It requires a significant number of us. We have only a handful of people contributing to the process right now. Granted, a significant number of you are doing your best to follow along and keep up, but we really do need a whole school of people working on this. It is going to take a large body of contemplative scholarship so we can start seeing it from multiple angles. There is no way I can offer a well-rounded body of learning from my single perspective. And I can count active contributors on one hand right now. This requires a substantial council of elders studying what has to change and how it has to change.

So even if I live a hundred years, this is just scratching the surface. So please, don’t get the idea that I’ve got it covered, nor the tiny group of us working on these things. Eldership is not something for which you can have an ambition; ambition disqualifies you. But we are praying and seeking others to serve as elders who can study this business of Biblical Law and build a lore of understanding that we can pass on to those who come behind us.

So, first, pray with us. Second, settle in for the long haul. Commit yourself to the bigger vision of something that requires a lot more work than even a dozen of us might do. But that was a pretty good start for the Lord when He passed the baton to His disciples. Sadly, an awful lot of it was lost when the eldest of them died around AD 100. John prophesied that he could see coming a loss of the heart-led way, that it would be eclipsed by a culture of human wisdom. Let’s learn from their mistakes and get things back on track, with a clear vision of passing the torch to later generations.

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Teachings of Jesus — Luke 12:49-53

In a fallen world, divine revelation is divisive. The substance of the Fall was turning away from the heart-led way of obedience to God, and choosing to trust in human capabilities to discern truth. Thus, the whole world is born without the leadership of the heart in matters of morality. It was the choice to become one’s own god. To then hear the calling of our Creator and turn back to the heart-led way of living makes you a target of the wrath of those convinced you have betrayed human dignity, among other things.

Jesus was divine revelation personified. His teachings called for a return to living by the convictions the Father burns into our hearts. He called for training the mind to surrender and obey the truth from the heart. This was a return to something Jewish leaders had long rejected, so it constituted a revolution, a radical restoration of the ancient Hebrew ways that de-emphasize trusting human reason as a source of truth.

His teaching was a fiery and divisive gospel message. It was the purpose of His life. The image of fire represented the Holy Spirit, to be sure. However, it also represented the fire of persecution that comes from listening to the Holy Spirit speak in your heart. It would set fire to your life in both ways. Jesus was eager to get on with the mission, wishing that the fire had already been kindled.

But there was one more intervening step before He could send that fire. He referred to it as a baptism, a common figure of speech for a hellish testing. But instead of hesitating, He felt driven hard to make it happen. He was actually eager for His trial and crucifixion. It was the whole reason He lived, and this was how His Messianic Kingdom would be born.

The conflict was necessary. Did anyone imagine the Messiah would somehow bring peace to fallen mankind? By no means! This was not the end of the fallen world, but the opening of a spiritual kingdom not of this world. Their hearts would be conquered first, long before this world was finished. Otherwise, no one could enter. And the hearts would fall to Him one at a time, individually, based on nothing that humans could understand. Thus, human family households would be divided.

All the old human loyalties of the past would no longer matter. The new kingdom would transcend such things, resting entirely on a changed heart.

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