Bits and Pieces 31

We have freezing rain and sleet today. When we got up early this morning, it was 68°F (20C) — almost sweltering. By mid-morning a cold front blew in and the temperatures plunged. It’s below freezing now.

And I’m fidgeting just a bit. It’s almost mid-afternoon and our mail carrier hasn’t shown up yet. I’m waiting on a new video card for the tower. The old one works until it has to actually do some work; it’s heat sensitive. It uses passive cooling, whereas the new one has a very large fan built into it, and it’s own exhaust vent on the end.

One of my tech support clients, a well-meaning older lady, gave me a little newsletter in the shape of a small magazine. It’s Zionist propaganda, but at least they use some of their funds for actual mission work. It’s just that they do so under the cover of Zionism. It does no good to tell ladies like that that I don’t favor her brand of “Judeo-Christianity.” For them, favoring the modern State of Israel is part of the definition of Christianity. It’s all I can do to point out that I’m not at all interested in politics, including her right-wing keyboard activism. But every time I make a house call to her place, I get a dose of Rush Limbaugh.

It depends on your own sense of calling, but I try to take the measure of who is ready to listen to what I might have to say. In most cases, I’m doing good just to warn them of genuine threats to computer security. It takes a bit of doing to explain why Windows does the crazy things it does.

Have you noticed the extremist rhetoric coming from the lefties, lately? Major figures are suggesting it’s time to start murdering those they condemn as fascists and racists. Most of them don’t have the guts to actually do any of that, but they wouldn’t hesitate to turn the police into left-wing death squads. I’m wondering if/when the rhetoric will stir some of the more violent activists, though. The problem for the left is that this is pretty new to their culture, so there are very few trained to actually carry out serious violence beyond just basic thuggery. It’s the right-wingers who train and carry guns. As for the police: 30 states have proposed or enacted some 50+ new laws restricting protests and such. Never mind basic left-right orientations, state and local governments tend to act right-wing when it comes to turmoil.

For those of us outside of that whole dispute, it’s hard to watch the hatred and violence. This stuff isn’t likely to just break out suddenly one day; this time of tribulation and wrath on the US will take several years yet. That’s the hardest thing to get across to most people: how slow it’s going to move. We get so conditioned to what we see in movies and other forms of entertainment that we expect things to happen in a matter of a few days. You might get that locally in a few places, but the overall picture is one of slow decline.

Update: I pulled out the original video card and it stinks of overheated plastic. It was just barely functional. The new one is an entirely different type of card, but the same brand. For the computer hardware geeks: I had a Quadro NVS 290; now I have a GeForce GT 730. It’s working fine with the proprietary driver from nVidia.

Posted in personal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Covenant Changes Everything

There are endless debates about what is in the best interest of the people, the country, what is just, etc. Let’s get one thing straight: Unless a divine covenant is involved, none of it matters. It’s all lies without a covenant. As long as this country is not a covenant nation, nothing we think, say or do is good or right. Nothing.

For example, don’t talk to me about the moral justice of letting poor oppressed immigrants come to this country so they can find a better life. Nor should you talk to me about defending the borders from invaders who are determined to destroy the materialistic culture that makes our prosperity so inviting. Neither position holds water without that covenant. The one and only thing we can talk about is promoting the applicable Law Covenant for the US — Noah’s Law in this case. Every other conversation is pointless.

Because we know already that no one in America is willing to hear that message, the only thing left to discuss is how America is doomed under God’s wrath. Here we do have some profit in discussing the various mechanisms and problems that will naturally contribute to the destruction of the American way of of life. There’s nothing frivolous about observing how it will all come to an end; that’s how we can be alerted to opportunities to infiltrate on behalf of that covenant law and shine the light of God’s glory and truth.

Don’t talk to me about patriotism and justice on any other terms. The one and only thing in anyone’s best interest is Biblical Law. We recognize Noah’s Covenant as a particular expression of Biblical Law. Noah is the practical application of Biblical Law that God granted to nations and countries until the End of Time. Only Israel has a unique covenant different from other nations, and you can plainly see she’s not interested in her covenant, either. Still, that such law covenants seem impractical serves only to point out just how far away from truth the world has drifted. By and large the human race refuses to bow the knee to Our Creator.

Of course, this means churches are no better. There may well be individual congregations in this world doing it right, or doing it well enough to provide a safe harbor for your earthly existence. For myself, I’ve yet to find one that will tolerate the doctrine of covenants, which means they don’t tolerate me. You can be sure I’ve tried every way I know, but right now there’s no place to rest my weary soul. I’m not hostile; they are. I’m quite willing to work with any group that will let me stay and operate by the faith and conviction that burns in my heart.

So this blog was started with the purpose of fulfilling my duty to that divine fire. A few of you have expressed a desire to join me “outside the camp,” here at the foot of the Cross. We have established a fresh covenant as the basis for our shared faith, a basis for cooperation. On the grounds of our Radix Fidem covenant, we will reclaim the vast bounty of shalom our God has poured out upon this earth.

Posted in teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feeding a Need: Teachings of Jesus

I’ve gotten some feedback on the Sermon the Mount series, though not much. What little I have gotten suggests it’s feeding a need. So for now, I’m going to continue marching through the teachings of Jesus as recorded in Matthew. My aim is to keep it fresh; I’m running more off inspiration. I don’t ignore scholarship, but I’m trying to breathe life into the presentation. I want you to feel like you were there in the narrative itself.

So for now, this will be the Saturday lesson notes that I publish here in preparation for my Sunday home worship. I’m not that much into polished oratory; I know how to do it but there’s too much manipulation involved. It would be better if there was interaction; that was permitted in the Old Testament synagogues. I try to write in a style that reflects a more informal presentation.

There’s a certain moral power in teaching the revelation. We are striving to break down the false expectations of the intellect so the heart can speak loud and clear. It makes no difference at all if the Scripture passage at hand addresses some specific current issue. The removal of the barriers means you are open to the truth in your own context. You’ll know what to do because of that living connection between heart and mind.

Posted in eldercraft | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Sermon on the Mount 20

Jesus uses another common parable from the Talmud. It was widely known in that part of the world that during rainy season, it could fall in torrents, rinsing the rocky places bare and flooding the wadis. Jesus could have easily cited the place where He sat teaching for this parable. Keep in mind that, while we cannot be sure of the exact location of this sermon, there are few steep craggy places near the northern Sea of Galilee where He had been ministering. Most of the likely sites were gently sloping hills composed of stone, left standing above the surrounding terrain because neither wind nor rain could remove them. They frequently had buildings on them, or ruins from past structures.

Thus, those who studied the revelation of God and obeyed it were likened to those who built on such rocky hills, and the heavy rains had no effect. Those who studied but did not obey were like those who built down in the wadi. Not just a shack, but these two were building a whole house, a large building with two stories, an exterior wall and inner courtyard with rooms all around. By extension, this house represented his household, his family and the legacy of all his work. This was his very life in this world, everything that mattered in the minds of Ancient Near Eastern men.

It’s obviously more than mere individual existence that counts here. But it’s also far more than just one’s own immediate family; it’s a picture of one’s contribution to the covenant community. How will you be remembered? What will your descendants have to live with when you are gone? Did you build shalom and divine justice, or did you fritter away your existence simply playing by the rules? It’s not enough to know the revelation of God and take the path of least resistance. We are obliged to put work into it and strive against the human moral entropy we inevitably encounter in this fallen world.

The shalom is far more than just the product of wise social science. It is the power of God to ameliorate the Fall. It is the favor of God and Creation itself, finding us delightful because we truly believe that it matters. Give your heart to God. Commit yourself to His ways and His wishes. That word “faith” means a heart-led commitment to a person.

It’s critical here to notice the reaction of Jesus’ audience. They were used to rabbis quoting previous rabbinical teachers and lawyers. Jesus taught from the Living Law burning brightly in His soul. Yet the people recognized instinctively the inherent authority of someone who had become the very living expression of God’s revelation. His teaching called out to their hearts and they recognized the truth of what He said.

Posted in bible | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Divine Wrath: The Big Picture

This year the US government will borrow more than a trillion dollars. This money isn’t borrowed the way you and I might borrow from a bank or other financier. Government debt has to sold in the form of bonds. That means people and agencies with money have to agree to purchase a bond today against future redemption with interest.

There are several factors at work here. The basic interest rate has been low for a very long time, so there would have to be some other good reason to buy a bond like that. The good reason has been that investing your money that way in government debt has been safer than a lot of other investments. And if you just hold your money, inflation would eat it, so it’s better to put that into some kind of investment if you don’t need it right away.

That worked for a while, but it’s not working too well now. The biggest bond buyers were countries like Japan and China, and they are actively reducing their US bond holdings. They used to have an excess of dollars to get rid of because we kept importing from them more than they bought back from us. But they are trying to get rid of those dollars other ways (like buying up real estate and facilities and businesses here in the US). Part of the problem is that every country in the world is already in deep debt themselves, just like the US (only they aren’t so profligate), plus they have too many dollars already. There are better ways to invest them. On top of that, the climate of US aggression abroad is making people look for ways to hurt us and slow down that aggression; dumping US bonds is part of that. Our pushy demand that everyone else trade in dollars was sucking up their economies and benefiting only ours.

So that means the US government has to offer those bonds at a higher rate of return to entice other investors. That means the basic interest rate on all debt in US dollars has to go up with it — the Fed has to raise the basic interest rate for all loans. We know from experience that means the stock market goes down when the interest rates go up. That’s because rising interest rates mean consumers and businesses are going to be more careful about using debt to buy stuff they need, and all the stuff we manufacture is less likely to be selling quite so fast. It slows the entire economy down and stocks are less profitable because the companies behind them will be less profitable.

Nobody can tell you when these things will be noticeable, but they will be, as sure as the earth keeps spinning in space.

I wish I could show you how this works with charts and so forth. I sincerely wish we had the time to sit down and talk about this stuff so you’ll understand it. This is what happens when there is political pressure on governments to borrow and spend more than they can grab as taxes. High taxes also crimp the economy. And you could ask any random person on the street; they could think of ways the government wastes money on things they don’t believe the government should be doing. It won’t matter whether you favor one agenda or another — the government absorbs way too much money. The lie is coming apart that stirring economic growth will cover the debt. That growth simply has not kept up with the massive over-spending.

When government inserts itself into the economy, by becoming a major conduit for spending, it distorts the natural economic activity. Worse, the government is by far the most inefficient handler of money. No collection of private or corporate entities, nor even criminal enterprise, is as wasteful as government bureaucracy. The government absorbs outright more than it passes on to others as healthy spending. It sucks down vast quantities of economic activity without putting anything back into the system. It freezes assets that can never be used for any profitable purpose.

But try to reduce government spending and the political unrest will be impossible to contain. There are too many vested interests unwilling to see the greater common good. So it’s going to break, and the really smart people figure it’s coming this year. To be more precise, it’s already broken, but the ways that we measure such things don’t yet register as broken. It’s a huge system and it won’t explode, but crumble — the millions of little breaking points won’t break all at once. By the time it’s obvious, it will be too late. Stuff has already begun to break and it will take easily the next few years for all the other parts to break down. The mass of our national political will is to play it by ear and look for the best chance to plunder. Nobody is thinking about how to actually do something in the national interest — nobody with any real power to act, that is.

We can discard “national interest” as a factor in our reckoning here. There’s no saving this country. There are plenty of helpful things we can do on a smaller scale, so if you feel called in that direction, focus on state and local. Try to rescue what you can reach. Of course, with Radix Fidem, our focus is divine justice in the first place, which in turn encourages a local focus. This is what we do by moral instinct.

We who understand Biblical Law can see how US government violates everything God intended for us. We see how reality itself is sorely abused and violated by our system of government. So reality isn’t going to tolerate this much longer; it will turn around and destroy things. This is the wrath of God justly falling on a morally degrading force too large to ignore. And if you understand how this is all wholly justified, then you are ready to see with your hearts how to pass through this time of tribulation by seizing opportunities to reveal His divine justice in how we respond to injustice and wrath.

Posted in sanity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a Networked World

The core of the geek community is rabidly hostile to anything that smacks of censorship, and militantly favors radical free expression. Their influence is not always recognized by the broader consumer public. These two groups overlap some, but it’s hard to measure. What we see on the Net is a thin veneer of mindless consumerism hiding a very dark and powerful faction that could and would readily destroy the whole thing.

Big Technology is fully aware of this tension. They have to walk a tightrope, but there are too many bigshots who forget or imagine they have the power to ignore the geeks. But it turns out that the geeks have a very real power to ignore the windbags among tech titans and proceed with whatever the hell they please. Companies that tried to push the geeks out, or who tried to cherry pick the ones they wanted, tried to tame them with corporate culture, are the ones we remember vaguely, now gone from the scene. The core of entrepreneurial vitality makes room for the antisocial geeks, even in what passes for their boardrooms.

This is the new wave of activism; this is the real deal. It’s not so much they are right-wing, but an odd mixture of libertarian and liberal influences that defy easy characterization. To the mainstream, the geeks seem often juvenile, pushing the social boundaries for the sheer fun of shocking the mainstream. It’s a mistake to imagine they’ll grow out of it. One man’s puerile is another man’s moral responsibility. The geek is whole new thing previously not possible before the Internet.

The one thing they will not tolerate is the social justice warrior (SJW) movement. It’s not just lampooning, but open spite and persecution of the SJW snowflakes. They have driven executives out of their high-paid positions by merciless harassment. They pick their battles rather well. Quite often they are content to wound their targets without trying to finish them off. Still, their true power has yet to be seen.

Despite the geeks animosity toward SJWs, that is mere entertainment compared to the very real threat of corporate censorship. I note in passing that geeks would not hesitate to read something on an openly socialist website; their actual politics are eclectic. It’s much more useful to understand their moral philosophy, and to keep a very cynical eye toward established political institutions. Unilever is seeking to use their economic leverage to oppress and silence free expression, a cardinal sin in the eyes of the geek community.

This is all part of our proper understanding of the coming tribulation as the West crumbles and the Networked Civilization rises to take its place. The geeks reflect the core values of a networked society. A significant portion of Big Technology companies are still too much a part of the dying Western materialist world. Their recalcitrance is what will make it so painful for all of us. And you can be sure the geeks are watching them. To the degree Unilever adheres to this evil plan, they will face serious push-back from the geeks.

Unilever names their co-conspirators. You’ll notice that Facebook has wavered a great deal. Zuckerberg wants the mainstream money, but his geek roots won’t let him forget where he came from without paying a very high price. So FB has lost a significant portion of its audience in the past year because of this very real defiance of the geeks’ unlimited free expression. Google has been walking a tightrope and is wobbling. Twitter is on the verge of collapse, though it may not be obvious.

The old advertisement based model of funding is dying quickly. Get used to the idea of micro-payments and other forms of support. Get used to a wide array of small independent operations, and quite a few more who look for ways to participate with the likes of Amazon and remain mostly free. We live in a time when all it takes is a few missteps alienating the geeks and a massive corporation can simply die, replaced with something else, maybe a lot somethings.

Unilever has just painted a huge target on themselves.

Posted in social sciences | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Individualism and Commitments

Under the covenant of Radix Fidem, we know that we cannot simply rebuild the ancient ways in our current society. Rather, we seek to reawaken the heart of what was behind the ancient biblical religion. We aren’t the Hebrew people, but we are inheritors of their commitment to God’s truth. We want the ancient faith expressed in our own context.

This is what was behind 2 Timothy 2:15, for in the day Paul wrote that letter to his young assistant, the “word of truth” was the Old Testament, the only Scriptures they had at that time. The idea was to search the Covenant of Moses in light of Christ’s teachings to discern what was of the essence versus what was merely contextual expression. We find the mainstream Western churches have cut away even the bones of faith, and we have no desire to perpetuate their errors. We seek to understand the Old Testament, not from our own cultural basis, but from the intellectual traditions of the people who wrote it.

It’s a lot of work. One does not easily walk away from everything they’ve ever known and journey to a world that many have tried to bury even deeper in the sands of time. It’s not merely a few things we shift, but a radical removal of everything, pulling up the roots and planting them in a different soil. Thus, “Radix Fidem” translates from Latin into English as “root of faith.”

One of the biggest issues for people seeking to embrace this different worldview is forsaking the individualism of our world. It’s not as if we demand a hive-mind of thinking alike; it’s a false dichotomy to suggest that’s the only alternative to individualism. We aren’t communists; we are family. It’s a question of your commitments.

The Western mind is committed to itself. There may be any number of self-deceptive masks for this. The favorite is the ideal of objective fact. We know from our studies in biblical thinking that this is the big lie of Western society. Logic is just a set of tools designed to exclude convictions of the heart. But logic is not a starting point; it’s just a method, an approach to ultimate answers. It is wholly self-deceptive, because it pretends that one could simply use the rules properly to arrive at some desirable conclusion.

The finest, most austere use of logic has to start somewhere; it always presumes that one thing or another is good and right. Without that basic assumption, logic has no where to go. There has to be an a priori value system in place, a set of assumptions by which we judge the validity of our logic. In reality, logic starts from whatever it is the fallen nature desires. The intellect is part of the fallen nature, and deceives itself in a pretense of objectivity.

In biblical mystical logic (yes, it is a type of self-consistent logic), we openly admit to our presumptions of value — a value system revealed by God. The individual is not simply nothing, but we recognize that the individual is not where God intended without a family, either blood kin or covenant kin (or both). And the individual is meant to find life and meaning inside the family, not as just an individual on his own. An individual without a family has nothing, no matter how much property he can claim. A biblical individual is committed to the family first.

This is why the political philosophy of democracy is an abomination. It pulls the individual out of the family setting, and does not permit that kind of loyalty that God demands. In Western thinking, one is obliged to commit to any number of inadequate replacements for the family. Thus, there are many bogus claims on the individual aimed at robbing the family and destroying covenants.

FYI: There have been a lot of hits on my post about our emphasis on Biblical Law. It seems to have touched on something and it looks like the link is being shared.

Posted in teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments