A Community of Penitents

If we aim to build a covenant community of faith, how can we not be friends with people who hold perverse sexual appetites?

I reiterate that the question is not, “Who is perverted?” Who isn’t perverted? We are fallen creatures, so the only real question might be, “What is your brand of perversion?” It is utterly impossible to build a community that excludes perverts in that sense. If you attempt to do so, all you do is drive such things underground. This is precisely why America is so perverse in every other way you can imagine: We don’t know how to handle the very natural sexual perversion that afflicts the entire human race.

But we know that acting on perversion is both self-destructive and also harms the covenant that holds a faith community together. Perversion destroys trust. It is a diversion from the healthy community-building choices God calls for us to make. For example, the danger of pedophilia is not the age of consent issue, but that the pedophile suffers from an appetite that destroys redemption, seeking something that is not in the best interests of the children they desire.

You misread Biblical Law when you see it as a harsh restriction depriving you of joy. The Law is aimed at awakening your consciousness of what constitutes moral destruction. We are fallen; we desperately need healing and redemption. The only way we can reach for that is to become aware of what is inconsistent with God’s design in Creation. Sexual appetites that are labeled “perverse” under Biblical Law are contrary to God’s design for us. His divine moral character is the substance of reality.

A covenant community of faith is an asylum, a moral hospital. We join such a community to share in the task of keeping ourselves on track. We commune with those who have different strengths and weaknesses so we can watch out for each other. There is no pretense of protecting our moral purity. We are all penitents trying to make amends. We gain access to the path back to Eden by building a frame of reference that encourages penitence. We seek out that Flaming Sword of revelation to use it on ourselves. It’s all about provoking that desire for holiness, an appetite for moral redemption that can drown out the appetites for moral perversion.

There is no way we could imagine legislating for those outside our covenant community. But we sure as hell will defend our community from outside raiders seeking to plunder our moral elevation. For this reason, we don’t recommend you publicize your perverse appetites, but that you keep it all private. We are a covenant family, bound eternally to respect each other as children of the Father. Confess your sins to like-minded penitents who won’t use it against you.

We don’t pretend to be any better than those on the outside, but we do confess that our Lord’s path for our redemption is good and right. He empowers us to overcome our own sin nature. That sinful nature doesn’t just go away, but it can be nailed to the Cross. It won’t stay on the Cross, but we become adept at renewing the crucifixion as frequently as needed. The whole issue is learning how to handle what will not die until we die and escape this fallen nature once and for all.

So we reject notions of Utopian solutions and we reject attempts to redefine sin as mere lifestyle choices. But we hardly reject the people who suffer from sinful desires, because that means none of us could be members of this community. We most certainly do reject the sin that consumes humanity.

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

Another Case of Missing the Point

God didn’t make perversion; that’s just a reflection of our fallen nature.

Most of the Western debate about sexual perversion is rooted in avoiding the revelation of God. Remember that sin is defined as arguing with the Creator; evil is anything different from what God says is morally good. And you cannot rightly claim that revelation is ambiguous about anything when revelation clearly demands that you submit from the heart, not from the head. For heart-led followers of Christ, there is never any ambiguity about what sin is within any given context. The ambiguity is in the mind, not in the heart.

So what we have, particularly in the West, is an entire civilization founded on arguing with God about everything. It argues with God about the very nature of being human and what it means to know something. It is so far afield from revelation that there is not a single thing it can get right, because the question isn’t what you do or what you think, but who you are and how you relate to God. The West is founded on the lies of Hell.

So it’s no surprise that the foundational Western Church gets things wrong, for her very sin of having compromised the legacy of the Hebrew-oriented faith taught by Jesus, and for her very conscious adoption of Western philosophical assumptions in order to retain priestly political power. And one of the things she gets wrong is the whole question of human sexuality. And her failure to get it right from the very start is the reason for the whole of Western Civilization getting it wrong. The problem in the Church with priestly perversion is the problem of being Western, a problem the Church created.

And all the various sects that broke off from Rome still bear the same seeds of self-destruction. Western Christianity never corrected the single biggest moral failure of being Western. Western Christianity is fortunate, indeed, to ever do anything right. People discover faith in spite of Western Christian religion, because God will not be denied.

The first step in correction is realizing that sexual desire is natural, not sinful. The original sin was not sexual intimacy. The original sin was stepping away from revelation and trying to reason out good and evil from human intelligence. Sex is neither good nor evil, but a necessity written into the flesh. You can do it right or you can do it wrong. The fundamental purpose of human life in the first place is to break the curse of the Fall by returning to revelation. Sexual relations, and how we do them, are a small part of that big job of restoring our access to Eden.

The West makes sexual satisfaction an idol. The mere presence of desire becomes the justification for perversion. Granted, the existence of desire is built in, something God did to our fleshly existence before the Fall. But that desire presumes a certain structure of life that provides a righteous path for requiting such desire. It’s aimed at building a covenant community of faith through procreation. The human instinct for possession, with all the jealousy and rage at betrayal, is a manifestation of righteousness. Perversion is in defying the familial trust structure that helps define shalom.

It’s not just homosexuality or pedophilia or necrophilia that we are arguing about here. Those are mere manifestations of perversion. Every human on the planet has a problem with perversion, with all kinds of variations. It’s only a minor question of what particular perversion troubles you. If you don’t admit it to yourself, you can’t bring it before God for healing. The more fundamental problem is why you insist on giving in to something that destroys God’s remedy for the Fall.

Sexual satisfaction of your particular desire is not an inherent human right. The Western soul rejects the whole structure of redemption (AKA, Biblical Law), so it’s no surprise that a very perverted moral sense demands a legal right to pursue whatever sexual satisfaction anyone can dream up. Western society is atomized and individualized, and has zero comprehension of the biblical model of a redemptive community — feudal covenant community. The business of healing through moral structure strikes Westerners as oppressive. The current public debate misses the whole point.

Yes, the Bible calls certain sexual acts “perverse.” Railing against that is missing the point. Furthermore, it’s a pernicious kind of lying that avoids going back to the root issue. It’s the silly juvenile dodging of fundamental issues by talking about everything and anything else. Sexual perversion is self-destruction. Your desires must be constrained; all of humanity has to constrain themselves sexually to escape the Curse of the Fall. Your particular brand of perversion isn’t the point.

All of this brouhaha is a debate about what the West should be, and avoids the question of how we can escape the prison of Western Civilization itself. If you don’t understand how the West is anti-Christian, then you cannot understand Christ. The problem is not queer priests, but the fundamental approach to faith. The Church not only left the path back to Eden, but has buried it to prevent anyone else finding it.

Posted in sanity | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Teachings of Jesus — Luke 18:1-14

Luke pulls these two parables together, showing that the issues are related. There’s nothing remarkable about either one and both are among those parables most easily understood in almost any language.

There was a judge, mostly likely a Sadducee by the description of his character. The most powerless adults in that day were Jewish widows. The nation had long since drifted away from the tribal lifestyle, where clans often lived all in one area. In ancient times, a widow was protected by her local kinsmen. Ancient judges were warned by God to take special care for widows and orphans and not to take bribes. This particular judge care not at all what God commanded, and was quite likely to extort bribes from the unfortunate, and accept bribes from those who already had advantages.

So it’s likely someone was trying to seize her property on one pretext or another, something one would expect from the Pharisees and scribes who tried to keep secret the finer points of the Law from the peasants. So she came and pestered this unjust magistrate, but he turned her away. She didn’t give up. Using the one and only weapon left to a woman in that position, she nagged him without mercy. In the end, he gave her justice simply to get rid of her.

Even the unjust have a breaking point. Is God that difficult with us? If you come to Him as the Judge of all Creation and cry out about some injustice, do you suppose He will turn us away? Granted, it may seem that way when God seems to move at a different pace than us. Still, God is nothing like that unjust magistrate. If the nagging widow can persist with a godless man, why can’t we persist with God?

Someday soon the Messiah would declare His Kingdom, and such injustice will become quite rare. But then, the real question is this: When the Messiah comes to claim His Kingdom, will He find any folks with that kind of faith? You see, that woman had no faith in the magistrate, but she had faith in God. She rested entirely in divine hands; she had nowhere else to go. Her world was the world in which Jesus lived. He didn’t come across that kind of faith very often, yet it was precisely what He was seeking in His ministry.

Indeed, His next parable addresses those who helped to make things so unjust in the first place. Two men went to the Temple at the hour of prayer. The Pharisee smugly thanked God out loud for not making him like all those nasty sinners, to include that publican back in corner. How proud he was!

The publican stood at the back because he dared not come any closer. He cried out to God from a distance, as it were, though keeping his voice soft, seeking mercy for sins he knew all too well from his burning conscience. In other words, he was truly penitent. Jesus said the latter went his way more justified than the former. God pays little heed to the arrogant, but gives grace to the humble.

Do you not see how the faithful widow and the penitent publican are both the sort of people who will be welcomed into the Messiah’s Kingdom?

Posted in bible | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

MS Office Fails

I am not one of those elitists who considers MS Office too pedestrian, as if the sanctity of Perfect Office is so superior. The latter is better, but not for the reasons most aficionados offer. Nor is LibreOffice so cool simply because it’s Open Source. What makes LibreOffice better is that it works the way I do.

When I first learned about document structure and so forth, I was still using typewriters. My next step was actually into the realm of HTML. It was more about delivery of content than it was plastering things precisely on a page. It required that I learn how the human eyes and brain worked together to parse what was being presented on the screen. Maybe I didn’t learn it all that well, but it was how I learned to approach things. For example, it really is best if a line of text has between 50 and 80 characters, because that’s how the brain works with text.

And objects in the page aside from the text should have distinct anchor points. That’s a major focus of how things fall on the page, even when printed. I seldom print anything, but I do produce a lot of PDFs as a fairly universal form of electronic document storage. The HTML approach works fine. If pictures and so forth need to go on a page, just move the anchor point and have the text rewrap around it. No problem.

MS Office may be able to that to some degree, but not by default. I just spent a bit of time earlier trying it with Word 2003 and with the online version of Word. It offers no visible anchor reference point by default. Instead, it tries to decide for you where everything should go, and it’s typically wrong. It does the drag-n-drop thing with images very poorly, erasing all your options every time you touch it. LibreOffice and WordPerfect both have no trouble with this simple task, keeping your formatting as you move it about the page. Yes, there are plenty of things both of those do wrong, and a few things Word gets right, but it isn’t much.

But almost everyone I’ve sent any documents whines that everything has to be in MS Word format. For simple stuff, that’s okay, but if it includes any other added features like graphics or tables, they get PDFs. I’m not taking the risk of having something destroyed by the incompetence of Microsoft. I really don’t care what the rest of the world considers the standard. I’m about as anti-mainstream as it gets for the a great many things. Almost everything I try to communicate assumes a departure from the mainstream; the mainstream is wrong on just about everything.

So just be aware that this is how I operate. I am praying for a new tower and it will run Win10 for at least a while. During that time, I will not waste money on Office 365. I’ll keep using LibreOffice and also see if I can get my copy of PerfectOffice to run, since it does PDFs better than even Adobe does.

Posted in personal | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Listen and Give

You have supported this; it wouldn’t be possible without you folks.

In the past year ending in this coming March, I will have shipped or handed over six computer systems to people who needed them: three desktops complete, two laptops and a tablet with keyboard and mouse. This figures large in my mission. The Internet is our Roman Road. We can’t afford to have messengers running all over the world the way the Apostles did in the Roman Empire, but we have the Net. Our outreach over the Internet has created from scratch a substantial covenant community of faith.

So far, we haven’t been able to send anyone on mission, but that my happen soon enough. The tablet I just shipped went to support someone with a mission calling. Granted, I do have a lot of hardware coming and going via my meat-space connections, too, but it’s all the same mission work and I’m nothing more than a clearing house for it.

There’s no budget, no board of directors, no tax exemption and the attendant moral compromise. We are family, a covenant household. Nobody is going to tell you how to dispose of your resources. If you don’t understand the radical, unspeakable blessing that comes from giving to your family members, I can’t make it any more attractive to you. Everything that comes into my possession is just more resources for the Kingdom, but specifically for our faith family. I’m frugal with what I get so I’ll have more to share. Your support for me does more than you’ll ever know.

The idea here is for you to understand that you don’t have to work through me. Sure, ask my advice if you like, but don’t depend on my limited perception. If you become aware of a need — something you can discover by participating in our forum — reach out on your own. Check out the prayer requests. There’s nothing wrong with giving and receiving between you folks privately. I don’t even have to know, but it really blesses the family when you report what great things God has done for you.

Your heart knows; listen and give.

Posted in eldercraft | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Draper Bikeway 15

It was a blessed ride; I met with the Lord’s Presence in several places. There hasn’t been a lot of progress since the last bikeway review here. We’ve had a lot of really cold and wet weather that kept me off the bike. Our first shot is the current end of the pavement at SE 104th on the east shore of Draper Lake. Where the route goes off up the hill is quite sandy and I can’t ride that.

Here on the eastern shore are some good sized hills; this is one of several steep climbs I encountered. This is on the backside, headed south. The valley between this and the previous ridge is quite a bit deeper and steeper than this side.

This was one of the sweet spots. The view was lovely, the waves lapping the shore at my feet and out of the wind for the most part. The water level is extra high today, covering whole areas normally dry. Last year I pushed and rode my bike along the shore, which was about 3 or 4 feet (about 1m) below the water where I’m standing here.

This winter has been one of the roughest in terms of hindering riding. I was quite tired when I got home because I haven’t been able to get out much and keep my conditioning up. Still, it was a sweet ride and I’m grateful for the chance before yet another cold wave comes in this afternoon.

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

False Division between Sacred and Secular

By no means would I pretend to tell you how to vote in any election. In fact, I generally discourage folks from voting. God controls the outcome, and nothing any human does will change His plans. But feel free to vote as you wish. Vote your convictions regardless of the outcomes. Should the Lord reveal to me who/what is going to win in any election, I’ll be glad to pass that on. It doesn’t happen very often.

In fact, not much of any human political activity matters that much from our position in following Christ. I invested some effort in talking about Trump because he had a specific mission, but he has failed and made himself irrelevant. So I reiterate what I said before: Keep your eyes on the economics and on what the Zionists are doing (not what they say). They are now the effective ruling party of the US.

Having said that, we are still in a position to watch what is happening and understand the how and why of things. It won’t matter if Trump has a second term as president, but if he doesn’t work on that border wall, his voter base will collapse. If he does build the wall, it won’t make any difference in the problem of excessive immigration, but it will change the tactics. There are an awful lot of things public figures can do to keep the popular favor that make no real difference. In that sense, it’s wise for them to try doing things that aren’t going to work, if their position depends on public favor.

That doesn’t mean excessive immigration isn’t a problem, but the real solution is to severely punish anyone who helps illegal immigrants, and to violently defend the border from invasion, whether the invaders are armed or not. That’s just a matter of human nature; you can’t create policies based on principles that ignore reality and expect them to work. My point is that this is a part of why our economy is collapsing. The bottom line is that economics depends on non-economic factors. Population growth is good, but too many folks coming in who refuse to assimilate drains the economy. The US economy rests on cultural homogeneity, never mind what your racial/ethnic background may be.

So with the fading of that longstanding cultural unity that made the US so powerful, the empire can not but collapse. This country will split along cultural lines, never mind what else may appear to be the cause of friction. Yes, feminism destroys the economy, but so do a lot of other “isms.” Each is a departure from the foundation of how we got to the top of the dog-pile and became an imperial hegemon. The motivating force that made the US powerful is mostly gone, never mind whether you think that motivating force was good or bad.

Morally, what this country needs is breaking up and becoming a lot less rowdy. But if you understand that, you must also understand it means whatever “American greatness” is/was, it has to go. It means some other countries in this world will rise to displace the US and will dominate some of the conditions of our lives. Get used to it; learn Russian and/or Chinese. Good or bad, those two giants are doing what works to make them powerful. However, I’ll tell you that the Chinese are on the knife edge of their own economic collapse, so don’t invest too much in their continued rise. They have a hard lesson to learn first.

I realize how hard it is to let go of the idolatry of the American identity. This is one of the implications of my rant a few days ago (Leave It Behind) about the phony division between sacred and secular. For those of us who embrace the Radix Fidem covenant, sacredness is a matter of context and focus, not compartmentalization. Anything God calls you to do is an act of worship. And for sure, any attempt to separate something physical for dedication to divine purpose is purely symbolic. There is no way I can write down a set of rules and distinctions about what fulfills or what violates that supposed purpose. Any use that obeys your divine calling is glorious.

Instead of designating all the other stuff for mundane or secular purpose, how about dedicating your whole being to holiness 24/7? That way, everything you touch takes on a divine purpose for as long as you exercise dominion. Your devotion to His glory sanctifies everything within the range of your heart’s sensory reach. It’s not confined to 10-15 feet (3-4.5m). That’s just what scientists can measure; in practice it goes out to infinity, depending on your sensory reception. In other words, it depends on what God wants you to receive — and assert in His name — regardless of the physical distance.

Let your sense of diving calling rule your existence. It’s one thing to know that the world is going to hell, and to understand the particulars of that. But it’s a holy calling to see with moral eyes what God intended for us in His revelation. Our mission is to participate in that revelation by living it. At some point, that mission is done and we should be so thrilled that this life is over for us.

Posted in teaching | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments