That Light Might Shine

For a good while now, the god of the West has not been He who spoke the world from the raw firmament of His own being, but a concept. Human thought on the supernatural is ever in flux, but not so much progress is made as our academicians would like to suppose. For though we no longer strip off our clothes to dance before demonic idols and slake their thirst with the blood of our infants, criminals and bitter enemies as the Aztecs or the Celts of classical Europe once did, we have no less the same degree of fanaticism in the consecration of our mentally abstracted idols.

To wit, we worship liberty as Baal once was among the Canaanite peoples of the Levant. Our freedom to do as we please is as inviolable a divine mandate as the Law handed down to Moses – or so our actions say.

For even in many houses of God, we might hear so simple and easy a command as “Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” And yet in our American way, we strive, worry, bite and gnaw (yes, I remain guilty of this too) about what we shall eat, how our bills shall  be paid, what soil be predestined for our hands to cultivate, and in our fervor to labor for our own bread mistrust the providence of the God who formed the very soil that we till. Is God’s strength not greater than that of our flabby biceps, fat from the convenience and ease of our modern life? But perhaps we do not doubt God’s strength, but His willingness to condescend to our mundane needs and provide such little things such as money and good grades, or relief from an irritating case of the flu. His unwillingness to aid in those (or so it may be said) is not of Him. It is of our predisposition to credit our victories to ourselves, and not to Him who sustains us through the continual outpouring of His Word, without which would not exist a speck of the reality which we know now.

Some modern philosophers propose that we are all but figments of imagination. Truly, being unable to know the world except through our own perceptions, we could well live in a construct, for by Man’s means we can never escape the hard casing of our skulls to explore a world beyond the limits of the flesh. They, of all pagans unknowing the majestic truth of the Living God, may be closest of all to the reality, that we live in the mind of God, who was and is and still is to come, all that breathes and thinks and orbits, and yet above and separate from all that can be seen with the eye and grasped with the hand – immortal God.

We live at the Lord’s command, whether we follow Him or not. Rebel and disciple both, live at the grace of a merciful God, a God who as He lives, burns with righteous anger at a rebellious creation which defies the very nature of its origin, spitting on the good works and the good name of Him who breathed life into humble clay. If one will say, “Who is God to declare what is right and wrong? Who is God to choose who shall be punished?” – I say to thee, “Count what makes you right to discipline even your dog. What gives you authority over your children? Are they not living, thinking equals of you? What gives your children the right to eat at your table freely? Do they earn their keep? What is it that keeps them clothed and dry in a warm house, but your unwarranted love for them – in spite of and irregardless of their behavior? When they throw their tantrums and scream and cry, do you not discipline them? And when they have come to you for forgiveness, do you not forgive and forget, and embrace them even more warmly than if they had done nothing wrong in the first place?”

We are children before a loving Father, one who is not stern alone, but consumed with compassion for his suffering, wayward children – who do far worse than merely scream at their father or mother. We murder with our hearts, wishing harm on those who mildly inconvenience us on the road or cut in line. We lust with our primal organs, ravenous predators stalking the streets in the deceptive guise of happy citizens – restrained not by good morals, but by animal fear of the consequences for acting out our brutish desires. We slake the thirst of our crying souls on money, conveniences, entertainments of all kinds from the lowest of brows to the heights of sophistication, to darker twisted pleasures provided paid and free, in person or through the vast internet. We joke at the expense of those unable to answer for themselves, delight in expressing our opinions in the most creative of vulgarities, distracting ourselves from the painful light of higher truths by targeting our quests for wisdom on practical tips and tricks to quiet a tremulous heart which knows that it was made for so much more than perusing a hundred blogs on green tea and Buddhist meditative practices as interpreted by a professional connoisseur of cultural commercialization.

And we haven’t even touched politics yet. The titles and means of succession may have changed, yet still we rally around presidents and chancellors – elected kings of empires ruled by a collective dream. My thoughts on this remain for another essay, but suffice it to say – is it not an affront to the true King that we will so readily latch onto the words and scuffles of these petty rulers who are in one cycle and out the next, naught but a short tract in an already outdated high school textbook – and thusly ignore the ageless, ever-growing chronicle of the deeds of the one Lord of all lords?

I have spoken long enough. I am sure by now that I have either sufficiently dissuaded you from continuing to read my prattling, or that somehow my words have been efficacious. If it is the former, that is what I can only expect from the weak efforts of my fleshly mind. If it is the latter, then it is because what was read was different than what I wrote, and I can only thank God if what I have written here has helped anyone.

My desire is only this – that you, him, her, me, every soul which dwells upon God’s Earth, would have their eyes opened up to the Heavens, and that God’s Light might shine on His starving children and show them the way to not merely survive this life – but live into the next – and chase after Him who is Life who loved them enough to die for their rescue while they pelted Him with curses and nailed him to a cross. For all that God is Justice unflinching, He is also Love unending, and Compassion unsurpassed.

Advertisements

A short message

Felt them goose bumps rising as the anthem played for Kate Ledecky’s medal. Came in at the last few bars, and even then I was shivering.

And I’ve realized why. Over these last few days, we’ve finally caught a break, the briefest moment of respite. After months of name-calling, mudslinging, dirty politics, scandals, shootings, terrorism, and the idiots on TV, we finally get some heroes to get behind. Simple men and women, solely focused on excellence, undistracted by the standard-issue human pettiness.

Americans, Brits, Koreans, Japanese, Israelis, Russians, Ukrainians, French, Chinese, Indian, Syrians, Moroccans, Italians, Brazilians, Mexicans, Canadians— we should all savor this moment. It is a rare one, when we can observe a clarity of purpose and total purity of will.

For us Americans, when the Olympics are over, we will have to return to this freak show of a presidential race, as the two most incompetent / deceptive / head-up-the-ass / boobish / nob-headed / treacherous / selfish a**holes ever to run for higher office go head to head, and all the world cringes.

No matter who you vote for, we’re all wrong.

An Abrupt Change of Tone

Our world is dying.

Not in the slow, geological sense, but at the erratic and unpredictable, inexorable speed of our own destructive impulses. I can’t speak as to whether this will be our last gasp or only another maelstrom which we must endure to rebuild shattered lives, but the world that we thought ten years ago would blossom into a new era of prosperity and understanding will instead be consumed by fire.

We suffer from a cancer whose symptoms are terror, suicide and depression, and whose causes are intrinsic to the world order which we so hoped would stand out from the blood-scrawled roll of history.


Stranger Danger; tolerance; safe spaces; personal space; political correctness; affirmation; convenience; welfare state; “work smarter, not harder”: facets of the cancer consuming the West which once stood as the measure to which all the rest of the world aspired.

We no longer allow our children to explore their neighborhoods and meet their own friends for fear of a random stranger in a white van. We daren’t speak our minds for fear of the immediate and callous judgement of a society that prizes propriety over honesty, allowing hatreds and opinions to fester in the resentful pit of a human mind trapped by artificial social rules. We self-isolate from information that challenges our beliefs rather than try to understand the opposing side to prove or disprove our own opinions nor find the third way that trumps either. We submit ourselves to the animal preference for comfort over progress, to ration our resources rather than seek to expand our wealth; on the micro, we’d much rather dawdle at home or skate by at work rather than force ourselves to be more than what we are. We make a mockery of those who weren’t born with an innate level of academic intelligence or a talent for inflated grades, and this only to avoid looking inward to see our own stagnation as we chase the sweets trolley of consumerism and corporatism.

And much of this can be laid to blame on the persecution of the spirit and His Spirit from the public eye. When we have no spirit to look to for guidance, no promise to keep our eyes turned heavenward, when as Nietzsche said, “God is dead,” we do not then exist in a happy atheism, seeing each man as our equal in a Godless world. Instead, as Chesterton said, “When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing, but worships anything at all.”

In a world where we doubt the power of Providence and lack the security of the Covenant, we must make our own gods, again from Nietzsche. From this proceeds violence, hatred, division, blindness, cruelty, tyranny, the glorification of murder, the anointing of hedonism as the new prince. In the absence of God, we worship the gods of Pleasure, Avarice, Pride, and War. From the pursuit of endless pleasure comes an insatiable gluttony for the means to sustain it. From the acquisition of wealth and the conquest of moral constraint flows hubris. And from such accumulated pride, excess of wealth, glut of pleasure and void of spiritual purpose erupts the bloody cataclysm of war, the crucible which forges a man and damns ten thousand.

The gods of Man are many, and their king is Man himself, cloaked in the surefooted certainty in the power of his will and his wisdom. In his right hand is held the iron hammer of craft and cleverness, and his left is the mirror which reflects only what he wishes to see. His throne is Babel, and his crown is the ten spiked cast-iron circlet of Mars.

 

 

 

I Must Speak

How many of you think Israel is a repressive state?

Because I’d like you to take a moment to reflect on her neighbors.

Egypt– is only recently a democracy, and just barely.

Syria– is currently a geographical term for “sh*t hole.”

Turkey– is devolving into a theocratic dictatorship and may be funding ISIS by buying their oil.

Saudi Arabia– sentences homosexuals and atheists to death.

Iran– funds Hezbollah and imprisons apostates (though I will concede they are socially more progressive than Saudi Arabia, and it is mainly the Iranian government which concerns me, not its people.)


Contrast Israel, in which homosexuality is not illegal, apostasy is legally irrelevant, the military warns bombing targets beforehand, and despite constant terrorist attacks which have brought other countries to martial law, maintains some of the highest liberty ratings in the world.


The Jewish people have a country of their own for the first time in two thousand years, enduring constant persecution and suspicion, hatred and exile, and only three years before Israel’s founding, near-extermination of European Jewry at the hands of the Nazis. When they arrived, it was a desert; now, Israel is a vale of greenery, wealth and prosperity amidst a waste of mismanagement and violence perpetrated by medieval extremists and selfish warlords.

Take a gander at various articles surrounding the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Notice that there were two states, Palestinian and Jewish. Notice who started the war.

Why are those who support freedom and protection for minorities and national sovereignty so quick to turn on those who need their help the most?

This is why I study history– when we ignore the past, we are all too eager to repeat the savageries of those who came before and blunder gladly into murder. We forget that freedom is not given, but earned in blood and treasure. We forget that when we ask the strong to give us bread and liberty, we receive crumbs and chains. That is why I can never accept socialism or the statist line– taking the easy way not only stagnates us, but weakens us. It is hardship that makes us stronger and makes tomorrow brighter. Israel’s story is not a story of salvation by mighty men, but determination against the odds, solidarity among brothers and sisters, and faith in destiny. With looted German weapons and indomitable courage, Israel stood up against those who would see the Jewish people struck from the face of the Earth, and not only survived, but thrived.

Do not shirk the Israelites or their friendship, for there is no ally like the Chosen People. Do not shirk hardship, but overcome it, for true men and women are not cast like bricks, but forged under fire, and quenched in storms. Do not fear hard times, but embrace them. Faith, Duty, and Vigilance will carry us unto the dawn.


If these sources are unsatisfactory or I have left something insufficiently cited, let me know, either in the comments or in a PM. Feel free to discuss and debate this, and remember to keep an open mind.
Turning the Sand to Land
http://www.csmonitor.com/1987/0519/dsand.html

Israeli Independence War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_War