A Christian World View of Friendship

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)

24  A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who IMG_0374sticks closer than a brother.

We recently listened to the January 27th sermon podcast from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in California.

Pastor Zelt points out that one can have many companions, but these do not constitute “friends.”

He asks, who has checked their Facebook today.  He also shared some statistics:   the average number of friends is 130; one in every 13 people on this planet has a Facebook page; Half of them log in every day;  71% of internet users are on Facebook; 50% of 18-34 age range –> checking FB is the first thing they do every day, and 28% of them do it while they are still in bed.

We have many, many companions…but not many friends, real friends. The Pastor goes on to relate the story of Yvette Vickers’ death.  She was the star of a few B movies back in the day.  The only one I remember is Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.  (What can I say…my mom liked to watch horror films and movies such as this and I watched with her 🙂  I think we mostly giggled at the thought of a 50 foot woman.)

It turns out that Yvette had been dead for quite some time before her neighbors noticed the overflowing mailbox and the collection of papers on her doorstep.  When someone finally checked they found her mummified body in a room where her computer was.  The last thing she probably viewed was her Facebook page.

We may have many companions but not many friends, in spite of what FB labels them.

2010 AARP studied loneliness:  35% of adults over 45 say they are chronically lonely. Twice as many as 10 years earlier.

The point of this is that as members of the Church we need to be concerned about connecting with people. We need to care for each other, serve each other and help each other stay connected to God.

In 1950 less than 10% of households contained one person.  In 2010 that number increased to 27%

In a study from the Hoover Institute: (Ronald Dworkin) the following was reported:

In 1960 there were 500 Marriage Therapists, 2500 Clinical Psychologists, and 30,000 Social Workers.

In 2010 there were 50,000 Marriage Therapists, 269,000 Clinical Psychologists, 400,000 Social Workers.

Add to that: 105,000 Mental Health Counselors, 220,000 Substance Abuse Counselors, 17,000 Psychiatric Nurses and 30,000 Life Coaches.

Conclusion: The majority of patients in therapy do not warrant a Psychiatric diagnosis. We have outsourced the work of every day caring.

I would observe at this point that this is where the two world views are differentiated.  The Progressive world view does not ultimately rely on a relationship with God.  Their goals are not guided by the Word.  They are guided by a group of people who believe that if they structure the world in just the right way that the Utopia they believe possible will be achieved.  Once again I would suggest you read How Now Shall We Live.

I believe if you read this book you will find out that loneliness is not the only reason for the drastic increase in mental health professionals and social workers.  There are other, even more disturbing reasons.  However, the statement is correct we HAVE outsourced the every day job of caring.  We have also outsourced the duty of charity to the government in the mistaken premise that “they” can do it better.  I cannot disagree more.

Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo wrote a book about loneliness. In an article about his work it says:

“In talks and interviews, Cacioppo often cites a study in which sociologists asked respondents to list the number of confidants they had. In 1985 the most frequent answer was three. In 2004, when researchers repeated the survey, the most common answer had dropped to zero. One-fourth of participants, drawn from a cross-section of the American public, reported having no one to talk to intimately.”

The reasons for the rise in social isolation are multiple and well documented: contemporary American life is less rooted, more hectic, more scattered. Jobs and friendships are transitory; divorce rates are high, as is the number of single-parent households. More people move away from home, and more people live alone—that number has increased by 30 percent in the past 30 years, Cacioppo says.

Onto this landscape, social media erupted—Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn—exerting an influence more complicated, Cacioppo says, than some people might think. “If you’ve got a disability and you can’t get out, social networking is a great boon.” People who use the Internet to generate or enhance in-person relationships also benefit, he says. But when others use online connections to substitute for face-to-face ones, they become lonelier and more depressed. Lonely people are likely to use the Internet as a crutch, the non-lonely as a leverage.

I maintain, if you read my posts, that many of the causes of loneliness cited above are the unintended and intended consequences of the Progressive world view

God calls us to be in relationship with each other and with HIM, not the government.

Pastor Zelt uses four Scripture passages to make his point.  I share them below with some additional thoughts.

IMG_0298Proverbs 17:17 (NIIII)

17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Life can be hard, so we need relationships to help us deal with the stuff life throws at us.  We need a friends to help us deal with life’s challenges.  We need friends, not social welfare programs.  How else can you account for the increased sense of loneliness while the number of professionals and programs has exploded?  And when we outsource the job of caring we tend to become less caring and more isolated.

Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Enemies do not care if you are on the wrong path, nor do they care if you are getting bad advice.  Enemies will flatter and encourage you when what you need is wise counsel. Wise counsel that is sometimes difficult to hear; “wounds from a friend can be trusted.”

If we have a network of trusted people we can remain on the path that will bring us a fulfilled and meaningful life. God knows what we are like so He calls us to relationships with each other and to NOT outsource this to any other entity.

1 John 1:8-10 (NIV)

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

We need to maintain awareness of our weakness; the places where we fail.  Living a lie does not work. The Progressive world view outlines things that, while intended to create happiness, achieves just the opposite.  The godless philosophy that underlies the Progressive world view denies God, denies Christ, and denies the need for a Savior. The end result is not happiness.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10 (NIV)

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

We also need to share our joy with others as it multiplies our happiness. I would maintain that rejoicing with friends via social media is one of the positive aspects of this media.  I have been able to pray with and for my friends, celebrate life events with them , encourage them and more.

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
Mark Twain

I believe social media can isolate, but it can also unite and be used for good purposes.

Pastor Zelt ends by sharing the definition of a catfish. A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

A different persona on the Internet than one has in reality. I think that is easy to fall into so we must constantly be reminded who we are in Christ.

God is not a catfish.  He cannot be seen so you might ask yourself how can you know what He is really like?  Pastor Zelt points out: You can see Him in the person of Christ. Christ told us what God is like: He sticks closer than a brother, He loves at all times, He can be trusted and He says rejoice with me.

Finally, a study from Germany  showed that belief in God does not decrease loneliness, it is your understanding of who God is that decreases your loneliness.

Does God love you?

John 15:13 (KJV)

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

IMG_0159Yes, He does.

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The Danger of Intellectual and Cognitive Laziness

Psalm 15:1-2

New International Version (NIV)

A psalm of David.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;

I am attending a Forensic Psychology course at a local University.  It has been very stimulating!  I’ve learned about some things I would like to share.

Definition: Availability Heuristic

An availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come Progressives Rules 5to mind. When you are trying to make a decision, a number of related events or situations might immediately spring to the forefront of your thoughts. As a result, you might judge that those events are more frequent and possible than others. You give greater credence to this information and tend to overestimate the probability and likelihood of similar things happening in the future.

In the textbook: Introduction to Forensic Psychology: Research and Application, it is stated:

Whenever the news media highlight certain events and dramatize their significance, the events seem to be more widespread and frequent to people than they really are.  This phenomena is called availability heuristic. (pg 24)

The Glossary defines this as: The cognitive shortcuts that people use to make inferences about their world.  It is the information that is most readily available to use mentally and is usually based on extensively on the most recent material we gain from news or entertainment.

This is a human phenomena, not just a Progressive or Conservative phenomena.  It does, however, make us aware of our human tendencies.  We take shortcuts.  We take shortcuts because our attention spans have dimished.  So, in the effort to speed things up we take the cognitive shortcuts which ultimately keep from us the information we really need.

As humans, we also have something called “confirmation bias.”  This is the strong preference to have one’s views confirmed.  The problem with this is that it places us in a “closed cognitive system in which only evidence that confirms our existing views and beliefs gets inside.  Other information is sometimes noticed but is quickly rejected as “false.” (Introduction to Forensic Psychology, page 95)

In September of 2010 I wrote a post titled Everything You Need to Know in Four Minutes or Less!  The subject used to demonstrate my point was an economic one, but you can use any of our most heated debates; The Second Amendment, Abortion, Voter ID Laws, People who are in our country illegally, etc.  The message of my post was that you CANNOT get your information in four minutes or less and function in an informed manner.

The discovery of the phenomenon mentioned above brought this post to mind, but more importantly it occurred to me that if we are taking cognitive shortcuts based on what we hear or read (most of the time in four minutes or less) we are also MISSING a great deal of information.  Therefore our conclusions are reinforced by what we hear, but they are also impacted by what we do NOT hear…or see.

I believe the current debate about protecting our Second Amendment rights is a perfect example of this.

How do we combat the cognitive laziness to which we are all inclined?  I think about the boiling a frog experiment and how it is a perfect metaphor for our ability to ignore the gradual, but steady destruction of our Constitutional protections.  The lesson of the story is basically, PAY ATTENTION!

We need to fight the tendency to assume we are sufficiently informed to make rational decisions.  That takes time and effort.  It means you have to search out information and read and listen.  That includes information provided by those who disagree with you.  That is where many people stop.

You also MUST consider unintended consequences.

So, if you do make the effort you will be more equipped to make decisions.  I wrote another post in August of 2010: How Do You Know When You are in Hot Water?   The topic was inspired by the vast differences I was finding when one compares the two world views that are competing for our support.  I believe those differences are even more pronounced today.

Finally, in July of 2010 I wrote a post: If you Smell Smoke You Check to See if there is a Fire.

In this post I wrote:

You decide for yourself.  But first you need to learn the language.  You need to understand what a Progressive means when he says “fundamental transformation.”  You need to understand what he means by “social justice.”  You need to understand what he means by “change the whole system.” You need to examine closely where the progressive’s plan is leading.  You also have to understand that some of what you hear and read are in some cases misleading and in some cases false.  I am finding that these cases used to be less prevalent than they are now.  You need the whole picture.  I know that takes time, but believe me our life, liberty and our pursuit of happiness depends on us all doing our part.

It seems I’ve been fighting the availability heuristic and confirmation bias without even knowing what to call them. I now realize that what I am trying to do is help people fight the normalcy bias and really look at the whole picture that reality shows us.

It is easy, for instance, to dismiss concerns about radical Islam based on many of the responses we hear about how it is bigoted, racist behavior for one to point out concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood.  However, if you read the evidence and listen to their words I have a hard time understanding why one would NOT be concerned.

If you allow yourself to be manipulated by name-calling and dismiss all evidence that there may be a legitimate concern you are then in that closed system.  Then, your confirmation bias kicks in and you ignore any and all evidence that something may be wrong.  This brings to mind, “How Do You Kill 11 Million People?”  (If you’ve not read this book I recommend it.) This book shows that what people end up doing is “singing loudly” so as to not hear the cries of the Jews on the trains traveling by their church.

As another example, left-leaning pundits like to mention “police brutality” as frequently as possible.  Is there inappropriate behavior by law enforcement personnel?  Well, yes, just as there are flawed human beings in every profession.  However, if all you ever hear is about cases of brutality and never hear or consider the thousands of law enforcement folks who not only never exhibit that behavior, but even exhibit heroic and life-saving behaviors you would think it was more prevalent than perhaps it is.

Simply repeating a phrase or accusation over and over again does not result in the sharing of Truth.  That is where using our intellect and critical thinking abilities comes in.

I believe we all need to exercise our intellect and give some time to really understanding the issues before we take a firm stand.  We need to find Truth or at least come as close to it as humanly possible.

That won’t happen in four minutes or less, nor will it happen by reacting emotionally to events that cause us concern.  It will only happen if we consciously and consistently pursue it…combined, of course, with a great deal of prayer.

Ephesians 4:25

New International Version (NIV)

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

“As a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

Posted in Gun control, Media Bias, Progressive Bullies, Restoration of our Constitutional Republic, World View | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Importance of Rules

There are no absolute rules of conduct, either in peace or war.  Everything depends on the circumstances ~ Leon Trotsky

Progressives Rules 4 2.07.41 PMWhen a heart is cold as ice
You can’t melt it with advice
No one wants to listen to
A list of things they shouldn’t do
So I build a city on a hill
And I light a candle on the sill
Knowing you’ll be always knocking at the door
Oh God I just want to love on everyone
All I have is yours to give so let the people come ~ Learning to Be the Light by Neworldson

I am currently on a quest to read the entire Bible in 1 year.  I’ve started this journey a few other times.  Hopefully I will complete the trip this time.  I am, however, currently in the book of Leviticus.

Oh my.  I think this is where I stopped before. Not only because of all the minute details of each rule, but also because they are repetitive.  My attentional deficits make it difficult for me to hear or read the same thing over and over again.

But, I shall prevail because there is a reason God wanted us to know about these times and these rules.

The two quotes above provide very disparate views of “rules.”  One decides that there are no absolute rules.  The other acknowledges that there ARE absolutes, however, just giving people a “list” to follow doesn’t really make an impact.  LIVING one’s life according to the Word of God is to create a “light” to which people will naturally be drawn.

Recently Dr. Benjamin Carson spoke Truth in the context of Christian love by suggesting what our country’s leaders might do to improve our situation.  Many applauded his words.  Others condemned his speech as “rude” and “inappropriate to the setting.”

This inappropriate to the setting reminded me of a speech that Barack Obama gave in 2006.  I guess the critics of Dr. Carson probably think this was OK.

On June 26, 2006 Barack Obama gave a Keynote Address at a gathering in Washington, D.C. (A Call to Renewal.)  The entire address is worth reading, however, in the age of shortened attention spans there is only one segment that got plucked out and paraded in front of many Christians by many Progressives.  The portion is as follows:

“And even if we did have only Christians within our borders, who’s Christianity would we teach in the schools? James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Levitacus (sic), which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage so radical that it’s doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application?

In my view, this shows a basic lack of understanding of the entire story shared in the Bible. It is interesting that the text shared at the link does not include at least one of his comments. The next comment after…”survive its application” was, “Some folks have not been reading their Bibles.”  I think he might be one of those people.  It is also noteworthy that the paragraph above was delivered in that deriding tone he uses so often.

Here is a video of that portion:

Obama goes on to say:

“This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

This may be difficult for those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of the possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.”

Religion does not allow for compromise?  This brings to mind the fact that Marx believed that the abolition of religion, or the opiate of the masses, needed to be completed in order to bring about their “true happiness.”  Which means the development of that Utopia Progressives believe can be achieved here on Earth.  In other words, faith has to be destroyed if we are to ever get there.

Someone hasn’t been reading their Bible.  For sure.

Obama also shared a letter from a supporter which reads in part:

“I sense that you have a strong sense of justice…and I also sense that you are a fair minded person with a high regard for reason…Whatever your convictions, if you truly believe that those who oppose abortion are all ideologues driven by perverse desires to inflict suffering on women, then you, in my judgment, are not fair-minded….You know that we enter times that are fraught with possibilities for good and for harm, times when we are struggling to make sense of a common polity in the context of plurality, when we are unsure of what grounds we have for making any claims that involve others…I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

Obama responds:

“I wrote back to the doctor and thanked him for his advice. The next day, I circulated the email to my staff and changed the language on my website to state in clear but simple terms my pro-choice position. And that night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer of my own – a prayer that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me.

It is a prayer I still say for America today – a hope that we can live with one another in a way that reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all. It’s a prayer worth praying, and a conversation worth having in this country in the months and years to come. Thank you.”

This sounds great.  It sounds reasonable, however, we really need to consider the behavior of our President and his Administration.  Fair-minded words are scarce.  Fair-minded depictions of those who disagree with the Progressive world view are even more scarce.

Again, one MUST consider the influences in Obama’s life and attempt to understand his world view in order to put is words into context.  As an Alinsky follower Obama subscribes to Alinsky’s views which includes:

“Truth was not only relative to Alinsky, it was irrelevant. Alinsky wrote, “An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma to begin with, he does not have a fixed truth – truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing. … To the extent that he is free from the shackles of dogma, he can respond to the realities of the widely different situations.”

The key words here are: “truth is relative and changing.”

There are beliefs and values God would have us not compromise.  Truth is not relative nor is it changing.

Which brings me back to Leviticus.  It is suggested that the “rules” God outlines for the people were rules that kept them safe from harm in a time when the more sophisticated methods of food storage were not yet developed.  The rules about health issues were provided in a time when the practice of medicine was likewise not as developed.  And, to understand how misleading it is to dismiss Christian beliefs based on taking the rules outlined in Leviticus out of context one only has to read “the rest of the story”–the New Testament.

God wants us to be happy and to live full and complete lives.  He offers the basic 10 rules (Commandments) in order to guide us to that end.  There is no compromise for these rules, because to compromise is to prevent us from living the lives God wants for us and ends up harming us all.  In the reverse, to live as the “light” referred to in the song quoted above helps us all.

Laws established in our Constitutional Republic are ostensibly created because We the People believe that certain behaviors hurt us all.  We want everyone to “play by the same rules.”  This is something both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have frequently stated, yet their behavior belies their words.  That could be a result of the fact that in their world view the only absolute rule is that there are no absolute rules.

So what can we agree on?  Stealing is fairly easy to understand as something harmful.  Don’t steal and don’t covet are things most of us can agree upon (our current tax system notwithstanding….that’s another post.)  However, the socialist/Marxist view that most Progressives subscribe to calls for the elimination of the concept of private property.  If you eliminate the concept of private property how do you determine whether or not you are “stealing?”

The sanctity of life is something that most religions acknowledge.  When we start to compromise on that concept we begin to slowly let go of that guiding rule and we slide into dark territory.  I believe the destruction of the belief in the sanctity of human life leads our entire society into trouble.  It’s not about denying someone a “choice.” It’s about respecting life.

Are there “easy” answers to the very complex situations this creates?  No, but Christ did not tell us it would be “easy” to follow Him.  He only promises that if we do we will be eternally happy that we did.

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Discussing Things of Importance in a Framework of Christian Love

1 Corinthians 12:4-27

New International Version (NIV)

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and Diversity in the Body

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

(Recommend listening to: The Church in the Mirror by Alistair Begg)

It seems that in human nature there is a tendency to see whatever gift(s) we have been blessed with as all important and sometimes this keeps us from seeing the whole picture.  We either think we don’t need anything or anybody else or we go to the other extreme and express that our gift(s) do not measure up to the gifts someone else has so we do not matter.

I think 1Corinthians 12 addresses that.

When I started my blog I read a lot of advice about how to make it successful, which meant how to get a bunch of folks to visit your site.  One of the themes that ran through such advice was to be “controversial.”  What some advised was to abandon polite conversation and civil debate and be “edgy.”

There are quite a few bloggers I admire and whose blogs I follow who basically advise that “being nice” does not work because no one will pay attention; that the scorn, ridicule and demonization that comes from people we disagree with will drown out our opposing view somehow if we are too nice. To some extent that does appear to be the case.

Given that fact one can be encouraged that these successful (i.e. lots of followers) are indeed being heard by a great many people.  And is that not what we want?  Do we not want to give people access to information that will challenge them and make them think? I wonder, though, about the people who really do need to hear the message but are put off and basically stop reading/listening when the personal attacks are a part of the discussion.

I, for instance, try to read posts and articles written by people who do not share my world view.  I think we can learn something from everyone.  However, when I see references to Conservatives using the vulgar term “tea baggers” I stop listening.  Do we not lose people who might eventually start thinking about what we have to share when we refer to them as “libtards?”

I also feel that I am in the camp of believing that my gifts do not measure up to more successful bloggers and question my usefulness.  I sometimes look at those statistics and instead of being pleased that my audience has grown, I find myself comparing myself to more successful people and feeling that my contributions are not important.

I wonder if I were to become very successful if I would then think I can sort of do it all myself and that I don’t need the support of others who are, statistically speaking, reaching far less people than I do?

I really do believe in my heart that we all have a role to play.  I believe that both extremes are selfishly oriented; either “I don’t matter” or “I am more important or successful.”  Oh how very predictably human of us.

What brings our efforts together as members of the Church?  It would appear that Christian love is the glue that holds us together and makes the whole much greater and much more powerful than the sum of its parts.

As Alistair Begg points out, the first sentence in chapter 13 of 1Corinthians.  Without Christian, Agape love our speech is a “noisy nuisance.” Referring back to chapter 8 verse one we find that knowledge “puffs up” but that love “builds up.” When we exercise our gifts in the framework of love it builds up Gods people. He goes on to say that what we say may indeed be eloquent but that speaking in the absence of love we might as well be ” a resounding gong” or a “clanging cymbal.”  His reference to the fact that this equates to “making sounds as offensive as a continually barking dog” says it best.

So what it boils down to is this: “What is the motivation of our hearts?” Those who possess gifts which we view as highly desirable become, in our minds, very important people, however, if those gifts are not used in a framework of love they really amount to nothing.

Which brings me to a present day example of this.

Dr. Benjamin Carson:  “Unless you care about other people it does not matter how smart you are.”

Dr. Benjamin Carson spoke recently at the Fellowship Foundation National Prayer Breakfast and exhibited the ability to speak of things of importance in a framework of Christian Love.

He expressed opinions and ideas that are in some ways the direct opposite of what President Obama’s and other Progressives’ views are.  Yet he did it without personal attacks or insults.  Why do you suppose he was able to do that?  I’m thinking the answer has to do with that Christian love that the people of Corinth were told was so important.

Please watch his speech and decide for yourself.

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Agape Love and Its Application In Today’s World

1 Corinthians 13

New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all IMG_0145mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Faith, hope and love….and the greatest is love.

IMG_0371The scripture above is often used at weddings to remind the husband and wife of the importance of love.  It also, if you will, gives a sort of job description of how that love is manifested in the life of the married couple.

It, however, is not only a prescription for happiness for two people.  It is also a job description for each of us as we live our lives in this world.

I have given much thought to how I respond to the things that are happening in our world today, particularly in our country.  I was motivated to begin this blog to express concerns, share information, and, most of all restore a sense of honor to the dialogue.

I wanted to provide information to correct falsehoods and prevent the spread of outright lies.  I wanted to bring the focus to the things that were True.  I wanted to restore the civil discourse that will help us solve problems and live up to what our system of government was designed to do.  I still want to do that.

The discourse in this country has unfortunately deteriorated.  We are human and succumb to this because we are flawed human beings.  I am no different.  I have spoken in anger and on occasion when my anger takes over I have, on very few occasions but on occasion nonetheless, assisted in spreading information that is not true.  I have, I believe, on each of those occasions apologized and set the record straight.

I was listening to a podcast from Truth for Life by Alistair Begg and was struck by how the Truth in the Bible IS for life.  It is a sort of “how to” manual for us to be what God intends for us to be.

I have long thought about how one handles speaking truth when it is unpleasant.  Does the passage above mean that we just ignore anything done to us that harms us?  I don’t think so, but let’s look closer.

1 Peter 2:21-24

New International Version (NIV)

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[a]

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

This brought to mind a blog post a friend shared some time back.  It was basically a chastisement to Christians who were highly vocal about what is happening in this country.  The bottom line was that God is in control, He will determine the outcome, and if you are a person who has placed your faith in His promises you should basically stop complaining, don’t worry and be happy.

Well there is a certain amount of Truth in that.  However, I remember thinking that it somehow lets us “off the hook” to speak out about things that we need to address.  So, what about:

Matthew 21:11-12

New International Version (NIV)

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus at the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

In the podcast I was listening to, Alistair Begg, poses the question:  “If Christ was the embodiment of the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians, how could He do such a thing” To which Alistair points out:

“He was not reacting on that occasion to any sense of self-provocation, not to any maligning of  himself or any impinging upon himself in any sense of wrongdoing, but He was reacting to the profaning of His Father’s house.  And His anger was not provoked by any sense of personal abuse but by a concern for God’s glory.”

He goes on to also point out that when the Apostle Paul expressed righteous indignation it was not a result of his personal injury but because of the distortion of the Truth and the presence of immorality.

It seems that when Christians express this righteous indignation regarding the distortion of Truth and the presence of behavior that is contrary to our beliefs we are immediately instructed to shut up. We are told that it does not harm us personally so we need to be tolerant.  If we persist in expressing our belief that certain behaviors harm us all we are told we are hate-filled bigots.  PLEASE note I am not talking about the behavior of the people of the Westboro Baptist Church.  I am talking about that very difficult task of speaking the Truth in Love.

The next part of the job description of Agape love he addresses is: Love keeps no record of wrongs. Which brought to mind Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Love does not keep a ledger of all the wrongs ever done.  It does not store in their memory banks the account of wrongs received.

He shares that in the field of anthropology one can find communities that were primarily either feasting or fighting.  So, they always had a great pot boiling so as to be prepared for the feast but they also attached to themselves the reminders of their feuds.  When they were home they would hang them from their roofs and when they journeyed they would hang them from their belts.

Or, in the words of Paul Simon in The Boxer:

In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminder of every glove that laid him down or cut him
‘Til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains

So it is with persons such as this that when you meet them there is every evidence on their person that they had been wronged.

“Have you ever met somebody like that?” Alistair asks. “Things that should have long ago been discarded are hanging from their belts.”

When we become people like this we tend to keep record of those wrongs….and we like them.  One of the most difficult things we face is learning to forgive and learning what it is we should forget. He asks, “Why is it so easy to forget what we need to remember, and so easy to remember what you need to forget?”

Which leads me to my final struggle for the purposes of this post.

There are two stories I like to share with the children I tell stories to.  The first is the Three Little Pigs (a version I’ve adapted) and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (told from the perspective of the wolf.)

Prior to sharing the stories I talk to them about what might happen if they and another child get into a fight or some sort of trouble.  We discuss that the adult in charge will, in most cases, ask each child for their version of what happen.  I also share that, as humans, we tend to avoid making ourselves look bad, so our version of the truth might be a bit off.  After sharing the stories I ask the children, “who do you think is telling the truth?”

I’ve gotten some interesting replies which lead to even greater discussions.  However, one of the things I want them to think about is looking deeper into the characters…the character of the characters as well as the reality of who they are.

I believe the fact that a wolf was created to be a meat eater as opposed to a vegetarian makes his claim that he was not intending to harm the pigs a bit suspect.  The fact that he ate other tasty animals prior to this occasion is an important fact to remember.  And, if in the past he has also lied about it is important to remember while deciding if you trust his version.

So, my question is this: Do we dismiss all facts and evidence that will allow us to decide whether or not Truth is being distorted or whether something is immoral and therefore damaging to our society?  Do we “forget” what man is capable of when given infinite power and control over others?  Do we forget the mistakes that have been made that have harmed others…or do we learn from them?

I find it almost incomprehensible how many people in our country can “forget” the atrocities committed by those who espoused, and espouse today, the philosophies such as Marxism and Communism and yet, at the same time, keep a record of every wrong committed by people who subscribe to a conservative Christian world view.

I find it equally astonishing that the three Christian pastors mentioned above have not only kept a record of wrongs but they have actively and, I believe, maliciously, continued to keep the pain alive and fuel the hate.

So, it is not difficult to realize that the Agape love job description for us as individuals is a difficult one to follow, but our individual salvation depends upon it.  Individual salvation not collective salvation.

So, I agree with John Adams.  Our Constitutional Republic was made for a moral and religious people.  When we see honor, honesty, integrity and other foundational values being compromised we WILL see the deterioration of the protections afforded to us by our Founding Documents. But the name of my blog says it all: Restoring honor starts here….here with me….with each individual.  So, I will continue to strive to follow the job description God has laid out for me…even if it is difficult and even if I sometimes fail.


“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

 John Adams quotes (American 2nd US President (1797-1801), 17351826)

Posted in Collectivist Narrative, Freedom of Religion, Restoration of our Constitutional Republic, World View | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Matter of Perspective and World View: An Inauguration Day Message


As we witness another Inauguration Day we complete a ritual that is supposed to represent our system of government.  We believe we have followed the path our Founders showed us.  Have we?

How many people really understand the basis and origin for the things they believe in?  It colors their view of reality.  It dictates how they will behave and, yet, many of us fail to look closely at what it is that we are advocating.

Consider, for instance, a friend’s comment that “We’ve worked too hard to have (fill in your elected representative’s name) to let (fill in the opposition’s candidate) cancel out his/her vote.

Let that sink in for a minute….to cancel out the vote of the person I believe is operating under what I believe to be the superior world view.  Cancel out?  Our system of government is structured so that there is debate, reasoned debate based on real world outcomes.  We are supposed to argue.  We are supposed to even argue vigorously so that we do not take actions for which we have no understanding of what the unintended consequences might be.

Well, that is the way it is supposed to work but that has been corrupted and in some ways abandoned in order to allow for the Progressive Elite to tell us what is best for us.  If you don’t know that, maybe you should read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Read the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers and begin to really think about what is happening to our country.

I would like to state that there ARE ways our votes, the People’s votes, are “cancelled out.”

It is by voter fraud….massive voter fraud.

It is by candidates lying to their constituents; telling them they believe in the protections of our Founding Documents and then doing what is politically expedient and easier.

It is by circumventing the system because one thinks that the protections afforded by the Constitution are outdated and a nuisance.

It is by low-information voters casting their vote based solely on self-interest and emotion.

THAT is how our votes are cancelled out.

Our elected officials are supposed to present both sides of an issue and we are supposed to consider BOTH sides.  That is how our Constitutional Republic is supposed to work. We elect the person we feel represents what we believe to be the best path.

When the only votes are for one world view, that is not a representative government.  That is tyranny.

When the opposition is demonized and marginalized in order to “win” at any cost (see Rules for Radicals, the Bible of Progressives) that is not representative government.  That is a dictatorship.

So, I would ask you to think about this.  I would like you to think about having one “side” of the argument dictate the kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit. Even if it is the side you believe in there is something you must always remember.  We are electing and placing power into the hands of flawed human beings.  Power ends up being the goal, not the common welfare.

Read some history and find out how that has worked out in the past.  You will find a lot of death accompanies this path.  Is that really what you want?

Is this Inauguration representative of a Constitutional Republic or something else?

Think about it.


Posted in Collectivist Narrative, Government Regulations and the Constitution, History of US, Remembering History, Restoration of our Constitutional Republic, World View | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Proclomation ~ George Washington 1789

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in thecourse and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

It would be great if we could find more leaders like George Washington.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Where Do We Go From Here?


One day God was looking down at earth and saw all of the rascally behavior that was going on…

So He called His angels and sent one to earth for a time.
When the angel returned, he told God,’Yes, it is bad on earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.

God thought for a moment and said, ‘Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.’

So God called another angel and sent her to earth for a time.

When the angel returned she went to God and said, ‘Yes, it’s true. The earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good…’

God was not pleased.

So He decided to e-mail the 5% who were good, because he wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what the e-mail said?

Okay, ……………I was just wondering, because I didn’t get one either.

(Thanks Jeff for sharing 🙂


I was explaining to the children listening to one of my stories the other day the function and purpose of a “fool” or “jester” in the courts of monarchies in the past.  Of course their job was to entertain and to help people laugh. But there was another function that many of us are not aware of.

A King or Queen’s Fool was very often there to speak truth to the powerful ruler and was often the only one who could do so without losing their head….literally.  Humor can often soften hard truths.  Things we do not wish to face or admit about ourselves and our surroundings can often be softened with humor and wit.  As Mary Poppins says, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

We often need to be humbled into seeing clearly.  (NOTE: for the record, 100% of people occasionally behave badly according to my world view, so I am assuming the joke above is really only referring to that 5% who really do try very hard to be Christ’s presence in our fallen world 🙂

That said I would like to share something I heard while listening to a sermon podcast by Alistair Begg.  He was teaching from the book of Ruth.  You can find his podcasts here.

He shared one of his favorite quotes from James S. Stewart, the late Scottish Presbyterian. When James Stewart was lecturing at Yale in the 1950’s he stated, “No one knows how to preach.”  Alistair found that most encouraging as you might guess.

Stewart went on to say that it is correct that this should humble us, but wrong that it should paralyze us.

If our belief in God informs our decisions and our behavior we need to remember that being humbled does not mean that we stop acting in accordance to our beliefs.

That, however, appears to be what many are saying in light of the results of the Presidential Election.

For years now I have heard the same thing being said in a myriad of ways; that we need to abandon our world view in order to win elections.  We have been inundated with messages that tell us our world view is outdated and should be abandoned for the more enlightened world view of the Progressives (aka Socialists, Marxists and Communists.)

In a previous post I shared this:

Why does one’s world view matter?  One more quote from How Now Shall We Live (Charles Colson) sums up my response to this:

“We easily forget that every private decision contributes to the moral and cultural climate in which we live, rippling out in ever widening circles–first in our personal lives, and then in the broader society…..every decision we make reflects our world view.  Every choice, every action, either expresses a false world view and thus contributes to a disordered and broken world, or expresses God’s truth and helps build a world that reflects his created order.” (page 294)

Whether you believe in a supreme being or not, truth does exist.  A transcendent truth that is consistent with what we experience in the real world.  To re-phrase something C.S. Lewis said:  The theist, who believes in a transcendent source of truth and the materialist (Progressive for this discussion),who believes everything is relative,  hold different beliefs about the universe.  They cannot both be right.  The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.

Being humbled by the fact that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes and that we sometimes abandon civil discourse in our fear and anger does not mean we should become paralyzed and fail to continue to act in accordance with our beliefs.

There are two clear choices when it comes to one’s world view.  Your world view informs your behavior.  We have too often responded to the tactic of Saul Alinsky that tells radical progressives to “hold us to our own standards” by capitulating.

Finding evidence that we are not perfect does not negate the truth of our world view.  It should also lead us to ask what the progressive standards are and do some reality checks on their behavior.  Good luck with that.  Their world view is relative and changing.  There are no fixed standards to inform their behavior even if they claim that there are.  Every person holding to a world view that is not based on a transcendent source of what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil will define those terms depending on their circumstances.

That is not to say that there are no “good and decent” people who also happen to hold a view contrary to our own.  That is to say that what guides one’s behavior when the going gets tough is what will determine whether you continue to act in a good and decent manner.

If  you believe that there is a Father waiting for you when you get home who will hold you accountable for your choices your behavior will be vastly different from the person who believes that there is no final authority save what “works for you” and “gets you what you want and need.”

So, being humbled by evidence that I am a flawed human being will not lead me to a paralysis that causes me to cease sharing what I believe to be true.  It will perhaps alter my approach and become more sensitive to the fact that fear of where the progressive world view leads should not be expressed in insults or anger, but in a way that shines the light of God’s Truth into the darkness.

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The Time is NOW to Consider Conservatism

This seven and a half minute video sums up how we got to where we are today and what path we need to take to turn the tide from fundamental transformation to the re-application of our founding principles and a restoration of our Constitutional Republic.

There are two world views, as I have often said in my posts, competing for your vote.  Please fully understand what it is you are voting for when you exercise that sacred right to make your voice heard because we all will suffer the consequences if you do not.

Please watch and share.

Posted in 2012 Election, Balanced Budget & Debt Ceiling, Collectivist Narrative, Economy and National Debt, Planned Economy/Central Planning, Restoration of our Constitutional Republic, World View | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Urgent Message for America from Trevor Loudon

I would like to suggest you take 30 minutes to watch this video and then share.  I first became aware of this video via Gulag Bound. It has since been shared widely on FB.
Trevor has been a trusted and reliable source for me.  Believe what he says because it is out there for you to find if you wish to do the work….I have.

Please watch and share.  Thanks!

Posted in 2012 Election, Global Governance, Restoration of our Constitutional Republic, World View | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment