Administrivia on the eve of travel.

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Well, the theme has changed. It’s actually the new default for wordpress 4.1 — Twentyfifteen with an image used as background and a basic change in font colour. Mainly because the photo I chose for the background is really dark, and I have a links column working again.

I have also deleted some plugins such as those by Yoast.

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I am going to be on holiday from tomorrow, for four weeks: I have been setting up the travel phone — no my usual phone is not coming with me because it has work emails on it and they involve real people: I want it safely and securely at home. In doing this I have simplified down what I am using for communication to that which will connect me to the family — and everything else can remain on the non work laptop.

The work laptop is not coming for the same reasons.

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In the meantime, my cat managed to rip its brachial plexus, leaving it with a paralysed leg and under orders to be on bedrest for four weeks. The cat carer can handle this, but the cat — used to the freedom of the house and garden, is protesting.

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Ironically, while all of these photos relating to Auckland are being tweeted, today was warm. Quite warm. Too warm for some. I was wearing Auckland work gear — one shirt, light, and trousers…. light. And for the trip the bag is full of shorts and wicking shirts.

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However, Dunedin is beautiful, and I have learned to enjoy the difficulties of the weather. For sometimes there are evenings like this: the eventual photo will have my shadow cropped out, but since over the next month the blogging will be the lectionary and little else I leave you with my howe town, and my shadow. ekltarthree1

How to kill a church.

We are remaining this day in Peter, and I am again working from the pew. For in the pew — where I belong, for I am not qualified to lead[1], we need to be considering the teaching of our elders and praying for them. They have the greater honour, but also the greater burden.

And this is a sign that an elder is teaching falsely. Their church dies. For the heretical teaching leads to spiritual dryness, and we in the pews are thirsty. We will go to where we can drink.

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

(2 Peter 2:17-22 ESV)

Let us look briefly at what the text suggests: the preacher boasts of his power, and entices those who have been sensual, who are shamed by their actions, into their church. OFten they blame the other: the men in the church (for not marrying these who are still struggling not to live according the slatternly feminist script for their lives), or the rich, or this tribe, or that race.

The preacher promises freedom, but enslaves the congregation in regulation where one should have liberty. For example he insists on tithing: given a tenth of one’s income can be a good habit, bit it has never been mandatory. Or micromanages small things in the congregation, while leaving great sin and corruption unchecked.

Then, having entangled the believers in a form or regulation and religion by works, they become enslaved again by the law, but without a sense of salvation. The sin of these preachers is that of Lucifer: theat they will be like God, and they seek the worship that belongs truly to God alone.

This cult of personality does not last. Their church dies with them, if not before: and there is not a continuation of the gospel into further generations. That is not a disaster. But the souls who get fed false food and false drink when they only thing that will satisfy them is Christ are more important.

So check your elders. Hold them accountable to scripture, and not the fashions of this age. ANd when they err, talk to them in private, and then with witnesses. And if they will not reform, find somewhere which will [2].

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1. An elder must be a mature believer, of good reputation and the husband of one wife, who manages his wife and family well. I’m divorced: I’m excluded.
2. All churches, in every time, have to monitor and confront for false teaching. We are, as humans, likely to stumble into error, and the trans-congregation accountability to a council of elders (bishops or consistory) is needed to deal with our relentless rediscovery of the same errors.

Notes in the fading of society [quotage]

Judgy clued me into this blog. It is about losing your kids, and not knowing where they are: in this person’s situation the ex has relocated to Australia and I have some cynical advice for him: cut her off. She is no longer in your country or jurisdiction, she has left the rules of your society (the blogger is from the USA) so be silent and wait.

For children know which parent is sane, and you are prevented from intervening. Yes, it is unjust, but if you expect justice in this society you are the foolish person in the room.

Let’s change gears for a few minutes. Ask any good Cop about his top fears and undoubtedly at least one will be having a girlfriend/wife get mad at you and file a restraining order against you. Since OJ, this just rots for men everywhere. Woman wants something from man. Man refuses. Woman calls Police and says man “Scared” her or “threatened” her or “Hit” her. Marks, no marks… hell the man doesn’t even have to be in the same County and guess what? Man gets arrested, woman gets restraining order. When the man is a cop, his gun (and job) go out the window, he is suspended and is wrong until he can prove the negative… that he didn’t do anything. This tactic is generally used as a ploy to secure a good size of your soon to be ex husband’s Police Pension or get more parenting time/child support.

I already mentioned earlier that Trish attempted to get a restraining order on me in an attempt to prevent me from enforcing the court’s orders and to gain the benefits noted above with negative results. What’s the next best thing? Have your girlfriend file a restraining order.

I got caught up in this one.

You aren’t paranoid if they are really out to get you. It really is a conspiracy if two or more people plan to do something illegal to you. The two of them got together, crafted wording that would barely pass the court and whala, ex parte restraining order against me. No injury. No witnessed threats. Just her word. TRO on Joe

Never had to do that. But I live with a stormy sea (the Cook Strait) between myself and my ex-wife. One of the few good things about the split is I collect less stuff. Over keeping can be destructive. Unfortunately, this is probably not a joke. I have had to unload too many loads of saved clippings from houses before. If you have not processed it and got rid of it within a few weeks then — it is time to go. That includes magazines, newspapers and saved Twitter screenshots.

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Although the idea of literally eating something the same shape as my appendage is not appealing, the irony of Ghey bakers refusing to bake an Christian theme cake while Christian bakers are ordered to bake a ghey one….

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Frances Paretto is usually worth reading, and he comments about the current state of the US corporate (feminist) paradigm:


These passive-aggressive expressions of contempt for men
– to say nothing of the contempt they express for business realities, the facts, and the truth – are now endemic. You can find them in bunches in virtually every periodical published in America. But surprisingly, that’s a sign of better days to come.

We’re witnessing a feminist “Battle of the Bulge.” They know that their real influence is dwindling rapidly, and that their numbers are dwindling still faster. So they’re putting on “one last big push,” through the media organs that have been their most effective weapons. And they’re gaining…approximately nothing from it.

Consider the “marriage strike.” Consider the declining male enrollment in colleges and universities. Consider the aridity of the social environment, particularly on those aforementioned colleges and universities. Consider the explosion of masculinist sentiment, at outlets such as MGTOW and The Return of Kings. And consider the ubiquity of female complaints about “how hard it is to find a good man.”

The “last man standing” in the gender wars will not be the feminists.

As I said above, this society is unjust. But this will not continue, and when justice rolls down like a river the current currency of offence will be worth less than the ruble, even in its currently collapsed state.

How do you know it is the end of an empire? It sounds like Cohen.

This is a follow-on from yesterday: it is the same passage, and the message is going to be even more unpalatable. There are a three stigmata of the false prophet here, and I am going to deal with them, below the post. These occur at all times, but at the end of an age, in the fading of an empire such behaviour stops being damned and is praised.

How do you know it is the end of an empire? It sounds like Cohen. When telling the truth is now subversion, and standing against evil a revolutionary act, and the people are encouraged to indulge in their vices.

This passage runs directly on from yesterday. It is clear that the preachers here are prepared to speak of what they do not go, and boldly speculate where even those with greater knowledge refrain from commenting, making judgement of God in the name of that they call God.

They may call it religion, but the only power they are interested in is their own.

and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

(2 Peter 2:10-16 ESV)

OK: three signs.

They tolerate sexual immorality. In their life, or in their congregation. They may be gay, they may be straight: they are generally sleeping with their mistress or homme du jour as well as whomever their life partner is. They talk about inclusion, justice and mercy, and not the need to be morally straight. They lack mercy and compassion for the broken: those of us in the pews who were married but the other has left. When one is wanting to fornicate with another, but choosing not to for Christ, they allow into leadership those who live in fornication. Where the rainbow flag of homosexuality flies, there is generally heresy [1].

They prey on the vulnerable. They may be morally straight, but they desire power and worship of a dependant congregation. They will feed the damaged pretty lies. They will appease the guilty conscience of women living in brokenness, naming their sinful state an improvement in their spirituality. They will say they are like Paul, and you should imitate their life. They use market research to craft their sermons. These people preach against offending, and not sin: they will not tolerate godly sorrow or call for repentance, and they measure success by the size of their congregation not the number with saving faith.

They desire worldly goods. Not the necessary (food, a rood, clothing) or the wanted (access to a research library, education for your children, and a true marriage) but bling. They preach prosperity instead of suffering. They call us to be comfortable instead of comforting others. They imply that the reason you struggle and are disappointed is due to lack of faith [2].

Peter reserves his scorn and condemnation not for the pagans who are about to kill him, nor for the society he lived in with its injustice, slavery, and corruption. He held it for those who preached falsehood in the name of Christ. And so should we. The times are eerily similar.
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1. I would add they have no empathy with those men and women who desire the same-sex, and choose to sacrifice this desire for the sake of Christ. They do not allow the rules that keep celibate communities celibate. This is being wilfully cruel, for the man with a conscience who has placed himself under self-control needs to be praised, not told he is repressed and needs to come out of the closet.

2. I reserve my scorn for those who do this. I have seen many people of faith die — despite prayers. I have seen people without faith be prayed upon and healed. And I have seen well-meaning people tell the mad and the despairing that is all due to their lack of faith, making the suicidal feel that they are damned. I spend most of my week with these people; they are the bleakly courageous, despite all this.

Risk doxxing: confront the errors of this age of Sodom.

The church in this time functions as if it is under the teaching of false prophets. We have forgotten what it is to be saved: we are taught that it is appropriate to indulge our passions. Our cities should distress us, because the lawless deeds are institutionalized, and we cannot speak against them without being called homophobic, sexist and being accused of perversion. To teach the gospel is to be accounted as a class traitor, and to risk doxxing and ritual condemnation by social media.

And in the East, being of the church is placing your life at risk. In the West, you are now at risk also.
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But the teaching of the church has to reform. Particularly as the teaching of the world has become destructive. We will cause offence by reading the letters Paul and Peter wrote.

So let us be offensive. For the False Prophets will join the Fallen Angels in a hades of their own making.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgement; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgement, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and wilful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,

(2 Peter 2:1-10 ESV)

Interesting. Lot is accounted as righteous, but he is also a warning. For he was weak, and his daughters had become infected with the mores of Sodom: when their husbands remained in that city of vice and they were in effect widowed for Sodom was destroyed (I’d speculate volcanic activity, having been in Rotorua on many occasions : the active volcanic field under that town produces hydrogen sulphide, so the entire town smells of rotten eggs) they ensured their father was drunk and then impregnated themselves while he was asleep.

We need to remain disciplined and sober. We could never be accounted as righteous on our own works: for one act of disobedience (and we all have done that) would damn us. And the false teaching of this age is a form of gnosticism, that our spirituality is linked to our self esteem, which must be preserved regardless of how we act.

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The last sentence of the text is also important. Often, all too often those who are false prophets talk of spiritual power and warfare, impugning powers more intelligent and with more glory than humans ever had — for we are made a little lower than the angels — in a form of self-aggrandisement. They talk of light, of levels of sanctity as if the church is a regiment or corporation, where one is promoted up a scale. They think they are powerful, rich and preach both prosperity and power: when they, like us all, are poor, filthy, naked and weak. Beware of those who talk too much about spirituality and never reflect on their own sin.

For there are too many false teachers among us. If you are in the pews, test all teaching against scripture. And ensure that no elder remains in heresy. If you are an elder, do the same: you will have to give an account.

Scripture can never be post modern: a defense of fundamentalism.

I don’t look ahead at the next day’s readings, but in the middle of a conversation on the social media last night (in the context of a hostage situation in Sydney) I tweeted back to someone who had called me on missing his irony.

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I have a high view of scripture. It is the word of God. It is not a clever myth. It is what men have been compelled to see and share. It is no metaphor, no drama, no source of catharsis. It is even not that spiritual, for it is not noble rhetoric designed to heighten our feelings of unity and motivate us to good, but plain speaking about the failure of the very men of God who were writing the text.

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

(2 Peter 1:12-21 ESV)

Peter is clearly aware that he will soon die. He is practical, and talking about what he wants us to do, how to act (which was the text for yesterday). But he now says that what happened, happened. He was not stoned. It was not some ecstatic vision. (If anything, from the gospel account, he was terrified). And he is stating that Christ is the fulfilment of the words of the prophets; which are valid.

So we need to take care. That we do not ask the apostles to check their privilege. That we do not discount the teaching of the Apostles, and Christ himself, as irrelevant. For human beings have not changed: we have not evolved into a new species, and we are no more intelligent than our forefathers. The correct position for any Christian is to take the scriptures as the word of life, for our very salvation depends on the promises held within.

Yes, we will struggle. Yes, we will find obeying the Spirit difficult. Yes, we will struggle with the world, for the memes of this world are the memes of destruction.

And yes, we are promised opposition, difficulties and suffering. We are not promised ease and prosperity. So let us not follow the heresies of this age that compromise either with the oppression of market forces in a false search for temporary wealth, nor with those who promise power and membership of the vanguard of progress if we worship the state alone.

Let us not discount scripture, even though the message we here is painful to our post-modern ears. Postmodernism is burning out, but the word of the LORD endures forever.

Pity the left, for their time is past.

A left-wing Kiwi poll group inadvertently called the wife of Cameron (Whaleoil) and she took notes of what they asked and posted on it. The end of her post is the best bit.

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The best question was when they asked me what I thought was the most important issue of 2014. My answer was not on the list so the guy had to go check with his supervisor.

I said that in 2014 an ethical line had been crossed by the media and that because of that no one’s privacy will ever be safe. Hacking has been legitimised by the Media so that none of us can ever feel secure again.

It is the one thing that the haters have forgotten in their feeding frenzy to ‘ get ‘ John Key, The National Party and Whaleoil. Pandora’s box has been opened and now everyone is fair game.

Yep, that means all the dirty laundry. Let’s forget about sex (though Labour will not let us forget this) and consider the number of Labour MPs who are commercial hazards.

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You can yell all you like, but telling people that they are fools generally. does. not. work. Tell them that their desperation and pain comes from their actions, and there are ways forward, yes, But assuming that people who oppose you are evil, and breaking down the walls of privacy to make scandal opens a box of worms.

For this is NZ: everyone knows you, or if not you your second cousin. Our politicians cannot isolate themselves behind security guards or in bubble in the capital city. They have to deal with people as they are. And most people don’t like being bullied, or told what to think.

Well, the left in NZ are just as fascistic in their SJW policies as anyone else. I am sick of being told that I am a Luddite, that I do not understand my privilege, and I am phobic to their causes. For I do not fear them. I pity them. And subvert their message whenever possible.

And their tactics — of shaming and enforcing have stopped working. Pity them, for their time is ending.

Knowledge is not enough.

Consider for a second the greeting that Simon Peter gives in this letter: a general letter, to all those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours . The faith we have in Christ is not graded by class or virtue: for in the eyes of God we have neither.

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Consider the works of men: we make wonderful things (and yes, a pile of driftwood is not the biggest or greatest thing we make) but the land we live in is greater and more beautiful.

Our equality in Christ is an equality of mercy. We have all erred. We all need to reform. We all need to do better each day, strive for self-control. I was shamed yesterday at a party by the Photographer who managed to stay within dietary restrictions she needs despite the food that arrived (including food she could eat) because she has a goal and will stick to it. We can and should use the examples of others to stir us along.

For we are commanded to strive more and more to have control of our lives, and to love each other. If we do not do this, we are blind.


Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ
,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so near-sighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 1:1-11 ESV)

Knowledge of Christ and the gospel is needed. We need to be looking into the scriptures, and we need to be reflecting on them, particularly if we do not like the conclusions. But knowledge, something that I am attracted to, is not enough.

If we do not control ourselves, remain steadfast in the faith, seek virtue, have affection for each other and love the kirk, which is the people, then we will be ineffective. And this requires training.

And training requires either a father or a mentor. (Mentor was the king Telemanchus sought out for guidance because his father, Odyessus, had not returned from the Trojan War).

Here our sisters are given clear teaching. Older women are to teach younger women how to love their husbands and children: Mothercraft and Wifedom. Neither are instinctual: both require training. But our young men are not being told how to live: and this requires men to show them: by word and example. Part of the reason that the manosphere has taken off is that the correct teaching they have (Get fit. Don’t spend your time on porn. Find your mission and do it. Don’t be a doormat: get a spine) is not being taought in the church.

For the fathers have been divorced, and the young man have absented themselves: even those of us who admire feminine skills don’t want to be around when they are being done, for risk of losing our man card.

We all need to be in training. There is no retirement. And our bodies, our minds, our hands, our words, and our actions have to be more and more like those of Christ. For our salvation is equal to that of the Apostles and fathers of our faith.

My fear is that we have forgotten this.

The axiom of fools, who would murder and make children cry.

I think I first heard this when Ken McLeod quoted Ian M Banks: two of the best Scottish SF writers of the now dying generation. (Stross, shut up. You are my age, and you were born in England. We have just begun to die).

The polite version is that you should hate anyone who considers the death of another as just the cost of doing business. Particularly if you are thinking of ideologues. No I am not going to apologise for the language here. I don’t think The culture would work, because Banks and do not share a Hobbsean veiw of humanity, but I share his sense of injustice. Something that the current crop of fools that call themselves progressives have lost.

“Fuck every cause that ends in murder and children crying” — Iain Banks, 1954-2013
….
Iain’s more conventional literary works were generally delightful, edgy and fully engaged with the world in which he set them: his palpable outrage at inequity and iniquity shone through the page. But in his science fiction he achieved something more: something, I think, that the genre rarely manages to do. He was intensely political, and he infused his science fiction with a conviction that a future was possible in which people could live better — he brought to the task an an angry, compassionate, humane voice that single-handedly drowned out the privileged nerd chorus of the technocrat/libertarian fringe and in doing so managed to write a far-future space operatic universe that sane human beings would actually want to live in (if only it existed).

There is one problem with this, and that is the libertarians and technocrats do not want to murder anyone and leave anyone crying. You cannot say that about the left.


At first, like everyone else, you are ignorant
. Then you find your impetus that makes you ask why. People come to this from all different vectors: gender relations, academia, politics, whatever. You start asking why and keep asking why and eventually you uncover truth. A lot of it. You take the next step: argument. You argue in favor of the precious truth you unearthed and the precious civilizations it could build. But when you find a person to whom all reason is ignored, all rational inquiry met with defensive snark, I suggest you take another stride in mental framework: Pity.

When viewing from a higher plane, you see the level of agency that most people operate with does not accommodate the acceptance of wide swaths of truth. The honest pursuit of truth first requires humility. For many, the slice of humble pie that it would require is too large, the psychological cost of accepting their own diminished status in the face of the truth is too great. There are certain things that they just can never accept. When they rebel against a traditional arrangement that would allow them some semblance of dignity and instead flail comically trying to claim power in a world that they could never reasonably have any, it is time for pity.

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But the trouble is not that people are illogical and as foolish. It is that they cause damage, and people suffer. This can occur on in the conservatives and the progressives, and generally happens when one tries to make people better.

Which is God’s job, not ours.

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An obvious example, butit makes the point.

To radical feminists, who have been the driving force behind many tectonic societal shifts in recent decades, that’s a sign of success: they want to tear down the institutions and power structures that underpin society, never mind the fall-out. Nihilistic destruction is part of their road map.

But, for the rest of us, the sight of society breaking down, and ordinary men and women being driven into separate but equal misery, thanks to a small but highly organised group of agitators, is distressing. Particularly because, as increasing numbers of social observers are noticing, an entire generation of young people—mostly men—are being left behind in the wreckage of this social engineering project.

But this means people must be compelled away from choosing to love, to have children, to building a life together: to embracing wifedom and husbandry. We must not find joy in helping the other and healing the broken, but instead of breaking others, so we can remain nicely unoffended in our isolated, atomized lives.

Pity them, for they murder and make children cry. And the one good thing about Gamergate is that they are being called on this. They are building their own hell: let us tell them there is another way but not force them to join us, and make our assemblies more unrighteous than they need to be.

We have forgotten what we were called for.

I was asked a couple of nights ago about how this year has been and I think I answered it has been bad, in part out of exhaustion. It is the busy time of the year around here. Although the season is Advent, and one is supposed to be contemplating the incarnation, around casa Pukeko it is the annual party followed rapidly by getting the house ready for the summer holidays. Which it is not. The back garden will be left as a wild meadow, and my son reminded me that we have too much stuff.

But at this time we need to remember that all of the Church is Christ’s and he will bring us back to himself. We need to have faith in this. My favourite traditional Papist is quite worried (and with good reason) about the current leadership of his church, but he writes wisely here. If we err, there will be consequences.

Don’t be, therefore, too afraid. The amount of humiliation and disfiguration the Church will have to endure has been decreed already, and its end too. Our role is to participate in this plan so that, with God’s Grace, we may merit salvation by being among those who have furthered His cause. Our role is, also, to endure whatever punishment God will send on us Christians and Catholics with Christian resignation, without rebelling and thinking that we know better, or this mess is too much for us, or the gates of hell must have prevailed.

Francis may think that he can reshape the Church; or he may, more modestly, think that he can give a lesson to the Bishops and assorted “Neo-Pelagians”. But always remember this: God can strike him down instantly, anytime. He could be dead as I write this, or as you read it. One little touch, and he’s gone. Terrible times might well be in store for us. Still, we won’t be punished one bit harsher than we have deserved.

For we live in our society, which has embraced the sin of Lucifer. We all want to be Gods: we worship our pride and call it our spirituality and our self esteem. We are not prepared to discuss, shame, guilt, sorrow: forgetting that these are necessary for repentance and redemption. And we forge what God is, and that none of us can withstand him.

For God is light, truth and holiness, and we are dark, we lie to ourselves, and we struggle with simple obedience.

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

(Hebrews 12:18-29 ESV)

It is a terrible thing to be naked in front of the righteous, for our shame is exposed. And that will be our fate, unless Christ clothes us. As the Priests could not enter the temple without clothing held for that purpose (and that purpose alone) we need to be covered by Christ. He needs to claim us and stand with us. Or we will fall to the accuser and enemy, in this life and in the next.

But this society denies that; saying with are Gods, and there is no need for another. As if. I still think the mortality rate for humanity is 100%. We are limited: the most knowledgeable among us know how many gaps there are (which is why we continually say this needs more research ) and we are not righteous and holy and with the power to make or unmake. Any authority that the Church has is delegated from Christ.

And we need to recall that he is the incarnate God, and this season is not merely about sales on Boxing Day after a feast on Christmas.