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Truth subverts all regulation.

Yes, it is Autumn, and I carry a camera. Or a phone. Botanic Garden, yesterday evening.

Yes, it is Autumn, and I carry a camera. Or a phone. Botanic Garden, yesterday evening.

Yesterday evening my son decided I needed a good discussion. Or he did. But the topic was why do some nations continue throughout history and others do not. He has two hypotheses: one is that the West promoted individual responsibility — the tribe may have converted to Christendom, but you went to the priest and confessed as individuals, got baptized as individuals, and received the sacraments as individuals.

The second is that the West is evangelical in its Zeal to do right and correct the injustices in the world. From destroying slavery and piracy (which, together with an Islamic purge of the libraries, most famously the great library of Alexandria, destroyed the ancient civilization of the Greeks and Romans, by then well Christianized).

Playing Crusader Kings has made him learn some history. But that very evangelicalism, I pointed, relied on Faith. I was alluding to a passage for today. And, no, I don’t read ahead: this was memorized years ago.

MATTHEW 28:16-20

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

It is the duty of Christians to preach the gospel where they live. Which means, folks, that you will be hated. You will be hated because if you love and care for each other and for your spouse and children you will not hate, or despise, or make other’s lives miserable: and those whose lives are miserable will be jealous. This should affect how we live: we both reflected that we do this imperfectly

We then went for a walk through a hundred year old garden: the leaves are changing.

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The second reason people will hate us is because we need to teach truth. The gospel is truth: as the disciples were imperfect, so are we, and as they doubt and question, so will we. But the truth needs no defence. Instead it is powerful and convicting. And the world does not want to be convicted. It wants to be comfortable, even as the policies and practices lead to destruction, it wants to hear nothing but pretty lies.

I think the first question we should ask the people who want to redefine marriage is this: “which parent to do you think that a child can do without? the mother or the father?”. We must do everything we can as a society to keep both of a child’s natural parents in the home while the child grows up. If we really care about children, then we should prefer to meet their needs, even if the grown-ups have to be a bit more responsible in their decision making. if the conflict is between innocent children and selfish grown-ups, then the children should win.

We need laws and policies that promote traditional marriage, not laws and policies that break it down and destroy it. Repealing no-fault divorce, lowering subsidies for single motherhood, and making shared parenting the default position, would all help solve the problem. Policies like school choice and lower corporate tax rates helps men to be able to perform in their role as provider. We have to be practical and ask: “what makes men capable of marriage and parenting?” If we want strong fathers, then it makes sense to ask how to make fatherhood more reasonable: what do men need in order to do what we want them to do?

Christians should be especially concerned about the presence of fathers, given the evidence I blogged about before showing how the presence of quality fathers is essential for passing Christian beliefs on to children. Churches need to ask themselves tough questions: Are we teaching women how to choose men based on practical concerns and proven abilities in our churches? And are we doing a good job of attracting men to churches by promoting the masculine, practical aspects of Christianity that men like – like science, apologetics debates, economics and foreign policy?

We live in a male only (and this is not good) geek household, where we alternate between discussions that get fairly long and involved and sitting around doing various tasks from studying, blogging to our hobbies. In this, one of my jobs is to be the sounding board that the boys use to work out ideas with. For outside the home, one has to deal with emotions, with the exquisite developed sensitivities of a society that is now blinded by those very sensitivities, and a general hatred of truth, honour and justice.

Our society has banned salt and regulates light. But truth subverts all regulation. Which brings us to the third reason we are hated: we are told to proclaim truth to all nations. Neither to be tribal and keep the truth to but one group, who we claim is favoured by God (British Isrealitism is a heresy, and similar heresies exist in most countries). And by preaching, we remove any excuse from our leaders. They have been told the truth. They can choose life or death, light or darkness. Choose life.

Comment at Empath’s (on Divorce)

My comment on a post at Empath’s (thanks Elspeth, for linking to this)

When I was almost divorced, when I thought I was to be divorced, when I lived alone with my small dog in an apartment with my family back min our large house on acreage against a lake front, huge pool and just paradise for kids…..I sometimes fell asleep on the floor beside the computer desk. I’d spend time reading alternately family law and Christian opinions.

So I’d sit there until I was so tired I’d lay to the side, on the floor, and wake there at 3AM, start another day. I realized, deeply, profoundly, then exactly why God could easily hate divorce. He must hate divorce. because He hates human cruelty like child abuse and murder and torture and the like. And there I lay like a victim chained in a basement I knew right then that there were men like me all over the country that did not want to be cast out from their families and were clenched in the rigor of excruciating pain…pain so bad one doesn’t scream so much as exhale loudly and moan loudly like an animal that’s been brought down by a pride of lions, alive as it is eaten.

That is where my first principle comes from. And I’ve been off it for awhile.

One of the things I had written 11 years ago during those sleepless nights was a letter to a pastor. It was hypothetical. In it I asked, “How would you react if I asked you to drive me to the motel where I’d meet my mistress, so that my car needn’t sit there at risk of being seen?” I pointed out that he would find it absurd. But, then he’d go organize food delivery and child rides for the women who were tossing good men.

Imagine, leaving me personally out of the imagining, a man wallowing in pain for weeks on end, expected by day to be the worker, the father, the man, and by night barely able to hold his head up. he watches from a distance as people line up to take the sting out of the divorce the wife filed. the church goes all mealy mouthed on it. Even all but his most core friends are afraid to render an honest opinion. And the wife sits in the pews on Sundays and holds her head high. The whispers in the hall are “what did he do?”. After all, the wife is righteously lathered up about those textbooks with chapters about two mommies. She volunteers at the divorce recovery group….and those kids….they are so lucky to have a mom praying for them and seeing that God in his mercy will see them through the divorce.

This is disgusting. Sickening. An abomination. Its why I write this little blog. It forms my prayers.

I commented… as another man who has been through this, and thought it was worthwhile reposting. But go and read Empath’s post in its entirety, and the position statement from John Piper’s church. In its entirety. For both are valuable.

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The issue of living post divorce for us guys is difficult because most of the women are quite happy to be righteous and judge — even when we know that they are shacked up with the metaphorical pool boy or rockdrummer.

Piper’s statement on divorce and remarriage is about as balanced as you can get on the Protestant side. To quote

The remarriage of the aggrieving, divorced spouse may be viewed as severing the former marriage so that the unmarried spouse whose behavior did not biblically justify being divorced, may be free to remarry a believer (Matthew 19:9), if he or she has confessed all known sin in the divorce, and has made significant progress in overcoming any destructive behaviors and attitudes.

Recognizing the honest and devout differences of conviction in the church, those of us with more limiting standards for remarriage consent at this point not to make them normative for the whole body. Others of us, who regard this fourth statement as fully Biblical, respect those among us with a more limiting interpretation and do not require or expect them to act in any way against their consciences in attending, supporting or performing enactments of marriage they regard as contrary to Scripture.

All of us urge every member who contemplates remarriage to struggle in prayer and study with all the relevant Scriptures, with the sole aim of glorifying God through full obedience to his word. Consider fairly the arguments against remarriage and those for it.

This takes years: It may never be completely done.

What would be interesting to see is how the church handles it when some divorced woman sues the church demanding remarriage within it and against these principles. I think Piper would stand firm on this. But many do not.

One point of hope: the parent who is decent is the one who ends up in a relationship with their adult children, parental alienation or not. The one who does the remedial parenting post divorce and gets the kids semi intact to adulthood. The one who does the least damage.

And those of you without a divorce should note the words of Judgy Bitch: your wife has a loaded gun pointing at your head and she can pull it at any time. You have to pray that she does not, You have to pray that she chooses to remember her vows in the difficult times.

Resurrection, salvation, and being a domestic minion.

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This morning I made congee, or rice porridge, which I hate, but it is a standard Chinese breakfast and the boys like it. The photo was taken Sunday while looking at floods. Now, we have to be at times domestic and consider the house and home and family. You cannot be completely within one’s head. So the agenda today is that of a domestic minion.

Someone has to clean and tidy the house, and do the vacuuming. We do not yet have robots, and Elspeth notes that these things matter.

Until Jesus returns, it ain’t going to get any better, and Western Civilization cannot be saved. You can share the gospel with you next door neighbor. That’s on my list of things to do this week. You can add joy, laughter, and creativity to those in your immediate vicinity. You can be a woman who makes the house she has into a warm and inviting haven for your friends and family.

It can’t be all serious dissemination of ideas and debate all the time. I keep telling you all, life is too short. We live in an unprecedented time, and the ease with which we can enjoy life and live in perpetual leisure is a temptation we have to manage daily. All play and no work or witness is not good. But as my dear blogging friend Hearthie recently noted, balance in all things.

But… that is not our prime directive. Which is the witness to Christ. If we preach Christ we grow, if we get distracted we do not. Poverty and travail, indeed frank persecution, fertilize the church: something the liberals forget.

Consider China, which is likely to be the most Christian nation on earth within the decade. The news is not all bad. And this life is not all there is.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-28

12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised;14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ – whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

It is worth noting that the last enemy is not Islam, or Atheism, or the current political enemies. It is death. One of the signs of the enemy is that they tend to love death: either actively seeking it — as may Islamic radicals proclaim, or by killing off the inconvenient by legalizing abortion and euthanasia.

I generally do not get into eschatology. For many years I avoided Revelations (the book) as a reaction to reading too much end times teaching as a teenager. But there is truth there, and it’s worth remembering that there have been godly scholars read the books with care and get completely different interpretations of the text. As Christ surprised the Rabbis of his day by fulfilling prophecy in a way they did not expect, Christ will return in a way that we do not expect.

We tend to see things from the perspective of where we live. At present, the USA is in decline, as is most of the English Speaking world, and that affects our perspective. We have turned away from truth, but truth still exists, and is likely to hit us over the head again.

It’s almost as though there’s a case of collective amnesia about the problems associated with overcrowding and class stratification. Well, to be fair, people don’t read much history in the “information age,” so maybe they never learned in the first place.

From the 50s through the 00s, the US went through a remarkable period during which quality of life steadily improved, but that trend is clearly over. I wonder, in this new age of diminished standards, how well exotic ideologies like feminism and multiculturalism will hold up. Practically speaking, I think they’ll be gutted, whether or not people continue to pay lip service to them. When getting by means leasing your guest room to hookers, living in a virtual chicken coop and paying for your car by giving rides to strangers, what does all that high-minded stuff really mean anyway?

Elspeth gives us a correction to living in a hovel and scribbling theology. We need to live carefully, and give attention to the domestic arts, to the small beauties within this world — if it is pulling out a macro lens to take photos of wildflowers in autumn, or making congee, or tidying the house.

For our witness without words is more important to our witness with words.

Theology [quotage]

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Via Wintry Knight.

In the Rabbinical literature there are explicit teachings on the resurrection. It says in the Mishnah 10.1, it says, “All Israelites have a share in the world to come; … and these are they that have no share in the world to come: he that says that there is no resurrection of the dead prescribed in the Law.” Moses Maimonides, a Jewish rabbi and a medieval Jewish philosopher who has forever influenced the Jewish and non-Jewish world said:

” The resurrection of the dead is one of the cardinal principles established by Moses our teacher. A person who does not believe this principle has no real religion, certainly not Judaism. However, resurrection is for the righteous. This is the earning of the statement in Breshit Rabbah, which declares: “the creative power of rain is both for the righteous and the wicked, but the resurrection of the dead is only for the righteous.” Our sages taught the wicked are called dead even when they are still alive; the righteous are alive even when they are dead” (Bab. Talmud Brakhot 18 b).

3 points are made here: 1. Resurrection is a cardinal principle taught in the Torah which all Jews must believe 2. It is for the righteous alone 3. All men must die and their bodies decompose.

Donal Graeme (If you were a Presbyterian of the old school you knew your OT very, very well, but these moderns…)

I covered how Jesus came to live among us in order to take away the sins of the world. The nature of sin and sacrifice is not something that I have always understood well. In fact, one really has to have a decent grasp of the Old Testament (which is the most generous description of my understanding of the Old Testament I dare to give) in order to truly understand that. For me, that has been a recent process. Before that time, I focused on another aspect of Jesus’ life among us, namely nature as both Man and God.

To me, at first, the message of Jesus (the one that I understood best, anyways) was that God would never ask of us what He wouldn’t be willing to undergo Himself. Like everyone Human being following Adam and Eve, God endured all that we must endure. He was born of a woman. He was born to a noble lineage, but his family itself was not well off. He grew up, and was obedient to His parents. Later, He walked among us, teaching us the Truth and working great miracles. As a result of this he was slandered, with many vile, and false, accusations made against him. Eventually, he was arrested, tried unjustly, tortured, and finally forced to endure a slow and agonizing death. There is little in the way of the misery of life that Jesus did not undergo while he lived among us. To me, this was a striking thing- the Creator of the entire universe was willing to subject Himself to the pitfalls of mortal existence, all for the benefit of the very people who rejected Him.

This was a very humbling lesson when I first came to understand. It still is, in fact. Yet it is also a comforting one. For I know that nothing I do, nothing I experience, nothing I suffer, will be any worse than what my God endured on my behalf nearly two millennia ago. It is a hard path that I walk, but I do not walk it alone, for He is with me on it, and the gladness that fact brings me cannot be taken away by this world or its ruler.

Christianity does not change. Our duty remains the same. If the churches preach the gospel they will succeed, otherwise, they will fail.

Ordering one’s life around faith and the church requires considerable sacrifice. Therefore, people have to see why church is so compelling that they would bother to get out of bed on Sunday morning. Moralistic pabulum and vague niceties don’t cut it. Pastors and teachers need to constantly trumpet the shocking claims of the gospel. Our sin has put us in jeopardy of hell. God became incarnate as a man, Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross so we could be forgiven. He rose again bodily to defeat death. He reigns forever now with the Father. These and others are historic, bracing truths of Christianity, and they compel a response of adherence, for those with ears to hear.

Without coincidence, true truth is triune truth: it’s decreed by God (the Father), personified in God (the Son), and effected by God (the Spirit). Contrary to popular belief, truth isn’t based on personal feeling, self-understanding, or a contemporary situation. It’s based on God’s revelation, centered in the gospel, and revealed by the transforming work of the Spirit.

Unlike the mood of our age, truth isn’t something we can create, discover, or deny. Like the innocent man Pilate sentenced to death, truth has a way of coming back to life.

May we, like Jesus, make the good confession and hold fast to the truth.

So, as we move forward from Easter, let us hold fast to the gospel. Where the gospel is preached, there is life, where there is the gospel, there is no life.

Fear, not self esteem.

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This photo was taken in the sanctuary following church. After writing and showing multiple Italian churches over Lent it is a contrast. We held the service in the smaller, chapel area (which is more modern and easier to heat) but that overflowed so we had to go and get benches from the older church. Which, for people who read this over time, is one that I have argued we should demolish. It will cost us over a million dollars to get this up to earthquake standards, and I’d rather have something simpler, smaller, and cheaper.

But that is the Pentecostal background of my parents. Pentecostals like warehouses for churches, because they are cheap, and only build big centres when they run out of room in schools. One of the unintended consequences of having earthquake regulations is that a fair number of historical churches will be lost — left to become ruins, or demolished and rebuilt to code, simply because no church will spend that kind of money with a clear conscience to restore when you can rebuild. The church is the people, not the building.

Besides, the building now feels strange. My congregation meets in the hall across the road: the folks I worship with when they are in abeyance (or I sleep in) from Grace Presbyterian meet in a bowling club.

The building and the governance are important, but they are not of great importance. Christ is. For this world is falling.

I can no longer write about politics or political issues because they are superficial, transient and only partially attached to what is real; they are sinkholes of illusion meant to turn us away from the outreach of love that is the taproot of all that is reality — all that is genuine — and that is begging to be accepted. I wrote about politics yesterday and did it poorly because I hated it, and how it made me feel.I don’t want to write about these theatrics anymore, and become complicit in the distraction; I don’t want to assist in leading people away from that pulsing affirmation I felt, “Oh, my people…””

This. This is why HHH isn’t about being-a-dear-wife 99% of the time. Not that being a good wife isn’t important. But being a good wife flows from being in love with Christ. So I try to write as rawly as possible, and I write about the state of my soul and how it got there. I tried writing about other stuff, it felt fake.

We can get caught up in the politics of the day, in the craft of the day. We can forget that our society is at the end of the cycle, atomizing into lonely individuals grokking screens connected to the internet in some search for comfort, for fleeting pleasure in a nation that calls good evil and evil good. It has to be about Christ.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11

1Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you – unless you have come to believe in vain.

3For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them – though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

GOSPEL READING MARK 16:1-8

1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

I want to concentrate for a second on the response of the women. One of the things that makes the gospels read like history is that the approved or pious reaction does not occur. “For terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” . Calvin says this is because that the disciples had not the power of the spirit, and had not reached a point where their fears were consoled.

With fear and great joy. By these words Matthew means that they were indeed gladdened by what the angel told them, but, at the same the were struck with fear, so that they were held in suspense between joy and perplexity. For there are sometimes opposite feelings in the hearts of the godly, which move them alternately in opposite directions, until at length the peace of the Spirit brings them into a settled condition. For if their faith had been strong, it would have given them entire composure by subduing fear; but now fear, mingled with joy, shows that they had not yet fully relied on the testimony of the angel. And here Christ exhibited a remarkable instance of compassion, in meeting them while they thus doubted and trembled, so as to remove all remaining doubt.

Yet there is some diversity in the words of Mark, that they fled, seized with trembling and amazement, so that through fear they were dismayed. But the solution is not very difficult; for though they were resolved to obey the angel, still they had not power to do so, “Toutesfois le moyen leur defailloit, et elles n’eussent sceu le faire;” — “yet they wanted the means, and would not have known how to do it.” if the Lord himself had not loosed their tongues. But in what follows there is greater appearance of contradiction; for Mark does not say that Christ met them, but only that he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, while Luke says nothing whatever of this appearance. But this omission ought not to appear strange to us, since it is far from being unusual with the Evangelists.

As to the difference between the words of Matthew and of Mark, it is possible that Magdalene may have been a partaker of so great a favor before the other women, or even that Matthew, by synecdoche, may have extended to all what was peculiar to one of their number. It is more probable, however, that Mark names her alone, because she first obtained a sight of Christ, and in a peculiar manner, in preference to the others, and yet that her companions also saw Christ in their order, and that on this account Matthew attributes it to all them in common. This was an astonishing instance of goodness, that Christ manifested his heavenly glory to a wretched woman, who had been possessed by seven devils, (Luke 8:2,) and, intending to display the light of a new and eternal life, began where there was nothing in the eyes of man but what was base and contemptible. But by this example Christ showed how generously he is wont to continue the progress of his grace, when he has once displayed it towards us; and, at the same time, he threw down the pride of the flesh.

Fear is consistent with being in the presence of God. If you look at the prophets, when they met God the first thing they were aware of was their own unworthiness. The law came down with some much glory that the people of God stood back — and Moses alone ascended. It is a terrifying thing to be in the hand of the living God. It is only through the work of the Spirit in our lives that we can indeed approach him.

Calvin’s comment about Christ appearing first to Magdalene and this pushing our pride into the mud is also important. Our self-esteem is but a lie. We are broken, we are fallen, we are not worthy — that is the truth. None of us deserve to be near the righteous.

The rebellion of our society began when we decided that liberty and its bastard child self-esteem was going to be the measure of all things, instead of the older more stern rules of duty and honour.

The problem is that pleasure has no spine, and getting one’s self-worth out of your score on the latest game has no reflection on real life. Struggle is the very essence of being human: dealing with our daily failures, remaining in training, remaining disciplined, doing our duty to others. For in this world, in your college, in your employment, you are generally but a number — indeed when I mark student’s essays I see but their number, to ensure impartiality. The dissonance around this is breaking.

Locally, this is a public holiday. Let us praise God, who made this world, and even in the most broken state, still reflects his glory.

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The prime directive is Christ, not ephemera.

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Today we need to do a bit of contrastiness, but the main issue for the day is the proclamation of the gospel of Christ. It is easter Sunday. Over the weekend the History Channel is doing the usual “Real Jesus” stuff… which I avoid. One of the lads said it does not matter providing that the atoning death and resurrection are real, and that is not quite right.

It does matter what we think of Jesus, for he is God incarnate for a period on this world, and he is our example, he is our rule, and what he did mattered, as what we do matters.

For the duty of the Church is to preach the gospel to a world that would censor us.

ACTS 10:34-43

34Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality,35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all.37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

COLOSSIANS 3:1-4

1So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

My favourite Papist is a hardcore Italian who regrets everything that happened in Vatican II. He noted that the number of Catholics dropped in South America, and is afraid that these people are going to hell. Since salvation is Christ’s not which side of the Tiber you are on, he should be less worried, or perhaps more so.

…the PuffPo people think the flock… flocks to the Evangelicals because of the pedophile priest scandal (if you are a pervert or his friend, it is absolutely taboo to mention the Church without the scandal) and because of the “solemn” Catholic masses as opposed to the “emotional, vibrant sermons” of the Evangelicals. If they had respectively said “vapid, childish, and stupid” and “with a recognisable Christian content” they would have gone nearer to reality; but this is the PuffPo, and reality isn’t much high in their list of priorities. They also imply that religion is something for the uneducated poor, as they point out that in Chile and Uruguay – the wealthiest Countries of the region – atheism apparently advances, or so they say, without mentioning data.

Still: the number is there. The Francis effect is… causing losses for Catholicism. Losses in a traditionally extremely catholic continent, and losses even after the hugely expensive and media-hyped exercise of last year’s World Youth Day.

Francis stinks of secularism from the black shoes up. He is a betrayal and a parody of what a Pope is supposed to be. More and more people throw away the baby together with the – admittedly: very dirty – bathwater and start going to Protestant services. I can well imagine many of them have no easy access to even a half decent mass, and have not heard a decent homily from a Catholic pulpit for a long time. No, wait: pulpit? Not many of those are used anymore, either.

And so the Church continues to shrink, and souls are put at risk of damnation, whilst Francis and his friends – some of them heterosexual; some of them Catholic; some of them actually not Marxist – keep having the time of their life.

Mundabor, it is not merely a Catholic problem. If Christ is proclaimed, the church will grow and we there will be rejoicing in heaven. When instead we turn to the issues of the world: have liturgies around global warming or the rights of women or make services too relevant (the code is ‘seeker friendly’) or preach prosperity and not the gospel we will fail, for our minds are not on the things of God.

And there are no exceptions. No church is immune from this corruption, and one has to watch for false teachers who mouth the creeds but have another agenda. I have seen the same issues in the reformed churches I hang around.

Binary: preach the gospel. Let the word speak to people. It will not be comfortable. Live. Or preach pretty lies, a narrative, be relevant and become dated, and dead.

For our world is fallen. This is Elizabeth Scalia, sitting in a New York Railway station, with a restorative stout, when suddenly, an epiphany. [Context: Merton is one of the monks from last century who is seen as a modern mystic by many Catholics, and John Paul was a Polish Pope].

I wouldn’t presume to say that anything was being communicated to me, but I nevertheless had a glimpse — or an overwhelming “sense” — of something. In that brief flash I knew that hovering over us, near us, within us, all about us, was an awful, unstoppable ache of love and sadness; a sense of “Oh, my people! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
This ache of longing, reaching out; of be-longing unanswered, unfulfilled.
It lasted the merest second, and then all was normal; everyone was moving; the radio was blaring. But nothing has been right for me, since then. Nothing has been good. I have been weepy and restless and everything seems unsuitable to me.
This was not Merton’s wonderful, joy-filled sense of people gadding about, shining like the sun. This felt more like a gloaming; like the space between dark and light that, of an ordinary twilight vespers, can bring such a sense of comfort and completion. And yet, this moment contained a note of what I can only characterize as desolation. Unfulfilled be-longing. Oh, my people…
There is a story about Blessed John Paul II, that he was once discovered in his private chapel with his arms about the Tabernacle, crooning a song in Polish, as a mother might croon to a child. He looked up to his visitors with a distraught expression and said, “I don’t know how to comfort him!”
That is precisely what it felt like to me — as though I had one of my children in my arms, and he was inconsolable.
Nothing has been right, since that moment. I cannot be easy or simply go on as I have.
Today I have realized that I can no longer write about politics or political issues because they are superficial, transient and only partially attached to what is real; they are sinkholes of illusion meant to turn us away from the outreach of love that is the taproot of all that is reality — all that is genuine — and that is begging to be accepted. I wrote about politics yesterday and did it poorly because I hated it, and how it made me feel.
I don’t want to write about these theatrics anymore, and become complicit in the distraction; I don’t want to assist in leading people away from that pulsing affirmation I felt, “Oh, my people…”
I don’t want to abandon that bereft-seeming outreach of desolated love that I sensed in Penn Station — so much like a modern, subterranean Agony of Gethsemane. I can’t let it go and walk away from it, even though I know I am free to.

The purpose of the Church is to preach the gospel. When you are in the trenches, fighting battles — and at times losing, and grieving — one tends to forget that. There are political battles and moral stands we have to take, if we are to illuminate the evil in this day and preserve what is good in our society. But that flows from our main role. We are to proclaim the gospel, in our lives and in our words.

For this time is fallen, and this world is told instead it is progressing.

Appeasement is trumped by mockery [quotage]

We are now post storm and the internet has been restored, which led to general rejoicing and raiding of Steam accounts in Casa Pukeko. I have not done a quotage and linage post over the last few days, but now that things are settling down.

I’ve just had dinner with a friend and we discussed the Eich case. He pointed out that if he only had friends who agreed completely with him he would be lonely. I concurred, pointing out that in my ideal world the state would be so small that a capital would require no more administration than a small village.

But too many people appease when they should confront.

I also noticed that the Muslims all pointed out that orthodox Christians, Jews, Mormons, etc. also put their religious laws above the civil laws. That is true. I absolutely agree. We all try to get along with the others, but when it comes down to the wire, the only thing that counts is eternal life. Amen.

This is not what makes our religions different from Islam, but rather that our religions have an easier time mixing with a civil government because they simply don’t require the same amount of meddling in the running of the state and the state’s monopoly on violence. Our religions are just… more flexible and peaceful. And, on the rare occasion that we do interfere in the state, then mostly to promote universal rights, and less to win special privileges for our fellow believers.

Alte even managed to quote revelations in her post. But Mark Steyn expanded on this in discussing one of Mel Gibson’s movies — interestingly, Mel remains one of the people it is safe to hate, and is shunned in Hollywood in part because of his Catholicism.

That’s the real argument over The Passion Of The Christ. It’s not between Christians and Jews, but between believing Christians and the broader post-Christian culture, a term that covers a large swathe from the media to your average Anglican vicar. Some in this post-Christian culture don’t believe anything, some are riddled with doubts, but even the ones with only a vague residual memory of the fluffier Sunday School stories are agreed that there’s little harm in a Jesus figure who’s a “gentle teacher”. In this world, if Jesus came back today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally-friendly car with an “Arms Are For Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams. If that’s your boy, Mel Gibson’s movie is not for you.

Indeed, although Mel is Catholic, his Passion became a hit thanks to evangelical Protestants – those who believe the Bible is the literal truth and not a “useful narrative” culminating in what the Bishop of Durham called a “conjuring trick with bones”. Instead of Jesus the wimp, Mel gives us Jesus the Redeemer. He died for our sins – ie, the “violent end” is the critical bit, not just an unfortunate misunderstanding cruelly cutting short a promising career in gentle teaching. The followers of Wimp Jesus seem to believe He died to license our sins – Jesus loves us for who we are so whatever’s your bag is cool with Him.

Strictly as a commercial proposition, Wimp Jesus is a loser: the churches who go down that path are emptying out and dying. Those who believe in Christ the Redeemer are, comparatively, booming, and ten years ago Mel Gibson made a movie for them. If Hollywood was as savvy as it thinks it is, it would have beaten him to it. But it isn’t so it didn’t. And as most studio execs had never seen an evangelical Christian except in films where they turn out to be paedophiles or serial killers, it’s no wonder they were baffled by The Passion’s success.

It is not good to sit and agree with those who oppose you. We are called to be men, not jellyfish: to be women, not doormats. We need to know what we believe, and be prepared to defend this. To do this, we have to accept a certain degree of offense and mockery. Because what Christians believe is offensive. The torture and death of Christ was a travesty, and injustice. But to Christians, it is the great work of atonement, for his punishment was for me, for my sins, and only by that act can the wrong I have done reach any form of atonement.

There is no scales, no measure to weigh evil. It corrupts everything. One theft makes you a thief, one affair an adulterer, one bribe corrupt. And thus we are all damned. We cannot pay back. Christ took that away from us, and in doing this he opened a way to a new freedom in which redemption is possible.

But the elite don’t believe this. You should read Mark’s essay, but he ends with people saying that Gibson’s movie should, in effect be banned, because it is too violent, or not approved, or suggests that there such things as standards.

Which is not where the elite want us to be. Bill Price points out that Putin’s anti-gay stance is fairly popular, and in making homosexuality the issue of the day there may be a degree of over-reach.

Again, institutionalized homosexuality is only one issue, but it may have been the one that finally crossed a red line. Considering that even in my very liberal state of Washington legalization of gay marriage passed by only about one percentage point in late 2012, and then only after enormous campaign donations from the globalist billionaires in the state, it is probably too costly even for the US to successfully convince the rest of the world that it is a good idea. But for whatever reason, progressives have made it their defining cause and staked their movement’s claim to the future on it. This act of hubris may prove to be progressivism’s Achille’s heel, but in the long run what matters – and hurts – the most for those of us more traditional Americans is our dramatic loss of faith in our own nation.

To see the US reduced to little more than a platform for the greedy and licentious when it used to be a beacon of liberty and common decency in a savage world is profoundly unsettling. It is also why I am all but certain that our decline is a fait accompli rather than an imminent threat.

At this point, we can only hope that nihilistic radicals like Masha Gessen refrain from plunging, us into a catastrophic war on their behalf, sacrificing our sons for ideals that we despise from the bottom of our hearts.

There is a dissonance between the rulers and the ruled in America at present. It is less in New Zealand, but even here the PM donates his salary to charity (he made his money as a bankster) and the leader of the opposition is also independently wealthy. Even here, the elite bureaus treat everyone else as peons to be educated.

But in their blindness, they have over reached. It is time to mock them: to not comply, to not be jellyfish. For if mockery is banned… we have tyranny, and tyrannies generally do not end well.

Unlike this world, the word of God is living and active.

It is Easter Saturday and I have no fast internet… and two boys who are rediscovering books and the joys of the playstation 2. We have been spared. Ele Ludemann lives an hour or so north of me and she has blogged about yesterday’s storm, which was not accounted as a Cyclone (after if left Queensland) but did a lot of damage. I’ve added to the note she posted yesterday the results, from the local paper.

I am warm, dry, and the cellphone has a data plan. Many are not.

From the Facebook page of Waitaki Mayor, Gary Kircher:
Gary Kircher – Mayor for Waitaki
Latest update on river levels:
North Otago
Kakanui at Clifton Falls has peaked at 580m3/s at 12:30pm and currently at 495m3/s and still receding.
Kakanui at Mill Dam is at 550m3/s and still rising, the water from Clifton falls will take approx. 4 hours to reach this site. This will continue to rise and then slowly recede after. The SH1 at Maheno is closed.
Shag at the Grange is holding at 230m3/s
The rainfall for the North Otago catchment has slightly eased off with hourly accumulations now at 5-7mm and hour.

Long queues of traffic built up either side of Maheno when the Kakanui River burst its banks yesterday afternoon, forcing authorities to close SH1 at Maheno.

Waitaki District Council emergency services manager Chris Raine said the welfare centres, accommodating up to 400 people, were established last night when it became clear there would be no way through for vehicles overnight.

The centres were at the Palmerston Child Care Centre, Hampden Hall, Maheno Hall and at St Kevin’s College, Waitaki Boys’ High School and Waitaki Girls’ High School in Oamaru, which have boarding accommodation and kitchens.

Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Brian Benn, of Dunedin, said traffic was initially diverted along the coast road but one of the bridges at Kakanui was single-lane and there were concerns about its structural stability, so it too was closed. SH1 was reopened last night.

”It’s been very frustrating for people travelling north and south of Oamaru.

”There’s some big queues there. I’m sure that’s frustrated quite a few people.”

The heavy rain, which got Easter off to a sodden start, is expected to ease today but Otago Regional Council flood managers say the worst may be yet to come.

The deep low from ex-Cyclone Ita, which sat west of New Zealand yesterday, is expected to weaken and move across the lower South Island tonight.

The MetService lifted its severe weather warnings for Dunedin and North Otago at 5.30pm yesterday but ORC flood managers say many Otago rivers remain high and are likely to stay high for the next few days.

By 8.30pm yesterday, the Silver Stream had peaked at 120cumecs and the Kakanui River at Clifton Falls had peaked at 575cumecs, one of its highest recorded levels.

The Shag River (at The Grange) was flowing at 258cumecs and the Taieri River (at Outram) at 314cumecs at 8.30pm, but both were still rising.

As the day progressed, most district roads in coastal Otago had surface flooding – some serious enough to be closed, including Silverstream Valley Rd and Danseys Pass.

But, given that the internet is flakey, I am experimenting and composing this in Libreoffice, and then I hope to import it into WordPress.

Onto today’s text. There are two things that I consider important on an Easter Weekend: one is to re-proclaim the gospel, and the other is to discuss why this matters.

So let’s start with why text, why the quotes from scripture. Daily. Many mornings I would rather sleep in – and many days I really do not want to confront a text that is living, active, and by the work of the Holy Spirit lets us discern the truth. But it is, and so I do.

HEBREWS 4:1-16
1Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “As in my anger I swore, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7again he sets a certain day – “today” – saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 9So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. 11Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.
12Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
14Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

ROMANS 8:1-11
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law – indeed it cannot,8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The reason for having disciplines around the reading and meditation on the word of God is that this forces us to read the word of God, to proclaim the word of God. This occurs in all the confessional churches — among the reformed the tradition is that you carefully preach and read every text in one book of the Bible then another, while the more liturgical churches read every verse of the Bible in a three year cycle.

For the word of God is living and active. It is not God incarnate — Christ is — and we do not worship the book as the Muslims in their superstition do, calling the book God incarnate rather than Christ who died for us. Today the liturgical churches are dark as we recall his time in the grave. Today the text reminds us of what this meant.

Let us therefore consider that whatever he is asking us to do today, he has done more. Our rest is with Christ, and not in the fleeting pleasures of this time. The leaders and fashions of this time will pass. The word of God will remain.

Storm on Good Friday.

We are having interesting weather today, marked downpours with strong gale-force winds. This has left us with an internet connection that is about as useful as an umbrella in high wind. One wonders if water has got in around the fibre optic cable, or in the router box. But we still have power, and the house is warm. This photo was taken yesterday, before the storm hit full intensity: one cannot see the hills today.

IMG_20140417_090544

Today’s service was quiet. A series of dramatized speeches were played: from Barabbas, from the Centurion who executed Jesus. The Church was dark: no light, no candles. And we lingered, for the weather was (and is) appalling, before going to a friend’s place for hot cross buns.

But to the text for today. It is worthwhile considering that the first Letter is that of Peter, who betrayed Christ at this time when we remember his trial and crucifixion. In a storm we may shelter, but we stood stand fast.

JOHN 13:36-38

36Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” 37Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.”

1 PETER 1:10-20

10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, 11inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things into which angels long to look!

13Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile. 18You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.20He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.

 HEBREWS 10:16-25

16  “This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds,”
17he also adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

19Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

These times are ones of challenge. In the last week we have had a series of fairly horrible accusations, that could be libel (but I no lawyer am) and more than enough hurt — among the cybernetic community of tradition, and locally. But Peter and Paul remind us that we have our salvation purchased at a great cost. It is our job to worry about being holy, and a witness for Christ, and to urge each other forward.

Our competitive urges should be working on righteousness… and doing good. Not in necessarily looking good, not in appearing to be “good” but in acting as a witness, even if we cannot open our mouths.

So let us pray that our churches, both leaders and lay, remain faithful. For the storm we are in is not merely the weather.

On the anonymous denounciation. (and why your comments are down)

I am going to start this with an example that is public. Via Mark Steyn, who comments that the process of the courts is the punishment: it is immaterial that the man is exonerated by the courts: his career is ruined and his reputation in tatters.

Our second Nigel in the News is Nigel Evans, formerly Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons at Westminster. Like almost everyone in the Cameronized Conservative Party, Mr Evans is gay. Around the time the Canadian Nigel’s career was heading south, the Welsh Nigel’s career was plummeting in the same direction in the express elevator. A fellow Tory MP alerted the Speaker to a conversation she’d had with a young man regarding a supposedly unwanted sexual encounter with Mr Evans. Shortly thereafter, Nigel was arrested and charged with rape and sexual assault, his career collapsed, and he wound up on trial.

Here’s how that went:

What happened next is a matter of public record. Nigel Evans was acquitted of all charges. Not a few of the charges. Not most of the charges. All of the charges. It took the jury just four and half hours to throw out all ten counts.

And there was a reason they threw them out. Nigel Evans was totally and utterly innocent. Three of the alleged victims testified in court that they didn’t understand why the charges had been brought, and they themselves didn’t believe they had been the victim of any crime. The main complainant, who had alleged that he’d been raped, was proved in court to be a liar. He had twice told police Evans pushed him into his bedroom and onto the bed, forcibly tried to undress him, and promised him a job if he agreed to have sex with him. But on the witness box he was forced to admit there was no pushing, he’d taken his own clothes off and there had been no promise of a job.

Nigel Evans didn’t get off on a technicality. He didn’t do it… A wholly innocent man had his reputation destroyed and his career ruined, and now faces crippling debts to cover the cost of his legal fees.

So Mr Evans is innocent but a quarter-million dollars poorer. And, unlike his false but anonymous accusers, only Evans’ name will forever be indelibly linked to the words “assault” and “rape”. For both Nigel in Ottawa and Nigel at Westminster, guilt and innocence are irrelevant: as I like to say of my own legal travails, the process is the punishment.

And the Crown Prosecution Service will note that they lost this, but not reform. The anonymous denouncement, the accusations of nonconsensual sex, can affect us all.

As can accusations around children. This is one of my weaknesses: I find those who show their children off a little creepy, and try to keep the private private. Which brings us to catfights, and accusations. Firstly, at least locally, you are accountable for what you say.

David Bain supporter Joe Karam has been awarded more than $500,000 in damages after two men were found to have defamed him on the internet.

Kent Parker, the publisher of the Counterspin website, was ordered to pay $350,500 and Vic Purkiss, who had posted on the site and on Facebook, was ordered to pay $184,500. Justice Patricia Courtney found the pair had launched a “full-scale assault on Mr Karam’s reputation”. She found about 50 statements were defamatory without defence.

Karam is the main supporter of David Bain, who was retried after 13 years in prison and found not guilty of the 1994 murder of his family.

The judge said the pair accused Karam of “dishonesty in his motivations, lack of integrity in his dealings with expert witnesses, fraud in relation to the LSA (Legal Services Agency), lack of integrity in his motivation and dealings with David Bain”. “Few aspects of Mr Karam’s reputation were left untouched.” The publications caused Karam great distress and the judge said she accepted the evidence of witnesses who said Karam became “preoccupied, unsociable and visibly distressed” during the period.

Justice Courtney said the pair pleaded the defence of truth right up until Parker was cross-examined in court and admitted he could not prove the truth of his statements.

This last bit of information was published in today’s paper. Now, this means that I would have to be able to defend any accusation and prove the truth of it, if such remain on my website. So… a lot of comments will be taken down as of now. I have no ability to ascertain if any of them are true.

Which also brings me to another point. These are the tactics of our enemies, and we are not them. Matt Forney has written wisely on this, from his time in the trenches, and his post is well worth reading

If you’ve been exposed (or already write publicly), the next step for the haters is to make shit up about you. The rabbits will throw everything and the kitchen sink at you in hopes that something, anything will stick. Whether anything they say is true is irrelevant, because the goal of ganging up on someone in this fashion isn’t to be truthful, it’s to warn the other rabbits that dragons be here.

For example, my Portland article at Return of Kings generated a raft of false and baseless claims about me, from the obvious ones that I’m “ugly” and “misogynistic” to all sorts of bizarre speculation about both me (people were claiming that I’m in my thirties/forties) and the woman in the pic on my About page. Outraged feminists alternately claimed that she was my sister, that I was “hoverhanding” her, that she didn’t really want to be there, that I roofied her (?) and other blatant lies. Multiple people commenting on the article lied that Roosh and I were deleting hater comments, and one guy even claimed I had edited the article to add a whole entire section after Reddit Portland started gossiping about me.

The truthfulness or lack thereof of the hate Portland threw at me doesn’t matter to them. The purpose of hating on someone isn’t to get at the truth, it’s to pressure the offender to recant his evil ways and rejoin the flock. It’s also to warn other rabbits that here be dragons. Unfortunately for the bunnies, a proud hunter like the wolf has no reason to care about their disapproval, which leads to step three…

If they can’t pressure you into recanting, the haters’ next move will be to threaten you into recanting. They’ll dig up your Facebook profile, your address, your phone number and more and encourage each other to harass you. In pure Stalinist fashion, they will also harass your employers, your family members, your friends and more. The bunnies will defend their actions in a cowardly, Pharisaical fashion: claiming that what they’re doing is perfectly legal, as if the law is the only determiner of what behaviors are apropos.

They’ll even threaten physical violence against you, because while one rabbit will always lose to the wolf, a hundred rabbits might be able to win.

Going back to the Portlanders, their harassment of me was unprecedented in the manosphere; not even Roosh received this level of hate for his Toronto article. I’ve already written about how someone posted my phone number to Reddit Portland and on Twitter and how I stopped a DDoS/hack attack on my blog. I didn’t mention how I got a not insignificant number of hits for “matt forney portland address” from feminists trying to find out where I live. I also didn’t bring up how one loser created a Facebook page entitled “Matt Forney Should Kill Himself” (since deleted for blatantly violating the Terms of Service), after he spent an entire afternoon commenting on every single thing on my own page.

At the moment, there are other things happening locally, and I have to protect myself (and those who have commented, most of whom I respect) from accusations. So a pile of comments are going to be deleted. If they go up again, they will be deleted and the people added to the blacklist — that automatically routes all spam to /dev/null.

Folks, I don’t live in a place with a constitution. That usually is a good thing, but libel has teeth over here. And it clearly cannot be tolerated.


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