I rarely link to the lectionary text for the day but in the quotes, but today the entire lectionary texts are of great worth, so go read them. The twitter stream seems to be talking about using the Lenten period as a time to deny that which we should avoid anyway.
Or they are talking about other lifestyle things. Such as going to the gym. These we need to do everyday. We should not be eating those donuts. We should be going to the gym. We should be charitable. We should stand firm in the LORD. Which brings us to the text. It’s worth noting that Paul had to deal with quarreling women — some things occur in every time and in every culture. But what is more important is standing firm in the LORD: using those parts of our culture that are good and pure and worthy as points to ponder, and avoiding that which is bad. Particularly the trivial.
1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.
2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Worrying about what you wear is somewhat important. Getting to the gym and eating correctly is somewhat important. Claiming a place of victimhood and whining about how dressing for work is “white” is… childish.
The purpose of neutral professional clothing is to be non-distracting so that people can focus on their work and be judged on their skills. During an interview, it also signals that the interviewee desires to be part of this group. If you go into an interview demonstrating a rebellious attitude through outrageous clothing, the interviewer will rightly question how much of a team-player you will be and whether you’ll really be an asset to their company. This is not some form of oppression that white men are levying on women. After all, it’s not like men – white or black or brown – find 3-piece suits so comfy and cute. They wear them because it signals that they are part of the professional class at work and are capable of submitting to the company’s legitimate hierarchy of authority.
Just to belabor the point, most men would rather be in shorts and a T-shirt or sports gear. A suit is an effort — and smart business casual is harder than a suit. But you dress to respect your patients… and yesterday with a sore foot I felt less confident teaching because I was not dressed to academic standards (yes, they exist). But this is relatively trivial. As are the tweets about food. What is happening in the world is not: either war or rumors of war…
Now, I’m not that seasonal a person in a seasonal church. (How the Presbyterians have changed from their Puritan Rigour when even Christmas was not celebrated is another discussion). But… each day we need to do what is important, what is our duty: we need to find the beautiful, the noble, the good. And the one hint I have is that, although the arts of acting and performing can be noble and beautiful, such virtues are rarely found on the Entertainment channels.
The dynamics of the Ukraine are of great interest. The Ukraine was part of the great soviet experiment and has moved (with some difficulty) from an impoverished communist starapy to a slightly less impoverished agricultural nation. At present Putin is trying to keep control of bases and the oil and the eastern (Tartar and Russian) part, while the Western (Ukranian and Polish) part turns to the Church and the EU. You should never trust the French. And, since Kelly models his foreign policy on them, you should never trust the USA. But let’s start this with an observation from Judgy.
Unrest in the Crimea is nothing new. Looking over photos and watching video footage, I was struck by something: where are all the women? The young, strong, powerful, independent you go grrrrlz? Where you at, ladies? Look at these two photos. There does not seem to be any women at all. Oh, in the early days of protests, there were young women out in force. Look at the cute little feminist making her stand. And then shit got nasty. And they are no where to be seen. Isn’t that curious? There are middle aged women out and about. And old women. There are wives and girlfriends kissing their male companions, but they seem more concerned about their personal lives. Which is fine. It’s probably a really smart thing to do, given the circumstances. The fish needs a bicycle!
Too right. When times get tough, one cannot afford to be either inefficient or stupid: and feminism is both.
And we should never, ever forget that Russian is becoming overtly more Christian and Orthodox as the West becomes pagan. In part, this is a religious war: it is akin to the last two wars in the Ukraine, where in one the athiest socailists dealt with the neopagan national socailists (and Ukraine was soaked with bullets and blood by massacre and reprisal) and there was a religious component to the great war and the messianic, pan slavic orthodoxy of a century ago,
This was nowhere more true than in Tsarist Russia, where—right up to 1917—politics never lost their apocalyptic and messianic character. When the Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks in 1453, Muscovite Russia took up that mantle. Two Romes had fallen, proclaimed the Tsars, a third stands, and a fourth will never be. As the Third Rome, Moscow was heir to the hopes that surrounded the glorious Byzantine name, including the dreams and visions presented in such texts as the Apocalypse of Daniel. In this apocryphal tradition, a future Constantine would liberate the Orthodox Christian world from the Sons of Hagar, who were increasingly identified as the Muslim Ottomans. At the height of the Turkish wars in the 1770s, Catherine the Great christened one of her grandsons Constantine.
Through the 19th century, even seemingly rational and cynical Russian statesmen maintained this concept of the messianic nation, destined to defend Orthodoxy against Muslims and Catholics alike. Nothing would prevent that empire from freeing Christians in the Balkans and then extending its power over Anatolia, Syria, and Palestine. The words of Pseudo-Daniel still guided Russian actions in 1914.
Obviously, Russian policies reflected both religious and secular motives, and both forces combined inextricably to drive this Russian version of manifest destiny. When the Russians annexed the Crimea in 1783, they did so because of the enormous opportunity to project their power into the Black Sea region, and also because they could now build warm-water naval bases. Nineteenth-century Odessa became a boom city, a Russian counterpart to San Francisco, and Sevastopol was a mighty naval fortress. But Russians also knew that extending their power on what had been those Muslim lands proved the truth of their fundamental religious/national vision. And in the 1850s, they perceived the deadly political and religious threat when foreign forces invaded the Crimea, that now-reconquered holy territory.
Tsarist power is long gone, and the Soviet regime that succeeded it had no time for mystical visions. Yet, as that Soviet idea perished in its turn, Russians have turned once more to the religious roots of national ideology. Post-Soviet regimes have worked intimately with the Orthodox Church, which has been happy to support strong government and to consecrate national occasions. In return, the state has helped the church rebuild Orthodox cathedrals and monasteries aplenty. For 20 years now, both state and church have even labored to reconstruct the once potent Russian presence in the holy places themselves, now of course under Israeli political control.
Why are we surprised to see this new holy Russia extend its protecting arm over the Christian-backed Ba’athist regime in Syria? Russian regimes have been staking a claim to guard that region’s Christians for 250 years.
Those of us who (for reasons I cannot fathom, reading this history is painful) have studied the Soviet era have noted that Stalin was quite happy to tap into the fervor of his Orthodox nation when he was facing defeat. Putin is overtly for the Church as an ideology: instead of the global revolution that the Soviets campaigned for he wants to see the Church arise, and pagan forces destroyed. He correctly notes that they come from Europe: and he knows the precedents for Russians resisting Western pagan progressivism start with the defeat of Napoleon. One should never underestimate the Russians. Avoiding invading them predated the idea that you should never get involved in a land war in Asia.
In times of war, the army and navy and weapons become a greater priorty than any social welfare state: you need to be a nation to tax. And that makes it tough for those who do not have a familial structure.
When times get tough, the men will be the ones who will bleed and die. Because they know, deep down, that they are disposable. Women and children will keep the nation going. They need to preserve them. When times get tough, women will seek the protection of those who can look after them: either through the resurgence of the patriarchy or via a market: they will do what is needed to survive. It’s less about morality than living long enough to raise your children.
For history is made by those who are alive, not memes that are dead.
The whole point of paying thousands of dollars for a Louis Vuitton bag is that other people can’t. If they could, the bags would instantly lose almost all value in the eyes of those who buy them. Hence, the more such things cost, the more desirable they become.
In economic terms, higher education is a positional good: It is valuable to have a college degree because other people don’t have one. It is also to a significant extent a Veblen good: Sending one’s children to college, and most especially a prestigious (meaning expensive) college, is a way of signaling social status via the conspicuous consumption of a luxury good.
All of this helps explain why college tuition has increased three times faster than the cost of living over the past three decades. University administrators have discovered that, to a remarkable degree, the more they charge for what they’re offering, the more people will want to buy it.
The law school at which I teach provides a particularly striking example of this inversion of the normal laws of supply and demand. The school’s annual tuition increased from less than $5,000 in 1997 to more than $31,000 in 2011. This represented a 348 percent increase in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars. In other words, it was as if a car company — say, Honda — suddenly decided that it would prefer to charge $90,000 for an Accord rather than $20,000.
Honda probably wouldn’t sell very many $90,000 Accords, but the law school’s applications actually skyrocketed, from 1,846 in 1997 to 3,175 in 2011. Remarkably, the number of applicants increased by 72 percent even though almost exactly the same number of people applied to American law schools in 1997 and 2011.
In other words, even though demand for admission to law school had not risen (in fact it declined relative to population), and even though law graduates were finding it increasingly difficult to get jobs as lawyers, demand for admission to our law school went through the roof, despite — or perhaps more accurately, because of — the quadrupling of the price of attendance in real terms.
The claim that higher education is to a great extent both a positional good and a form of conspicuous consumption scandalizes the industry’s cheerleaders, who continue to lobby for policies designed to ensure that, within another decade, a large majority of adult Americans have college degrees.
This makes about as much sense as lobbying the government to enact policies that will ensure most Americans own Louis Vuitton handbags.
The number of luxury goods suppliers is always limited and staying in that select group requires considerable effort and expense. For most nations and for most training, this is a waste of time and money: New Zealand education at tertiary level is reasonably good but it is not a luxury good.
Consider how universities are founded, and why. The first were set up as an alternate to taking holy orders for lay clerks and for nobles: the crown set up such institutions in the middle ages. During the enlightenment they were designed to train priests in theology and the gentry in how to rule. Hence the Puritans founded Harvard to train ministers of the gospel. Later still, they were designed to train gentlemen in how to lead armies: this is the land grant universities. Most universities should be doing these things, not trying to compete for the luxury good market:
Keeping tuition costs low helps the state. It means that rural students get to medical school (and are more likely to return to rural areas). It means that the middle class leave with the credentials they need and without a crippling mortgage — and that they then can afford to stay in middle income countries.
The rich will be foolish and seek luxury goods. Let them. But do not fund or support such institutions.
And remember that there are only a few ateliers, only two high-end camera makers (Leica and Hassleblad) and only a few luxury car makers for a reason. The need for quality and prestige is hard-won and difficult to preserve. It is better to make something that is good and reasonably priced: think Korean cars and Japanese cameras.
Education, particularly professional education is too important to be merely a luxury good.
I was slightly busy on Ash Wednesday: for the sake of not inducing nausea I will not post the photos here (but they are up on Facebook) of the consequences of hitting a cutting board and dropping the contents, knife included, on my feet. Let’s just say that the reason I was twittering was that I was on bed, not really able to concentrate that much, and trying not to take pain relief. I was woken in the middle of the night in pain (due to the bandage getting too tight). However, this morning I have been cooking wearing the pair of clogs that I normally do not let see the light of day, but are the only things that do not put pressure on the wound.
It was Ash Wednesday. Now, although my church is seasonal and I use the lectionary, I’m still too cross-rained and reformed. I just keep on going, but at this time of the year the blogs often go silent, or close off their comboxen, and this is good for most of the bloggers who are on the front line. But this one will continue.
Today’s passage starts with one of my father’s favorite verses, and that will do for an introduction.
17Though the fig tree does not blossom,and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls,
18yet I will rejoice in the LORD;I will exult in the God of my salvation.
I think that the idea of reform should not be a season, but a continual thing. We are continually needing to examine our life. I fully understand that for many the rituals of Lent act as a reminder on this, and that leads to a period of silence and contemplation. And that arguing is exhausting: to deal with a question asked in SSM’s combox (now shut for Lent, and good on her) introversion and extroversion are robust psychometric findings, with multiple replications since Eysenck came up with the ferminology and tests about fifty years ago.
Like many bloggers, I tend to introversion and find it easier to think by writing than by talking. I can act socially, but getting into a fight in a secular combox and dealing with the opposition tires. me. And as someone who only gets fifteen minutes of hate once a month, I have difficulty understanding how some of the Dark Reaction Ladies’ Auxiliary handle the daily 30 minutes of venom from the progressive sisterhood. For them, Lent is a mercy: they need the rest.
But we need to continually reform ourselves and our church. This cannot wait for a season. For there will always be those who prey on the tender and vulnerable, within the church and without it.
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. 16Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.
17Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. 19Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
So, in this season we need to reform ourselves. The first habit I am trying to change is a simple safety one: like Most NZers, I walk around barefoot most of the time. But that is not compatible with knife work (cutting up vegetables and bacon) first thing in the morning while making a breakfast that keeps a student going most of the day. I have found my clogs. I now have to wear them when I am the kitchen hand.
Sounds simple: but changing any habit is difficult. Let’s concentrate on acting thoughtfully, doing good, and praying for those in need and facing war. Regardless of what we think of our leaders, we can pray for the guys on the front line: and that we reform ourselves before a revolution or an army forces reform on us.
Last night I ended up in a fight with liberals over the Arizona laws. They argued that any law which allows a religious defense of exclusion as illegitimate: they celebrated that the law was vetoed, and thought that the US civil rights act — which regulates businesses and requires them to serve anybody — is a good thing.
I think that businesses should be allowed to discriminate, just as most clients or customers can choose to take their business elsewhere. The one exception would be if there is a monopoly or monopsony — where there is a place for regulation as people must deal with that firm.
But the progressives are not accepting that Christian will judge within the church — or that we have firm beliefa, so oppression is coming because of an ideology called equality
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
3Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children — “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; 6for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” 7Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. 11Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
14Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
If you live long enough, something bad will happen to you: for in the end we all die. Often what happens to us is not our fault, but is caused by others, with malicious intent.
Yet we are told to strengthen ourselves and pursue righteousness. It is a bit of a cliche but it is true that although we are not responsible for what happened to us, nor should we have guilt for that, yet we are still responsible for our behaviour now. If we are injured, we have to look after ourselves and deal with the pain and inconvenience.
If we have scars from deep harm (done to us or done by us) we still have to deal with the fallout. We still have to clean up the mess in our lives and choose to do good this day.
Being labelled a victim or getting a PC priveledge card will not help. Doing our duty will. And in these times, cling close to Christ, who gave his all for us.
For we are going to be shunned, and we may have to choose to give all for him.
Some days I think that this blog cycles over the same message. The same things. I have written the same post over a thousand times.
I’m already totally stressed out and busy, and I’m starting to get the feeling that I’m just repeating myself. Sometimes I think, “I should write a post about THIS!” and then I realize that I’ve already written a post about that. Twice. Nevermind.
And like Alte, it’s fairly stressful in the extended family: we have at present more than our fair share of sicknesses and kids with problems — including dealing with the bureaucracy, punitive and incompetent teachers (different kids, one with each) and a run of difficult, high risk cases. But this blog continues.
Because I disagree with Alte (for I have quoted from her last post at TC). Repetition is good. Repetition is what the church is about. We do not have to invent or be novel. We have to preach the gospel, using words if needed.
1Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.
To write the same things to you is not troublesome to me, and for you it is a safeguard.
2Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh — 4even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.
If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
i am not a apostle, and I don’t think my words are a safeguard. But… the main thing this blog is about is posts like this one. The lectionary posts. The ones that often are not read — if I wanted controversy I can go snarky: sarcasm and bitterness are my default positions.
we need to remember that, though our righteousness is in the end based completely on the work of Christ, and that we do not deserve salvation, that most of the witnessing we do is not by what we say, but by how we live. In this fallen time, if you even attempt to live as Christ demands we will not need to speak. For the pagans within the Church will freak, and the pagans without look — in shock — at people who live as they say they do.
And both will try to shut you up.
So, why we can repeat the gospel, men, let us do so. Our sisters will inevitably get tired. They will feel the harsh sting of the sisterhood (while we generally don’t care — in fact we would prefer that they shut up, and will swing the banhammer to ensure that happens)
But learn what my oldest son is finding the hard way as he starts university. Repetition is good, because the stuff you are learning you have to memorize to the point that it is automatic. And that important stuff includes scripture.
We have been talking about judgment and how we are often shamed for being judgmental. People say that we are in some way damning them.
Well, no. We are trying to correct each other. We are trying to live righteously. And we are failing. We live in a corrupt society, and we have to resist being dragged down into failure and damnation, as crabs in a pot pull those critters who are trying to escape certain death.
1If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross. 9Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
There are some things we have to kill in the church: we have to rediscover humility. We have to remember that we are not that gifted, that we instead are weak, easily manipulated: if this was not the case this advertisement would not work.
In this society, where you can use the actors who are continually case as psychopaths to sell things, it is indeed with fear and trepidation that we will work our our salvation. It is nothing to do with our self-esteem, or self-confidence, and more to do with a realization that we have to take even more care as we now live in a panopticon state run by people who selectively bring the full force of the law: the women who enjoy the sense of power when the US family courts literally imprison their husbands for child support should instead fear what the same courts can do to them.
You would be stupid not to be scared at this time. But this time will not last. For when Christ is revealed, all will be worshipping, for Christ will not need to boast, as any Guru does (including Oprah) of his qualities. They will be self-evident/
As will be our frailties and imperfections. Better to live today as for Christ.
Salt Lake, Middlemarch… from the cellphone. (Or what we did after church)
Elspeth speaks truth to the Churchians.
Men are leaders, yes. And men lead women, yes. But men lead their own women and no one else’s. This is the way it is supposed to be. Any effective hierarchy demands that those in charge be able to trust subordinates to do what is required of them, This is as true of the woman under her man’s authority as it is for whomever he is under the authority of.
It is not the job of men as a collective to police women as a collective. It has never been that way. Men respected appropriate authority over them, and they also did the work of managing those under their authority, which included their women. The women in turn managed those under their authority under the directive set forth by their authority.
Whether it was in the family, the church, or the greater community, this is how it was done. I imagine it was how it was done when Paul penned the Epistle to Titus.
I know this sounds like just one more thing I’m saying men need to take responsibility for bur hear me out. When husbands authority over their wives is respected, and daughters are taught likewise (likely more by their mother’s example as much as by their father decree), then women can and must be trusted to pass these truths on to successive generations of women.
We simply cannot ignore Biblical directive with the excuse of “But it doesn’t work!” Yes, it does work. Doesn’t the idea of a random men feeling free to band to police other men’s women sound odd to you?
I suspect part of our divide is that you are gravely concerned with the society at large in which we live, while I am of the mind that the larger culture is a lost cause. Not because I’m a nihilist (I hate what has become of Western culture), but because Scripture makes it clear that men will wax worse and worse, and that we have to be primarily concerned with conduct within the church and her first and foremost.
Well she’s right. It is wrong for one man to interfere with another — and as a father of a married daughter I have to stand way, way back and let him lead (even when he is making a complete mess of it). Because she is no longer being led by me.
That was poorly worded. My overall point with that incoherent ramble is that women teaching and training other women does not preclude men being in leadership of women. If the church (as we are my primary concern) would reject feminism wholesale- and we can only do that incrementally as more of us are bold enough to stand for truth- we can restore a Biblical system in the church. And in that system, women train and admonish other women in right conduct and godly character.
Men are certainly still leading under that model. They just aren’t having to do EVERYTHING and perpetuating the faulty premise that women are not moral agents but rather creatures that need to be trained like animals.
No Elspeth, it was not poorly worded. It was describing the natural order until the progressive revolution, and the longer version has important information in it. The issue of moral agency of women is not being disputed by most in the Christian tradosphere, instead we are rediscovering that if you teach the law you will get opposition, in the church and without it. Having quoted Elspeth, this reponse outlines the problem.
Worldly girls acting slutty don’t care if they are shunned, shamed and rejected by Churchian women. First and foremost, they don’t care because they know that the bulk of their Churchian “sisters” are also engaged in sexual immorality. Further, they don’t want to be part of the Churchian social circle.
Worldly girls acting slutty will only care if they are shamed, shunned and rejected by MEN. That’s the only thing that’s going to get their attention.
I get what SSM is saying; I just don’t know how it’s practically fleshed-out in today’s society. The Churchian men don’t shun, shame and reject them. Some Christian men don’t even shun, shame and reject them (though they wouldn’t care, because they don’t want men like that anyway.) The players don’t shun, shame and reject them. The beta providers don’t, either.
What once worked in the days of the movie (and book) “The Help” (shunning the girl who got knocked up outside of marriage and had the shotgun wedding) won’t work anymore. There’s plenty of women who don’t care if she’s a whore, and she’d rather be accepted by them anyway, because they don’t “judge” her.
So, basically, the church doesn’t care if she is a whore, the society doesn’t care and actually rewards the fruit of being a whore, and there seem to be men who will always take a whore and even MARRY her!
I don’t have a solution…
Well, actually, women do care. This was the very point that the blog author (who now has over 200 comments on one post that I am shameless mining) made: that a first year university student who was acting in porn was shamed when she was outed. That people do react, and they are hurt.
The church has been cowardly here. People have forgotten that you can tell your son or daughter that they are being totally stupid, ruining their life — by the numbers — and that if you want to keep on going down that path you will end up… either like you (the parent — Ozzy Osbourne, for instance, preaches against drugs with what remains of his drug-addled brain) or like Uncle Jim the creep or Auntie Sally with her ten cats. Individually, as fathers we need to do this. As mothers we need to do this.
What the church leadership have to do is stop being scared about this. Teaching the law is not about damning but saying it — and the spirit will work if the word is out there, for it is active, and searches. Providing pastoral care to those who are damaged by our fallen society, me included, is indeed the work of the church. But it’s not nice, it’s not pretty — and if you think it would be nice and pretty in the secular therapy world, I can tell you, as someone working there, it is no different there. Habits are identified that need to change — indeed the current PC rules are tediously contradictory and the scriptural rules are easier.
Where can we start? With the family around us. Is it going to be easy? No. But the more families that choose to subvert the current system, love each other, and let not the social fascist through the door, the smaller the space the government has, to the point where it again becomes small, and we turn again to our families and to God, not to any tyrant.
One of the things that we are being accused of, all to often is that we judge overmuch. That we are in some manner mean, and that we are not allowed to damn the arrogance. That we are all alike, and that we should just be able to get along.
As if we are not fallen. As if we are not in bodies: we do not have to deal with biology. As if we are not male and female. We forget our limitations.
We have this fantasy — particularly women — that their innate charm, their DNA, will allow the greatest monster to fall in love with them and their natural virtue will make all right. That men are sort of easy. The real women can charm and tame Monsters (Beauty and the Beast) or the Undead Evil (Twilight, and half the remance or urban fantasy in most bookshops. You cannot sell any science fiction with rivets in it no more).
And this is wrong. For we are all fallen. We judge and correct each other because we are aiming to follow the teachings of Christ, who makes Moses look easy. And this is no game with a restart button: we cannot spawn.
12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”
15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
1See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.
4Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
5Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 6He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.
18Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” 20He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.”
21He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, 22saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
23Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.25What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? 26Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27But truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
The arrogance reminds me of Suzanne Vega’s queen and the soldier. This song means a fair amount — it reminds me of a young woman who became the mother of my children, but is now strangling in the solitude she prefers. The song covers with a surgeons precision the current situation for men and women, and I think it was written in the 1980s.
For women, there are two warnings here: the arrogance of the queen, treating men as disposable, has led to the men walking away. Men die: in building things, in fighting wars — the risky jobs in most societies are generally done by men — from Xenophon’s March to the Sea to Gold Mining on Discovery Channel. And all we want is to ‘love a young woman we don’t understand’.
But the queen is ashamed of how her heart will break, and the soldier would walk away (if the queen had not had him killed).
The second warning is in Malachi, and reflects through to the gospel. The arrogant and their works will be destroyed. Power is fluid, and when it runs through your hands like water you and your family will suffer: consider the fate of the Romanov, or the National Socialist Hierarchy, who preferred death by their own hand to rape, torture and the Gulag.
For we cannot mock God for too long. He is just, and he will do to us what he did to the regimes of Stalin and Hitler, the Mayans, Spain of Philip, the Hapsburg and the Belgian Empire. He will leave nothing but the righteous, who will rise to do his vengeance.
It is far better to take responsibility for your own sin, to repent, to be humble, than to project it elsewhere. Do not shut your ears to the law, or to correction.
It’s so easy, for women especially, who’ve lived sheltered fairytale lives to scowl other women for having made mistakes, or worse – horror of horrors, being fat, oh my goodness! Why is it, i cannot help but to detect glee at the attempts on (supposed) christian sites to shame women whose backgrounds and situations we know nothing about? Christian or otherwise, women get their “tingles” harshing other women. Why should men take women seriously – let alone hire or vote us into positions of responsibility? Sometimes, the catty drama almost evokes empathy towards mgtowers – almost!
[ssm: The problem is, all a woman has to do is say:
X is wrong. X is bad for society. Therefore X should be stigmatized and women who engage in X behavior should be shamed or shunned in order to maintain social order for the good of most people.
for people like you to levy all kinds of wild accusations like "She's gleeful over the women are doing X, that's all!" or "She's tingling from harshing on other women, that's all!"
It's really a very ingenious method of silencing any appropriate judgment at all, when you think about it. All a woman like you has to do to silence any judgment by other women of extremely foolish and immoral behavior (such as 18-year-old girls engaging in on-camera prostitution) is to say that you detect hidden motivations and secret glee, and you discredit their words. And you don't even have to prove that the woman who said those things actually had any glee or tingles; the accusation is enough.
Men, do you see now why all is lost without you? The female herd cannot police itself. Do you see that here in this very thread? Listen to the women bickering with each other, trying to discredit one another and outmaneuver one another, over judging what would have been an offense worthy of death in Bible days and which would have resulted in total ostracization even a few generations ago. Now one woman can't even say this is foolish and immoral without the entire herd descending to judge her secret thoughts, probable motivations, emotional and sexual status, and hidden agenda.
Without men taking control of the situation, civilization is doomed and we are headed back to a chaotic matriarchy in the dirt.]
You are not necessarily responsible for what happens to you. You are not responsible for the person who assaulted you, the employer who deliberately placed your life at risk, or for the choice your wife or husband made to frivorce you.
But you are completely responsible for what you do now. You must not allow the fact (unfairly) that you lacked shelter or provision or protection or (what SSM was getting at) leadership to let yourself think that you do not have moral agency. We will all be called to account for what we have done in this life, and we all will be found wanting.
We are all flawed. We are all needing to reform, repent — and shame and guilt are the guideposts that lead us there, not a artificially inflated sense of self esteem.
But be warned: for the arrogant, who accept no correction, there is but destruction.
Over the last couple of days Firefox has become almost impossible to use with wordpress, at least on my machines. This is not related to distributions in linux: one machine is based on Arch, (Manjaro) and the server (which I am now using) is based on Xubuntu. In part this is a test post using opera, to see if the problem is the server: Which is unlikely, the entire blogspace (three blogs and email) on the server is only 4.2 G, and the rafiifc ardound 14G a month. Not that big: this place is fairly obscure.
Onto other things. I’ve used Android phones basically since the first google phone came out. The code can be seen, and that is good. But the apps… well they can subvert everything.
Is the Blackphone totally secure? No. “There’s no such thing as 100-percent secure,” explains Janke, “and there’s no such thing as an NSA-secure phone. If you have a phone it can always be hacked.” People will try to break Silent Circle’s security, and the company says it’s “not so arrogant” as to think they won’t succeed. The company will open source the vast majority of its code for the phone in order for third parties to properly audit its techniques, find holes, and ultimately help to improve the product.
The majority of security and privacy issues with Android smartphone don’t come from your calls, texts, or from the operating system itself. They come through apps. The Blackphone, security apps aside, is still an Android phone, and although it will only install Google services like the Play Store if you ask it to, the third-party apps it runs are no different to those on a Galaxy S4 or HTC One. Silent Circle’s answer to the Android app problem is a Security Center that gives granular control over what apps can do.
I use my cellphone heavily. It runs all my fitness apps, I blog off it at times, it is connected to three email servers and instagram — in short, it is the terminal to the internet I have with me at all times. But is that reasonable.
There are some alternatives coming out. One is Jolla, which is a resurrection of MeeGo, another linux-based phone OS, that was used on a very expensive phone (the Nokia N9 — now about $300 on ebay if you like retrophoning) that never made it to New Zealand. The first phone is now on sale in Europe. Then there is the Ubuntu phones – which now exist, but are not on sale yet. Both these environments are designed to be rich, allow apps, and be functional.
The alternative is to go light. If you are really paranoid, buy a granny phone. But if you need some functionality — and I do, I want email and calendar at least — then there is the Firefox phone. These are now being sold in Europe and South America and in ebay — one of them the ZTE is about $80 US — but no one will send them the NZ. I’ve tried. The phone would be perfect for son one… who uses these things as a tool, and wants a minimal set of functions. The version in the video, BTW, has sold out.
The idea of a pure html5 phone (because that is what Firefox OS is) is intruging. And the cloud is one of those things that can be useful: when phones brick (and they do) all your contacts are in the cloud. You don’t lose data. But… that data will be hacked. As the original Chrome book ad suggests.
I think that multiple options are a fairly good idea: and I use google docs for collaboration. I back up fairly regularly. But… I am not a crytography genius. Almost anything you can do can be tracked. To paraphrase Charles Stross, the only secure computer is encased in concrete, in a safe, in the bottom of a mineshaft, guarded by elite troops, disconnected from the internet and switched off.
Oh, and on the test: the darn publish button does not work well in Opera, either. WordPress needs to fix this ASAP.