We have forgotten what we were called for.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Hebrews 12:18-29 ESV)

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

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

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

Avoid the fools and their axioms.

I like logic, It is the spreadsheet of philosophy. It allows you to look at how the person is organizing their argument. It can be reduced to symbols, manipulated using logical gates, and has been codified, to the point that Principia Mathemathica is now public domain.

THE mathematical treatment of the principles of mathematics, which is the subject of the present work, has arisen from the conjunction of two different studies, both in the main very modern. On the one hand we have the work of analysts and geometers, in the way of formulating and systematising their axioms, and the work of Cantor and others on such matters as the theory of aggregates. On the other hand we have symbolic logic, which, after a necessary period of growth, has now, thanks to Peano and his followers, acquired the technical adaptability and the logical comprehensiveness that are essential to a mathematical instrument for dealing with what have hitherto been the beginnings of mathematics. From the combination of these two studies two results emerge, namely (1) that what were formerly taken, tacitly or explicitly, as axioms, are either unnecessary or demonstrable; (2) that the same methods by which supposed axioms are demonstrated will give valuable results in regions, such as infinite number, which had formerly been regarded as inaccessible to human knowledge. Hence the scope of mathematics is enlarged both by the addition of new subjects and by a backward extension into provinces hitherto abandoned to philosophy.


However, this is now suspect. In many ways. We are not allowed to argue, because the Leftist insist that their axioms cannot be questioned. As if religious belief is a form of mental impairment, and all philosophers, theologians and scientists from Augustine to Pascal are fools.

I disagree with Russell on many things because his model of the world is based on a cartesian plane and classical physics, both of which broke about the time that he finished his magnum opus. (The fact that his book is one of the ur-texts for computer science is another issue), but he is correct on one thing. Axioms have to be questioned. This is what Schaeffer called pre-suppositional discussions: you had to agree on certain assumptions before you could have a serious discussion (such as reality is not a solipsist perception).

Nut this is not acceptable to the SJW. So they want to shut us up. By making laws and axioms up. I see the old school realists rolling in their graves.


Well, yeah. Those who think seriously about these issues now hide in the mathematics department, for the arts departments have become rotten. And the fact that mathematics and logic can describe the world is an example of arguing from nature: moreover arguments from nature have generally led to God from the time of Plato. (Hat tip to Wintry Knight for this)

Whether one is a realist or an anti-realist about mathematical objects
, I think that the theist enjoys a considerable advantage over the naturalist in explaining the uncanny success of mathematics.

Take realism first. As philosopher of mathematics Mary Leng points out, for the non-theistic realist, the fact that physical reality behaves in line with the dictates of acausal mathematical entities existing beyond space and time is “a happy coincidence” (Mathematics and Reality [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010], p. 239). Think about it: If, per impossibile, all the abstract objects in the mathematical realm were to disappear overnight, there would be no effect on the physical world. This is simply to reiterate that abstract objects are causally inert. The idea that realism somehow accounts for the applicability of mathematics “is actually very counterintuitive,” muses Mark Balaguer, a philosopher of mathematics. “The idea here is that in order to believe that the physical world has the nature that empirical science assigns to it, I have to believe that there are causally inert mathematical objects, existing outside of spacetime,” an idea which is inherently implausible (Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics [New York: Oxford University Press, 1998], p. 136).

By contrast, the theistic realist can argue that God has fashioned the world on the structure of the mathematical objects. This is essentially what Plato believed. The world has mathematical structure as a result.

Now consider anti-realism of a non-theistic sort. Leng says that on anti-realism relations said to obtain among mathematical objects just mirror the relations obtaining among things in the world, so that there is no happy coincidence. Well and good, but what remains wanting on secular anti-realism is an explanation why the physical world exhibits so complex and stunning a mathematical structure in the first place. Balaguer admits that he has no explanation why, on anti-realism, mathematics is applicable to the physical world or why it is indispensable in empirical science. He just observes that neither can the realist answer such “why” questions.

By contrast, the theistic anti-realist has a ready explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world: God has created it according to a certain blueprint He had in mind. There are any number of blueprints He might have chosen…

The anti-realistic argument has difficulties: it is fairly standard among Islamic theologians, who emphasize the sovereignty of God, and say that whatever he does is good, and the word exists at his will from minute to minute. This essentialist idea has consequences. Without laws and without the idea of consequences, engineering, analysis, logic itself is immaterial because everything depends on the will of God. But if God made real objects, and keeps his own laws, one then has a different theology: one can question legitimately, as Abraham did when he asked if the ruler of all should not do good, and not evil.

But this is an argument you can have with any but the Taliban and SJW. The Taliban will kill you because you disagree with their most idiotic fatwa, and the SJW will say you are educated and need to check your privilege.

There is a scriptural name for such. They are called fools.

I praise of work.

This morning I was recovering from a work Christmas dinner, then getting out and doing the shopping. We are tidying the house further so that we can have guests tomorrow for our annual (not really) Christmas party, and I will have to spend this evening getting a draft review made.

Work will not stop for another week, and then there will be the summer break: Then work will start again. And this is good. It is scriptural, and it is good.

Being a community organizer, SJW or beneficiary, sitting in idleness is bad for you, and against the teaching of Christ. Such people should be placed under the discipline of the church.

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labour we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

(2 Thessalonians 3:6-18 ESV)

I am not going to recite all the data, but there is considerable evidence that retirement is bad for you, unless you continue to be active, and continue to use your mind. If you continue to work, you generally remain in better physical health, and interacting with co workers (particularly for men) is a considerable part of one’s social support. The effects are somewhat muted for women, who often work in the home continually, not stopping at any time.

In short, don’t allow yourself to rust simply because you have reached a certain age. Do not plan for a retirement: the moneys that are saved (by strong coercion in New Zealand and compulsion in Australia) can be lost by the financial people you have trusted, or confiscated by the government.

This is not what we care commanded to do. We are told to work. Age is not an excuse. We need to support our families, and avoid being a client of any faction or state. For we do not belong to our sponsor, we are not owned by the state, but we belong to Christ.

Yuletide, truth, Prayer… and Dr Who.

It is CHristmas, and many of the people whom I read are getting all excited about Christmas and the celebrations that are traditional. Which is interesting to read. I live in the Antipodes, and the idea of exams at the same time as Christmas is weird. My boys had their last exams in November.

Screenshot - 12122014 - 08:01:32 AM

I am also trying not to use a Jargon heading this morning. I could call this “predestination is through sanctification”, because that is what the text says, but that is far too neat. And it misses the final point: there is opposition in this world.

And we all need prayer. Paul asked for prayers, because he was putting himself into a place of witness, and not all have faith. In fact, God alone is faithful, and God keeps our vows for us.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits4 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by four letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
Pray for Us

3 Finally, brothers,5 pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honoured,6 as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.7 4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

2 Thess. 2:13-3:5

I am not that clever this morning: this blog is fueled as much by coffee as anything, and the Spirit of God may come at times. All I can say is that those without faith tend to use social sciences and political analysis. They think about who are not in the church, and use attending church as a proxy measure for who is of faith.

Screenshot - 12122014 - 07:58:48 AM

Not that attending Church is important. But so is prayer. We need to speak the truth, though it is a season when we are told this is not to be. And this season is not related to yuletide, but the secular worship of offence.

So excuse me, I have some people who need a few prayers, including my Pastor and Kirk.

Notes on modding Fedora 21…. continued.

Fedora does not contain Chromium, the google based browser. There is a repo available for this, and the author of the repo explains that Chromium does not meet Fedora’s quality requirements. It is hard to work out where the code comes from, but google take and modify (forking) other packages frequently, and barely document what they do.

To be fair, when Google forks an upstream project in chromium, they do write a README.chromium which summarizes the changes that they made. This is technically, better than nothing, but much in the same way that swimming in a pool full of angry, underfed, electric eels is better than nothing when you’re desperate for a quick swim.

If you want a stable version of chromium, I would go here. Be aware that there is not a fedora 21 version available.

And this brings me to the two nightmare vendors. One is adobe: they make two usefully irritating programmes — flash and acrobat. This is one place where it better to avoid the vendors. I would use gnash — which should cover those sites that have not moved their codecs to html5 — and use one of the many open source pdf viewers.

Screenshot - 111214 - 22:08:59

I run Revman for Cochrane work, and this requires Java. You can get Jave 7 up: it does not run with Java 8. This is best done using the proprietary package, and you can have parallel versions of Java (in fact, it is generally a good idea, as some programmes require different versions).

Screenshot - 111214 - 22:31:45

One is now left with working on eye candy, and getting the laptop into running the graphical programmes it will need to use.

Screenshot - 111214 - 22:34:36

Two final notes. I’m fairly worn out, and using glasses: I see better with contacts. But the new fonts on the new, matte screens modern laptops have made reading far easier, and being able to read what you are typing makes a difference.


The second comment is that these machines run cooler, which means that the nocturnal editor is not attacking the keyboard.


You may not be able to download Chromium as you can on a debian box, but Google has packaged Chrome, and the install is seamless. In addition, you can install dropbox and back everything up from the website, and that works seamlessly.

When you have wifi. Note for Kiwis — use a Spark stick or SIM when travelling, as this will allow you to connect to their wifi system that runs out of every phone booth. Me? I’m working next to the wiseless modem which is connected to the home broadband node.

Fedora 21, and UEFI revisited.

Screenshot - 111214 - 21:05:29

I am setting up a laptop for travel, one that (like all modern laptops) comes with UEFI. The options considered were

  • Linux Mint. Version 17.1 has got good reviews, and they are sensibly building on the Ubuntu LTR for this product. I have this running (the xfce version) on my server and it works. But laptops are odd. If I was going to go for debian I may want to go lighter: Crunchbang is a very good distro (and it runs on the testing laptop perfectly well. I like it for older hardware.  Which I am not going to take on trips because the older hardware is both fragile and not powerful enough for photo processing.
  • OpenSuse (Tumbleweed).It is stable, for a rolling distro, but I have never managed to understand SuSE;s admin tools. I grew up using rpm based systems, and understand the raw commands (as I do for debian systems) but the Suse ones are not instictive
  • Arch. No. I break it. Same with Gentoo.
  • Korora. I like this, but is modified Fedora, and I want to modify fedora in different ways.

So… Fedora it is. Now the first thing I do is ignore the workstation (which is on the first page and go find the xfce spin. I like xfce. A lot. I don’t like gnome, or the other modern versions such as cinnamon, mate or Unity: the alternatives I would consider as a window manager are lighter, such as lxde and openbox. But xfce has enough on board.

Now, go into the OS (on an Acer laptop, press F2), find the boot menu, and move it to legacy mode. UEFI is horrible. It is best not to deal if it if you can.

Install the OS. Anaconda is simple: remember to make your passwords strong and (since this machine has a brand new hard disk with nothing on it, and is solid state to boot) just take the whole hard disk and use defaults. It is not worth making too many optimizations. The nvidia driver is now open source, and as we just want the screen to be fast and stable, there is no need to tweak that.

Now to modify this. You could use a graphical interface, (yumec) or command line. Nonetheless, install chromium, thunderbird (in the end, this is the best email client), darktable, spotify and libreoffice. So far so good. This link will give you instructions on installing multimedia codecs, and spotify (which is my favourite music streamer) is now available for fedora if you follow these instructions.

Onto the more difficult and nasty things, Skype (which is also fairly proprietary, and owned by microsoft to boot) installs fairly easily from their webpage.

One further note. Fedora is fairly cutting edge: the kernel currently is 3.17, and 3.18 was released today. It is best to not upgrade versions until they are released. The instability of the RC candidates of fedora has bitten me before.

If you want sheer stability, and something rapid, and have older hardware, go get crunchbang and be happy with that. Or Linux Mint. But for a working travel machine (I have tried using smaller computers — both lightweight 12 inch ultrabooks and 13 inch macs) I need a full sized screen with a solid keyboard. And something that is not boring.

Fedora currently meets those needs.

A weak delusion.

This morning I’m thinking about the text and in particular the last phrase — that the world will be under a strong delusion. One wonders what that will be, but in this age it is fairly easy to see how this works. This is Elspeth, who tells stories, but the stories have a point.

Almost every wife I have encountered outside of the Internet who approaches wifehood with an idealistic doggedness of faith that she can be what God requires is either very young-under 30- or very old- over 80. Either she hasn’t lived very much or she’s lived enough to gain some wisdom.

Women in my age bracket (between 30-60) seem to be the hardest nuts to crack. We are generally so thoroughly corrupted by the theological, cultural, emotional, and educational spirit of this age that we find it impossible to embrace radical submission or lifelong marriage even if it includes suffering. Especially if it includes suffering.

Anyway this woman, whom I’ll call Lisa, offered her testimony of what God has done in her concerning faithfulness:

promised my children (verbally) that I will always honor my commitment to their father, and that I will never leave him and that they never have to worry about my doing so. Not only will I honor our covenant, but I will honor him as the head of this family where God has placed him.

Wow! I often wonder about my daughters finding worthy husbands, but when she finished I prayed from my heart that her sons (all she has are sons, and several) would be able to find worthy wives.

Well, yes. The trouble is that we have not had education not training for at least two generations. I’m fortunate: when I was going through school (high school in the 1970s) there were still some older teachers, approaching retirement, who had an old-fashioned education (in the days when getting a BA in NZ was a significant achievement). They taught me Latin and Logic. (And in those days, schools in the poorest suburbs required all academically gifted streams took a language). This allowed me to be able to decode the Poets from the Victorian and Regency times, and read Shakespeare without a crib telling me what he was referring to.

And there were still the pre war missionaries in ministry training young men in righteousness. This took in part: I am no where near the man of God as my father, or the generation before him.

But the modern church has lost this, and without a maturity in Christ, and a wisdom in Christ, we can be so easily drawn into error.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 ESV)

What shall we do? For the nomenklatura want to regulate our lives, tame our religion, and remove the power of everything but a worship of their caste and their pet, the state.

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The answer is simple. We are to obey. And in doing so we need to make sure that we do not trample the Spirit of God, or harden that which should be gentle. Lori commented on Elspeth, as one women who mentors to another…

Yes, it’s not easy mentoring young women today
unless they have soft, teachable hearts. They’re a joy to mentor and the progress in their lives is amazing. Too many Christian women have been influenced by the feminist movement but all we can do is keep reasoning with them by presenting the Truth and testimonies to it’s powerful work in marriages.

If Satan can get us with a weak delusion, he will do so. At the time of the end the rulers of this world will be tyrants and beyond the law. (The fact that this has never worked in the modern era, from the Stuart Kings to the Soviet Empire, is lost to them, for they have not the languages nor the humility to learn from history).

We need, those of us who have been hardened by dealing with this world, to discover or find again a heart that is gentle and teachable. (Men and women). But we also need to be wise to the ways of this world. The current elite are rotten. Do not be them, and do not be like them.

Stone her, you stone yourself.

Oh dear. Another one of those passages I would rather avoid. This one is marked as somewhat unreliable as it is placed in various places in early manuscripts, but it is fairly important, because it gets to the guts of sexual ethics and how to handle them. And the principle here is not to stone unless righteous, but not to give sin a pass either.

At present we set our standards too low, and we tend to accept the externalities: at times saying that divorce is better than working through the difficulties of a marriage. Well as one who has had a divorce, I pray it is not the death of my soul, but I know my soul was damaged during this period.

You mentioned “death of the soul” and I think that is the “cross to bear” that some bring up. “Well, that is just his lot in life–he will have to suck it up”. I don’t necessarily agree with it but don’t have better answers either. It just comes across as heartless and no empathy. I like that Elspeth admitted that a lot of marriages will just be slogging through to the finish line cause that is an honest answer that men need to take into consideration when they marry. That a slogging marriage life could very well be them.

“Is divorce really a much greater sin than rendering a man into a “dead man walking”?”
There was a discussion recently on another blog about whether divorce is the unforgivable sin, after all murderers can be forgiven and Christianity is a religion about redemption. So, I get your point and people do love their metrics! We base success on a number of how long someone has been married. No matter if its been 30 years of misery, they made it 30 years! That is a sad sort of success in my book and something to mourn really than celebrate.

When you read the bible you always read it in the context of what is happening: I’m reading this having seen this yesterday. I think of the pharisees as somewhat wooden people trying to set Christ up with a nasty test case. Let us find a women having sex with another husband: we have a right to stone her, but he seems to like women so let us see what he does.

Jesus managed to deal with this by implying if you stone this woman, you will have to be stoned… next.

They went each to his own house
,but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

(John 7:53-8:11 ESV)

So Christ was merciful. Praise God. But this does not mean that we are not responsible nor accountable. We should not push the mercy of God. We have clear teaching on this issue, which includes the need to be chaste at all times.

And many of us struggle here. I do. It is difficult, but we need to obey. We need encouragement, and men need their brothers in Christ, women their sisters in Christ here.

But saying this does not exist or it is unfair, as Hearthie notes, is to use the logic of a toddler.

If you’re not a Christian
, I’m going to explain what I’d do, what’s important to me, why it’s important, and leave you to it. You don’t play by my rules, you don’t care about my Referee, it’s a total waste of time to do anything but “well, this works – look how well it works when we play by the rules. And have you met the Ref?” You don’t want to play by my rules? Fine, there is *no reason* for me expect you to do so. Would this world be a better place if you did? Yes. Oh well, that’s life.

If you’re a Christian, and you’re stuck in a hard place, and you’re resolved to obey but daaaang it’s hard and it hurts – you’re going to get compassion. I’ll pray for you. I’ll offer helpful tips. I’ll smile and hold your hand and hug you and help you as much as I can. I’ve been in some gnarly places, and I know how bad it can be. It’s cool. That’s why we’re a *family* of believers, right? You need a sister? You’ve got one.

If you’re a Christian, but you don’t want to obey… well, I’ve got no time for that. Suck it up, buttercup. You *know* what the Bible says (and if you don’t, I’m happy to give you chapter and verse). You don’t want to obey God? Well, that’s between you and Him.

I assume – until proven otherwise – that most of the folks I meet fall into one of the first two categories, and I give my all to be a light and an encouragement. I *like* encouraging people. God made me for that, it feels like being a conduit of joy… seriously, I’ve got alllll the time in the world to do this, I love it so much. If you need a friend, if you need a help, if you need a reminder how to find Home… please. I’d love to help.

But. If you’re being a wilful brat, as far as I’m concerned you’re making the whole family look bad. Get over yourself and call me when you’re done with your tantrum.

The teaching on this issue is clear. Using hard cases, or unhappiness, or setting up some kind of human tragedy to make a precedent that somehow absolves us of our duty is a gross error and foolishness.

Need we remind ourselves that children are safest in general when living with the father who sired them, and the mother who borne them? Yes, I know about exceptions. I spend most of my clinical time dealing with the fallout from them. But we should not teach the memes of the nomenklatura. They damage. Christ gives life.

Nomenklatura: A note of terminology.

Some people talk about the Cathedral, other people the Brahmins. In doing this, they mean the people who, in a post modern society, set the agenda for what is considered righteous and good: what they often call progressive. More importantly they say what is unwanted, unliked, and to be hated.

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Tom Kratman calls them  the Tranzis, a transnational cosmopolitan progressive elite. Their belief is secular, socialist, and against all things traditional.

I prefer to use the soviet term: nomenklatura.

In recent years, the Brahmin elites of the world have begun to display quite a puritanical streak in any number of arenas. While the original scarlet letter was the letter A, meant to signify adultery, today’s Progressive puritans have added to that list exponentially. There’s R for racist, H for homophobe, T for transphobic, and so on. For the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on S for sexist, and M for misogyny. I’m sure if we worked hard enough, we could use the entire alphabet for any number of thought crimes that our moral superiors disapprove of…

Screenshot from 2014-12-09 23:39:42

Enough of TheDen. Compare that description with the Kratman.

This is perhaps the only real difference between a current day Marxist and a current day Transnational Progressive, or Tranzi. The Marxist expects a different result from doing everything important the same, as if there is any freedom that doesn’t include economic freedom, as if there is any path to socialism that will not be paved with bodies, as if socialism has ever managed to create anything beyond corpses, poverty and oppression — oh, and lots of pieces of third-rate military equipment and a new entrenched upper class backed by a ruthless secret police and outrageous propaganda, too, of course.

The Tranzi, on the other hand, expects to maintain and expand modern, enlightened, prosperous, liberal society while opening up the borders that shelter that society to unlimited numbers of the least assimilable and most reactionary, most traditional and hidebound, least economically productive cultures on the face of the Earth. This wouldn’t be so bad, or so insane, did they not at the same time insist that nothing be done to even try to assimilate the immigrants from those cultures to modern, enlightened, liberal values. (Do you suppose there were pro-Vandal, pro-Hun and pro-Goth immigration public interest groups in ancient Rome? Societies usually rot from the inside out so it does seem likely.)

The Tranzi also insists on enlightening the rest of the world, but rejects any and every means that might actually work.

Screenshot from 2014-12-09 23:53:46

So why nomenklatura? Because it is accurate.

  • The nomenklatura had cultural authority. All music, all art, all publications had to appeal to their taste. Everything was censored. All had to contribute to a sense of, if not education, propaganda in the production of the correct patriotic and soviet spirit.
  • The nomenklatura ran a publick religion. The ceremonies of the state — from May Day to Winter Solstice — had to follow their rules and liturgy. They see themselves as benign priests, nudging us into certain acts for our own good. But true belief is to mistrusted. The only clergy they like are those who do not believe in the power of religion, keeping the form only, and who talk vaguely about spirituality and tolerance.
  • The nomenklatura’s children inherit their status.  Being raised as an activist and the child of activists was seen as a good thing, and allows access to elite schools and elite courses — be they Moscow University, the Ecole, or modern greats at Oxford. Unlike an aristocracy, the nomenklatura consider that they have earned their places, pay great credence to credentials and correct process, and lack the humility to accept that it was mere luck that led them to have privilege.
  • The nomenklatura consider all other groups beneath them.  In the Soviet union, others were called Narod — peasants. Theden talks about vaisya — the farmers. There is a suspicion and underlying contempt of those who work in the factories, grow food, and in particular those who service such types — professionals from teachers to physicians (who make up the most hated class — the bourgeoisie). The masses need to be educated, be it by priests, political officers (zampolits) or Social Justice Warriors.
Lysenko, who proved ideology crops grow cannot.

Although the socialist model has been tried and found wanting (let us give the Bolsheviks some credit. They were serious about trying to make a socialist state, at whatever the cost), the idea that we can by a sheer act of will make ourselves better, newer, brighter, and gain control over nature remains.

But it is an error. Lysenko tried to extend the growing season by exhortation and regulation: it did not change.

We are not infinitely adaptable. We are humans: we have limits and this is good.

So beware of the yeast of the nomenklatura. Do not be them, and do not be like them

Vindication will not come from the elite.

This is a very short comment on the text for today. It speaks for itself. We need to look to God for our vindication, for it will not come from those who are in power, and those in power we should mistrust.

Of David.

Vindicate me, O LORD,
for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Prove me, O LORD, and try me;
test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in your faithfulness.

I do not sit with men of falsehood,
nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and I will not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence
and go around your altar, O LORD,
proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O LORD, I love the habitation of your house
and the place where your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of bribes.

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.

(Psalm 26 ESV)

Therefore my people go into exile
for lack of knowledge;
their honored men go hungry,
and their multitude is parched with thirst.
Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
and opened its mouth beyond measure,
and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down,
her revelers and he who exults in her.
Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.
But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice,
and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,
and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.

(Isaiah 5:13-17 ESV)

I have quoted too much already, but do turn to the text, for the NT reading reminds us to respect those who lead is within the church. For they should be ensuring we do not have lack of knowledge, and that the haughty are corrected, and evildoers confronted. Particularly when we ourselves are the evildoers and haughty.

For it is by our actions to each other that we show that God is working among us. We should be continually reforming, continually correcting, and continually moving so that we are different, and better than the society we live in. We are supposed to be salt and light, not corruption and darkness.

So any reformation of our society needs to start with revival. Let us pray for each other, and ourselves, that we will cleave to the truth of God, despite our lust, greed and envy.