Monthly Archives: May 2015

Saturday Saints- #70

For the third time this series finds itself at the letter “P.” This time our saint for today is Saint Philip of Agira:

Saint Philip of Agira (also Aggira, Agirone, Agirya or Argira) was an early Christian confessor. There are two parallel stories of this saint which give to possible dates in which this saint lived. Traditionally, through the writings of St. Athanasius, it is maintained that Philip of Agira is a saint of the 1st century, born in the year AD 40 in Cappadocia (modern Turkey) and died on 12 May, AD 103.

Another recent study says to have been born of a Syrian father in Thrace on an unknown date in the 5th century whose elder brothers drowned whilst fishing. Philip was known as the “Apostle of the Sicilians”, as he was the first Christian missionary to visit that island. Nothing else can be certainly stated about him.

The source of this is his wiki, found here.

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Tradition Thursday- #25

The series based on St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical Letters continues. His eighth letter resumes the discussion on the Nicene Creed, focusing on the Omnipotence of God:

Jeremiah 39:18, 19 (Septuagint).

The Great, the strong God, Lord of great Counsel, and mighty in His works, the Great God, the Lord Almighty and of great name.

1. By believing In One God we cut off all misbelief in many gods, using this as a shield against Greeks; and every opposing power of heretics; and by adding, In One God the Father, we contend against those of the circumcision, who deny the Only-begotten Son of God. For, as was said yesterday, even before explaining the truths concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, we made it manifest at once, by saying The Father, that He is the Father of a Son: that as we understand that God is, so we may understand that He has a Son. But to those titles we add that He is also Almighty; and this we affirm because of Greeks and Jews together, and all heretics.

2. For of the Greeks some have said that God is the soul of the world : and others that His power reaches only to heaven, and not to earth as well. Some also sharing their error and misusing the text which says, And Your truth unto the clouds , have dared to circumscribe God’s providence by the clouds and the heaven, and to alienate from God the things on earth; having forgotten the Psalm which says, If I go up into heaven, You are there, if I go down into hell, You are present. For if there is nothing higher than heaven, and if hell is deeper than the earth, He who rules the lower regions reaches the earth also.

3. But heretics again, as I have said before, know not One Almighty God. For He is Almighty who rules all things, who has power over all things. But they who say that one God is Lord of the soul, and some other of the body, make neither of them perfect, because either is wanting to the other. For how is he almighty, who has power over the soul, but not over the body? And how is he almighty who has dominion over bodies, but no power over spirits? But these men the Lord confutes, saying on the contrary, Rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 For unless the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has the power over both, how does He subject both to punishment? For how shall He be able to take the body which is another’s and cast it into hell, except He first bind the strong man, and spoil his goods ?

4. But the Divine Scripture and the doctrines of the truth know but One God, who rules all things by His power, but endures many things of His will. For He rules even over the idolaters, but endures them of His forbearance: He rules also over the heretics who set Him at nought, but bears with them because of His long-suffering: He rules even over the devil, but bears with him of His long-suffering, not from want of power; as if defeated. For he is the beginning of the Lord’s creation, made to be mocked , not by Himself, for that were unworthy of Him, but by the Angels whom He has made. But He suffered him to live, for two purposes, that he might disgrace himself the more in his defeat, and that mankind might be crowned with victory. O all wise providence of God! Which takes the wicked purpose for a groundwork of salvation for the faithful. For as He took the unbrotherly purpose of Joseph’s brethren for a groundwork of His own dispensation, and, by permitting them to sell their brother from hatred, took occasion to make him king whom He would; so he permitted the devil to wrestle, that the victors might be crowned; and that when victory was gained, he might be the more disgraced as being conquered by the weaker, and men be greatly honoured as having conquered him who was once an Archangel.

5. Nothing then is withdrawn from the power of God; for the Scripture says of Him, for all things are Your servants. All things alike are His servants, but from all these One, His only Son, and One, His Holy Spirit, are excepted; and all the things which are His servants serve the Lord through the One Son and in the Holy Spirit. God then rules all, and of His long-suffering endures even murderers and robbers and fornicators, having appointed a set time for recompensing every one, that if they who have had long warning are still impenitent in heart, they may receive the greater condemnation. They are kings of men, who reign upon earth, but not without the power from above: and this Nebuchadnezzar once learned by experience, when he said; For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His power from generation to generation Daniel 4:34 .

6. Riches, and gold, and silver are not, as some think, the devil’s : for the whole world of riches is for the faithful man, but for the faithless not even a penny. Now nothing is more faithless than the devil; and God says plainly by the Prophet, The gold is Mine, and the silver is Mine, and to whomsoever I will I give it. Do thou but use it well, and there is no fault to be found with money: but whenever you have made a bad use of that which is good, then being unwilling to blame your own management, thou impiously throwest back the blame upon the Creator. A man may even be justified by money: I was hungry, and you gave Me meat Matthew 25:35-36: that certainly was from money. I was naked, and you clothed Me: that certainly was by money. And would you learn that money may become a door of the kingdom of heaven? Sell, says He, that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven.

7. Now I have made these remarks because of those heretics who count possessions, and money, and men’s bodies accursed. For I neither wish you to be a slave of money, nor to treat as enemies the things which God has given you for use. Never say then that riches are the devil’s: for though he say, All these will I give you, for they are delivered unto me , one may indeed even reject his assertion; for we need not believe the liar: and yet perhaps he spoke the truth, being compelled by the power of His presence: for he said not, All these will I give you, for they are mine, but, for they are delivered unto me. He grasped not the dominion of them, but confessed that he had been entrusted with them, and was for a time dispensing them. But at a proper time interpreters should inquire whether his statement is false or true.

8. God then is One, the Father, the Almighty, whom the brood of heretics have dared to blaspheme. Yea, they have dared to blaspheme the Lord of Sabaoth , who sits above the Cherubim : they have dared to blaspheme the Lord Adonai : they have dared to blaspheme Him who is in the Prophets the Almighty God. But worship thou One God the Almighty, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Flee from the error of many gods, flee also from every heresy, and say like Job, But I will call upon the Almighty Lord, which does great things and unsearchable, glorious things and marvellous without number , and, For all these things there is honour from the Almighty : to Whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

(Source)

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Absence Makes The Heart Grow Emptier

Background: One of the deepest writers in the entire ‘sphere also happens to be one of those who writes the least: Ace of Spades. His posts can sometimes be just a few short sentences in length, spaced apart by the occasional break. When added together they rarely amount to more than a paragraph or two. However, each word is fraught with meaning (almost always on multiple levels), and he can accomplish with a few lines what others need an essay to convey. Yet the insight he hopes to convey isn’t always obvious, and all of his posts need to be “unpacked” (or unzipped, to use computer terminology) to some degree. I’ve unpacked posts of his before, and he expressed appreciation for my effort. At the same time he asked me to make similar efforts in the future, and this post follows in that path.

The post I want to examine today is “… [there’s] oh so many ways for me to show you how your dogma has abandoned you…” Like nearly all of his posts, it begins with a song which helps set tone and context. I suggest listening to it before reading further. I intend to analyze his post line by line, so it may help to read the full post at his site, as I don’t intend to post it all together here. Also, while each line will have analysis, much of it will be at the end of the post as well. Now to get to it:

All pig-tails and patent-leather shoes.

These two features together hint at femininity in a juvenile context- a young school-age girl. She is young and innocent, and looks the part- wearing her hair in pig-tails and dressing up in nice looking clothes for when she goes to school. This sets up the point of view of the post- that of a young girl (at least in the beginning).

Daddy never seems to care.

The key language in this line is the word “seems.” Ace included that word on purpose. Whatever “Daddy’s” actual intentions might be, they are ultimately irrelevant in this context. What matters is how the young girl from the above line perceives his concern, his lack of care about her.

This is important because “Daddy” might care, but not be in a position to do anything about it. If the father of a young girl has been kicked out of the home and separated from his children by force of law because “Mommy” decide to frivorce him, then what he wants or intends doesn’t matter. The amount of time he can spend with his daughter will be limited, in some cases quite severely. And no matter how much Daddy tells his daughter that he loves her, that he cares for her, that he wants to spend time with her… she won’t believe him if he doesn’t spend much time with her. She cannot help but rationalize his limited contact as a lack of care on his part, no matter how much the matter is explained to her. For a child, a father’s presence, or the lack thereof, is not something which is guided and directed by a rational thought process (no matter how smart the child).

As a side note, even if the biological father is present, but he doesn’t act like an actual father (that is, as a masculine man exercising the office of fatherhood), it is like he isn’t even there at all.

And fathers are the first glimpse of God all children see.

The fact that this line alone is in bold makes it clear that this is the most important line in the whole post. So why bold it?

Numerous studies have shown that it is the father, not the mother, who has the greatest influence on a child’s faith. A devout father can lead his children to follow his faith, no matter the beliefs of the mother. Yet not amount of holiness by the mother can compensate for a father’s disbelief. The reason why is as Ace describes- in their father children see their first real glimpse of God. How so? A father- a true father who can act as such, acts much as God: he admonishes and disciplines when necessary, he provides strength and comfort in times of distress, he pushes for improvement as required, and he loves throughout.

A child’s relationship with his or (in this case) her father helps that child understand boundaries, to understand authority, to get a sense of what is right, and what is wrong. Nothing can replace this understanding.

Left little choice, you choose to sin.

An interesting line. choice in what? By itself this line is incomplete.

Just to get some attention.

Now the previous line makes sense. The young girl from before is feeling the effects of her father’s absence. Without realizing it, without understanding it, part of her- deep in her subconscious- needs a strong male presence in her life. Specifically, she needs the presence of a father. Only she cannot comprehend that. She can only understand that she wants male attention. And so she seeks it. She seeks it from other men, to get that attention and validation that she knows she wants, without understanding why. Without that firm foundation which can only be build over years by a strong and loving father, she will invariably seek that attention in a sinful fashion. Fornication cannot help but seem like love to her.

But boys are not the Almighty.

This line hints at two things, neither of which is mutually exclusive. And when you get down to it, they derive from the same point. Why “Almighty,” when the previous lines suggest that it is a father that the young woman (for she is no longer a girl at this point) seeks? Because she is also seeking God. For just as her need for a father’s presence was not met, so too her need for a sense of God’s presence in her life is not met. For as was indicated earlier, our ability to know God is in large part shaped by our father. To not know the former is to inhibit our connection to the latter.

The men she is sleeping around with cannot (and even if they could, likely would not) give her the love that she seeks. Eros is what her hormones tell her to seek, but it is Agape that her soul longs for- the true, lasting and selfless love of a father, both one of this world, and Eternal. Sadly, this is beyond her ken.

Thus, the emptiness still grows—

Eros without Agape is poison to the soul. We cannot fill ourselves solely with Eros, no matter how hard we try. Instead we simply feed into our hunger, demanding more and more. [Edit: Think of it like salt and water. Salt is good and necessary for our health, and adds much flavor to life. But too much salt, and not enough water, and we throw our electrolyte balance off. This can kill our body if not swiftly correct. Just as Eros can add flavor to our life, without Agape to keep us balanced we risk death, only of the eternal sort for it is our soul which is threatened.]

All the while the emptier and emptier we feel. For the young woman caught in this trap, there is seemingly no escape. She moves from man to man, and yet her need for that male presence only grows greater. She thirsts, and goes to the well, but cannot be satisfied. All because she is going to the wrong well, which she knows not.

regardless of how much they put in you.

The obvious inference here is what this double entendre suggests: the sexual act, which literally involves putting something in the young woman. However, it is more than just that. Some of the men might mean well or even be serious in their attentions/intentions. They might actually love the young woman. But that doesn’t matter- they cannot provide what she needs.

The years fall away and that little girl continues to struggle.

This is a trap from which the young woman cannot seem to escape [but I repeat myself]. Ironically, while she is no longer a little girl in body, in many ways her mind and emotional state never advanced beyond the tender years. How could they?

(Still wearing pigtails and patent-leather shoes.)

Once again, two meanings are present. As the previous line hinted at, the young woman is still mentally and emotionally a little girl. Her maturation process was incomplete, as a core ingredient was missing.

The other meaning hints at the sexualized lifestyle of the young woman, as well as her increasing age. In an effort to try and recapture her youth, and that sense of innocence from before, she tries to adopt a more youthful appearance. She wears clothing and hairstyles that make her seem younger, or otherwise bear some connection to her youth. On the one hand this ties into her sexuality, and a desire to keep it at its peak (even though that is only a brief window). On the other hand, this attempt to recapture her youth is a desperate attempt by the woman to try and repeat her childhood. To have a youth again where that strong man she desperately needs will be present this time.

To wrestle love from the unloving.

Yet another reminder that those men she associates with, those men she sleeps with and gives herself to, cannot give her what she wants needs. Nor can they be truly blamed in this [absence on her part], as it is not their place.

But it is not only men who she attempts to wrestle with. It is causes and movements. Anything and everything that gives even the faintest flicker of potential meaning and purpose. She longs for a place where she can belong. But causes and movements are cold. Unloving. They too cannot give her what she wants needs: a family as it was meant to be.

To punish herself until absolution arrives.

Self-loathing invariably becomes a part of this. The young woman is miserable, and no matter how much she may deny it to others, she knows it deep down inside. Her misery is something she knows is a result of having done something wrong, although she may not know what. Her sense of guilt, as ill-formed as it is, drives her to yet further misery. All in the hope that it will end someday. That she will finally have paid a heavy enough price for whatever it was that she did wrong. A wrong for which she was punished by not having a real father in her life.

Yet it never does.

Of course, she was not responsible for her father not being in her life. Her upbringing is not something she shares blame in. But this is something she never hears, or rather, never hears as she should. She might be told that it isn’t her fault. But that is meaningless or ultimately futile without being told whose fault it is, without understanding why things were wrong in the first place.

The humanist sacristy is empty.

A sacristy is a place where clergy prepare for services. So what does Ace mean by this line? He is trying to indicate that humanism has nothing, has no one, to actually carry out services in the first place. Its very nature is to leave people to fend for themselves, to suffer through life’s trials without solace or guide… or absolution.

The progressive wine is soured.

I take this to mean that much of the appeal of progressivism is gone now. It has sat at the same place for so long it has gone stale. No one wants to drink it, although they may feel compelled to do so. After all, it is a liturgical center-piece of the present-age “social gospel,” and so cannot simply be dispensed with.

And no one listens in the digital confessional…

We, all of us, seek absolution. We may not realize the need to repent and confess our sins, but we have it all the same. Sometimes (perhaps even most of the time), we rationalize away this impulse. We call it something else. But its essence remains the same- after all, a rose by any other name is still a rose.

Alas, the internet is no proper confessional. Ace says that no on listens, because to hear, and to listen, are two different things. To listen to something is to pay attention to it, to recognize its meaning and to try and understand what is being said, even as we hear it. But over the internet true listening is not possible. Only hearing. Too much is lost in the process of putting words onto digital ink, of spilling it across monitors the world over. There is something inhumanly mechanical about the internet which disconnects us, even as it helps bring us together like never before. Because of this, the internet can never replace the confession booth.

save the echo.

Interestingly enough, part of us still knows what we are saying, even if we cannot accept that truth. So ultimately a digital confession merely rebounds at us and amplifies the need we feel.

You were forgiven – and loved – long before you strayed.

This line applies both to the young woman’s earthly father, as well as her father in heaven. The theology involved should be pretty basic to most any Christian, and so I won’t go into too much depth. But it is worth pointing out that God knows we are going to stray, that we are going to sin, long before we ever do. His sacrifice at Calvary was not merely for what we have done, but for what we have yet to do. It is a sacrificial love that persists throughout the ages.

Underlying this is the call by both Daddy and our Father to return. To come home. To seek him/Him out and to try and create a proper relationship this time.

Oh, child, who told you that you were naked?

The end is always a good place to return to the beginning, to Genesis. Here Ace alludes to the Fall, to the eating of the Fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. Yes, I know, obvious. So why include it? To remind us that no one told Adam and Eve they were naked. They knew it themselves as a result of eating the Forbidden Fruit. Likewise, the young woman (or should I say women?) featured here was never told that she was on the wrong path. No one needed to tell her. The understanding that she is naked, that she is in a shameful place, is intrinsic to her nature. When we revolt against the natural law, we cannot help but recognize that a crime (of sorts) has taken place.

So what is the full context of what Ace is trying to say? Again, there are many layers here.

On one level Ace states that the absence of a strong father in a young woman’s life will almost invariably lead her towards a life of dissolution and sin. The absence of a strong masculine presence will ache within her akin to hunger pains, and she will gorge herself upon men (seeking masculinity) in order to try and sate that hunger. Sadly, such binge eating will never alleviate her need.

Ace is also explaining that the crisis of faith we are seeing now in Christianity is the product of the destruction of the institution or office of fatherhood. Without strong fathers in their lives many children cannot help but abandon the faith. Of course to them there is no abandonment; without a father they never really knew God in the first place.

He is also pointing out that the humanist and progressive institutions of our day cannot replace what they destroyed. They are, at best, base mockeries of something greater. Though they may mimic the form of Faith, they can never replicate the function. Just as realizing their nakedness was innate to Adam and Eve after taking the fruit, the desire to confess and be absolved of our sins is also innate within us. The present progressive paradigm, however, cannot meet that need, as it rejects its existence in the first place. You cannot heal a spiritual injury when you refuse to recognize there is an injury in the first place, or even anything spiritual.

I am sure there is more to it, but my time is limited and so I must cap my analysis here. Mayhaps Ace will fill in what I could not.

[Update: I fixed a number of typos and grammatical errors, plus added a few words and an example to the post. Hopefully it will be easier to read now. Sorry for any confusion or post ugliness- I hadn’t intended for this post to go public when it did.]

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Diagnosing Objectivity And Subjectivity

So it seems there has been some sort of skirmish in the ‘sphere lately involving “Roosh” and a number of folks over at the Red Pill Sub-Reddit. Personally, I don’t care much about this battle- I read neither, and so have no interest in getting involved- much less taking sides. Cail Corishev has an interesting analysis on the situation which some of my readers might find interesting, as it covers both the “schism” as well as provides some useful background info.

Apparently Rollo was involved in this matter to some degree, as he has written a post in response to what has been going on. What interests me about that post is not the commentary about Roosh, but rather about Rollo’s preference for an apolitical or neutral “Red Pill.” In this most recent post he quotes from one of his own posts a few weeks back, The Political is Personal:

It’s my opinion that red pill awareness needs to remain fundamentally apolitical, non-racial and non-religious because the moment the Red Pill is associated with any social or religious movement, you co-brand it with an ideology, and the validity of it will be written off along with any preconceptions associated with that specific ideology.

Furthermore, any co-branding will still be violently disowned by whatever ideology it’s paired with because the Feminine Imperative has already co-opted and trumps the fundaments of that ideology. The fundamental truth is that the manosphere, pro-masculine thought, Red Pill awareness or its issues are an entity of its own.

Now, if I am reading Rollo right what he is saying in that post and in his post recent post is that the “Red Pill” should remain a movement focused on an objective diagnosis of reality. That is, the “Red Pill” shouldn’t be about telling people (men primarily) how to live. That would be Prescription, as Rollo calls it. Rather, the Red Pill should be about telling people how the world, specifically human socio-sexual behavior, works (Description). Then they can decide for themselves how they want to live.

I agree with Rollo that any sort of Prescriptive approach to the Red Pill would be inherently subjective- it would necessarily intersect with ideology or religion. This naturally will divide people, as we are now seeing (and in fact have seen for a while now). However, I must respectfully disagree with Rollo that even if the Red Pill was only Descriptive that it could ever be truly objective. While there is certainly a strong appeal to this notion, as it allows us all something in common, I don’t think it is consistent with human behavior.

Human beings are inherently subjective creatures. Pure objectivity is not really possible for us, even when we are merely trying to describe things. That’s right, even if we merely leave off at simply describing what we see, our internal filters will have an effect on what we notice. And if we take it further to try and understand what phenomena are at work, that involves even more of our subjective understanding and belief. To paraphrase the TV show House: if a neurologist, a cardiologist and an oncologist all examine the same patient, they are all apt to give a different diagnosis. This is because their training and background makes them look for different things, to examine the same symptoms differently, and to connect facts together in a different manner. What might be remarkable to one would be overlooked by another.

Our subjective beliefs influence our perception, and this means two men watching the same behavior can come to two different conclusions about what is going on. Part of the reason why scientific studies and papers are supposed to be peer reviewed is to help screen out biases. This same principle applies to the Red Pill.

The solution, however, is not to reject any attempt to provide a description of what is going on around us. A subjective observation can still be a correct observation, after all. Rather, what human subjectivity should make clear is the necessity of a place where people can share their observations with another, as well as their conclusions about those observations. A vibrant community helps provide a greater pool of observations, as well as helps weed out bad data (inaccurate observations), which naturally will help lead towards more accurate conclusions as well.

And those conclusions are not necessarily prescriptive. As I think on it, I believe that we can distinguish between description and diagnosis. By separating them we can better understand the process of what is going on. And speaking of “what,” I think that word gets to the heart of three different steps involved in this whole process:

  • Description- What I just observed
  • Diagnosis- What I think that observation means
  • Prescription- What I think should be done about it

Again, I don’t think that you can make any one of these steps objective. Human nature precludes this. But I do think that wide-scale collaboration can overcome the negative aspects of subjectivity, at least in the area of Diagnosis. Diagnosis is really about creating effective models or theories of human behavior. Then using those theories or models to predict future behavior. If a model fails repeatedly to predict behavior accurately, then it either needs to be refined or discarded. The collaborative nature of the ‘sphere allows for this kind of testing on wider scale than any individual could hope to achieve themselves. In many ways this is what PUAs have been doing from the very beginning.

My LAMPS/PSALM model is an example of one of my efforts to diagnose female behavior. That model tries to explain what it is that drives female arousal/sexual attraction. By understanding the bounds set in place by that model, a man can focus his self-improvement in areas which will provide direct and positive effects on his overall sexual attractiveness to women. What is great about the ‘sphere is that men can learn about that model and test it out for themselves to determine its accuracy. So far I think it has been a fairly successful model. Not perfect, by any means, but it has held up well.

I can understand Rollo’s concern with the Description and Diagnosis process being caught up in an ideological or religious battle. However, I think that the damage can be mitigated to a large degree by keeping that community large and open. But even if there was Balkanization, or some faction or another dominated the movement, that wouldn’t be the end of the world. After all, whoever is left will still need to provide effective and accurate models/theories. If they don’t, then those who are looking for an explanation of the world around them will go somewhere else. After all, the rise of the Red Pill is attributable in large part to the fact that general society’s own models and theories are lacking. I think that those who would find a model or theory invalid because of its “taint” are probably not likely to accept the model in the first place- after all, their minds are not yet freed (to continue the Matrix analogy). [As a side-note, a model should be judged on its efficacy, not its source. To disregard it because of who created it would be a mistake- for anyone.]

If Rollo wishes to focus on Description and Diagnosis, then by all means he should do so. Nor should anyone fault him for focusing only on them. They are still vital areas which should not be ignored. While there is a lot of Description out there, new Diagnosis is always welcome. It would be the height of presumption to think that “the science is settled” and that no new models or theories should be developed to help explain or understand human behavior.

As for myself, my blog initially focused mostly on Diagnosis. Over time I became more and more focused on Prescription. I suspect that the latter will continue to be my dominant focus in the near future. But don’t be surprised to see me direct my attention back to Diagnosis from time to time.

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Selected Sunday Scriptures- #76

Today is Pentecost Sunday, a fact which has influenced my choice of the first passage of Scripture to examine in today’s post. Here we have the story of Babel from the Book of Genesis:

Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

(Genesis 11:1-9)

What interests me about this passage is not the confusion God creates, or even why, but the effect of its absence. In particular I am interested in this: “this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” Looking at this, I wonder if God’s motivation here is to humble humanity. By limiting what we can achieve, and what we think we can do, He becomes that much more obviously necessary for us. However, when we can achieve nearly anything ourselves as human beings… what need have we of God?

Our abundance of power is, in my opinion, a major reason for the troubles of the present age. We have overcome the limitations of language and distance through the power of technology. At the same time we have achieved unequaled power over the natural world. And even as this has happened, we have pushed God further and further out of our lives. This is no accident. We lack humility in the modern age; instead we believe that nothing is impossible for us to achieve on our own.

It seems to me that the solution to this particular trouble isn’t to abandon technology, but to embrace humility. Simply discarding technology is no sure path to living a more humble life. It may help, but it is not and can never be a guarantee.

And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for

“God opposes the proud,
    but gives grace to the humble.”

(1 Peter 5:5)

Since we are on the subject of humility, this passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians seems appropriate:

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:3-11)

This passage serves not only to highlight both the extent and necessity of humility, but also shows as false modernist notions of equality. As Christians we know that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord- we all are equal inheritors of the Kingdom. But equality as the world understands it is an entirely different thing altogether. And it is incompatible with our Faith. If Christ Jesus, who is God, did not seek equality then why do we? If He saw it as nothing something to be grasped, why do we do otherwise? Surely we don’t think we are wiser than He. The real reason is obvious enough: we are not chasing after Him, but after the world.

How easy we forget the words of our Lord and Savior:

And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

(Mark 9:35)

Because He served more than anyone else, because He lowered Himself more than anyone else, because He placed everyone else ahead of Him, He was exalted above all others. In a world which values Equality and “empowerment,” and denigrates service and authority, let us endeavor to keep our priorities straight and keep God, not the world, foremost in our thoughts and heart.

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Saturday Saints- #69

O is the letter for today’s Saint. This gives us our saint, Saint Opportuna of Montreuil:

Saint Opportuna of Montreuil (died 770) was a French Benedictine nun and abbess. A Vita et miracula Sanctae Opportunae was written within a century of her death (ca 885-88) by St. Adalhelm (later rendered Adelin), bishop of Séez, who believed he owed his life and his see to Opportuna.

More can be learned about her at her wiki, found here.

St. Opportuna

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Yet Another Domino…

…hits the floor.

As the article makes clear, you cannot win as a Christian who professes orthodox beliefs. Compliance with their sundry demands is not enough. It will not, it cannot, be enough that you don’t act on your beliefs. You won’t be aren’t allowed to voice them either. And very soon (already?) you will be forced to voice beliefs that are not your own. Followed not long after by being forced to act consistent with their beliefs.

You know who they are.

And you know who their father is.

[This is a follow-up to my post here.]

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Filed under Christianity, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation, The Church