Monthly Archives: January 2017

Selected Sunday Scriptures- #124

Two passages for today’s post. The first is a section of St. Paul’s second epistle to the Thessalonians, which I propose to contain many valuable lessons:

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you. It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. 12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living. 13 Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.

14 If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

(2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)

Here is a quick list I have made of the important lessons which St. Paul teaches here:

  • Avoid those “Christians” who are idle, that is, given over to sloth.
  • Avoid those professed Christians who are living in a way which goes against Apostolic tradition.
  • St. Paul and his companions may have worked for their upkeep, but they had the right to expect their fellow brethren in Christ to support them.
  • Those who refuse to work should not eat- that is, be given food by the community.
  • Christians should not grow weary, presumably in the soul, of hard work.
  • Have nothing to do with fellow Christians who disobey the teaching of the Apostles. This will shame them and hopefully convince them to turn aside from their sin.
  • Those who have fallen away are not our enemies, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Instead they are wayward brothers who should be warned about the perils of sin out of love.

As for this next passage, it was motivated by Dalrock’s long running series of weak men- many of whom seem to be screwing feminism up. This passage indeed features a weak man- Herod:

14 King Herod heard of it; for Jesus’ name had become known. Some[c] said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.” 15 But others said, “It is Eli′jah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” 16 But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” 17 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero′di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. 18 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 And Hero′di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. 21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. 22 For when Hero′di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

(Mark 6:14-29)

Is it just me, or does this passage make Herod seem, well, kinda pathetic? He fears John, and yet it is only when a woman effectively blackmails him that he finally puts the prophet to death. Not to mention the fact that a pretty girl dancing (plus presumably a fair amount of drink) would compel the man to make that rash of a vow. And to make it even worse, Herod knew John was righteous and still was so full of pride as to keep on with his (initially) half a—d measures.

 

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Saturday Saints- #122

The letter “O” makes its triumphant return today. Thus, our saint is none other than Saint Oliver Plunkett:

Oliver Plunkett (also spelt Oliver Plunket) (Irish: Oilibhéar Pluincéid), (1 November 1625 – 1 July 1681) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was the last victim of the Popish Plot. He was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, thus becoming the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years.

A few snippets from the Wikipedia article on him:

On the enactment of the Test Act in 1673, to which Plunkett would not agree for doctrinal reasons, the college was closed and demolished. Plunkett went into hiding, travelling only in disguise, and refused a government edict to register at a seaport to await passage into exile. For the next few years he was largely left in peace since the Dublin government, except when put under pressure from the English government in London, preferred to leave the Catholic bishops alone.

In 1678 the so-called Popish Plot, concocted in England by clergyman Titus Oates, led to further anti-Roman Catholic action. Archbishop Peter Talbot of Dublin was arrested, and Plunkett again went into hiding. The Privy Council in London was told that Plunkett had plotted a French invasion. The moving spirit behind the campaign is said to have been Arthur Capell, the first Earl of Essex, who had been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and hoped to resume the office by discrediting the Duke of Ormonde. However Essex was not a ruthless or unprincipled man and his later plea for mercy suggests that he had never intended that Plunkett should actually die.

You can find much more about this martyr at the link above.

oliver_plunket_by_edward_luttrell

 

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Masculine Monday- Sympathy And Understanding

[Men only]

One of the hurdles that men face today in navigating the Marriage Marketplace is the widespread ignorance of most people where the MMP is concerned. For a variety of reasons most of the people that a man interacts with don’t have a clue how the MMP really works. This applies as much to married men as to men seeking to marry. Most people just don’t get it.

Which drives me to the subject of this post- men shouldn’t expect much in the way of understanding from those around them re: the MMP. In fact, the only ones who might understand are men in the same position (or who recently occupied it). I don’t know about most of my readers, but I find this to be a terribly frustrating matter. On more than one occasion I have been asked why I’m not married yet. And no matter how much or well I explain it, I can see in people’s eyes that they don’t understand. I find this quite isolating at times- it creates a climate of being cut off and without aid.

Now, at this point I should mention that one of Rollo‘s little “laws” is that women are ultimately incapable of understanding the male experience. In this area I agree- the disconnect in experience and thought patterns means that women just can’t “get” what it is like to be a man. My advice is to not even try to go into detailed explanations with women when it comes to this field. You will be wasting your time.

At the same time, while understanding isn’t possible from women, and from most men too (they are too bound up in their “Blue Pill” worldview), sympathy is still possible. Even those who don’t understand why your life is the way it is can still be sympathetic. Personally speaking, I don’t find that nearly as much of a relief as understanding. But it is something, at least. So if you do find those who are sympathetic, appreciate that sympathy for what it is- the best connection you can hope to make with most people you encounter, even the good ones.

I write all of this to perhaps save some man out there the frustration that comes from trying to explain to someone what they cannot hope to understand. Accept that you will never impart that understanding, and the connection that comes with it. Take what sympathy that you can get, and keep moving forward. Such is the burden of being a man in this day and age.

 

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Saturday Saints- #121

It has been a while since I wrote a post in this series, so it seems only appropriate that I bring it back. We left off with the letter “M”, which means that today’s letter is “N.” Thus, our saint for today is Saint Naum:

Saint Naum (Bulgarian and Macedonian: Свети Наум, Sveti Naum), also known as Naum of Ohrid or Naum of Preslav (c. 830 – December 23, 910) was a medieval Bulgarian writer, enlightener, one of the seven Apostles of the First Bulgarian Empire and missionary among the Slavs. He was among the disciples of Saints Cyril and Methodius and is associated with the creation of the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. Naum was among the founders of the Pliska Literary School and is venerated as a saint in the Orthodox Church.

More can be found out about his life at his wiki, located here.

saintnaum

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New Year, Same Rules

Since it has been some time since I’ve covered comment rules, I will take this opportunity to go over them again. As a general matter I tend to be fairly liberal in what I allow said, and by whom. However, certain things are prohibited, and will get you banned (or dumped in the spam filter without ever having a chance to get your comment visible). They are, in no uncertain order:

  1. Obscenity or excess profanity. The latter is sometimes appropriate, but most of the time is unnecessary. Keep it clean, or keep it elsewhere.
  2. Link dumping to your own blog. If you have your own blog, that is great. Feel free to link it on occasion,  or when you have a post worth reading. But linking to your homepage every comment is irksome and will get you banned.
  3. A lack of civility. One can challenge the ideas of another while still keeping it civil. If anything, this is easier with the internet, because you don’t have the other person right in front of you getting in your face. Take the time to be respectful, even if you think the other person doesn’t deserve it.
  4. Sock Puppets. Just don’t do it. Use one ID, and keep at it. If you need to switch, e-mail me to let me know. You can find my e-mail in the About page.
  5. Linking to harmful or obscene websites. Nothing more need be said.
  6. Lying about what I or other commenters have said. Feel free to critique myself or the other readers all you want. Just don’t misrepresent what folks are actually saying. This is a pet peeve of mine, and will get you banned.
  7. Extreme or excessive off-topic comments. Posts are meant to discuss specific topics, and just those topics. If you want to talk about something else, use another blog (such as your own), or petition for a post on that/those subject(s).

Those are just a few of the rules. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you have any questions about them feel free to ask in this post, or reach me via -email.

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The Necessity Of Suffering

I have been meaning to write a follow-up to Ace’s post “To feel the pain that spurs you on” “To feel the pain that spurs you on” for over a week now, but various matters intruded and kept me from it. It intrigued me for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that it explores critical difference in how men and women think- a pet issue of mine.

His post is in many respects a follow up to one he wrote almost a year ago- “That’s why I cut you just to heal you.” That post is one I also responded to, with The Misery Of Too Much Comfort. So in a way, this post is a double follow-up, in that it addresses posts both old and new.

In my old post I offered a theory as to why women these days are so quick to go out and do things that will make them suffer:

Women expect suffering in their life- it is the natural thing. [Think about the vast majority of human history- filled with suffering for pretty much everyone.] When women are too comfortable, when suffering is absent from their life, then it sends a message to their unconscious mind that something is wrong, that what they are living is an unnatural life. That message of unnaturalness will only be repeated over the years as they grow up. They will know, somewhere deep down inside, that something is wrong. Unfortunately, because this is unconscious, they won’t know what it is, exactly, that is wrong.

This will, naturally enough, lead them to feel miserable. The misery is only made worse because they won’t understand it. It will gnaw on their mind incessantly, like an itch you can’t quite reach.

I suspect that part of the reason that women act so crazy in the west today is because of this. Using that itch analogy I just mentioned- women act crazy because they are trying to scratch that itch. Only they don’t quite know how- so they do so in extreme ways. Again, deep down inside they know they should be suffering, so they go out and make themselves suffer (without every truly understanding that is what they are doing).

Ace, in his own far more concise way, offers an alternate explanation:

[W]omen use suffering (subconsciously, at least) to demonstrate resilience.

In fact, more often than not, women’s complaints are (at heart) actually backhanded boasts of how much suffering they can take.

Now, as interesting as these theories are, they aren’t the key matter I want to examine in this post. Instead, I was fascinated by this (in hindsight obvious) point Ace made:

In fairy tales, the most desirable/marriageable women

had terrible & harsh lives [“childhoods”].

This is not a coincidence but a lesson.

This got me thinking about the role that suffering plays in the rearing/raising of children. More specifically, the different roles that it plays for men and women.

You see, I think that enduring a certain amount of suffering is necessary for the healthy growth and maturity of both men and women. However, the way that the suffering should be experienced/handled is different between them.

For men, suffering should be a tool that is used to strengthen them. They should be exposed to trials and challenges and then forced to overcome those challenges. In that overcoming of obstacles they will be forced to break down the old self, the boy, and build up a new self- the man. This process is repeated over and over as a boy grows up into a man. If successful, he comes out as a strong, tested and confident man who can tackles whatever life throws his way.

For women, on the other hand, suffering is a tool that is used to remove weaknesses and flaws. While that might seem similar to what men undergo, it isn’t. They aren’t put through trials and challenges in the same way. The reason why is simple- the goal isn’t to break the girl down and then build her up as a woman. Instead, the goal is to raise her right from the beginning, and over time to wear down any and all negative traits.

Let me try to explain this further with an agricultural analogy-

For both men and women you have a field that represents them and their character. In the beginning it is sown with wheat. As they get older, however, weeds creep up throughout the field. The wheat represents ideal traits, the weeds negative traits.

For women, the way to deal with this problem is to get on your hands and knees and pull up those weeds. Start in one corner and work your way throughout the field. It will likely be necessary to double-back at some point to deal with any new weeds that sprouted in already cleared parts of the field. As a result, this is a long, continuous process that won’t end for a long, long time (until the woman is that wizened grandmother).

For men, the way to deal with this problem is to cordon off parts of the field. Then, once it is in sections, turn to the first one. Tear everything up. Leave that section as a bare field. Then plant and sow new seed. Water it. Let it grow. Remove any weeds that start to sprout. Then move to the next section, and repeat the process. Do this section by section until the whole field has been attended to.

Tying all of this back to the title of the post, I am arguing here (as I have in the past) that suffering is necessary for healthy character development of both men and women. However, the way that suffering should play out is very between between the two sexes. One of the many problems with our present age is that we have forgotten this, and all too often children are raised alike, irrespective of whether they are boys and girls. And of course, all too often their lives contain far too much comfort, and far too little suffering.

This theory has been bouncing around in my head for almost two weeks now, and I am curious what my readers think about it. Please leave your own thoughts in the comments below. Tell me where I am right, where I am wrong, and where else you think all of this can go.

 

 

 

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You Reap What You Don’t Sow

[Alternate title: Shaking Yourself Apart]

So I caught this in the news recently: One of the Shakers’ last three members died Monday. The storied sect is verging on extinction. An excerpt:

One of the last three remaining members of the dwindling Shaker sect died Monday.

Sister Frances Carr died at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, “after a brief battle with cancer,” according to a statement on the community’s website.

It continued, “The end came swiftly and with dignity surrounded by the community and her nieces.” Carr was 89.

Carr was a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearance, a Christian group formed in 1747 in Manchester, England. They earned the name the Shakers when critics began calling them “Shaking Quakers” because of “their ecstatic and violent bodily agitation in worship,” according to Sabbathday Lake’s website. The Shakers eventually abandoned this particular dancing-style worship, but the congregation adopted the term, according to the Associated Press.

I remember reading about this particular sect years ago. I am not at all surprised the group is nearly extinct. Here are some of their core beliefs:

The Shakers practice celibacy, in addition to pacifism, equality of the sexes and communal ownership of property.

Their extinction is sort of a given considering their beliefs. Of course, the surviving members think otherwise, but hey, why wouldn’t they? Another point from the article:

Although it may sound like an old-fashioned religious sect by today’s standards, at one time the Shakers were considered progressive. As PBS noted, “Seventy-five years before the emancipation of the slaves and 150 years before women began voting in America, the Shakers were practicing social, sexual, economic, and spiritual equality for all members.”

We can see in the Shakers the end result of “Progressive Christianity” – extinction. This group just happened to (almost) get there a lot faster given their embrace of total celibacy. Other sects will come to the same fate as well, as sooner or later their deviancy will catch up with them.

 

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