Category Archives: Christianity

The Burden Of Iniquities

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Who has believed what we have heard?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
    a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,
    and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him;
    he has put him to grief;
when he makes himself an offering for sin,
    he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand;
11     he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous;
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out his soul to death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

(Isaiah 53)

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Filed under Christianity, God, The Church

Market Analysis: A Lack Of Confidence

My Market Analysis series continues. Today I want to examine, to some degree, a point I made in Market Watch:

Young men are much less interested in marriage than they were in the past. Having a few more years under my belt since I started blogging, I have seen this more and more. Younger men are just less interested in marriage. The why of this is worthy of a whole post of its own.

I have been thinking over this point for some time, because I knew something was going on, but wasn’t sure what. I am still not certain I have it nailed down, but I will try and address it all the same. [Perhaps this discussion will help fix that.]

While I was thinking this over, it appears that Seriously Please Drop It was on the same wavelength as me. His recent post, Our Fates Are Bound- And Some Good News covered much of what I intended to discuss. So I will quote a great deal from his post. I will start with his second point, because it ties directly to my original observation:

To put it another way: young men have generally ceased to believe what Concept 1 says it is very important that they believe: that they stand a reasonable chance of marrying well.  In response, they work less hard to be eligible husbands.

The standard conservative response has been: No problem, we’ll just lie to them.  Or yell at them.  And that actually worked for a surprisingly long time, but as Dalrock details, that train is running out of steam.

I believe that young men are much less inclined to marry these days in large part because they cannot marry well. Simple cost-benefit analysis, really. The stock isn’t worth the price, and so they won’t play the market, if you will.

Furthermore, I believe this is most pronounced among young men who are devout Christians. Now, among the general population there isn’t a marriage strike going on. [n fact a secular acquaintance of mine got married to his long time GF recently. So secular guys still are interested in marrying.] All the same, I think a drop off is happening. However, it is happening the most among the most devout men.

The reason for this? Well, I don’t think it is just one reason.  I suspect a couple are at play. Some possibilities:

  • Devout Christian men are much more “picky” when it comes to a mate. They are screening for a variety of personality and character traits that are in short supply. If they are convinced that such options aren’t available, they may just give up and opt out of the market.
  • Devout Christian men are presumably more likely to take marriage and marriage vows more seriously.  Looking around, they can see that few do. With that kind of observation comes a natural disinclination to take part in something they perceive as likely to end poorly.
  • Female behavior has become increasingly more egregious. Devout Christian men are the most likely to notice this, and to use this to come to a general determination that women simply aren’t worth it these days.

I am sure there are others, and I invite my readers to supply their own thoughts.

Taken together, all of these are indicators that young men are not confident with the market. They see volatility and watered stocks everywhere. In such circumstances, it makes sense to not want to play the market at all. Which brings us to the next point:

Concept 1:  Marriage requires pre-marital cooperation, and therefore intersexual societal trust

Good grooms and brides do not simply appear from the ether.  Eligibility requires work and self-denial from both sexes, for many years before marriage.

Much of the motivation for this work and self-denial comes from the carrot of marriage.  But for this to work, young people must believe that somewhere in the world, their opposite number is doing the same thing.

The Market relies on both men and women to act appropriately. If one sex misbehaves, then the whole market will start to fall apart. Cooperation is key. As a lawyer once explained to me: “the most basic underlying assumption of contract law is that everyone is operating under good faith. If you take away good faith, you don’t have a contract.” What we have right now is a system where at least one side is perceived as acting in bad faith (if not actually doing so in large part).

Dropit sort of sums everything up in this:

What we are hitting upon here is the importance of morale.  We could aptly describe current failures in the marriage market as a cyclical “Morale Crisis.”  We should start talking about this!

He uses the word morale, and it works. Morale is certainly low. However, I think the underlying basis for that low morale is a lack of confidence or trust in the market. People are convinced that the players in the market are not acting in good faith. Let’s examine in further detail this tidy little bit of wisdom:

“Why prepare for marriage? Guys will always be available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no girls available”

leads to

“Why prepare for marriage?  There are no guys available.”

Examining it in detail, you can see where bad faith leads us towards. Point 1 is all about women acting in bad faith. The realization of this leads men to stop bothering becoming marriageable, because it is clear to them that women aren’t to be trusted. In turn this leads those women who don’t engage in Point 1 thinking to be convinced that men aren’t serious about marriage, and they in turn throw their hands in the air. It is a vicious cycle with no end-point but an utter lack of trust in the opposite sex and in the institution of marriage.

My attempt at a brief summation: Young men, especially devout Christian men, are not inclined towards marriage because they have come to believe they cannot trust their female counterparts. In turn many of the remaining decent women are also coming to believe they cannot trust the men, either. We cannot begin to fix the marriage market, especially among devout Christians, until we fix the trust issues that exist between men and women.

I am going to hold off on further commentary for the moment. In the meantime I hope my readers will chime in and offer their thoughts.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Courtship, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Red Pill

Tuesday Tips- #5 Reject It Unless You Would Have Created It Yourself

Reader MK provides us today with another guest post. As always, these opinions don’t necessarily represent my own.

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This tip seems a tad antisocial, but it’s precisely the opposite.

I recommend critically examining every cultural event then ask: “Would I have created this myself? If the answer is no, just walk away. Life is too short.

In this light, here’s some events I (and now my family) gratefully sidestep:

Proms

Valentine’s Day (modern version)

TV parties (e.g. sports, movies)

Birthdays

Birthday/Christmas cards

Secular holidays

Secular anniversaries

Expensive, garish weddings

Expensive recreation

Non-active, non-local vacations (rare exceptions)

I feel deep discomfort watching men chase the modern rat race. They rush to the florist, obligated to support a fem-centric commercial “holiday”. Or even worse, an unsung anniversary. How many men would create these customs on their own? Very few, methinks. Yet they participate like a chained bear at the circus. Tragic, to my mind.

What’s even more sad? Everyone therefore lacks the time to celebrate life. Most who have families work endless hours. For what? To buy throwaway things. To fund an irresponsible wife. Maybe to impress their fellow bipeds? Or so they can gallop through Disneyland or Paris only to return more stressed out than before? Meanwhile real life (that is meaningful, healthy, exciting life, to be lived deliberately) passes them by. Until the divorce. Or heart attack.

Personally, I like the term “converged” to describe modern holidays (which ironically used to be called “Holy Days”). Indeed, all of the events and activities on the above list are fully converged into the commercial culture. The marketable expectations are there and they can’t easily be extracted.

I’ve long held this “sidestep” viewpoint, even as a kid. I skipped prom without regret. That just whetted my appetite: I haven’t bought flowers or candy for a woman on her birthday or on V-day ever. Not even Skittles. It certainly hasn’t hurt my romantic life, either.

I don’t celebrate birthdays at all, and have no regrets. Heck, with a family of my size birthdays would a monthly event anyway. I’ll pass. What a modern, self-absorbed invention birthday celebrations are, anyway; egomania, greed, and gluttony are now being taught to kids from the earliest age. Sad.

So what do I do instead with my saved time? Religious feast days, for one. The RC liturgical cycle (e.g. Easter, Lent, Christmas, etc.) is how celebrations are done for real. This is the way my ancestors did it, and they definitely had perfected things. The dozen or so Holy Days are carefully timed to the seasons, balancing both fasting and feasting. This way, one can stay in shape, remain healthy, and yet celebrate with abandon. And it’s plenty sufficient; about a dozen celebrations a year is enough! We do massive feasts, with rich, real, expensive, wholesome foods: delicious fruits, nuts, fish, muffins, pies, cakes, cream, meats, and cheese (we skip processed sugar, junk, and commercial crap).

Look: there is simply not enough time to engage in the tomfoolery of the American holiday rat race yet still live an active, happy life. It can’t be done. So I advise men to Just Say No and cheerfully reject anything they wouldn’t have created on their own. This culture has turned men into a slaves supporting the fem-centric beast; why play this dirty game? Do only what makes sense for you and yours.

And start living!

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Filed under Christianity, Civilization, Red Pill

Splitting Eros Leads To Disaster

One of Dalrock’s recent posts examines the consequences of the elevation of romantic love to a moral force:

The simple fact is the moment you attribute moral value to romantic love you are creating a rival to biblical sexual morality.  In biblical sexual morality it is marriage that creates a moral space for sex and romantic love (with romantic love not separated from sexual passion).  We have overturned God’s order here, and are now claiming that romantic love is the moral space for marriage and sex.  This is deceptively subtle, and at the same time demolishes the moral meaning of marriage.

Passionless duty sex was for marriage, and passion was for adultery.  Courtly love built upon this idea with a twist.  It added a new concept of romantic love, separating out the emotional aspect of sexual passion.  This newly separated concept of romantic love was worshiped and seen as sanctifying.  CS Lewis summed up the concept of courtly love as (emphasis mine):

“The sentiment, of course, is love, but love of a highly specialized sort, whose characteristics may be enumerated as Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love.”

What Dalrock is examining here is a situation where Eros has been split in two. As a reminder/refresher, the ancient Greeks believed in several different concepts of  “love.” The three principal loves were:

  • Eros- sensual love associated with the body
  • Philos- love in the form of friendship that is associated with the soul
  • Agapos- the self-sacrificing love that comes from God and is thus associated with the Spirit

Now, Eros is a bodily love. However, emotions are as much of the body as the actual “rubbing together of bodyparts.” Which is my way of saying that Eros properly contains both Romance as well as the actual physical acts of intercourse. Passion and Romance go hand in hand, if you will. Dalrock is making a mistake by calling it “Romantic love.” It is really just the emotional aspect of the love we know as Eros. It is not something separate.

What has unfortunately been going on for centuries now is an attempt to split Eros up into a “dirty” part, sex, and a “pure” part, “romance.” However, no matter how many games you play with this, it cannot be done. Eros encompasses both. Any attempt to separate the two is inherently insane. We should expect that craziness will follow from it. Thus, to me it is no surprise that efforts to separate Eros have helped “break” marriage in the west. We have gone against God’s plan for human beings- disaster is to be expected.

God created Man as a union of body, soul and spirit. Marriage, as an institution/sacrament coming from God, relies on a healthy state of that union. If they are unhealthy, or there is discord, then marriage will suffer accordingly. Marriage encompasses each of these loves, because marriage affects and is affected by all parts of that union. Trying to remove the physical component of Eros from marriage effectively breaks that unity and creates disorder in that man or woman- and thereby brings disorder into the marriage. It affects both husband and wife because in marriage the two become one.

Remember, Man was made for marriage. And by marriage I mean what God intends by marriage. Trying to fit man into anything other than what God intended is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work. Alas, we are seeing the proof of that all around us in the West right now.

Update: I should make it clear that the mistake that I think Dalrock was mistaking was calling it “Romantic Love.” I don’t think he failed to grasp the other parts of my post. One of his older posts in fact notes that courtly love is always sexual.

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Filed under Attraction, Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Desire, Marriage, Moral Agency, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sexual Strategies, Sin, State of Nature, Temptation, The Church

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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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Marriage, Parenting, The Church, Tradition

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all my American readers have a Happy Thanksgiving.

I give thee thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing thy praise;
I bow down toward thy holy temple
    and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness;
for thou hast exalted above everything
    thy name and thy word.
On the day I called, thou didst answer me,
    my strength of soul thou didst increase.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of thy mouth;
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    thou dost preserve my life;
thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and thy right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    thy steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.
    Do not forsake the work of thy hands.

(Psalm 138)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord is God!
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him, bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures for ever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 100)

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In Service Of The Truth

This post is not so much a continuation of my last post but rather a further exploration of the nexus of Truth and the differences between men and women. I want to start it with a small story:

Some time ago I was eating at a restaurant and overheard a couple of women speaking about their religious views. I wasn’t eavesdropping, they were just that loud (I am sure my readers know the type). One of them explained that she was Catholic, and had been for a number of years. When she was quizzed on that by the other woman, the first one explained that she was familiar with other Christian sects. In fact she had “tried” several out. And what she had found was that she enjoyed the Catholic liturgy (the new Roman one, anyways) the best.

As if anticipating something the second woman might say, she went on. She said that she “knew” that other people could find God their own way. It was just that, for her, the Catholic liturgy was the best way to “experience God.”

What fascinated me was that there was absolutely no mention during this conversation of the word “Truth.” It never came up, not even once. It was all about “the experience.” In other words, how a particular liturgical experience made either woman feel.

Thinking it over, I wondered if that was the primary motivator in a woman’s religious preference- the desire for something that felt good or right. Based on my own observations, I am inclined to think that many, if not most women, operate this way. Mind you, I know that not all do- I personally know women whose religious conviction was based on a quest for Truth, and not simply feels. Yet I am fairly certain they are the minority.

At the same time I wonder about men. I am sure that some men operate this way too. But I am not convinced that as many men do it as women. I think that men are more likely to base their religious preference based on what they view as True, and not merely something that will make them feel good.

[Incidentally, given the overall greater number of women in Church, I wonder if the percentage of overall truth seekers might be closer than it appears.]

All the same, I am curious what my reader’s thoughts are on the matter. So feel free to contribute your thoughts on the matter. Tell me where I am right… or wrong.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Men, Red Pill, The Church, Women