Category Archives: The Church

He Is Risen!

Christ is Risen from the dead! By dying he trampled death, and to those in the tombs he granted life!

St. John Chrysostom’s Homily on Pascha (Easter), or the Hieratikon, is always a great read on this most holy of days:

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; if any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast! And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too. And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first. To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor. The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden! Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of Our Saviour has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, “You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive. Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

   To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

These words by King David also are fitting on a day such as this:

The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein;
for he has founded it upon the seas,
    and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false,
    and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord,
    and vindication from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
    and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory!

(Psalm 24)

 

A wonderful and blessed Easter and Paschal season to all my readers.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Selected Sunday Scriptures, The Church, Tradition

Different Room, Same Building

[Or otherwise called “Different Faith Tradition, But Same Culture”]

Reader and Commenter Patrick recently left a link to a Catholic blog which goes by the name Traditional Catholic Femininity. The link was for a post titled “Shortage of Marriageable Prospects Among Traditional Catholics.”

To warn everyone, it is a long post. Too long even to even just cut quote from. So I will make an effort to summarize it, if only poorly. All the same, it would be best to read the whole thing. Here is my attempt at a TLDR version:

First off, we have the quotes from another post that are the foundation-

  • Too many Catholic women cannot marry, or at least marry well, because there is a real shortage of good, marriageable Catholic men.
  • This shortage is because Catholic men think they are ready but are not, and need to seriously up their game.

At this point the proprietress of the blog chimes in, and offers the following:

  1. The solution to the problem is for Catholic women to marry older men, preferably 10-15 years older and at least 35.
  2. Because women mature faster than men women will find men their age to be immature, so to find mature men they need to look at older men.
  3.  All of this means that men are just not ready to be married before their 30s in any way.
  4. If you marry an older men he will love you more for it, and be less likely to cheat/abandon you, etc.
  5. Men choose mates based on youth and beauty, and women chose mates based on the physical and material security he can provide.
  6. This dynamic is proven to work! Look at Joseph and Mary! And see what happened with Adam and Eve!
  7. Don’t marry a man just because he is hot, marry because he is able to provide, otherwise don’t marry at all
  8. Younger men need to work hard, build themselves up, become leaders, etc.
  9.  If you are a younger man and you think you are ready for marriage, you are fooling yourself. You just want a housekeeper you can have sex with.
  10.  Only a handful of men who are young are there. Most of the rest of you are losers. Fix yourselves up.
  11.  If you are concerned about sexual sin, that just means you are weak and lack self discipline. Learn to control yourself. If you can’t then you are just basically a sexual predator.
  12. Oh, and women are attracted to a disciplined and self-controlled man.

That is gist of it.

So what do I think of the post? Well, I think that Elspeth, in her comment to that post, said it well: “This whole screed is filled with bad logic and inconsistencies.”

It is bad. Really, really bad. I mean, where to begin?

You have the standard men bad, women good trope. It disguises itself somewhat by saying it is merely about younger men being immature, but really, it is

You have a misunderstanding about the maturation rates of women and men. The author seems to think it simply means men are slow- rather than understanding it means that men can continue to mature past where women do.

You have a misunderstanding about what women find attractive in men, in a bad way. All of the focus on “Beta traits”, while completely ignoring or down-playing the “Alpha” or Attractive traits.

You have a misunderstanding of both Mary and Joseph’s marriage, as well as Adam and Eve’s.

The author takes time to repeatedly trash younger men. I don’t know about my readers, but I sensed real disdain here. Like visceral disdain.

Oh, and of course a complete misunderstanding of, and a downplaying of, male sexuality.

And did I mention that none of this is founded in Scripture or the writings of the Fathers of the Church or Saints?

So yeah, bad.

Mind you, the advice for women to marry older men is well-intentioned, so there is that. Unfortunately, few will actually listen to this advice, so it doesn’t accomplish much. Instead this post, rather than coming across as advice to women, seems much more like an exercise in bashing men.

And that is where the post’s title comes from. Not that there was ever any doubt, but Catholics, even Big T “Traditional” ones, still swim in the same culture as other Christian faith traditions. And that culture carries with it some of the things I mentioned above. The particular expression might vary, but the ingredients are the same, if you will.

Of course, my readers might have their own thoughts on the subject. I encourage them to off their ideas in the comments below.

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Filed under APE, Attraction, Christianity, Courtship, LAMPS, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Men, Red Pill, Sexual Strategies, The Church, Tradition, Women

The Knowledge Base Spreads

A long time reader and commenter has clued me in to a series on the Orthodox Blog “Russian Faith” concerning attracting a spouse. The first post in the series is “How to Attract a Christian Spouse-Marriage Advice from a Christian Dad.” The author cites my LAMPS/PSALM model favorably at one point, although he adds on a final S to include Spirituality. I think I will respond to that point sometime later, as it is good to understand what my model is, and what my model isn’t.

He then wrote a follow up post, title Attractiveness: Beauty is Not Just On the Inside. It is very Un-PC in all of the right ways. A snippet from it:

A woman’s physical attractiveness is the most immediate and pressing point of interest to most men. Morally and spiritually, this can be quite dangerous — we all know very attractive women whose spiritual lives are a mess — but attractiveness itself is central to attraction by most men (whether godly or not).

A young lady may be a devout Christian, but if she is not physically attractive, the vast majority of men will pass her over.

This is absolutely true, and something which unfortunately is not taught enough in Christian circles (of any faith tradition). The reverse is of course true for men as well, and is one of the reasons why we have the Christian side of the ‘sphere.

One thing I found very striking about the second post is the photos. They showcase beautiful women who are very feminine and modest in appearance. Not the vulgar “sexiness” the world loves to push out.

I will be curious to see where the author takes the remaining posts. At the same time, I am already pleased to see this kind of article happen. Especially because it showcases my LAMPS/PSALM model and the understanding that goes with it. Hopefully more Christian outlets will take advantage of those kinds of resources in the future.

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Filed under Attraction, Christianity, Courtship, Femininity, Hypergamy, LAMPS, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, The Church, Women

When Compassion Becomes Divorced From Reality

Reader Michael K alerted me to this this article yesterday, and I thought it was worth remarking on. The tagline is “Beware of false compassion in implementing Amoris Laetitia.” Its not long, but I won’t quote the whole piece. Instead, here is the relevant section:

Maybe my experience is atypical. But I doubt it. Statistically speaking, men are more likely than women to remarry after a divorce. And that’s just one way in which men typically fare better than women after the breakdown of a marriage. Divorced woman are disproportionately likely to have financial problems, health problems, emotional problems. In a word, they are apt to be women in need.

If Catholic pastors adopt a more open attitude toward divorce, along the lines suggested by Amoris Laetitia, will that attitude benefit the people most in need? As a practical matter, if pastors make a special point of welcoming divorced-and-remarried Catholics, will the benefits flow to the spouses who are abandoned, or to those who abandoned them?

Since the publication of Amoris Laetitia, much has been written about women who have been abandoned by one man and subsequently formed a new union with another. For every wife who is cruelly abandoned, there is a husband who cruelly abandoned her. He, too, might feel more comfortable if the Church relaxes her traditional insistence on the permanence of the marriage bond. Should he?

If women typically suffer more than men after a divorce, the children of a broken home often suffer even more. What sort of message do those children receive, when they see their father, who deserted them to live with another woman, sitting in the front pew with his attractive new partner, while they huddle in the back with their mother, all dressed in second-hand clothes?

Anyone notice a possible problem with what he said?

Well, lets start with the fact that the author mentions some statistics about divorce. Specifically, about who does better afterwards. But then he stops there. No further statistics come into play. Which is a pity. Because if they were, it would help show the error in his argument.

Because from there he essentially makes the argument that men are the primary beneficiaries in divorce, and thus are responsible for the problem.  In other words, all the blame falls on them. There is this implicit assumption throughout that men instigate divorce more than women. We know this isn’t true; in fact the complete opposite is the case. Women initiate most divorces.

Furthermore, look at that final sentence. Does anyone else find that, well, questionable? I mean, has the author ever heard of child support? The truth is usually the opposite- it is the mom who enjoying her ex-husbands income, while he is making do with less- living in a smaller apartment, driving an old car and struggling with finances. Of course, not always; but there are always exceptions.

Also consider this: if mom makes the poor decision re: divorce, why shouldn’t we expect her to make other poor decisions? Decisions which end up with her in a bad financial state? Poor decision makers have a habit of making poor decisions. That is common sense- which we all know is anything but common.

This is just another example of a classic white knight in action. [If I was Rollo I would probably insert here some comment about how this Catholic is saying that loosening the  Catholic approach to the divorce should be rejected because it interferes with the feminine imperative.] Compassion is a good thing. But we must not divorce compassion from reality, else wise we end up doing more evil than good. In this case, it would be poisoning the argument against AL by using faulty examples of where it fails Catholic teaching.

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Filed under Blue Pill, Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Marriage, Moral Agency, Red Pill, Sin, The Church

Sins Of The Father

Dalrock’s new  post, Why the blind spot matters, has proven to be fertile ground for a ton of great comments. I would encourage my readers to give it a look if they haven’t already. I have found that his comment threads have been very hit or miss as of late, but that post is definitely in the hit category.

 

Update: Now to present some of my own thoughts.

To begin with, part of the problem with “blaming women” or holding them to account in society right now draws itself from the nature of how men react to women. There are two natural impulses which men have towards women:

  1. Have sex with them
  2. Protect them

The second impulse is the problem here. Men have a natural desire to protect women, and unfortunately absent careful anchoring that protection impulse can go awry. For example, that protection impulse can lead men to protect women from being sad or upset. And guess what can make women sad or upset? If you guessed rebuking them for doing wrong, give yourself a pat on the back.

The key to solving this is to identify what is going on, and to actively work towards replacing unhealthy applications of this impulse with healthy ones. It needs to be drilled into men that rebuking women can in fact be the loving response. The response that actually protects them from the real harm to them- not that which threatens the body, bu the soul. And of course that is sin.

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

(James 1:15)

Next, I want to address the issue of Adam’s responsibility over Eve. As other pointed out in that thread, God does not call Adam out for failing to “protect” or “stop” Eve. You would think that, if that were an issue, God would call him out for it. But He doesn’t. This fact, plus the wording of Genesis 3:16, led at least one Church Father to explain that Adam didn’t have headship before the Fall. Rather, headship came about as a result of the Fall. Assuming that is true (and I don’t believe it has been conclusively settled for either Catholics or Orthodox), then Adam wasn’t responsible for Eve. And thus couldn’t be held responsible for her sin.

But even if Adam had headship before the Fall (and I think there is a strong argument for this, although I’m not certain about it), that doesn’t mean he was responsible. Again, God was calling out sins there. And He didn’t mention that particular sin. Further, nowhere in Scripture is this argument to be found. And none of the Church Fathers mentioned it either. It is wholly a modern invention, a product of our misplaced attitude and understanding of women.

[More to come as I think on it]

 

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Red Pill, The Church

The High Ground

I came to an epiphany recently, and I lay the blame at Cane Caldo’s feet. Three of his recent posts made something “CLICK” inside my head and I can’t let go of it. The three posts are the following:

Real Men Don’t Impede Her Desires

Her Buck Stops Here

A Caned Response to the Nashville StatementsA Caned Response to the Nashville Statements

Read all three (they aren’t that long) before continuing. The rest will make a lot more sense that way. Each one, in its own way, address the nature of men and women, and how we are to relate to each other. A (very) brief summary of them could be as follows:

  • Men are no longer able to tell women No in any meaningful way
  • Men can no longer enforce male spaces, and in fact none exist in any meaningful way
  • Men in Christian leadership positions (and in general) won’t teach the truth about women in marriage in any meaningful way

The bit in particular which was the “light bulb” moment for me was this:

Where is the article in which they deny that wives should be irreverent, rebellious, or usurpers? Where do they affirm that wives are to be sexually available to their husbands except for agreement of a limited time? What is more important to marriage than that the wife be submissive to her husband? These are serious and timely issues of marriage worthy of writing in these statements; more so than sodomy and transgenderism.

Cane is right, these are more serious issues. And I think I understand why. Perhaps he has already figured this out, or maybe I am going beyond the scope of his original idea. But everything makes sense to me now. You see, you cannot win on issues like “gay marriage” or “transgenderism” after yielding up the high ground in this battle.

Let me explain.

To begin with, high ground often has two different common meanings. The first is a “safe place”, out of the reach of danger. The second is a height which has strategic military value. It is the second meaning I intend. After all, we are in a war- a spiritual war. Now, the war has already been won, thankfully. However, the fighting has yet to stop. In some respects it is like the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. It was fought after the war officially ended. And while it didn’t change the outcome of the war, it was still meaningful to the men who fought in it. And so it is today- we are fighting a battle in a war the enemy has already lost. But he can still inflict casualties- take souls – and so he fights on. No surprise, really- he was a murderer from the beginning.

The strategic high ground in this battle was twofold- the nature of men and women, and the rights, roles and responsibilities of men and women in marriage. Those two things were places to make a last stand- a metaphorical hill to die on. Unfortunately, they were yielded to the enemy generations ago. And when they were, the battle was lost at that point.

Why are they necessary positions to hold? To begin with, they lay the foundations for any defense of everything to come after. Lets start with “transgenderism.”

The whole point of that particular “theory” is that there are no fixed genders. Male and female, man and woman, are social constructs. They exist because society says they exist. Take that away, and people revert to whatever they want.  On an intellectual level, a strong, vigorous defense of the nature of the masculine and the feminine will over course reveal this to be the rubbish it is. But as is the case with so many things in life, personal experiences which shape someone will trump intellectual argument.

For transgenderism to succeed, people need to grow up where man and woman don’t really mean much. And how do you get that? Simple- you create a society with the following:

  • No task or vocations or opportunities, and so on, which are the sole prerogative of men or women.
  • Men and women are interchangeable in the various roles and positions which people occupy in life.
  • You eliminate any spaces which are reserved for men or women.
  • You eliminate any activities which are reserved for men or women.

And on and on.

When this is the society you have- the society we have today- then men and women essentially become interchangeable- fungible even. If that is the case, then the concepts of “man” and “woman” will lose any sense of meaning in the minds of those exposed to it. And this is what everyone is exposed to these days, especially youth. It should come as no surprise that “transgenderism” is on the rise right now. They don’t see any real difference between men and women, save minor biological differences, and those can be changed by surgery. The truth is, “transgenderism” was an inevitable byproduct of this organization of society. It was just a matter of time.

Let’s look now “gay marriage” in the context of the rights, roles and responsibilities of men and women in marriage. In the past they were clearly defined. Now, no one dares to defend any real difference whatsoever. At least, a meaningful difference. What is the end result of this? Well, when men and women have the same rights, roles and responsibilities, they become… you guessed it, fungible. They can be swapped out without changing the fundamental makeup of the marriage unit. After all, husband and wife are both equal, right? And since they are equal, they both can do whatever needs doing, right? And are deserving of equal, well, everything, right? In that context husband and wife are no longer meaningful terms.

Instead husband and wife are replaced in the minds of people with “spouse 1” and “spouse 2” [Update: Reader Lost Patrol suggests Partner 1 and Partner 2 work better, and I agree. I’m going to update the rest of the post to fit that.] And of course if mother and father are also essentially the same- equal- then they are likewise fungible. And so you get “parent 1″ and parent 2.” Well, if spouse/parent replaces husband/father and wife/mother, you get some interesting outcomes. Because, after all, if marriage in the eyes of people is Partner1 + Partner 2, then does it really matter who happens to be Partner 1 and Partner 2? Of course not! It is all about two people who love each other who decide to becomes spouses.

And when you think about it, there isn’t really any reason to restrict it to just two spouses together. After all, love is the important part, right? As long as you have that, the nature and number of spouses doesn’t really matter. Dwell on where that line of thinking will take you.

I could continue at length, but I think I’ve made my point. Without a viable, effective and vocal defense of those two principles, nothing else can be defended. The battle will be lost- guaranteed. And it isn’t merely about logic. In fact, I believe that logic takes a distant backseat compared to the way that people’s common experiences affect their perception of the issues. Those experiences shape their views to a degree that rational argument never does.

If Christians want to have any, and mean any chance of turning this battle around, then those two strategic positions must be re-taken. There is no other recourse.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Femininity, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sin, The Church, Women

A Helpful Reminder

In my life I have heard plenty of Christians complain about what was in the Old Testament. They complain of the violence, the treatment of people, especially women, and the overall awfulness of the law and on and on. What I have explained to many of them is this: those were pagan times- awfulness is to be expected.

Most don’t get it. I don’t think it is because they are incapable; rather, I think most don’t want to really process what it all means. It demands too much of them, especially giving up on comfortable notions of how things are, or should be.

Which brings me to the main point of this post, and the reminder I try to keep in my mind all the time now:

America is a pagan country.

[And by extension, so is the whole of the West.]

When something horrific happens here, we shouldn’t be surprised. That kind of behavior is to be expected of pagans. Which is what the vast, overwhelming majority of Americans are.

Sure, the majority of the country might identify as Christian. But their everyday actions show them to be anything but disciples of Christ. The percentage of actual Christians, and I use that term very broadly, is probably in the low single digits.

My experience has been that some people (folks sincerely trying to be Christians) will not get this.

Others will get it on a surface level. They will know it is the case, but have trouble really grasping the full extent of what that means.

Only a handful will be able to appreciate the full magnitude of what living in a pagan country entails.

Unfortunately, I think that as events move forward, more and more people will end up in that latter camp. The cruel instructor that is reality has many harsh lessons in store for all of us in the years ahead.

However, I think we can do ourselves a service by keeping that reminder in place. We can prepare ourselves for what is to come, if only mentally.

 

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Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Civilization, Red Pill, The Church