The Meme (below) was posted to Gab Social media platform.
It makes a subtil claim appealing to Zeal… Zealotry… my retort to @Boomstick follows below.
Tim Wikiriwhi Responds…
@Boomstick Beware… This has no context, and is therefore deceptive in the extreme.
It’s claiming *Intolerance is a virtue!*
That cannot withstand any scrutiny.
Without some tolerance a person becomes a fanatic… indistinguishable from any form of fanatic… eg an Islamic extremist.
They would wholeheartedly endorse this claim.
Are you any better than they?
Now hear the enlightened truth!
Just as there are things that may be compromised, and others that may not be compromised, so too there are things that can, and ought to be tolerated, and others that ought not to be tolerated.
It is an equal wrong *not to tolerate what you ought* as it is to tolerate what you ought not.
Wisdom and Enlightenment teaches which is which.
Lower values can be sacrificed for the sake of higher values.
Treating others as we would wish to be treated ourselves… is natural justice.
Tolerance is guided by higher principles and convictions… it is not the abandonment of them as is claimed above.
A Tolerant man ought not to be a weak and an easily beguiled man, but show tolerance from a position of strength and vigilance.
And there is a line in the sand.
It is only by the embodiment of such values and principles than any man can claim to be civil and walk the higher path than the savage.
Intolerance is the hallmark of the Barbarian.
Intolerance is the hallmark of Tyranny.
Intolerance comes from fear.
Principled tolerance is in fact a symbol of courage.
” If it be possible, and as much as lieth in you, live peacably with all Men.”
Paul the Apostle.
Is there any meaning or purpose to human existence?
I’m bad to the bone.
I know this. Some might say I am unfit to write this blog article about Easter. They may be correct.
Just recently I was proscribed medication to lower my blood pressure. It’s high.
It’s partly to do with my age, partly my genes, but mostly to do with my bad habits… too much craft beer… too little sleep, etc.
Though I am a happy person, I am highly strung, and don’t ever relax… even when I’m chilling… I have inner tension at all times.
I find myself holding my breath.
Though I am ready to meet my Maker, I don’t want to die. I have a young son I wish to finish raising, and I believe I have more to contribute to society and in sowing, watering the soil for the Gospel.
My chief inner contradiction is that I’m an optimist in outlook, yet being proscribed heart meds has done nothing to alleviate my life-long fatalism.
By fatalism I esp mean my ever-present sense of approaching demise.
Optimism and Fatalism in one bag means I’m happy, yet always have a sense of urgency that I must take care of business before I check out.
I may live 20 more years, or I may not last out the day.
I have faith that if Today is the day… then praise the Lord… it’s my day! Thanks for a wonderful life. Thanks for the grace that has given me these decades, these friends, this family.
This is not a sympathy seeking ‘poor me’ article. I’m not a victim. I own my own circumstances.
I needed to say these things for context of the real message I wish to make for my Easter 2023 Blog article.
In my family, and in my associations, I’m the Black Sheep of my generation. I accept this because my thoughts are often the polar opposite of my peers. I am grateful most of them have grown to appreciate that’s just how I roll, and chuckle whenever I open my mouth. I have little doubt most question my IQ and believe I am ill informed.
Yet… and here is the punchline… to maintain even this strained relationship, requires I keep expression of certain forbidden opinions to a minimum.
For context most of my Family are Socialists politically, and Atheists spiritually. Many of my friends and colleagues are A-Political/ A-religious… so they are not open to free discourse on these subjects. They tolerate me as long as I don’t get ‘Preachy’.
I fully understand that nobody should harass others on subjects they prefer to avoid… yet still The years pass by quickly and is it not sad to think you have wonderful friends and family yet never have been able to fully discuss such essential aspects of life?
It is especially hard when you have dedicated your life in the pursuit of truth… and have discovered mind-blowing facts and arguments that you must keep to yourself for fear of being scorned and outcast by hard hearted loved ones who have no intention of challenging their own entrenched beliefs.
Remember my opening paragraph how I have a sense of urgency… and a repetitive source of despair in my life is watching my loved ones… friends, associates, and Family either sailing away never to be seen again… or pass away without having communicated with them truths I believe are essential to their Eternal well being. My own time is limited too. When I pass away my opportunity to persuade my people to Trust in the Cross of Christ, and in the miracle of his resurrection will be finished.
Yet I still have a bag of wind left in me, and I will take the opportunity that Easter long weekend provides to openly speak today.
I’m a Libertarian Christian, which means I believe in self responsibility and religious liberty.
This means I know there are limits to my duty, and ability to communicate truths to others.
The Bible says not to cast our pearls before swine… where they will not be received with gladness, but instead simply be trodden underfoot.(don’t take offence… it’s only a metaphor)
The Bible talks about the heart condition of lost souls.
Some have been softened… some are good fertile soil in which the seed of the Gospel can take root and flourish. Others cannot receive the seed.
This is my Easter message… An appeal to anyone reading this article who is honest enough to admit the origin and meaning of life has alluded them so far… to dare to remove the Blinders that prevent their minds from being able to take Christianity seriously. Ideological Blinders that render them incapable actually contemplating the possibility, that Christ really was the Son of The Almighty… God Incarnate…. Sinless… and that he willingly went to the cross to suffer a criminals death… a redemptive sacrifice…. paying for the sins of humanity.. and rising from the dead on the third day day as proof of his victory over both sin and death… and that whosoever chooses to believe that gospel… shall be freely forgiven of all sin, and shall enter God’s presence in perfect newness of eternal life.
It’s a fantastic mind-blowing thing to even contemplate!
How can *that* possibly be true?
Is not that a demonstration of humanities wishful thinking and capacity for believing absurdities?
Easter cant be relevant in 2023!
I once thought that way.
I have written several accounts of my own conversion from Militant Atheism to Christianity (links below) and it remains vivid in my mind the process… indeed the moment the scales fell from my eyes.
I won’t repeat what I have said elsewhere except to say the miracle of my own conversion depended first of all upon unusual circumstances that caused me to unwittingly lower my cognitive shield and actually give Christian apologists a fair hearing.
For the life of me I never dreamed that I would be persuaded to believe the bible!
My conversion took many months of discussion, argument, presentation of historic and scientific facts… the miracle being that I even gave them 5 minutes of my time to discuss matters I strongly considered to be beneath contempt, ridiculous, false.
My testimony today is to tell my reader that there is overwhelming evidence and logic to Believe the Gospel is true… in spite of how incredible it appears to the atheist mind that is trapped in the false materialist paradigm.
My Easter appeal to the gospel is for any honest atheists, or people of other faiths, Is to ‘seek with an open heart… and ye shall find’… yet should you harden your own heart and remain of closed mind… there is nothing I can do. If my appeal falls on deaf ears, it is not me you have rejected… but Jesus Christ and the Love, Grace, and mercy of the Almighty.
One truth that weighs heaviest in my own soul is the knowledge of my own wickedness… my own unworthiness.
When I was an atheist I had absolutely no sense of my own spiritual corruption. I thought reality was ultimately A-moral… a nihilistic reality in which Human individuals were valueless and meaningless in a cold and indifferent Universe.
You can’t understand the importance of the cross unless you first have a realisation of your own fallen Moral condition.
Our Evil deeds really are evil, and God is not Mocked… Divine Justice is a real thing. And we will all have an appointment with the Great Judge, and will give account as to our acceptance or rejection of Christ’s work of Atonement on the Cross.
Some undoubtedly will say I’m employing fear-tactics to cajole feeble minds into religious subjection.
I know that is a thing, yet If what I am saying is Objectively true… it matters not whether or not the facts are pleasing to our personal inclinations… The truth is the truth irrespective.
God sets the terms and conditions for Salvation, not us.
It is the nature of fallen humanity to rebel against the Sovereignty of the Almighty. That is a piece of Deep irrefutable psychology. Know thyself! Understand how your deep innate nature pre-conditions your thoughts.
We are all children of Fallen Adam and eve.
These are Facts of Reality.
Facts of History.
Facts of Science.
Facts of knowledge founded upon personal experience.
The explanatory power of the Bible has no equal.
The Materialist cosmology/faith is utterly inadequate and filled with absurdities.
It cannot be honestly entertained by informed thinkers in the light of Modern science.
My advise is you go spend some time on Youtube listening to high caliber Christian apologetics, such as William Lane Craig, and Gary Habermas debating the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc.
The Truth is there ready and waiting for you to descover… and have your mind blown!
Christ is worthy of worship.
I’m not worthy to worship him.
My only hope is that his grace is sufficient for a wretch like me.
The Easter Story specks of the Love of God towards us sinners.
Will it still be legal to celebrate Easter in 10 years time?
The light is fading.
Satan Laughing spreads his wings.
To my last breath I will declare Jesus is Risen!
How sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found.
Was blind but now I see.
There is good reason why the UN has been labeled as the modern day ‘Tower of Babel’ in that it seeks to place all of the Nations of the world back under one Brutal Godless King to rule them all… just as Nimrod ruled before God broke up his kingdom and scattered the Nations for the very purpose of placing limits on Human Power and Authority.
Nimrod was a type/ an example/ a forerunner of the Antichrist to come.
It is no coincidence that the Socialists seek to reunify that which God himself divided, and to restore the power of a Global Dictatorship.
The socialists are the minions… the children of Satan… doing his bidding,
Satan’s Gospel of Globalism and the New World Order is as we speak going out to all nations… Deceiving and being deceived.
The level of Guile harbored against Good people who stand in the way of the approaching flood… esp against Donald Trump… is at psychotic levels… even among those who ought to know better.
Satan laughing spreads his wings.
One particular group who demonstrate a sever rabidity of the mind and who are incapable of rational thought when it comes to Trump are the Anarchists.
Many of them… most of them (the only one I know of who is not like this is Victor Pross) are completely consumed by contempt as to be incapable of objective discussion… none more so that the petty Self important Anarchist spokesman for American Anarchists Larken Rose.
Now Rose couldn’t think his way out of a wet paper bag… his arguments are always puerile and founded upon falsehoods, and no one displays a complete lack of character better than he as he revels in the ill fortunes of those he despises.
Remind you of anyone?
An example of this is below… Rose Gloating that Legal attempts to expose the Rampant Voter fraud in the US Elections are not meeting with any success.
As usual Rose is full of crap.
One of his Fans shared this with me today to get my reaction, knowing I myself have been a Stalwart supporter of the Case against the Democrat Party of grand Scale Election fraud, and that I have had hopes that this would be upheld in Court… esp the Supreme Court.
Though it looks like my hopes may indeed be dashed I am at peace in my own convictions and faith.
I am not in the dark… as many.
No Irony in Anarchists tell us to trust the System… nooooo.
It still is not game over, yet it does appear that *despite mountains of evidence* and the fact that *Constitutional Laws were violated* and Electoral safeguards were flouted in every way imaginable… that those most trusted to defend the Nation from being taken over by these very means, are themselves either too spineless to make the call, or have themselves been compromised.
Ie they want Trump out… and Biden in… because they have been duped into believing the Globalist lies of Covid, Global warming, and the Great Reset… ie the Supreme Court has become politically activist.
In such cases the last resort is for the people to enact the principles of the 2nd amendment. They have that right… in fact it is a Duty.
To take up arms against the Usurpers.
Ultimately Tyranny can only prevail when the people slumber or have been rendered helpless by Arms control.
It will be interesting to see what happens as until all Legal avenues have been exhausted the Republicans have remained calm, yet now that it looks like they have been betrayed by the Supreme Court… what will the do?
The Supreme court probably has done ‘a Chamberlain’… thinking ‘Peace in our time’ is better than defending the constitution and having a civil war… possibly an end of the Union… and yet It is doubtful they have avoided this.
Some fights cannot be avoided… only delayed… and usually that delay works to strengthen the Evil powers, and weaken the Good… Like the postponement of abolition of Slavery for the sake of the Union simply delayed the war and made it more bloody… So too By allowing Biden and Harris to assume power and ‘act as if they are the legitimate government… and allowing them take command of the Military, and giving them opportunity to pass anti-second amendment legislations… all this serves the power of Evil.
I believe we are witnessing the foundation of the Global Kingdom of the Antichrist.
Evil prevails when good men do nothing… and that is what is happening with respect to the Supreme Court.
There is only a few legal avenues left. Sidney Powell’s court case will be the final hope.
Yet if it pleases God to allow the Prince of Darkness to begin his final infernal plot… even her noble efforts will not prevail against the corruption, and we all better share the Gospel with our friends and loved ones because the Rapture is at hand… the door of Grace is about to close for all those who reject Christ… Strong delusions are afoot so that the wicked might all be deceived and take the Mark of the Beast.
The corruption of Humanity will be complete.
This time will at first appear (3.5 years) the dawn of a golden age as the Antichrist will appear to be a ‘Christ like’ Savoir riding ‘a white horse’… yet he is Satan’s King.
Then Chaos shall descend upon the Earth for 3.5 years and Death, plagues, and destruction shall swallow up Humanity… and the Angel thrusts in his sickle….
When God decides the e3nd of the age of Grace has arrived, these things cannot be prevented.
The Great Lie will prevail… and that is precisely what I am seeing happening right now.
This is a signal for Christians to stop storing up things for the future but instead busy themselves with the gospel that the final remnants of those who are to be saved hear and receive the gospel… for our time is coming to a close.
The faith of many will fail them. Though they will still be saved… ‘the salt of the Earth’ will have lost it’s saltiness’ and the Rot will quickly spread… a spirit of blasphemy and contempt for the Bible will spread like a disease… times will not be easy for the Christians…. until the Day of Redemption… the Rapture.
14 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
My day got off to a bad start when I fetched today’s Dominion Post from the end of my mum’s driveway and read the headline. (See above. You can click the image to read the whole thing.) Three blatant lies in large print is excessive even for the Dominion Post.
A life cut short by P
FALSE. A life cut short by an unconfirmed number of police bullets.
Shot gunman had private education and good business – but lost it all to addiction
FALSE. He wasn’t a gunman. According to his girlfriend, who was present, he was unarmed. And, while he may (or may not) have lost the family business to an illegal drug habit, he lost his life to the War on Drugs.
Shooting unavoidable, say police
FALSE. There was no need for the police to break into a private residence unannounced and shoot a man dead just as he was about to sit down to have dinner with his girlfriend.
But Marshall’s girlfriend, who was there at the time of the shooting, insisted he wasn’t armed.
Kendall Eadie lived with him at the mechanic workshop.
She said the pair had just been about to have dinner when police stormed into the residence and immediately fired three shots at Marshall.
“The police executed a warrant on my place and murdered my boyfriend,” she said.
Three vicious falsehoods, and then my day got worse. While my mum read the paper, I went online to read the article. I searched for the headline, “A life cut short by P” to find it. But this is all that Google returned.
Two links to a review of a biography of Edgar Allan Poe. When I did find the online version on Fairfax Media’s stuff website, the main headline now read
Hamilton police shooting victim Nick Marshall sank into addiction
and I became agitated. So much so that my long-suffering mother, who is well accustomed to her visiting son’s political rants, had to tell me to calm down. This before I’d had my morning meth or even a cup of coffee. 🙁
Why was I agitated? Because I realised immediately that readers of the print version, who (on average) are an older demographic who vote more, would not read the more truthful headline presented to readers of the online version, who (on average) are a younger demographic who vote less. The demonisation of methamphetamine continues apace deviously as the police ramp up their ongoing persecution of drug addicts (essentially all of whom are addicts due to unresolved psychological trauma—yes, drug addiction is a mental illness) this time by way of an extrajudicial killing. FTP and the MSM they rode in on!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, loud and clear. LEGALISE P. Or, at the very least, medicalise it. Make methamphetamine available on prescription. This is not in any way, shape or form a radical or irresponsible proposal. It’s simple common sense and compassion. It’s a no-brainer, and if it seems otherwise to you it’s because, sadly, you’ve been brainwashed. Actually, let’s be frank. If you think methamphetamine is inherently dangerous (Jim Anderton once called it “pure evil”) then you’ve been duped. Methamphetamine is safe enough to prescribe to children.
Desoxyn is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Desoxyn may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.
Please realise that methamphetamine is only a methyl group (“meth”) different from amphetamine. Chemically speaking, methamphetamine and amphetamine are closely related, and in terms of subjective effects, even veteran speed freaks find it difficult to tell the two apart. Please know that amphetamine and its chemical cousin methylphenidate are routinely prescribed in New Zealand for the treatment of children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Meta-analyses and systematic reviews of magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that long-term treatment with ADHD stimulants (specifically, amphetamine and methylphenidate) decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD. Moreover, reviews of clinical stimulant research have established the safety and effectiveness of the long-term use of ADHD stimulants for individuals with ADHD.
Pretty much all the (wildly overstated) harm associated with methamphetamine use is due to improper dosage (yes, you can have too much of a good thing), improper route of administration (don’t snort it or smoke it), and (mainly) its illegality. What are the odds that the late Nick Marshall had undiagnosed ADHD and his methamphetamine use was as much self-medication as addiction? Suppose that he’d been able to see his doctor and get a prescription for P. Fully funded by Pharmac, he’d burn through $10 a month instead of frittering away the multi-million dollar family fortune in a few short years. (If, indeed, that’s what he did. I shouldn’t be making such an assumption. People with ADHD make notoriously bad business managers.) With the help of his doctor, he could reduce his methamphetamine use and wean himself onto the perhaps more forgiving amphetamine or the even more innocuous drug methylphenidate. And today Nick Marshall would still be alive and successfully managing Marshall Transmissions.
In conclusion, the War on Drugs is the Holocaust of our times, the editors at the Dominion Post are propagandist scumbags, and the blue-uniformed thugs are murderous Sturmabteilung.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)
As is his wont, my King James Bible believing Dispensationalist libertarian Christian co-blogger Tim tagged me in his post (of the above image) on Facebook. 🙂
Be sure to get your doctrine from the Bible, not the traditions of man! (Colossians 2:8)
I really do appreciate the pro-tip. It’s just that there’s a whole lotta problems with this instruction. At least one of which renders Tim’s advice utterly useless!
One problem is that the cited verse, Colossians 2:8, does not even mention the Bible.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)
See! What this verse is really saying is be sure to get your doctrine from Christ, not the traditions of man! I agree! But let’s be clear. There’s no mention at all of the Bible in this verse. And I’ve made it quite clear in previous blog posts what my view is. It is that Jesus is inerrant, but the Bible isn’t. The Word of God is inerrant. His scribes, not so much. Yes, that’s right. I basically equate the Bible with “the traditions of man”. I don’t equate the Bible with Christ. The Bible as we know it hasn’t even been around a couple of thousand years yet. Whereas
In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (DARBY)
Believe it or not, another problem is that the KJV mistranslates this particular verse. And don’t believe it or do, so does the NIV. But of course! 😉
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ. (NIV)
See that no one shall be carrying you away as spoil through the philosophy and vain deceit, according to the deliverance of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ (YLT)
It’s clear that “spoiled” is a KJV mistranslation of “spoil”. Yet at least the NIV has the good grace to provide a footnote (see above) to the effect that it has construed “the basic principles” (rudiments) as “the elemental spiritual forces” of this world.
But here’s the fatal flaw with Tim’s advice—be sure to get your doctrine from the Bible, not the traditions of man!—which renders it useless. Which Bible?
Tim’s telling me to be sure to get my doctrine from the Bible, but which one? As we all know, Christians (e.g., Protestants vs. Catholics and Orthodox Christians) can’t even agree on which books belong in the Bible, let alone which translations of the canonical books are themselves canonical.
Which Bible? Tim will, of course, answer the Authorized King James Version of 1611. Which is a fair answer to a fair question. But if I accept this answer, one thing’s for sure. I’m now getting my doctrine from the traditions of man, and from the traditions of one man in particular, viz., my co-blogger Tim Wikiriwhi! And not necessarily from either the true Bible (if, indeed, there even is such a thing) or Christ.
It comes down to this. When all is said and done, we must decide—each of us individually must decide—in what and/or in whom to trust.
I trust in Jesus, the Son of God, whom I know from the first-hand accounts of his ministry by the original gospel authors, from his work in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ, from his work in my own life, and from personal encounter.
I trust in the deliverances of my own God-given moral compass when (not often, just occasionally) they conflict with what’s in the Bible.
So the Bible. What’s it good for?
Why, it’s profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, of course! 🙂
Anyone who’s spent any time in serious study of the Bible (or even someone who’s only delved into it intermittently) will have discovered, for themselves, apparent contradictions, of which there are very, very many.
Just for example, Ezekiel 33:11 (and Ezekiel 18:32) and Psalm 37:13 seem rather at odds.
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ (NIV)
but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (NIV)
How should a Christian respond to such apparent contradictions? It’s not easy maintaining contradictions. Maintaining a contradiction is surely the very essence of cognitive dissonance, and cognitive dissonance is something we all naturally seek to minimise.
Of particular concern are the apparent contradictions in Bible verses about salvation. Is justification through good works or by faith alone? Enquiring minds want to know.
The inerrantist response is to hold that the Bible is inerrant. On the premiss (due to Douglas Stauffer) that
God will preserve His word, and not allow it to pass away.
And then try to explain away the apparent contradictions. All of them. One attempt to do this (with particular emphasis on what the Bible says about salvation) is the doctrine of Dispensationalism due to John Nelson Darby.
Now, I can see that the above premiss has merit and that Dispensationalism is, in some sense, a reasonable response to the apparent contradictions in the Bible.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)
Dispensationalism is complicated. Doesn’t God’s fundamental message have to be intelligible to little children and simpletons? Because Dispensationalism isn’t.
The errantist response is to hold that the Bible is not inerrant. To concede that it’s full of contradictions, some of which cannot be adequately explained away. But that, nonetheless
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (KJV)
and that Jesus’s fundamental message remains intact, which it does.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
My reason for writing this post is my concern that those who hold that the Bible is inerrant are fooling themselves. In a bad way. Notwithstanding that Douglas Stauffer (already quoted above) tells us that
Satan has reveled in creating doubt concerning the authority of the words of God.
the simple fact is that there is doubt concerning the authority of scripture as it has been handed down to us. Not to acknowledge and to express doubt such as this is to deceive oneself and maybe others too. It’s my considered opinion that those who persist in maintaining that the Bible is inerrant are involved in more convolutions and contortions than David Bain trying to explain his movements on the morning of 20 June 1994, more turns than a sluggard on his bed, more preposterous suspensions of disbelief than an atheist proclaiming that this blog post is an anticipated result of the Big Bang. They’re playing the exegetical version of Twister—the game that ties you up in knots.
[WARNING: This blog post contains lots of very strong language and is practically guaranteed to give offence to weak-minded prudes. Please proceed at your own risk.]
The use–mention distinction is a foundational concept of (Western analytic) philosophy. To fail to recognise the distinction is, at best, to invite disaster.
The following true statements illustrate the distinction.
(1) Salt is an ionic compound, viz., sodium chloride (NaCl).
(2) ‘Salt’ is a four-letter word.
The first sentence is a statement about the substance called “salt”—it uses the word ‘salt’ to refer to that substance. The second is a statement about the word ‘salt’—it mentions the word without using it to refer to anything other than itself.
‘Salt’ is a four-letter word. Salt is not a four-letter word. And neither salt nor ‘salt’ is a four-letter word in the usual idiomatic (and only incidentally numeric) sense of the term. It’s perfectly polite and indeed good table manners to ask someone please to the pass the salt!
In this post I want to say a few words about four-letter words (e.g., ‘fuck‘ and ‘shit‘) and their cognates (e.g. ‘fucking shit‘) and briefly discuss whether (and in what contexts) Christians ought or ought not to be using such vulgarities and profanities.
And it struck me that the perfect way to make the main point I want to make is to recycle the metaphor that Jesus uses in Matthew 5:13 right after the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says to his followers
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (NIV)
George Carlin aptly refers to the words I’m talking about as “just words which we’ve decided not to use all the time.” And “that’s about the only thing you can say about them for sure.” Carlin’s bang on the money! Because, if we used the words all the time, they’d lose their “saltiness”! They’d no longer be effective cuss words and they’d no longer be good for anything more than just plain old communication. Which would be a dingleberry of a disappointment.
(Or would it? If we no longer had an inventory of “reserved” words with which to insult others effectively, we’d have to relearn the art of the insult. And our prose would begin to be colourful like Bill Shakespeare‘s or Martin Luther‘s prose is colourful. And actually that would be fucking awesome!)
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Is probably the one blog post of mine I regularly link to. It explains how (according to me, but I’m not wrong) words acquire their meanings. The meaning of a word (any word) is determined by the conventions that govern its use. And those conventions can and do vary between different communities of language users. Amongst the kind of people I usually hang out with, the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ are used fairly indiscriminately. They’ve pretty much lost their saltiness in those contexts. (But I use those words extremely judiciously, if at all, if I’m having dinner with, say, my mum or any of her older friends.) Whereas both I and my peers still tend to hold back on using the terms ‘cunt’ and ‘motherfucker’. Those two words remain mostly reserved for when we need convenient terms to refer to truly despicable people, such as Peter Dunne.
But here’s the interesting thing. In the circles in which I usually move, the words ‘cunt’ and ‘motherfucker’ can cease to be insults at all simply by prefixing them with the words ‘good’ and ‘formidable’ respectively. To call someone a good cunt is to pay them a genuine compliment. And it is a mark of utmost respect to call someone a formidable motherfucker. Mohammed Ali was a formidable motherfucker. Vladimir Putin is a formidable motherfucker. Good or evil, you don’t want to cross such people! Not unless it’s from a safe distance, anyway. (I.e., well outside of Russia in the latter case.)
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (ESV)
Here’s a picture taken Wednesday evening of me (on the right) and a couple of good cunts. 🙂 🙂
Now to the question, ought Christians to be using the sort of language I’ve been using here? The answer is simple common sense, really. It depends on the context and the occasion and the company. None of the cuss words above is at all appropriate during a church service, for example. (But you may say “piss” if you’re reading from the KJV.) Such terms should be used sparingly, if at all, in polite company. Because they’re impolite. But in impolite company (such as on my Facebook page) they’re not impolite. Here’s what the Apostle Paul says
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (NIV)
It’s contextual, you see. Don’t go calling someone a good cunt if it’s “out of place” to do so. But do go calling them that if it’s “helpful for building them up according to their needs.”
I’ll finish by noting that there’s a big tension between being a good cunt and being a formidable motherfucker. If you succeed at being both simultaneously then you’re practically a saint.
And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. (KJV)
It is both a political right and an epistemic duty to change one’s mind. Well, I’ve been thinking. And I’ve changed my mind. I no longer think that Romans 13 is libertarianism’s last bastion against the unrule of the godless. Nor do I any longer think that anarchy is the unrule of the godless. That’s not anarchy, that’s totalitarian chaos. Anarchy is libertopian order and the only moral system of government.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (KJV)
Here’s the first question for conservative Christians. Do you think that the Founding Fathers of the United States received to themselves damnation?
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. (KJV)
Note that to render means to give back.
Here’s the second question for conservative Christians. What belongings of Caesar’s did those whom Jesus addressed have in their possession that they could return?
I hereby declare that I am a governing authority. Send me your money.
I missed the deadline for an Easter Sunday blog post, partly because, unlike Jesus, I’m not an early riser, and partly because I got a bit carried away studying scripture. I might have to lay off the Bible study for a while, because I’m starting to see things that aren’t really there. Or are they? Incipient psychosis or hidden meanings in scripture?
So I was listening to my favourite metal band, Slayer. In particular I was listening to my favourite track on their Christ Illusion album, Skeleton Christ. And reading the lyrics. And I got to wondering, is Slayer, in fact, a crypto-Christian band and their lyrics also the product of supernatural engineering?
Psychosis. That’s what you’re thinking. But bear with me. The idea is not as crazy as it might at first seem. A strong case can be made that the band who gave birth to the entire heavy metal genre, Black Sabbath, was the first Christian rock band. If Black Sabbath is a crypto-Christian band, then why not too the undisputed (by me) masters of the genre, Slayer?
Here’s a verse from the Second Epistle of John.
many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. (NIV)
And here’s an excerpt from the lyrics to Skeleton Christ.
You’ll never touch God’s hand
You’ll never taste God’s breath
Because you’ll never see the Second Coming
It’s all a fuckin’ mockery
No grasp upon reality
It’s mind control for compulsory religion
And the Skeleton Christ
What if this song is not the attack on Christianity it superficially appears to be, but an attack on corrupt organised religion (“mind control for compulsory religion”) and the false gospel of the antichrist and those he’s deceived into worshipping a false Skeleton Christ? A skeleton, you see, is not “coming in the flesh”, it’s all dead bones, such as you might find in a whited sepulchre. It’s worth a thought, don’t you think? Feel free to take it cum grano salis.
Speaking of sepulchres, back to the main story.
I got to pondering the symbolism of stone in the Bible, and found this verse.
Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ (NIV)
You see where I’m going with this? Jesus is the stone. It’s no wonder the women couldn’t find Jesus in the tomb. He’d been rolled away! But by whom?
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. (NIV)
Please understand that I do not deny that it was “an angel of the Lord came down from heaven” who rolled away the stone. That is the plain meaning of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew.
But please do consider the possible hidden meaning in the possible alternative scenario I’m sketching.
Who would roll Jesus out of the way, so that his own disciples couldn’t find him, finding instead a decaying soon-to-be-Skeleton Christ? One of the Devil’s angels, for sure, if not the Devil himself.
Here are a couple of clues.
[Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (NIV)
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (NIV)
The angel’s appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow … like an angel of light or, indeed, Jesus himself transfigured. And, in a final coup de disgrâce, the angel then sits on the stone, making the Devil’s most feared enemy a buttstool for his sulfurous butt.
It’s a complete inversion of Bible truth. Which is, of course, the Devil’s calling card.
Beware of false prophets and false messiahs. And the Skeleton Christ.