Category Archives: Preachery

Angel Gone AWOL?

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~ ITEM: Recording Angel

~ ITEM: Wiki– Book of Life

 

~ ONE HEALTHY but increasingly discarded idea is that of the Recording Angel. From the Book Of Revelation:

Revelation 20:12-13 King James Version (KJV)

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Books.. judged.. according to all our works. Hence, the Recording Angel, writing everything down: impartial, accurate, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” Forget Santa, and being good for a couple of weeks, kids.

You said what-now? OK. got it.

You said what-now? OK.. got it.

Who We Are

People have always been a mix of good and evil. However, if the idea of God’s judgement, his awareness of all things, that God, “unto who all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid” (Anglican Prayer Book) holds us accountable– yuck. Says Jean-Paul Sartre (who died a Christian) of himself as a child:

I had been playing with matches and burned a small rug. I was in the process of covering up my crime when suddenly God saw me. I felt His gaze inside my head and on my hands….I flew into a rage against so crude an indiscretion, I blasphemed….He never looked at me again….I had the more difficulty getting rid of Him the Holy Ghost in that He had installed Himself at the back of my head….I collared the Holy Ghost in the cellar and threw Him out.

-Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words (New York: George Braziller, 1964), 102, 252-253.

“Getting rid” of God (hiding from him) makes us the measure of all things, or whatever we hold important. Goodness or badness becomes what society approves, what you can get away with, cover up, or conveniently forget. Much of the corruption, depravity, greed, and boring overemphasis on sex comes from imagining there are no limits, that anything is permissible, that selling and consuming is the pinnacle of human existence, that making people into besmirched appetites is the goal of a society.

The Mess We Make

As we look around the headlines, we see some rich men getting rich by lies and sneakery; judges corrupting justice; priests forgetting God; evil people doing horrible things, yet too often only softly punished by the courts; conspiracy, monopoly, schemes and lies by the greatest and the least. Will the ever be held accountable for their deeds? Does evil, injustice, exploitation have the final word, or does God?

God does, if the Christian God and the recoder angel are true and real. Jesus gives a hint about this in what he promises (Matt. 10.36-38):

“So don’t be afraid of your enemies. Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight. What is whispered in your ear, shout from the rooftops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Instead, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

How much? “Everything that is hidden will be uncovered.” Not for titillation, gossip, or FaceBook chatter– for judgement. We live every moment in the all-knowing presence of God.

That idea of justice is very powerful, and should scare each of us, and comfort us about evil or powerful people apparently “getting away with it”.

Such a Bible-grounded teaching is of great practical comfort and relevance, even if it makes us feel bad or ashamed or guilty. Ultimate justice will be done, tempered with perfect mercy. If this stings our consciences, then we have things to confess, apologies to make, and life to amend.

Comfort & Cleansing

Too hard on yourself? “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” (1 John 3:20)

Letting things slide, or think that time wipes away sin? “they were judged every man according to their works“.. repent while you have time.

Angry about the secrets, lies, and sneaky badness of people? While we work & fight for right to prevail in our time and place, yet “I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened“.. that means everyone, including the one we see in the mirror when we are alone.

Recorder Angel, see me truly; Holy Spirit, convict my heart; Lamb of God, Son of The Father, wash me clean, restore me to the Father’s love.

We can be comforted, for in Christ our Saviour, our judge, our Lord, we can gain a true knowledge of ourselves as redeemed sinners. For after John 3:16, it says: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

~ Binks

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Saith The Preacher

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~ I’M NOT SURE, but I may have rolled my eyes. Or, more likely, just looked down and hid my expression.

It was the local RC priest preaching that year for the area Remembrance Day church service, and for some reason he was going on about how war is bad, the evils of war, and the military-industrial something or other, and the assembled veterans and family and community members were restless, and angry at this harangue. How needless, and stupid, and offensive. I suppose his college and seminary professors would have all approved.

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War! Bad!

And Now, The Rebuttal

The next year, it was my turn to preach. I remembered what had been said the year before. Does anybody really need to tell honest-to-God war veterans that war is horrible, regrettable, wasteful, and messy? No. All I could remember was poring over the photos my Grampa George took of India and Burma, and then– after a certain point– he’d just stop, and get up, crying. The great adventure had that dark side, of deeds done, things seen, friends missing or worse.

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I asked God for the wisdom and strength and sensitivity not to waste such an opportunity, nor to ever throw contempt into the faces and hearts assembled there. So I preached to my Grampa, looking out on a sea of gray hair and wrinkled faces. I spoke about the good and bad of war, of people and places remembered, of God’s love known and seen in the worst of times and present with us still in times of peace and freedom, and I actually said “nobody needs to tell the eyewitnesses that war is hell”. I told the story of my Grampa and his happy memories, and his tears. I also  said that the peace and freedom for which so many suffered and died was still worth fighting for, so that in the Canada of 1995, we might look to save our unborn, 2 000 000 dead in the last 20 years, that Hitler’s dreams of control over others and the weakest might die once and for all. That the sacrifices of those years not be cast away in our time.

The local RC priest looked daggers at me, partly because he knew this was a rebuttal– but directed to speaking the truth in love, and to those gathered men and women. Afterwards, the centotaph ceremony down, a good number of the vets thanked me for my words.

To my surprise, a big old fellow came up to me, and asked about my Grandfather, and the unit he served in during his Burma days (435 “Chinthe” Transport and Rescue Squadron). “Yes, I thought it might be.” He had known my Grampa, and as we talked, he also broke down in tears. He promised to send me something, and a few weeks later, a photocopied 3-4 page article arrived, detailing the unit, the work, and lo and behold, there in the front row of the picture, sleeves rolled up and brown as a nut was my then-young Grandfather, with all the men of his section posing proud and strong.

In 1995, I head the great honour of helping prepare the service, and preaching at, the provincial gathering for the 50th Anniversary of VE Day, in Louisbourg. I did not tell them that war was bad. 1500 gathered vets, family, military officers, chaplains, and all the rest. I did forget the printed copy of my sermon at home, and spent the first 20 minutes of the ceremony surreptitiously writing down my main points on a stray piece of paper. Eep!

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Still, And More

For we are ever more at war, against enemies outside and within, of cowards and surrender-minded folks, of people who really aren’t sure if what we have and who we are is worth believing, defending, let alone dying for. Abortion is down slightly, but most of our murdered pre-born kids are killed for reasons of pleasure, hedonism, and social convenience. 100 000 every year; since I preached that sermon, we’ve slaughtered another 900 000. Hitler’s favourite eugenics– getting rid of the handicapped, elderly, and inferior– is now called family planning. The possible next Prime Minister of Canada is an intellectual and moral lightweight, who panders to militant Islam, and acts the dictator within his own party. You’ll remember his spoiled rich father, Pierre Trudeau, the anti-semite and wartime fascist who thought it a great joke to dress up as a Nazi soldier and drive around in Jewish neighbourhoods of Montreal during the war he avoided serving in.

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In 2014, political correctness and totalitarian progressivism represent an auto-immune disease of Western Societies, weakened inwardly, prey to opportunistic infections like radical Islam, abortionism, feminism, intellectual Leftism, open Communism and anti-semitism, racism and so much more. The battle is not over by a long stretch in each year and age– Hitler may be dead, but Hitlerism, Stalinism, Maoism, and other homegrown forms of dictatorship, death, and societal suicide abide with us. And outside, creeping in the gates, comes the wolfish bloody-handed hordes of Mohammedism, head-cutting and seducing, and presenting an impossibly simplistic universe for the same kind of souls who eagerly joined the SS in Germany. Evil is alive, ever seeking opportunity, blood, souls to mislead, and good things to bring down to ruin.

These our our times, our battles. As the spiritual leader of the war against evil in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Gandalf the Grey says:

Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.’ ― Gandalf, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, Book V, Chapter 9.

Let us remember, and so remembering, act. ~

~ Binks

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Social Misengineering

Scrooge & Marley

~ WORDS MEAN things.. thus, when radicals want to break something, they usually start with the words about that target. People who oppose a dictatorship are ‘dissidents’, or counter-revolutionaries; people with legitimate doubts over same-sex unions are ‘homophobes’. People who dislike terrorists killing people are ‘Islamophobes’. It’s hows you marginalize, re-interpret, skew reality.

In my wallet I carry a ‘partner discount card’. Oddly enough, I am not officially yoked in a business agreement with anybody, say, like Scrooge & Marley. This, again, is re-interpretation through the misuse of words. I am a husband; but, you see, that ‘discriminates’ (i.e., notices the differences) against illegal fake ‘living together’ marriages, gay unions, and boyfriend-girlfriend. Can’t have that, so call everybody the same thing, even if they are very different things.

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Something Else

I’m married, 27 years, committed to one woman till death us do part; with two kids of my own, no step-anythings. That is, the actual thing, however imperfect, as decreed by God, as lived by most of civilized history, as taught in the Bible and by the Saviour himself. Partners? Well, that’s one aspect of things, but just as a sirloin steak is different from a take-out cheeseburger or bologna sandwiches, or junk food.

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Don’t get on me about broken homes– I lived in one for much of my youth. Don’t get on me about ‘living together’– pseudo marriage is just that– playing at husband and wife, all of the benefits, none of the commitments come what may, and a dangerous environment for kids and other small animals.

Wording Good

Words mean things; good things are actually good; similar things may not be so good, or actually evil. That people don’t like feeling bad, or guilty, or ashamed is part of human nature: if you’ve done bad, feeling bad is the right response. Shame is your conscience warning you; guilt can be very real, for sins and crimes and hurting others. The great error of our modern age is that the virtue of compassion has run amuck, to the point of telling half-truths and lies, to make people feel better about themselves.

 If everything is lowered to one level, people may be allowed to excuse themselves much, and yet the thing itself is degraded, as if we substituted gold-spray-painted copper for gold coins. Counterfeit. Not the same. Fake.

I’m not in business with her, I’m married to her as husband and wife. More precious than gold, yea, than much fine gold. ~

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Happy All Hallow’s!

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~ ITEM: All Hallows; the Feast of All Saints; and All Souls Day

~ ITEM: What Monsters Portend– In The Walking Dead, evil that emerges among the living is foreshadowed by the zombies

 

~ WHAT A CHILLY walk Binks just had with Wee Wallace, Mini-Poodle of Doom. The leaves chased each other down the street on a almost-wintry November wind. The days grow shorter, the darkness encroaches, and all manner of spooky expert has creapt out of the woodwork to tell us what the season ‘really’ means.

We So Smarts!

As children of the 19th century, we are taught to believe that what came first is more real, original, the true thing. Hence, the Celtic fire-feast of the dead, Samhain (saw-wen) is the authentic meaning of Hallowe’en. Soon, similar experts will peep and mutter about the Roman Saturnalia, and how Christmas is a poor copy-job.

You know, because who cares about the spreading glory of an oak tree, her acorns fit for feeding wildlife, her spreading leaves and foilage giving shade and shelter, her mighty wood giving all manner of strength to things constructed of it– who cares?– after all, Acorns are the big deal, because they come first! (actually not, because they come from oak trees, but you see the problem of thought we have).

Woo! Feel The Excitement!

Woo! Feel The Excitement!

Binky Gets Thinky

One Easter, tired of the usual Jesus & Christianity bashing & explaining away in the media & TIME magazine and other reliably skewed sources of ppseudoknowledge, it occurred to me that all this ‘original things are the real ones’ is a profoundly upside down way of thinking. Aft all, we value ingredients because they can be made into stew, or bread, or cake, or pie, or whatever else, something actually better and more nourishing than if we just tried to eat the ingredients themselves. Thus, I preached, is Easter really only all about Springtime and fertility, papered over with some churchy whatnot? Nonsense: the Resurrection of Jesus is the biggest event ever– thus, Springtime is all about Easter. The old gods point to the one true God– even Socrates knew that.

Hence, Hallowe’en is not actually Samhain; Samhain is all about Hallowe’en– All The Holy Ones Evening.

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Samhain.. because the dead may be wandering about.

 

Big Scary Questions

For what is the state of the dead? Who knows it? Who has power over such an important aspect of human experience? Where are our lost ones?

Feasting and fires and supposing they walk abroad one night of the year.. OK: but when the missionaries of Him who is Lord of the dead & the living came to Celtic lands, they said “We proclaim him who lived, and died, and is risen forever. He has conquered sin, and death, and hell, and rules over all things with love. Thus, on the longings and unanswered questions and custom of Samhain, the church created two mighty feast days not to replace, as such, but to complete the pagan questions which awaited the coming of Jesus. Jesus fulfills the hopes and fears and longings of all the years.

All-Saints

Even so In Christ shall all be made alive.

So All Hallow’s Eve is the first part of All Hallow’s Day, when the great friends of God are remembered, their prayers asked for, their example recalled and followed, their presence with us in the love of Christ the Resurrected celebrated. Death itself is transformed: these are not like the heroes of the pagans, dwelling in a mythical land over the sea, because God’s love is eternal, that love and life is still in his friends: the saints are not dead, but with God.

Then, the more personal feast, All Souls, when we remember the friends and family and neighbours gone from us over the past year, and in our lifetimes. This is the sadder day, of sorrow and thankfulness and remembering that we, too, have that river of death to cross in our time.

Lost In The Dark

Since the 19th century, so-caleld Neo-pagans claim the old days, as if you could actually go back in time and be their own ancestors. As my friend Frederica Mathewes-Green said to me once, such folks strike her as being like kids in superhero pajamas. Or, I might say, worse, as being rejectors of Christ, and thus foolish slaves playing with powers they do not understand, and cannot control. For if nature abhors a vacuum, so supernature abhors a vacuum. If we will not share in Christ’s victory over darkness, then the darkness is happy to oblige. Sadly, we see this in modern horror movies, TV-shows, and a pop-culture obsessed with death, the demonic, and images of ugliness and degrading violence.

Whether or not our frightened, sterile, unimaginative, death-haunted, sex-glutted Western societies can return to such healthy fountains of life and thought is in God’s wisdom and work– ours is to remember, pass it on, and understand things right-side up, for we are not the wisest things ever, but more like children playing with guns, wandering in the dark woods, lost children who are neither happy, nor good. ~

 

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Binks Rant #42,688

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~ SERIOUSLY? I do respect conscience, opinion, free thought, and having your own ideas– along with having a real clue about what you are experting away on, a decent education, facts, and a properly formed human life, and religious conscience.

Thus, however common it may be, I can not respect thinking that anyone has a divine right to their own notions somehow being true, sensible, or even likely, just because they happen to believe them. Pooling ignorance does not give you truth; nor does repeating something over and over make it true.

Lots of people will look to the allegedly bad old Middle Ages, when “The Pope Told People What To Think”. That’s bad and inaccurate history, yet how is it better when every man and women thinks they ARE the Pope, the final authority, as it were, on everything?

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The first question is: what is truth? Then, what is true, and how do I know it? We’ve had at least 25,000+ years of civilization, lots of good thinkers, philosophers, story-tellers, playwrights, and even God’s own Son come down from heaven to earth. We all have built-in BS-detectors, if we care to use them properly, and instincts towards truth and goodness, as well as our other instincts and habits of evil and badness.

Howso Whatnow?

This current chaos will not last, because some of us want to be slaves of some ideology or Glorious Leader, others want to be anarchic and parasitical, and yet “all we like sheep have gone astray, every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Jesus. Remember him? The real one– risen, victorious, glorified, ruling over all things, even times like these. Our choices are narrowing ever more, and I will say this in praise of the Islamic Statists– just like ‎Robespierre, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao– they know Jesus and his true followers are the most dangerous of their opponents. Because we are alive, believe in truth, and love, and assert– in the face of statism, terrorism, eugenicism, and all the other works of the Devil– that Jesus is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.

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Cue Evil Vicar

There is some truth in what ‘The Evil Vicar’ says, just (since it’s a comedy bit) not in how he says it.

“‘Not particularly religious’? ‘Interested’? ‘Spiritual’? Are you testing me, Satan?

“Steady on, my wife’s entitled to her views.”

“Oh, isn’t she just? Aren’t you all entitled to your half-assed musings on the divine? You’ve thought about eternity for 25 minutes, and think you’ve come to some interesting conclusions?”

In our very serious times, we can live in denial, drown in entertainment, follow the mindless herd and the talking heads, or wake up and get serious (in a lighthearted way, since treating important things with modesty and humour means you recognize their importance).

Serious matters are happening all around us. Will we doze and dream, and idly wonder where we are headed, and why we are in a handcart?

What will we live or die for? What is worth fighting for? What is worth handing down to our children and grandchildren? In a few days, just after we have buried a 25 year old man shot by a terrorist, we will remember other days, and other young people either killed, or passed on, or now grown old, all those who offered their lives on the altar of freedom in two world wars, so that the horrible experiment of a renegade Germany might finally be ended.

There are our days, our fields of rocks, our battles. ~

Death-Worship

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- ITEM: 29-year-old with cancer plans to kill herself 2 days after her husband’s birthday

- ITEM: There is nothing brave about suicide, says Matt Walsh

- UPDATE ITEM: Why This Woman With Terminal Cancer Is Begging Brittany Maynard to Reconsider; PLUSBrittany Maynard: The Vultures are circling

- THE BASIC MISTAKE– It’s not just about her.

She is– in effect– saying that anyone who has chronic illness, pain, or any sort of possibly fatal disease is really a loser. This dovetails in nicely with government rationing of health-dollars for old or sick or dying people.

What does she know, exactly? Don’t suffering and dying and losing control and needing others, and being needed and cared for teach something to us and our loved ones, and society?

Death & Taxes

The evidence is already in from nations which have espoused such evil as medical murder: it quickly becomes not your choice. And the calls for death to relieve discomfort or suffering or depression show up. The government, soon enough, may well tell you when you’ve live your tax-funded share of years. Oh goody.

There is good reason why Hippocrates and those who invented Western medicine made it a rule that no doctor should take life and death into their own hands. Such things are of the gods, and very serious and holy, and should not be fiddled with; the power of the healthy and strong over the sick and weak is too easily abused even to be considered.

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Saith Teh Binks

No, Miss Maynard. I have been variously ill for 30 years. I have read and pondered and thought on suffering, evil, death, and God for a similar length of time. And, as with many who have been ill, what you suggest– self-murder– has come to whisper sweet nothings in my ears. There is no easy exit.

I have also tried to love God & neighbour, and redeem the time, for the days are evil, and to remember that as God made me from dust, to dust I shall return.. and yet, by grace, I shall arise even unto a new heaven and a new earth– a new body! where there shall be no more tears, or suffering, or dying, for the former things are passed away. I do not think God will bless you for having played god with yourself.

I am proudly not dead yet. But that is not my business– for

WHETHER we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14. 8, 9.

Dear Miss Maynard– not that way.. His way. Live until you die, into the everlasting arms.

 Binks

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Broken Clown

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~ ITEM: Love the comedian: hate the act that took him from us, by Hilary White

~ ITEM: Shaidle: Everything people are saying about Robin Williams is right— and wrong— at the same time

~ ITEM: Matt Walsh: “Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice”

~ ITEM: Just Before He Died Robin Williams Sent a Terminal Cancer Patient This Heartfelt Video

~ ITEM: The Truth About Robin Williams, by Stefan Molyneux

~ ITEM: Please Let Robin Williams’ Depression Be His Real Legacy

~ ITEM: What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come Official Trailer

~ PONTIFICATING on Robin Williams’ suicide is presumptuous, predictable, and reveals more about us than about him. The fact that the manic comedian had developed Parkinson’s (which boosts emotions) may explain why his already painful life became too much.. brilliant and driven, lonely and painful, as Stefan Molyneaux explains, from his childhood on up.

Some people live life like a raw nerve; they feel ten times more, suffer ten times more, rejoice ten times more, and find life wearing and wearying. Robin Williams lived his life in the public eye, and we saw his inside-out life and it entertained us.

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We Need The Eggs

Who wants to cure the jester? Or as the old joke has it, the husband asks the doctor about his wife, who thinks she’s a chicken. “so you want to cure here?’ asks the doctor. “No!” says the husband, “we need the eggs.” Make us laugh, comedy-monkey!

Of all the movies which reveal the skills, and inner life of Robin Williams, it’s 1998’s What Dreams May Come which shows the most. It starts out as an afterlifey happy shiney magical land– but as William’s character searches for his wife (who committed suicide) she’s nowhere to be found. All of a sudden the shiney happy vanishes, and we end up on a Dantean quest through horrors and hell to save the wife from her self-murder.

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For me, it’s a classic case of a screenwriter whose talent exceeds the bounds of the story; or, of a spiritual universe which is much larger and deeper and brighter and darker than it first appears.

Word is that Robin Williams was nominally an Episcopalian (Anglican), and I have no idea what he made of that, or of his relationship with God. The sad thing for those in such spiritual need that squishy liberal Protestantism has nothing strong enough to comfort or save or hang onto. The empty & smug elitism of much of mainline denominationalism leaves you spiritually like someone on the Titanic after the boats have gone.

In The End

Genie,Free

Wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.

I cannot say, with Disney or whomever “Genie, you’re free.” Suicide, like homicide, is about murder. It’s horrid and messy and cruel and leaves the victims angry with and grieving the same person. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. 

Robin Williams now stands before God, his judge and Savior, as each of us shall, come death’s door. I do not know Mr. William’s spiritual state, nor if– with the last milliseconds of his life– he repented and wished to undo his doom. Let us, instead, look to our own souls, visit and help sick & depressed people (they are all around us, and I am one of them). ~

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What Rough Beasts

~ ITEM: THOUGHTS AFTER LAMBETH by Eliot, T.S.

~ ITEM: T. S. Eliot’s Christian Society: Still Relevant Today?

~ THE WISE SEE what is coming, what rough beast is slouching towards Bethlehem– they feel it in their bones; they read the signs of the times; Israel had her prophets– modernity has had a few great-hearted poets and writers, readers of the soul & the world, truth-tellers in the ever-dishonest times.

We are in the middle of a three-way collision: rational life-giving Christianity, irrational suicidal non-Christian Islam, and irrational suicidal non-Christian Secularism. To both irrationals, Christ is the great enemy. His claims are blasphemy. His followers are pure evil. The free civilization and free societies built in his name must be enslaved, one way, or the other.

T.S. Eliot, prophetical poet & essayist.

T.S. Eliot, prophetical poet & essayist.

“The World is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time: so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and save the World from suicide.”

―From T. S. Eliot’s essay “Thoughts after Lambeth.” [1931]

And from another gift from God to our insane times, comes this wisdom and warning about discerning good from evil:

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

It would be lovely & convenient to exempt ourselves from this cataclysmic collision, but there is no neutrality in reality.  ~

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The Expurgated Version

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~ ITEM: List of Verses Omitted from other Bible Versions (NIV, ASV, NASB et al.)

~ ITEM: On Bible Criticism and Its Counterarguments; and The Documentary Theory of the Authorship of the Pentateuch: Collection of Critical Articles

~ THE MORE THAT the Bible is translated, said C.S. Lewis, the less it is read. There are now so many boutique and niche-versions of the Christian Bible, it’s a veritable forest. We might also say that the more experts have their way with God’s Word, the more it seems to vanish into thin air, by their critical acids, pretending to be ‘objective scholarship’ of Biblical Criticism.

These ideas are partly why so many preachers say such weird and irrelevant stuff from the pulpit– they have the special inside knowledge, you see. The sheep in the pews are there to be patronized, talked down to, and baffled with this kind of BS.

It Gets Worse

But the nasty thing about a lot of modern Bibles? They simply leave some verses out, or in the footnotes, because experts. And they won’t always tell you what they’ve been up to.

Thing is, saith Binks, such edits depend on a teeteringly tall stack of assumptions about the Bible, and Julius Wellhausen-style ‘onwards and upwards progression’ arguments. I am no expert, and am instinctively suspicious of experts, and expertism in general. Partly because of problems like this:

“Wellhausen’s method is clear and straightforward. Every passage that fits his theory is authentic; all others are forgeries.”

Julius Had A Theory

Julius Had A Theory

What-now? Yes, you read that correctly.

Wellhausen’s method & theory itself depends on a taken-for granted 19th century theory of improvement & progress, that acorns come before oak trees, and (to make it very simplistic) we now are the smartest & bestest people ever, because we are alive now, and  we know so much more than the naive dolts who went before us. Especially the pre-scientific & pre-critical nitwits who lived & lied-up the Bible. It would have been  better, really, if they’d all been superior Germanic Biblical professors a lot like Wellhausen.

This is classical ‘Jumping Off Your Own Shadow’ cleverness, where your master-theory assumes what it has to prove, and does not include a proper examination of the hidden assumptions, presumptions, and biases implicit in, say, being a late 19th century German academic. This is a classical form of Ivory Tower Blind-Spot. It reminds me of a retired Episcopal Seminary professor who said, in my hearing, that given the way that saint, evangelist, apostle and eyewitness of Our Lord St. Matthew mis-handled the Old Testament, that he  “would have flunked my intro to the New Testament course.”

Words fail.

Then, all the like-minded modern experts gather together, echo each other, and assume anybody not as clever as them & Wellhausen are rather pitiable unserious persons, and to be treated as such, or simply lied to in general.

Looking At The Bible

We simply don’t know why some families of NT documents have omissions, differences, or variations. Nor do Biblical Scholars, especially the darned German ones, who have utterly buggerized & theoretized the faith & Bible as much as they have helped it.

As Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out in his two books on Jesus of Nazareth, even after we have criticized and analysed and crumbled the Bible, we still must unbreak it and re-read and know it as God’s Word. Deconstruction must lead to deeper understanding, or it is merely a con leading to destruction. Unwisdom.

Or, as a recently rediscovered speech & poem by J.R.R. Tolkien puts it,

Twenty years have flowed away
down the long river
And never in my life will return
for me from the sea.
Ah, years in which looking far away
I saw ages long past
When still trees bloomed
free in a wide country.

And thus now all begins to wither
With the breath of cold-hearted wizards
To know things they break them*
And their stern lordship they establish
Through fear of death.

* My emphasis.

A Few Speculations

For instance– even if we agree (‘cuz it’s shorter & simpler = Wellhausen) that the Gospel of Mark is early, might not the early Church very early on (in late apostolic immediate sub-apostolic time) have been guided by the Holy Spirit to edit the Gospel to add, fix, and clarify Mark, in accord with the faith, the creed, and the three other Gospels? So the runty-Gospel doesn’t look strange and incomplete, compared to the other three, the Letters of Paul, and the preaching, creed, and worship in the Churches?

Or, what if the scribes of Peter wrote more in an ‘updated edition’, as remembered from his preaching, with the last chapter?

Or, what if there was an early set of incomplete manuscripts, and a later completed one?

Or, what if the earliest (fuller) texts were destroyed or lost in various persecutions or invasions, and other texts (the incomplete, or uncorrected or partial texts) survived, because they were not in as much use?

That’s a very few “what ifs”, on one possibility, for one Gospel. So easy, a web-elf can do it. Oh, and, of course, everything that fits my theory is authentic; all others are forgeries.

Growl, Grumble

Leaving dozens of verses out of modern Bible translations as modern scholars have done in too many Bible mistranslations is hubristic, arrogant, and assumes too much that we simply cannot know, but must take on faith. And no, I’m not a KJV-worshipper– nor am I an unreflective Westcott & Hort, or Wellhausen fanboy.

Let’s be clear here: as against the witness of a good part of the surviving New Testament documents, experts have made their version of the Bible fit Liberal German theories of simpler=earlier. Anything that does not fit with the theory does not belong.

However, I do believe that the Spirit-guided evangelists of the Spirit-guided Church were indeed receivers of the promised Holy Ghost, who would bring all things into remembrance, whatsoever Jesus had taught the apostles, and to write it in the Spirit-sealed Word of God, all by the power and inspiration of the Risen Logos, the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

queen-james-gay-bible

Somehow, the Church prospered and grew and preached for over 1830 years (give or take) without the bizarre and too often destructive and high-handed ‘expertise’ of unrestricted theories and guesses about the Bible, which has led us to the ideological nightmare of “politically correct” feminist ‘Bibles‘, pro-Gay ‘Bibles‘, and the popular modern ‘with the suspicious bits left out’ versions.

Don’t trust the experts. Binks may be wrong, too. The truth may be larger, more interesting, simpler or more complicated than some German guy said. The experts do not have, or should not have, the final word. ~

~ Binks

It All Depends

kumbaya

~ IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT YOU think is actually going on– and therefore what needs to be said and done– on what you think is real and true.

For instance, if you were born in the 60s, and tend Leftwards, you think it’s all about getting people into the Kumbayah circle, generating positive feelings, and perhaps some weed-smoke, and the world will come together in peace, love, and flowers. The 60s were an optimistic time, and old barriers and conflicts were going to be fixed by the UN, and fine-sounding words, and becoming subtly Communist & worldly. This fulfilled that part of the European revolutionary spirit of the 1840s. Utopia, next stop! Happy happy, joy joy, everything is awesome!

Do You Smell Smoke?

However, what if the real situation is that we are in a burning Minas Tirith, surrounded by countless entrenched orcs, wargs, Nazgul, and other monsters; within the walls are despair, treachery, not enough warriors, and a fading spirit. There are a few hidden away in the burning city singing Kumbayah or the Gondorian equivalent, but they are worse than useless. Even worse? somehow, The Enemy is in control of the people running things. And there’s plenty of blame to go around, not just based on your habits of mind, group-think, or the alleged general consensus.

siegemt

Where’s your ‘Kumbaya’ now, puny mortals?

Wait, It Gets Worse!

Sadly, many of the churches of our time worship big government, the spirit of the age, and feelings over facts and faith. That is, the church militant– the church fighting the good fight here below cheered on by the angels, saints, martyrs and faithful ones of the church above– is making Kumbayah, not spiritual war, against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Think cops on permanent donut-break whilst the criminals run wild.

To a real extend, this is the fault of Rome. When the Roman Catholics get a sniffle, the protestants get double pneumonia. Vatican II was a mess. It replaced evangelism with ecumenism; truth with consensus (a.k.a. the pooling of ignorance & contradiction in search of truth); worship with self-regarding spectacle; a world-culture with a divided weak waffling ‘spirit’. A house divided cannot stand.

C’mon Rome– Kumbayah? Ecumenism with Muslim prayers at the Vatican? All happy times, and ever onwards and upwards? Great, big massive lies, with feckin’ bells hanging off them! Please, Pope Bergoglio: show me in the Bible where Jesus ever said that he came to bring peace, flowers, and Kumbayah, and that the march of the church is like a bunch of hippies skipping through a field of flowers. Where he said that we should surrender to other faiths, or to a worldly feel-good agnosticism.

lalaland-jaysu

La lalala lalalala la la, la

So which is it?

The one thing I know and feel in my bones is that the more we deny the fact of darkness in ourselves, the world, and in spiritual places, the more we’ve wandered into a self-decieving la-la land, while failing to recognize we’re in a minefield. In the fog. At night. Having no clear idea which way to go. And the darkness knows it.

The more we live in denial, the more we excuse ourselves from these time, OUR times, which require wakeful, wise, brave people to fight against and to name the evils around us, within us, and threatening us. ~

jesuskumbaya

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