Friday, January 28, 2011

Are We Gods Yet?

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say,‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  -  Genesis 3:2-5

Whether you believe in the story of Adam and Eve or not, we must recognize that people behave as if it were true. There's nothing more tempting than 'forbidden fruit', and the surest way to get someone to do something is to tell them they can't do it. Also, we humans tend to be gullible, and often take promises at face value. When we're ashamed we usually try to cover it up with a fig leaf, rather than be honest about it. And like Adam, who blamed Eve for their failure, we look for scapegoats.

Knowledge is always a two-edged sword, and produces unintended consequences. Knowledge that gives us joy one day can bring misery the next.

As mankind gained power over life and nature with technology, the temptation to imitate and challenge God became irresistible. This isn't altogether bad. If you were a farmer and every year a creek flooded your fields and threatened your crops you'd certainly say,"It's not right that I should have to accept flooding as my fate. I can dam the creek and create a little lake, too."

But some people aren't content with small scale interventions. King Nimrod of Babylon brazenly challenged God by building a huge tower and shooting his arrows at the heavens. It didn't end well for him. The ancient Greeks were highly sensitive to the perils of hubris - narcissistic self-absorption - and believed it was the root of almost all evil in the world. They studied it, debated it, and still fell prey to it.

When I was a child, the first science fiction magazine I ever saw had an illustration on the cover of a huge reflective screen, designed to orbit the earth and illuminate the night. Scientists thought that was a great idea, and said it would "increase crop yields" and have a lot of other benefits. No consideration was given to those who might prefer to have darkness and an unsullied moon to look at. Just this morning the scientific news reports that a similar screen has been placed in orbit, as a test:

A lot of wonderful ideas produce negative results. Sometimes they're catastrophic. We must always be aware - and willing to learn from - the consequences of what we do. Even if our motives are pure as the driven snow. The 20th Century saw more horrors resulting from Utopian schemes-gone-bad than any other time in human history. We often hear religion defamed for being a cause of war, but more deaths - military and civilian - were caused by the atheist wars and twisted 'progressive'/crypto-Marxist social plans of the last 100 years than in all other human conflicts combined. The playwright George Bernard Shaw - a hero of the Left - is seen in this film praising mass murder:

We live in an age of incomparable technological power, and our interventions and manipulations are having enormous and fatally catastrophic effects. And I'm not talking about the bogus chimera of man-made global warming. We have bigger fish to fry, believe it or not.

The worldwide economic meltdown of September '08 came about from just such a well-intentioned scheme. Ten years ago, two government entities known fondly by Wall Street and the investment community as 'Fannie Mae' and 'Freddie Mac' - with instructions from Congress to "make home ownership available to all" - began making real estate loans at artificially low interest rates and with almost no money down. By 2007, more than a third of all home loans issued in America were given to buyers who put up three-percent of the purchase price of their house. This is a powerful incentive to walk away from a property if the price drops, and that's exactly what happened. The really terrible thing is that investors worldwide poured a great deal of money into those bad loans. They were told that the loans were safe, and always had been in the past. The loans were even insured. But that perfect track-record turned out to be worthless as an indicator for the future. The loan insurers went bankrupt when the catastrophe grew to unimaginable proportions..

The collapse of these low quality loans sparked a worldwide recession that plagues us today. Many experts say we haven't seen the worst of it yet, and they're right. There's a level of manipulation and intervention now in all world markets that almost nobody predicted. And it's getting worse every day.

The most recent intervention by the Federal Reserve is called Quantitative Easing by Ben Bernanke, head of the Fed. What a perfectly innocuous name for a plan that defies the laws of God and Nature. It means that we taxpayers are handing out money at extremely low interest rates to major multinational casino players like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, or just about anyone with 'connections' in order to "guarantee liquidity". The goal is to make sure that the American - and world - economy doesn't contract. They've been signing blank checks all over the place, which guarantees hyperinflation down the road. They don't believe in nature's self-regulating power, which is - and always has been - the virtue of free markets. These people believe they have godlike power with their computers and PhD. analysts. 

Adam Smith and every great economist in the world until recent times recognized that economies and markets must mimic nature; and they will, if allowed to. This means that after long seasons of exuberant growth, overbuilding and overproduction will create surpluses that drive prices down to ruinous levels. A fall and winter must come to kill off the inefficient over-producers and bring supply and demand back into balance. Some people and businesses will fail, but the dead wood has to be cleared out. There will be suffering and panic for a while, as people fear that prosperity is gone forever.

Forest management has been distorted in the same way. Putting out all forest fires causes dense undergrowth to pile up, so when lightning strikes or a campfire sets the forest ablaze, the extreme heat of the undergrowth guarantees a far worse conflagration. How did Nature produce vast forests before man came along? It evolved a plan. Mankind is messing it up. 

Time once was that private banking concerns like J.P. Morgan and the Rothschild family stepped in to provide cash to Wall Street, thus preventing deep panics. When a major panic happened in 1908, the 'progressives' in America said, "That's it! We can't allow our nation to be at the mercy of private individuals! We need an independent entity that has the public good at heart".  Not a bad idea, as far as it goes. But the Wilson administration created the Federal Reserve, and they have produced asset bubbles with regularity, like the 1920's stock market boom and Great Crash, the inflation and stagnation of the late '60's and '70's... right up to now.

The market manipulators have such power they become drunk with it. They allow too much easy credit, and when inflation inevitably takes off, they have to tighten too much and for too long, creating depressions.

The alternative is to allow Nature to take its course. If the dollar were allowed to freely float, finding its value according to natural forces, the internet bubble of 2000 and the housing bubble of recent memory never could have happened. Interest rates would have been much higher. Three-percent down payment loans would never have been  allowed. But markets like this are highly inconvenient for politicians who want to get elected, so they appoint Fed chairmen who open up the money taps when asked.

This is economic crime on a massive scale, and was prophesied long ago. Still, prosecution is necessary to maintain confidence in our system.  But these people are smart and they know how to cover their tracks, so it's impossible to find out with certainty who is who, and exactly what's going on. The charts don't lie, however, and they show that undue influence is overriding natural fluctuations. Stock charts are like hospital monitors, and you can know if a patient has just received an injection if the bouncing lines suddenly smooth out, like the Dow Jones and the Standard & Poors indexes have for the last four months. Massive infusions of money have been preventing any kind selloff. But the instability in Egypt, Tunisia, and the rest of the Middle East is blowing a hole in the manipulators' plans, and now the downturn will be worse than ever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Real King Solomon

He was a youthful king who seems to have enjoyed himself as few people in history ever have. He wrote the Song of Solomon; a startlingly erotic love poem that breaks the commonly understood  mold of the Old Testament as a strictly moralistic tome. It's generally believed he wrote Ecclesiastes, the 21st book of the Bible, whose undisputed wisdom has found its way into popular culture: i.e., The Byrds' hit Turn, Turn, Turn, "To every thing there is a season...", and, "So I commend pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat, drink, and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 8:15.

He had riches and power beyond mortal measure, and women like you wouldn't believe. According to the Bible, 700 wives and 300 concubines. This must be pure imagery for dramatic impact, in truth. The numbers defy logic. No person would have time to even speak to 700 wives. not to mention 300 concubines. The country would be stripped of women, and an epidemic of bachelors would seriously stress the community and threaten national harmony. No man possesses the energy or time needed for a harem a fraction of this size, and where would he find time to rule his kingdom?

All this points to numerology, a quality of the Bible we must learn to understand.  Numbers had sacred value in ancient times. The fourth book of the Old Testament is called Numbers. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a unique numerical value. The numbers three and seven are particularly holy, and should rarely be taken literally. In Isaiah 6:3, the angels praise God before His throne,"Holy, holy, holy..." three times. Seven indicates completion and perfection, as in the seven days of Creation, described in Genesis 2:2.

There's every reason to believe that God gave Solomon all the riches of the earth in superabundance. In 1 Kings 3:5-12, Solomon asks God for wisdom - not mentioning earthly wealth - so, "The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings."

We know the Temple of Solomon was built, because the foundation is still there on the temple mount; and it's astonishing. Huge blocks of stone are dressed to very fine tolerances, and a knife blade won't fit between them in most places. The Romans left a record of the vast treasure they took from the temple when they leveled it in 70 A.D. 

Nevertheless, there are many doubters who maintain that Solomon and David, his father, never really existed.

There's a furious battle going on right now in Israel between two major figures, top archaeological authorities: Israel Finkelstein (who says Solomon never lived, and both Israel and Jerusalem were mere backwaters in the ancient world with no credibility or power); and Eilat Mazar, who has unearthed an important gate at the city of Gezer, exactly where the Old Testament says many Solomonic structures were built. The most credible argument against the existence of a powerful Israel in the ancient world is the lack of structural evidence. But there are two answers to that: One, Israel was conquered by the Babylonians, Assyrians, and the Romans, who all had a strong interest in stamping out Jewish identity. Fancy palaces and temples make wonderful stockpiles of precious materials to be plundered by conquering peoples. No wonder there's barely anything left. Secondly, there have been more than a few artifacts found, and recently; a huge copper mining city in the south that fits perfectly the timeline of King Solomon's Mines of legend. On top of that, Islamists venerate both  Davood  and Suleiman, as they call David and Solomon. They always have, even though both undermine the Arab, Palestinian, and Persian case against Jewish power and identity.

The most fascinating part of the Solomon's story is what rarely is mentioned. King David - "A man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13: 13-14) - was at the height of his power and wealth, but was unhappy. His  wife, Michal, was a real Gorgon, full of resentment for God knows what. Perhaps because her father - King Saul - had gone mad, tried to kill David, and failed. Then Saul committed suicide.

There are several reasons - moral and ethical - why people would want to skim over this; but the main one is it's very much a conundrum. David seduces Bathsheba (but she set him up by bathing naked on her rooftop within sight of his palace), then he gets her pregnant, even though she's married to Uriah the Hittite, one of David's best and most loyal generals. Uriah won't sleep with Bathsheba - thus allowing for a coverup of her pregnancy - so David arranges to have Uriah killed in battle; and he dies. 

Of course God becomes angry, and sends the prophet Nathan to trap David in the famous theoretical legal opinion (the poor man who has his only lamb taken by the rich man) that brings doom on David. But - and this is where it gets really rich - Bathsheba's born-in-sin son is Solomon, the greatest of all kings of Israel; a king that God loves as much as David, and rewards ten times as much. So isn't it obvious God is sending us a message here? One, that great good can come from evil if we remain faithful. And two, our judgments about who is worthy and virtuous, and who isn't, can't be relied upon in many - if not most - cases.

To top off the story, Solomon later in life begins consorting with strange pagan women outside the Law of Israel, and falls out of God's favor just like his dad. Like father like son. But he repents in the end, and God forgives him. He's venerated as Israel's greatest king, even though he didn't engage in any military operations to speak of; unlike David, who was the first special operations commando.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lux Aeterna Amor Dei: God's Eternal Love Light Shines

If you hold up your hand and block out the glare of the world - the mindless and incessant media, the non-stop yelling voices of doom and gloom, the distracting flashing lights - you'll see something wonderful. It looks like this:

We must eclipse the profane and obnoxious blasting 'reality' around us, because it's not real, except in the most narrow sense. Yes, we have to work, engage with people and buy and sell and go here and there; but we mustn't be completely taken in by it. All great religions emphasize this., and urge us to see the larger picture and context.

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players..." -  Shakespeare; As You Like It

That is how we really come to grief:  By making ourselves the center of the universe; taking vengeance into our own hands; seeking godlike power over others; or not seeing God in all life around us. We must accept our mortality, or risk becoming like Dracula, the undead, not fully alive or dead.

How can something so transitory and unreliable - as this world is - be considered authentic and powerful?  The world is god to many, but must not be god for us. Never worship the creation; worship only the Creator.

You must be very dissatisfied with the world. Who can be otherwise? Where's the happiness and fulfillment? What happened to all the glowing and wonderful promises that were made to us? The answer is in their absence.

God exists where the world comes to its end. The perfect negative example being set by the world - and our deep unhappiness and dissatisfaction with it - proves the truth that we were made for something far better, finer, and richer. Blessed are those who mourn, and are grieving, for they will find God. Blessed are those who suffer and hunger, for God will heal and feed them.

Those who are content and satisfied with this world are the poorest among us, and most endangered. They do not want God. Hence, they will not find Him.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Satanism and the Psychotic Shooter

There are great truths being revealed by the deeds of Jared Loughner, the Tucson killer. First, it's just been shown that he's a Satan-worshiper, and has a skull, ashes, and candle shrine in his backyard. Since 2007 there have been reports of his disturbing and threatening behavior. From June of last year onward he's been raving and delusional, interrupting his teachers and others - often in mid-sentence - to rant about killing and violence.

Why wasn't he taken in by authorities and given medical treatment? There are several reasons. One is that since the 1960's. 'progressives' nationwide have made it almost impossible to have schizophrenics and the mentally ill institutionalized against their will. Ken Kesey's blockbuster hit novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest convinced the public there were large numbers of innocents rotting away in mental institutions. Since then large numbers live and die in the streets, while the ACLU stands ready at all times to challenge and block cities and states from helping them.

Secondly, Arizona is ground zero for the flood tide of illegal aliens from Mexico and elsewhere. The state is broke; the social safety net is wrecked and overloaded with the needy. The federal government has exacerbated  the problem by blocking all border reform in every state.

The national and world media is trying to blame the Tea Parties for Tucson, and the "overheated political rhetoric" from conservatives. They're deliberately ignoring the violent rhetoric of the 'progressives', who have been going at it for ten years; at one point calling for the assassination of George Bush. Last week a number of Leftist commentators called for "violence in the streets".

“You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.” 
- Rahm Emmanuel

Ninety-five percent of the political violence in America since I was born in 1949 has been perpetrated by 'progressives'. I know their intentions and modus operandi because I was one of them; until I awoke and grew out of it in the '70's.

Does anyone remember the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting of November 5, 2009? A Muslim U.S. Army Major, Nidal Hasan, a psychiatrist, - recently promoted - killed thirteen and wounded thirty people in exactly the same way as Jared Loughner. The Army was aware of Hasan's tendencies, but ignored them due to 'progressive' rules of Political Correctness, i.e. "Islamophobia". Those charged with oversight were literally afraid to act. It could have ruined their Army careers.

Hasan screamed out "God is great!" while murdering and maiming with his automatic handgun. This is the jihadist battle cry, and Hasan had prepared himself for many months. He knew exactly what he was doing, and left a lengthy paper and computer trail. He had been incited and coached by a Muslim cleric who is well known and a familiar visitor to the Obama White House, Anwar al-Awlaki.

But according to the 'progressive' media, the Fort Hood shooter didn’t kill for Islam. No, Islam is a "religion of peace", and had nothing to do with it. But the Tea Partiers! Now there's a violent group!

Before the rise of science and reason in the 18th Century, known as the Enlightenment, people had only one explanation for violent mayhem and killing, and it was based on a Scriptural foundation: demonic possession. Is that just too crazy an idea to consider?

These are "...the times that try [our] souls..." But it's critically important to know that, as Churchill said, "When the dark comes down, the stars shine". This is our time to shine for God's sake and to fulfill His purpose.  These are the Last Days, and we're blessed and privileged to be here now to assist God in the great work of bringing "...a new heaven and a new earth".  -  Revelation 21:1.

Frequently in the New Testament the works of  God are compared to birth pangs, and labor; the traumatic and painful process of bringing new life into the world. The Coming of the Lord is all about rebirth. We're experiencing that rebirth, a literal Renaissance in the world.  It's bloody and messy; hard to see through all the chaos and strife. This is a critical test of faith for us.

Let's focus on Jesus words, some of the most difficult he uttered:

 Matthew 10:34:  "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

Moral choices are being made that will separate us for all time. Know that this is Holy work. It will ease the pain enormously. The time is coming when we'll rejoice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is Questioning God Blasphemy?

The fear of blaspheming cripples many people, leading them into atheism, agnosticism, or even violent extremism - often directed against those they see as blasphemers. The very thought that there might be an omnipotent and omnipresent God who holds our future entirely in His hands can be scary. Even for those who are confident in their faith it's a daunting concept. Our own power vanishes with such an understanding. It's unbearable for those whose conscience is troubling them. Atheism and agnosticism are comforting defenses when seen in this light.

Fear of offending God has always been a driving force in worshipers - particularly primitive peoples - and has been used for evil purposes by religious leaders since time began. Judeo-Christians have seen the excesses which result from this fear, such as human sacrifice, and have focused on correct understanding of Scripture and God's expectations. 

The fear of offending God is almost always misplaced. The word Israel in Hebrew means "he struggles with God". Check this out:

Most of the churches and religions of all nations and stripes don't want you to know that God wants us to argue, struggle, and forge our own understanding of Him and the Divine Plan. The Book of Job is proof.  After suffering total loss of family, fortune, and health, Job challenged God in what amounts to a court case. God turned the tables on Job, "Who are you to challenge me?!" But in the end He praised Job and restored his fortunes ten-fold. It's the most important Old Testament book, and quite likely the oldest one in the Bible.

If we decide to wrestle with God ourselves, it undermines the power and control religious leaders have over us. It's dangerous, of course. But all things really worth doing - particularly things that have high stakes and a huge payoff - are risky or dangerous. Loving others exposes us to grievous loss. Starting a business, changing jobs, or exploring the unknown can ruin us. Such is life. It's a very American trait to be willing to take risks and think we're capable and worthy to do important things. It's the exact opposite of the serf mentality of socialist Europe and Asia.

It is the Anti-Christ, Satan, who rules by fear and attacks those who question his authority. If you find yourself having a debate with a seemingly-religious person who tries to shame or threaten you for wanting answers, that person is a counterfeit, a fake. There are plenty of them. Particularly in the Muslim world, almost anything can be construed as blasphemy; which carries a death sentence in many countries. Almighty God is not - and can never be - intimidated or disturbed in the least by our questions or doubts. Our crimes and misdemeanors never threaten the Lord. We're the ones who bring destruction on ourselves for our bad behavior. God wants us to escape from "the valley of the shadow of death".

The reality of God's power and goodness is vastly - inconceivably - greater than our earthly understanding of it. Only by transcending our human frailties can we hope to comprehend Him.

The word blasphemy comes from two ancient Greek words that mean "to injure" and "reputation". But it's not nearly strong enough a word to describe what's been happening for the last 160 years.

There's an attitude gaining credibility in our nation and the world, a hatred of the very idea of God. This is antitheism, a deliberate and aggressive war on God. It's not by any means new, and has roots in the 18th Century Enlightenment. The French Revolution was its first manifestation, and it produced  mass mayhem and death; the murders of priests, nuns, and tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

In the 1840's, Karl Marx codified the war on God by labeling all religions "the opiate of the people", and singled out people of faith for extermination. Hundreds of millions have been murdered under his communist/antitheist banner.

In the western world, antitheism has been explored by movies such as Amadeus and books like Moby Dick. Characters like the composer Salieri and Captain Ahab once shocked audiences with their brazen hostility and pride, but not anymore. 'Progressivism' - which is Marxism camouflaged - is being marketed everywhere with a happy face. Notice how often you see smiling Mao T-shirts; or Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez, Castro, and others. Russia's Vladimir Putin - the former KGB leader -  has a very effective PR firm that keeps his happy visage in front of the cameras every week now. Entertainers like Madonna and Lady Gaga have made millions by popularizing their antitheism. Much of this can be seen as something rather like adolescent rebellion, but there are powerful forces in the world - leaders of powerful nations - who are very serious about their war on God, and us.

It was foretold long ago:

Psalm 2:2-12: 
The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yoke from us." The One enthroned in heaven laughs them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, "I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the Lord's decree: He said to me, "You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like potter's vessel." Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and you and your ways will be destroyed, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.