Monday, January 29, 2018

Friederich Nietzsche vs. G.K. Chesterton; The Anti-Christ vs. God's Word

Two men born in the 19th Century became prophets of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and their words and thoughts reverberate daily in our political media and conversations. One man's ideas are thought to be so new and radical that very few of us are aware of how old - even ancient - they are. The person shown below, Friederich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) coined the phrase "God is dead... and we have killed him", then opined, "There are no facts, only interpretations"; "Morality is just a fiction used by the herd of inferior human beings to hold back the few superior men"; and "In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point." These are the same anti-Christian phrases that the ruling powers of Rome and Judea made to Christ and his followers 2,000 years ago. These supposed 'insights' are the common rationalizations of criminals and the mentally ill. Every culture that has adopted them has destroyed itself. It's worth noting that Nietzsche was an aristocrat with wealth, yet he went insane at the age of fifty, and died insane at sixty. 

Nietzsche's ideas are now the backbone of global Leftists, countless college and university curriculums, and the basic platforms of western, so-called 'liberal' and 'progressive' political parties today. Do you doubt it? Just try introducing the mere idea of the Judeo-Christian God in any college or university classroom, student or faculty lounge, or 'liberal' political gathering. This author has never seen less than squints or eye-rolls, and often a verbal firestorm of scorn, criticism or outright condemnation. You can count on losing friends and acquaintances for mentioning God, and it will be painful; which explains much about our broken world. 
We have no choice but to swim against the currents of culture if we want to be moral, know God, and have true self-respect. It's not that hard. You just avoid the main stream and seek the shore where the current diminishes. Often eddies form, and the flow reverses course at its edges. You will find allies. 

It's a documented truth that we ourselves bring a great deal of suffering into our lives and the world by making bad decisions. Becoming addicted, resorting to violence and revenge, committing crimes, and projecting onto others our own faults and failings cause us to suffer and die. So many millions - even billions - of people are suffering, and we're rightly upset and angry about it. But if there is no fixed, unalterable standard of morality, it means nothing. Who says we shouldn't suffer? And die badly? Only God is that fixed standard. If there is no truth, then there is no right and wrong. It's hard to stay sane when you harbor that view. You be the judge:

Friederich Nietzsche, in his own words, on the meaning of life, the roots of Nazism, and superhuman evolution. (acted by Kevin O'Brien).

G.K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936) was the opposite of Nietzsche, and the two led radically different lives. Chesterton became a renowned professor and a Catholic convert known for his good cheer and love of life. He inspired others, like C.S. Lewis, who was enormously successful as a Christian author and teacher. His most famous books, The Chronicles of Narnia, have become globally popular films. 

Some quotes of G.K. Chesterton:

"Men do not differ so much about what things that they will call evil, but they do differ enormously about what evil things that they will call excusable." 

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

“Truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it.” 

“Civilization has run on ahead of the soul of man, and is producing faster than he can think and give thanks.”

“It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.”

"The finding and fighting of positive evil is really the beginning of all fun."

While a young man in school, Chesterton met someone who nearly perfectly personified evil, and it changed Chesterton's life:

                           Chuck Chalberg acts the part of Chesterton.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Does Prayer Work?

As the world reels and staggers to The Day of Judgment - when all the accounts of good and evil deeds ever done on earth are finally settled - the tension around us builds to a crescendo. Is there anything we can do that will have a positive effect on us and our loved ones? Yes, there is. 

We can make sure our lines of communication with God are open by petitioning for answers and proofs. The Righteous Prophet Job successfully put God on trial for his sufferings, and had the tables turned on him. But in the end he was vindicated and granted more from God in recompense than he ever dreamed of  (The Book of Job).

The name Israel means "wrestles with God", and whoever does so is proclaimed righteous by the Lord. All the great and good men and women of history have struggled and questioned moral laws and rules, wrestled with them, sometimes even to death. It's not the safest route in life, but the most precious and glorious rewards are never won by timid, risk-averse people. We can do nothing better in life than plead our case for ourselves and humanity, insisting on the fulfillment of promises made by God. 

It's reasonable to ask why we should pray, because God knows all and sees all into infinity, far beyond us. Christ said, "Your father knows what you need before you ask him." - Matthew 6:8. The Creator of the Universe cares deeply about all life and every one of his creations. We are part of it all, and have a right to request answers and communicate with the Master Builder of all. 

Jesus had some choice words about being persistent in our prayer requests. In what is known as The Parable of the Persistent Widow, (Luke 18:1-8), a needy woman pleads with a callous and uncaring judge in her city who has been ignoring her. Again and again she waylays him and begs, "Grant me justice against my adversary!" Finally she breaks through his psychic armor and he's worn out by her, so he grants her justice. Jesus says, "Shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him...?" 

Two things, at least, are operative here. One: If we spend time petitioning God we're tuning ourselves to his frequency, so to speak. We can then be used by him in ways we'll never understand in this life.
Two: We need to be clear about what we're praying for and the importance of our requests. If we're asking for a new car, and can take an extra job or work harder for the money, is it reasonable to ask the King of All Creation for it? 

If you were granted permission to ask a multi-billionaire for a grant, that he or she indicated a favorable intention to give you, what would you plead for? A Lexus? A Tesla? A house in the Hamptons?

Who do you think God would be more favorably disposed to, a person who wants a new house or the one who wants to join those who will be with him in the front lines of the Final Battle? We who pray for that will become rich in all things, beyond human measure or understanding. 

Ideally, prayers should be for large scale and high stakes things. Consider The Parable of the Talents (Link), in which the Lord gave the most to his servants who did the most with what they had. They took risks, invested over the long term, and trusted in God. To the servant who did nothing with his talents, the little he had was taken away. 

We must never accept the modern world's "politically correct" notions, such as  "we're all equal"; or that mediocrity and "just being who you are" is enough; or that someone else can give you "self-esteem". Real self-esteem is earned by hard work, taking risks, failing sometimes, working through it, and developing character:

God loves victory and grants glory to the bold in heart. This is called chivalry:

                           Both men and women can achieve chivalry.