Is there a problem with pride, or "self-esteem", as fashionable people call it today?
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
UPDATE, 11/19: A concerned 17 year-old American citizen who decided not to be a pacifist and instead used his Constitutional right to bear arms has just won a huge battle in a Wisconsin state criminal court. The consequences of his courageous actions mark a hopeful turning point in U.S. history.
Friday, October 1, 2021
We generally dread looking foolish to others, and sometimes to the point of violence. In ages past when dueling was legal many a man lost his life for making an adversary look foolish. Short of dueling, malicious gossip and lies can wreak havoc and destroy our lives and families. It's one of the many ways we can be crucified socially. Being shunned, ostracized, and ridiculed can be deadly for us if our health is poor, or our heart is less than robust.
The great French music composer/prodigy Georges Bizet (1838-1875) had enormous success early in life, won prizes, and was seen as a rising star. But he died suddenly of a heart attack at age 36, and few could agree on the cause. Those who knew him best said his heart was broken by the fury of critics who hated his recent works, like the opera Carmen and his incidental music for the play L'Arlesienne. Bizet was forced to move out of Paris, into the country, and he couldn't make a living as a composer. Once he was dead, however, the public and critics praised him and wanted to hear his works often. Four-thousand people showed up for his funeral in Paris. His rejected music is now adored and heard weekly all over the globe.
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was lonely and rejected by society in the south of France, and his paintings were considered hopelessly foolish until he died at age 37. Then, suddenly, his art dealer brother couldn't keep up with the demand for Vincent's canvases. Today some sell for over $100 million each. Incidentally, he almost certainly didn't commit suicide. His paintings at the time were not gloomy, but full of sunlight; a pistol bullet entered his abdomen at an oblique angle; there were no powder burns around the hole where the bullet entered; he then walked over a mile to the inn where he was staying and died the next day. Several deathbed confessions of people who were there - and one was a doctor - were specific; some local kids who had been jeering Van Gogh for months had acquired a pistol and were recklessly playing cowboys and Indians. They didn't want to kill him, but the pistol was defective. Vincent made it clear to all that he didn't want any of the kids to be prosecuted (Link).
Almost all of us want to be seen as wise, which brings status and wealth in many cases. But how do we define wisdom? Or foolishness? There's the rub. What's seen as wise by some is pure foolishness to others. In the Mafia, a "wiseguy" is someone who's a full member in good standing, having proved themselves capable of cold blooded murder; the required cost for joining the mob.
There are 267 Bible verses that warn us about being foolish, and 264 of them are in the Old Testament. But a funny thing happens in the New Testament where Jesus says, "But I tell you, anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment... and anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire in Hell." (Matthew 5:22). And the Apostle Paul writes, "We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor..." (Corinthians 4:10). Clearly, Paul was being sarcastic. Worthiness in God's eyes has nothing to do with popular opinion, and it's often the polar opposite. Jesus tells us to, "Turn the other cheek... Give to all who ask of you... He who is greatest among you is the servant of all... He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life shall find it... The last shall be first; and the first last." Talk about foolish. Right?
Particularly now, in our age of science and technology worship, people of faith - and especially Christians - are often thought to be inexcusably naïve and ignorant. Science tells us that fixed laws govern all of nature, and only a fool could believe people can be healed by faith in God. Resurrection of the dead is the height of absurdity. But, in fact, we can't be Christians if we don't believe this can happen. And it has more than once: Jesus appeared to over 500 disciples, (1st Corinthians, 15:6-7).
Science has a terrible record of living up to expectations. Technology hasn't improved our lives to the degree it's damaged them. We're paying a terrible price for "progress". Marxism and socialism have always claimed to be "scientific", but they have in fact ruined many nations and the lives of countless millions. So-called "rational" thinking, science, and technology have brought unprecedented lawlessness; and relativism, which preaches there is no immutable Truth. This means children never learn honesty, and criminality is easily accepted. Not just society, but all the fine arts have been ruined by "progress" and the fear of being seen as foolish.
We've lost track of the degree of destruction that brought us into World War I. An entire school of painting, known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was wiped out by modernism; and many great artists went from prosperity to bankruptcy in a very brief time. One of the best, John Godward (1861-1922), was disowned by his wealthy, priggish, and rigid family. Paintings of his that were purchased for fortunes in 1900 were being sold for just the value of their frames by 1915. Ruined and alone, he committed suicide. Here are some samples of his paintings accompanied by the music of Vivaldi (1678-1741), who also was wealthy until the art patrons of Venice, Florence, and Rome turned their back on him. He died in Vienna, poor and alone. But his spirit, in music, is heard and celebrated every day all over the world now:
If you haven't heard of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, you're not alone. They've been deliberately buried, historically, by the French Impressionist art market of the late 19th and early 20th Century. Such immense and quick fortunes could be made by manipulating artistic taste that the temptation was irresistible. The Pre-Raphaelites were British, they often spent a whole day doing one square inch of a painting, and the two countries have been rivals for centuries. The French Impressionists could knock off an entire painting in a few days. Here's a very engaging and entertaining rundown:
The lives of artists and religious people have always been precarious. "The course of true art never did run smooth", to paraphrase Shakespeare. People are fickle, particularly the wealthy and powerful. Fashion and economics change, and the masses who follow them are vulnerable to suggestion and sudden reversals of taste. We should never expect the world to be different until Kingdom Come. But why is modern art so bad? Here's a truthful explanation. It's the Devil's candy:
The wise admonition, "What does it profit one to gain the whole world and lose their soul?" is now proving to be true. We've gained - even stolen - the world with our powerful technologies and brazen lawlessness. But the price has been our humanity, integrity, and understanding of beauty, love, and joyful creation; our soul. In the end we will lose it all and die.
But if we love God and keep His commandments we will defeat death. He will resurrect us to a new and infinitely better eternal life. Our time on earth is filled with stresses, challenges, and pain. We have some pleasures, but the shadows of death, disease, and decay will fall on us. The life to come is 100 times better; filled with joy and riches beyond measure for all eternity. The lowest soul in heaven is happier than any earthly king or queen who ever lived, and more beautiful than she is:
No matter when you die, if you keep the Lord's commandments and believe in Christ, you're name is in the Book of Life and you will be resurrected into the "new Heaven and New Earth" - (Revelation 21:1 and Isaiah 65:17). All the blessed of various races of the world will be saved on the Last Day:
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
All the evidence points in the affirmative. By far the most telling sign of authenticity is that, from the start, the earliest Scriptures record the terrible blunders, mistakes, and murders of the Hebrew people. From Adam and Eve's shameful fall to Cain and Abel to Judas and Peter's betrayal of Jesus Christ, it's often very ugly.
Brutal honesty is rare in most literature, and especially in the histories of powerful men and women. If you're an historian and your subject doesn't enjoy what you wrote, your life is at stake. This never applied in the Old Testament. Monstrous Jewish leaders, male and female, committed heinous crimes of all kinds, even sacrificial child burning at times. King Ahab and his wife Jezebel (871 B.C.) rejected God and worshipped Baal, a demon of evil. It's all written down, the good and bad.
The Bible's authors are all unknown, and they must have wanted it that way so they and their families would survive. And survive they did. At one time there were many dozens of ancient Middle Eastern tribes; the Canaanites, Hittites, Amalekites, Jebusites, and more. Only the Israelites survive, as God promised Abraham in Genesis, the first book of the Bible; which means, "the book of books".
Other religions are loaded with flattering and flashy stories of human royalty and their successful military victories; gods and goddesses cavorting among themselves and frequently using and abusing people for entertainment; and numerous, confusing creation tales that can't be true or proven. The Code of Hammurabi (1752 B.C.) predates Moses and the Ten Commandments, and is a laudable exception. But it's secular, not based on moral principles or anything like the Word of God. It's a very long and useful set of laws that reflect King Hammurabi's will. The God of the Israelites speaks with a singular will that his human creation must treat Him and each other with respect and love because, "I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." In other words, He wants us to be free; He's the singular source of all morality; He knows each of us, and we should never worship anyone or anything else. This is the first ethical monotheism in human history.
All our modern human frailties, weaknesses, temptations, foibles, and embarrassing failures are displayed accurately in the Bible's 5,788 year-old record. So too are the enormous deeds of goodness, courage, skill, valor, and love. Courageous women particularly stand out. Miriam and her servants saved the infant Moses from execution. There's also Ruth, Judith, and Queen Esther who saved the whole Jewish nation from extermination. It's a powerful message, that our human nature has barely changed in the whole span of history. No other Scriptures come close to the Bible in completeness. There are vastly more sinners than saints. All the world's great authors drew from it, and still do.The complete Hebrew Bible is called the Tanach, and it includes the Torah; from Genesis all the way through Malachi. From there the New Testament records the lives and deaths of those who came to be called Christians. Initially it was an insult hurled at Jesus' disciples and His later apostles.
Genesis describes God's act of creation, which more and more is being shown to be in accordance with material science. The so-called Big Bang, for example, is miraculous beyond all reason. The hierarchies of matter, light, water, earth, and early primitive life - the "days" of God - coincide with modern research. At the same time, Charles Darwin's evolution theory and all the analysis of fossil discoveries since have turned out to be unsupportable. One of the greatest geneticist/mathematicians in the world proves this:
But, you may ask, how do we know the Bible is even authentic? Maybe it's just a recent invention? The first evidence of Hebrew letters date back to ca. 1500 B.C. and were found in the Sinai Peninsula. They were carved in stone during the time of the Exodus, and are known as the Serabit el-Khadim Inscriptions (Link)
The earliest Old Testament writings we have are sheets of silver foil inscribed with the Priestly Benediction from the Book of Numbers, Chapter 6:24-26 ("May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord let His face shine upon you...") dating from the 7th Century B.C., known as the Ketef Hinnom Scrolls, found in a burial cave.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are the second-most ancient writings from the Old Testament. There are 230 manuscripts dating from 250 B.C. onward. Letter for letter they agree with other complete testaments from 1000 years ago. From the most ancient times, Jewish scribes demanded that every hand written copy (the first printing press wasn't invented until 1440) must be letter-for-letter perfect. A major problem for writers in ancient times was that papyrus (the earliest kind of paper) is a plant fiber that can't last very long. Only stone, sheet metals, and fired clay can last for thousands of years, and these were used also to establish the truth of ancient Israel. Fortunately, there are archaeological discoveries being made every year in the Middle East and the Holy Land that reaffirm many of the Bible's descriptions of people, places, and events:
Of course, there are many doubters in the academic and social realms, but their credibility can be judged by asking them one question, "Do you believe in God?" If they don't, then no amount of evidence will have any effect on them. Next, ask them, "Do you believe in the Judeo-Christian God?" If they answer no, we can ignore their opinion. Their minds are closed to Truth.
Aside from the truthfulness of the Bible, the second most common complaint is it's seemingly male-oriented view. The Lord is referred to as "He", and many women feel threatened by the "patriarchy", which supposedly is the source of most evil. But this complaint is actually groundless, and here's why:
Have you ever wondered how the Bible could be correct when modern scientists claim they've accurately dated the age of the earth at 4.5 billion years? God created the earth about 6,000 years ago, according to Biblical reckoning.
You may be shocked to discover that there's a huge body of evidence proving that modern radiometric dating (the accepted scientific method of determining the age of rocks) is wildly inaccurate. Rocks from recent lava flows at Mount St. Helens, Washington; and New Zealand's North Island have been taken to multiple laboratories for radiometric dating (which measures radioisotope decay) and the tests claimed the 40 to 60 year-old rocks were several billion years old. Modern science is based on many faulty assumptions:
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
...and he sounded like Shakespeare's character, the Prince of Denmark, in Hamlet. So many things have gone wrong in our time, and any one of them could ruin the world as we've known it. And they are today.
One more thing we desperately need now is a poet-playwright of epic talent to give us insight and comfort in these epic times. Words can be excellent armor and weapons for sustaining us in this spiritual war. When Hamlet says, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" he could be talking to us about our present age.
Hamlet goes on, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in it... Our wills and fates do so contrary run... Above all to thine own self be true... When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions... So full of artless jealousy is guilt; it spills itself in fearing to be spilt... To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten-thousand..."
Though the centuries pass and the costumes and scenery change, the same agonies, struggles, problems, successes and passions play out. If it were not so, the words of Charles Dickens, Henry James, Poe, Fielding, Voltaire, Moliere, Shakespeare, Cervantes, St. Paul, Jesus, Virgil, Isaiah, and Homer would have no meaning for us. Nor would the Bible, which is still the best-selling book in the world. More than five billion copies have been printed and distributed, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. What we call "progress" has little changed our sick hearts in 5,800 years. But each of us - as individuals - can find salvation and eternal life if we stand up to the mobs. Violence is often not required. But a close relationship with the Lord of All Creation is. Honesty is vital; lies are poison.
The only essential difference between the revolution of Exodus (Moses vs. Pharaoh Ramses, c. 1446 B.C.) and modern Israel vs. the Arab world, is the sophistication of the weapons. Ordinary and healthy people yearn for freedom and liberty so they can build a life of their own that has meaning for them. Freedom of religion is vital. Slavery is anathema. But the Ruling Classes of today believe they're gods, or like gods, and they're jealous of the True God. They don't care about anything except their own power, status, and wealth. From time immemorial it has been thus:
Here is Al Pacino as Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare:
Monday, June 14, 2021
We humans have always had a tough time imagining God's size and power, largely because we're diminished when we contemplate Him, and it hurts our pride. We would much rather deceive and aggrandize ourselves into thinking we are gods with total control over our lives.
Ancient people felt the same sense of inferiority even though they never could have dreamed how vast our universe really is; and the truth arrived all at once, in the 1750s. Thomas Wright and Emmanuel Kant shocked the world by proving that our own Milky Way galaxy was a rotating, flattened disc made up of millions of stars; just one of several galaxies nearby which they called "island universes". This was almost as troubling as Copernicus' proof that the earth wasn't the center of the solar system.
In the 1920s, using a vastly more powerful telescope than anyone had before, Edwin Hubble proved that our galaxy contained over 100 million stars, and there were millions more galaxies in the universe. Also, for some mysterious reason they were expanding and accelerating away from us at fantastic speeds - almost 186,000 miles per second; or 670 million miles per hour; which is the speed of light in a vacuum. Hubble actually was confirming the observations and proofs that Georges Lamaitre - a Belgian Catholic priest, mathematician, and astronomer - had discovered two years before Hubble.
Now we know that our Milky Way galaxy is well over 100,000 light years in size, and contains over 200 billion stars. Not only that, there are a trillion galaxies in the observable universe, which likely contain 100 billion stars each, and they're being pushed outward by some mysterious force, labeled Dark Energy. Our observable universe is 13.8 billion light years in size, and began with the Big Bang, a titanic blast emanating from an atom-fragment-sized oneness.(Link) These facts are now known as the Hubble-Lamaitre law.
This discovery was nearly unimaginable, even for Albert Einstein who stumbled onto these truths years ahead of Lamaitre and Hubble. But Einstein thought they must be wrong, and that he might be ridiculed, so he fudged his calculations and pretended it wasn't true. When faced with Lamaitre's calculations, Einstein replied, "Your calculations are correct, but your physics is abominable." Before long, though, he told Lamaitre his proofs were "...the most beautiful... explanation of creation to which I have ever listened." To the end of his days Einstein regretted his timidity.
We can understand why Einstein doubted himself, and must admit that these truths are impossible to fully grasp. But there's more. Much more.
Nuclear physicists have now proven that the distance between our humdrum, everyday world and the very smallest unit in its subatomic, or quantum, world is almost as vast. The fact is, we're not solid at all. We're mostly space; like steam. This is why x-rays, radio, and television waves pass easily through us. In other words, each of us is an inconceivably huge universe to the particles we're made of. The tiniest measure of all is called the Planck Particle*, an unimaginable nothing, compared to which a single proton - a tiny piece of a single atom - is as big as a galaxy. This video will explain it:
See what the Big Bang really was:
Can there be a mind behind this network of laws and orders? Can there be a creator? Obviously there must be. Natural Laws expressed through mathematics and astrophysical observations prove to be universal throughout all creation. Curiously, though, many scientists think these truths argue against the idea of God. "How could a mind be so inconceivably huge?", they ask. "Why couldn't it be?", this author replies.
Just as everything we do requires thought, planning, effort, and knowledge, so must the cosmos. Knowing this, are there any limits to the Lord of Creation? He is the designer of limits. Limitlessness is clearly a feature of the mind behind all we see and know.
How powerful is God? It's absurd to imagine there are any limits to His power. Everything is His; time, space, matter, energy, dimensions of time and space and riches we can't conceive of. The revelations of Scripture have been given to us for over three-thousand years, and they've been doubted by many the whole time; today more than ever. But it's massively ironic that many sciences have now proven what Scripture has always said, like God's Creation springing forth out of nothing, and all at once; the Big Bang. Yet more people than ever reject the religious view. Why? Because wars have been fought over religion? Mankind is very good at inventing pretexts for the grand theft of others' nations. The bloodiest century of all by far, the 20th, saw atheistic wars; very few religious wars.
"The riddles of God are more satisfying than the answers of man."
Consider the miracle we're living through right now, being able to search out the universe in each and every detail with ingenious tools we built for ourselves over the last thousand years. No other species on earth has a fraction of our power to do almost everything we can imagine, and gain knowledge nobody ever had before.
*The Planck Particle is named after Max Planck, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist who discovered the quanta, or subatomic world of particles; the building blocks of all things in the material universe.
Part 2: The Purely Material View of the Universe
The 20th Century was the first in human history to largely jettison the spiritual world; that is, the non-material world of God the Creator. The successes of the Industrial Revolution and its genius inventors (Watt, with his steam engine; Edison's lightbulb and phonograph; The Wright's airplane) gradually persuaded people generally to turn away from religion and the spiritual life. Science and Reason effectively replaced and became a sort of god that offered material answers and solutions to genuine needs; and eventually, everything else we might want.
However the "God is dead... and we have killed him" crowd turned to Communism, Fascism, and Nazism as a replacement. The "superman... scientific man" was seen as the evolution away from religion. Known as the "Left wing" of politics, they flourished. The Fascists and Nazis called themselves anti-communists, but both embraced socialism - Left wing central government control - as the solution to all our problems. Religion was suppressed or even crushed, because our true Creator threatens the legitimacy of any and all dictators and plutocracies. We've had over 120 years to see where these philosophies lead and to assess their outcomes. The evidence is abundant and hideous. Our world is now truly on the brink of annihilation from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons that are now in the hands of the haters of God.
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
It's marvelous to see the great temples of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. Without mathematics like ours, and using only the most simple tools and lifting equipment, massive and hard stones were intricately cut and lifted into high places. Similarly, the dazzling cathedrals from the 11th and 12th Centuries in Europe couldn't be built as well now.
The hand-built churches and palaces of Renaissance Italy, Germany, France, and Spain are often over four hundred years old. They're beautiful and in good repair because people have always spent fortunes to travel from all over the globe to appreciate their beauty and the cultures that built them. Great craftsmen of genius designed and built for a future they would never see and couldn't have imagined. For them it would be unthinkable to build something great and not plan for it to endure through many centuries, until Christ returned to our world:
The more beautiful, delicate, and wondrous something is, the more its creator will want it to endure forever. God is the ultimate craftsman, and eternal life is the natural state for everything He makes. We men and women are God's highest achievement; for the last act of His creation - after the universe and earth - were Adam and Eve
Death is an aberration to the Lord. Would anyone want their creations to fall apart and die? There is an answer to the riddle of our decay and death. God placed in us a love for adventure and discovery that will lead us to Him if we have a working moral compass that points to the moral True North:
All people alive today have a chance to gain entry to an eternal Paradise of joy, freedom, and pleasure. Will you ask the Creator for guidance?
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Love makes us feel that our lives have meaning, are good, and that others are our friends and allies. There's no better feeling in the world than being in love. We will go to great lengths for people we love, sometimes even sacrificing our lives for them. Fear is the opposite. Fear tells us that we're doomed to lose everything we love, even our very existence. For the religious among us, fear tells us our eternal lives will be torment.
Tyrants and other criminals know that fear is an easy tool to acquire and wield against others, and love is much more difficult if not impossible; especially if you're inclined to crime and your intentions are evil. Making others love us is possible, but requires great skill. True love, though, has a life of its own and can't be easily manipulated. So fear is the common, foolproof option if you want others to bend to your will.
The stakes are immense in our modern world. Power, money, status, and sex are the earthly reward. Any expert at pretending to love - and willing to ruthlessly use fear to manipulate people - can rise quickly in politics. History is bursting with the names of infamous leaders who rose to the highest heights. A few hung onto absolute power until death, even after murdering a hundred million of their own citizens. Mao Tse Tung and Josef Stalin head that list. But most of the evil geniuses who attained that power destroyed themselves, their people, their nations, and everyone else who effectively got in their way.
Our globe today is gripped by a fear so deep that it's ruining our lives and civilization. Billions are convinced that invisible threats are killing off all life on earth. The only people who disagree are faithful believers in the God of all Creation. This good and all-powerful Lord owns the universe and has a plan for everyone who honors Him. Not only will His people have life, but they will have eternal riches, power, beauty, joy, and a goodness we can barely imagine. Worldly riches are cruel fakes and counterfeits compared to God's gifts.
This great and good Creator has an enemy, the Anti-Christ; Satan; who is bent on destroying the greatest of all His creations: faithful men and women. This enemy is a master of lies and fear, and he's using science to do it; or rather, our weak understanding of science. Science isn't a Bible, it's an ongoing process of study, testing, theorizing, proving, and disproving. Often, scientific certainties like gravity are proven real; but then new discoveries show that there are many more dimensions to it than we knew. There's no such thing as "settled science", especially in very complex arenas like the weather, climate, virology, nuclear physics, biology, and so on. We need to think of the "scientific process" as a staircase leading ever upward. There's no Science Heaven we can ever attain on earth where everything is finally known, categorized, and finished. Only religion offers eternal and immutable Truth. God alone can grant us eternal knowledge in Paradise:
Several things mark the Satanic view of science. First, it's atheistic, and often anti-theistic; God-hating. Proponents have a fatal pride and assurance that everything they say cannot be questioned. Second, the greatest fears these people have are from invisible forces like gases (CO2, hydrocarbons, radon); viruses and bacteria; radiation (nuclear, solar, electromagnetic); and genetic variations formed in labs to enhance plant fertility and nutrition (GMO foods). Ordinary people can't see these threats, and with so much money available, it's easy to bribe those who would tell the truth about the scam.
Leftist politics has spawned a trillion-dollar industry of fear-mongering - through media manipulation - which funnels government, industry, and private monies into rackets that are acquiring totalitarian power over the whole world. "Every great cause becomes a movement, becomes a business, and degenerates into a racket." - Eric Hoffer.
Literal panic is seizing huge mobs of unthinking citizens in every country who are then manipulated into voting for and electing the minions of the Anti-Christ. Trillions of dollars are being stolen or thrown away on "climate change technologies", "infrastructure enhancements", and "anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-bigotry, and anti-transphobic" reparations; i.e., payoffs. It's the greatest criminal movement in history.
Here's the testimony of one of the original founders of Greenpeace, one of the earliest of these panic-generating rackets:
Facts on "Manmade climate change":