Predictions For The Next Decade

The roaring 20s are quickly coming upon us. Here are my predictions, either for this upcoming decade or the 30s.

The Democrats will take power, either through traitor Republicans, the subversion of the electoral college or demographic replacement. Then the Soviet purges will happen. They will claim that “not respecting sexual identity” (the word “homophobia” is quickly passing away) or “White nationalism” is a “security threat”. The actual definition of these words is and has always been irrelevant. (See here and here.) No liberal actually cares about gays and coloreds — these are just an excuse to destroy civilization.

These people already hate you — do you think they will find restraint and a consistent moral code for the first time as soon as they gain power? No, once there are no longer consequences to not showing restraint, the progressive will allow himself to be his true self.

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Once the purges begin, states will not secede. I used to think secession (in all regions of the country) was just a couple decades away, but now I strongly doubt it. We have already sold our souls for material gain, and we’re not about to stop. If states were going to secede because of gross constitution violations, it would have happened already.

The states will whine about persecution of Christians and conservatives, but ultimately they will do nothing, just as they did nothing about racial integration, abortion or gay marriage. They probably will not even use the term “White people” when describing the purges.

What the purges will look like and how bad they will be, I don’t know, but within my lifetime people will go to jail for saying that sexuality is only for procreation. Our society worships meaningless sex above anything else (including money), and it will not tolerate blasphemy against the god.

The older generation may have ruined the nation, but they are also the ones holding it together. With every generation the political divide becomes more polar. It maybe be a while longer, but once the baby boomers begin to die off, there will be no one left who wants to keep the system in place. Then everything will accelerate faster.

I know people who are preparing for social collapse. They bought 20 acres in the mountains or have stockpiled supplies in their basement. This will not change much. The world is smaller now, and you cannot hide.

During the actual Soviet Union, they could not just kill all the Christians, as that was a majority of the country. But they could kill the leaders and silence the rest of them. The American progressives don’t need to kill everyone who doesn’t share the Marxist vision — they only need to successfully neuter them.

Most Americans are cowardly enough to go along with it. They’ll decide to focus on other aspects of the gospel and no longer preach sexual morality. Most Christians already no longer believe that sexuality is only for procreation, so this won’t be a huge leap. We’ve already softened our teaching on divorce.

But soon it won’t be enough. Once the progressives get tired of the gay agenda, they will find another reason to persecute Christians. They will find another angle in the Bible. Perhaps they will say it is opposed to science and therefore child abuse. Perhaps they will say it is misogynistic, even though most Christians sold out on that issue long ago. They will say that it is capitalist because of Jesus’s parables of landowners. Ultimately this is not about progressives — it is about Satan.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

As I’ve written before (and you should definitely click that link), the progressive has the same psychology as a demon, so they are useful puppets for Satan.

Most importantly, if you don’t believe any of the above, then at least believe this:

Things will not get better. It is in the nature of the world that things cannot get better. Things can only degrade.

Some time in the near future, North Korea will collapse and be reunited with South Korea. Will things get better? No. I don’t know what will happen, but it will not be a new time of peace and prosperity.

Whatever happens in the next decade, just remember that it will be worse, likely in ways you cannot imagine.

So decide today what you will do. If you wait until the Soviet purges to decide how you will respond, then you will only respond with cowardice. Today is the day to decide what you will do when faced with jail time for your beliefs. If you don’t know why you are living, then you won’t know how to handle death. You will beg and plead and offer anything to avoid death if you never thought about death until the moment when it has the potential to trap you.

Or maybe not even death — the slightest discomfort, the loss of a job opportunity, social ostracization — most American Christians are not willing to sacrifice anything for these now in our times of ease. They will certainly not find their lost courage in times of difficulty.

Make up your mind now how you will respond to the progressive mob, and then when the time comes you won’t need to make a decision. One could say that this decision will come upon you like a thief in the night. Be vigilant and sober-minded.

It will be in these martyric moments that God’s judgment will come upon you, but you will have the golden opportunity to decide how He will judge you. So make that decision now. Choose wisely and reap the eternal reward. Give in to your fears, and you will only delay the suffering.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

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Reflections On The Minor Prophets Of The Bible

I recently read through the Minor Prophets of the Bible for the first time in several years. The quotes are from the Asser translation of the LXX, which is no longer readily available online. It’s kind of like the Wycliffe Bible, passed along in PDFs with questionable legality.

Some notable passages stood out to me.

Hosea 9  11Ephraim is flown away like a bird; their glories are from childbirth and travail and conception. 12For though they bring up their children, they shall be bereaved of people; yea, woe also is to them; My flesh is of them. 13Ephraim, as I saw, gave their children as a prey, even Ephraim, to lead out his children for piercing. 14Give them, O LORD; what wilt Thou give them? a childless womb and dry breasts. 15All their iniquities are in Gilgal, for there came I to hate them; for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of Mine house; I will love them no more; all their princes are disobedient. 16Ephraim hath suffered; his roots are dried up; he shall bear fruit no more; yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay the desirable fruit of their womb. 17God shall cast them away because they did not hearken unto Him, and they shall be wanderers among the nations. 

So what this reminds me of is something I often say that usually makes people upset, and that is that most parents don’t love their children. There’s nothing sacred or special about a mother’s love. It’s just animalistic attachment.

We see here in verse 13 that Ephraim (which I assume is code for the ten northern tribes) has used his children as bait for his own gain instead of taking care of his children. My oh my are the paralells with our society glaring.

In the early 1960s this country was the most prosperous society on earth with a chicken in every pot and limitless opportunity to make a decent living, and within fifty years it was all gone. At this point it is almost impossible to support yourself on a single income, even without children. My generation has the widest gap of opportunity promised and actual opportunity, and we are mad as hell about it. The older generation who ruined everything is totally unsympathetic. Half the reason I’m so racist is because I know it upsets the old people who flooded my country with third word savages.

But anyway, the Bible clearly says that just because you produce children doesn’t mean that you actually care about them. Whole nations, in fact, can use their kids as a means to an end. And what is the result? The complete barrenness of the nation. Verse 16 is where America is at right now. Verse 17 will happen within my lifetime.

And yet earlier in the book,

4 10And they shall eat, and not be satisfied; they have committed whoredom, and shall by no means prosper, because they have left off to hold fast unto the LORD. 11Whoredom and wine and strong drink have taken hold upon the heart of My people. 

Israel had become a sex paradise and yet could not sustain a birth rate. Again, the parallels shine like a beacon.

The passage continues,

12They asked counsel through signs, and by his staffs they declared unto him; by a spirit of whoredom have they erred, and gone a whoring from their God. 13They have sacrificed upon the tops of the mountains, and upon the hills have they sacrificed under the oak and white poplar and thickly shading tree, because the shade thereof was good. Therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your daughters-in-law shall commit adultery. 14And I will not shew My care for your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery; for themselves mingled with harlots, and they sacrificed with initiates, and the people that did not understand embraced an harlot.

And later on,

13  5I tended thee in the wilderness in an empty land 6according to their pastures. And they were satisfied to the full, and their hearts were exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me. 7Therefore I will be as a panther unto them and as a leopard according to the way of the Assyrians. 8I will meet them as a she-bear that is perplexed, and I will rend the caul of their heart, and there shall the young lions of the thicket devour them; the wild beasts of the field shall tear them in pieces. 

It’s often said that Orthodoxy doesn’t believe in an angry God like the prots do. I’m just not seeing that. Israel is clearly sinners in the hands of an angry God. God is saying that he is like a mother bear towards people who have broken his covenant.

However, I think the dominant narrative of the Old Testament is not anger but patience. Atheists often say that the God of the Old Testament is far more angry than the God of the New Testament, but I have always seen it the opposite way, that New Testament God is much more quick to bring judgment for much smaller infractions than he was in the Old Testament.

And if God doesn’t get angry, what reason is there to fear him? If Judgment Day is just a formality, then why worry about it?

So again, the prots are correct but in the wrong way. God is angry, but it’s not the anger of a hurricane, nor does the anger need to be satisfied by a replacement. It’s the anger of a husband whose wife is whoring with the coloreds downtown. Which is the exact metaphor the Bible uses, that Israel has abandoned the bridegroom to sleep with other nations. Basically, ancient Israel is a coal-burner and a mudshark.

The inherent disgust white men feel for their daughter sleeping with a negro or an Aztec is the same disgust God feels for Christians living in sin. That’s the exact metaphor used. And what happens then? We saw what happens in chapter 9 — the end of the nation. You give your children away to another nation, and your grandchildren won’t be the same race as you. You let your children (especially your daughters) marry protties and papists, and your grandchildren will be heretics who think you’re a superstitious old fool. You send your children to college, and they will come out in four years as a communist and an atheist.

Wouldn’t that make quite the Sunday morning sermon?

Amos 2 10Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt and led you about forty years in the wilderness to inherit the land of the Amorites. 11And I took of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for consecration. Are not these things even thus, O ye sons of Israel?’ saith the LORD. 12‘But ye gave the consecrated ones wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, “Prophesy not”. 13Therefore behold, I shall roll under you, as a wagon is rolled that is full of straw. 14And flight shall perish from the runner, and the strong shall not hold fast his strength, neither shall the warrior save his soul. 

Again, the parallels are striking. So the philosophy of the American founders wasn’t totally Christian, but this was still a “one nation under God” kind of thing, and the Enlightenment tried to see reality as it really is, whereas today’s secularists try to distort reality to be whatever they wish it to be.

America had the potential to be a super Christian country, and for a while we sort of were. We had a great economy, we had the ability to create and invent and reach the height of human potential. We had total control of our government. The arts and sciences flourished. Every possible blessing that could be given to a nation, we had.

It wasn’t the same kind of covenant that Israel had, but there was still no lack of opportunity. We didn’t have the Orthodox Church, but we had the Bible mass produced, and the protestantism of the 1800s wasn’t that bad. We have no excuses. We are not the theoretical “good man on the Ganges River”.

And what have we done with it? We used these great gifts to create an air conditioned Babylon. American values aren’t freedom and apple pie. If you want to know what actual American values are, look at the Democrat debates.

The Republicans are no different. They are calling for red flag laws, they have done almost nothing about internet censorship, they have pushed for amnesty, and Trump has bragged about coercing other countries to decriminalize homosexuality. They certainly don’t want to end welfare. How are the Republicans any diffrent than the Democrats of the 1990s?

A people gets the rulers they deserve, and this is especially so in a democracy, so I have little sympathy for the complaints about the two party system. The reason people like Barry Goldwater and George Wallace don’t run anymore is because they can’t win. The kinds of candidates who can win are George Bush and Barack Obama.

So yes, God took our sons for prophets and our young men for consecration, and we gave them wine to drink and commanded the prophets to not prophesy, and now God will destroy our country with earthquakes, hurricanes and the feral “people” of the third world. God will mow us down like a tank, and there is nothing we can do to stop it except repent, and that’s not about to happen.

And what do we hedge our bets on? That if we give enough money to Israel then the rapture will happen and we won’t have to die. That’s what Christianity has turned into.

I think this is what the Minor Prophets are about. You aren’t supposed to understand them — it’s supposed to be a warning. It’s supposed to make you fear God.

These kinds of passages, though, always beg the question of whether this is a prosperity gospel. After all, the New Testament sees suffering as a good thing. An abundance of suffering teaches you how to become a saint. A lack of suffering is a sign that God is not working with you. 

I think the issue is that these promises of blessing and curse are for entire nations, not individuals. The Old Testament never promises that every righteous Israelite will be wealthy, and the law makes provisions to take care of those who are not wealthy.

These promises are also looking at the long term, so while a nation may be wealthy or poor right now, that doesn’t mean they will stay that way in the future.

And because the Holy Spirit hadn’t come yet, God had to appeal to people’s most basic drives. The law is written in such a way that it will naturally teach you humility if you merely follow the externals of it.

7 Thus hath the LORD God shewed unto me; and behold, a breed of locusts coming at the early morning; and behold, one caterpillar, Gog the king. 2And it came to pass, when they had made an end of devouring the grass of the land, that I said, ‘LORD, O LORD, be merciful; who shall raise up Jacob, for he is very small? 3Relent, O LORD, at this.’ ‘And this shall not be’, saith the LORD. 

Famine. We don’t really have famine do we? Well, we do.

The food we eat is garbage. It’s not at all the food we were eating a hundred years ago, and it’s almost impossible to eat healthy today. You would basically have to buy all your food at the farmer’s market. I did that for about two weeks. It’s not easy.

In America our poor don’t starve — they get obese. Either way their poor diet kills them.

But it’s not just the poors. We all eat this way. It’s almost impossible to avoid. Soy is in everything. Our grains and dairy are mad science distortions of what they used to be. Eggs don’t taste like they came from a farm. Everything has sugar in it. Even the packaging is poison.

We’re dying from our food, and it’s because drunk on our own hubris we played God and tried to manipulate the food source for short term economic gain, and the cost is our children.

Further on in the same chapter,

17Therefore thus saith the LORD: “Thy wife shall become an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be measured by a line, and thou shalt die in an unclean land, and Israel shall be led captive out of his land”.’ 

Where are we in America? Our women are all whores. We kill our children through abortion and contraception, or if we decide to let them live, we kill them spiritually and emotionally in the school system. Our land is being overtaken by invaders (“thy land shall be measured by a line”). Our cities are crumbling, trash lines the streets and there is graffiti everywhere (“an unclean land”).

“All of this is kind of racist. How would this make Mexicans feel?”

Well it’s not Mexicans’ land, so their feelings don’t really matter. They are the invaders. And anyway, the Mexicans who have been here for generations or who were legal immigrants generally hate the illegal immigrants. I saw a poll where a majority of Hispanic voters, including those who voted for Hillary Clinton, support building the wall.

Our nation is being invaded by feral “people” who have nothing in common with us, and it’s because of our own sinfulness. The descendants of the original founders of this country are dying out and being replaced.

Chapter 9 9‘For, lo, I give commandment, and I will sift the house of Israel among all the Gentiles, like as that which is sifted in a sifting pan, and not the least corn shall in any wise fall upon the earth. 10All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, “Evil shall not draw near, nor come upon us”. 11In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, and I will build again the ruins thereof, and set up those things that have been broken down, and build it up as in the days of old; 12that the residue of men and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called may earnestly seek Me,’ saith the LORD, Who doeth all these things.

God is going to kill all the gays and feminists and race hustlers, and only the fundamentalists who have ten children will survive. And then those of us who actually want a civilization will have the liberty to create one.

Micah 2  2 They devised troubles and worked evils upon their beds, and with the daylight they practised it, because they have not lifted up their hands unto God. 2And they desired fields, and spoiled the fatherless, and oppressed families, and spoiled a man and his house, even a man and his inheritance

Atheists talk about how Christianity is a bunch of rules that don’t matter, but what God really wants is you to show respect for other people. Notice God isn’t like, “You said some dirty words.” What he’s saying is, “You’ve exploited the poor.”

This idea that Christianity is a bunch of arbitrary rules is ridiculous. Christianity is justice.

Occultists and liberals delight in being the opposite of Christianity. This imagery is all through their music, art and literature. So what most secularists are really supporting is landlords refusing to maintain slum apartments or sweatshops using child labor for pennies an hour. Which makes sense, since these things become more common the more secular society becomes.

3 5Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that lead my people astray, that bite with their teeth and proclaim peace unto them, and when nothing was put into their mouth, they raised up war against them: […] 7And the seers of night visions shall be ashamed, and the prophets shall be laughed to scorn. And all the people  shall speak against them, because there shall be none to hearken unto them.’ 

How can you tell when a prophet is false? A false prophet tells you what you want to hear. He tells you that humanity can become gods. A real prophet will always tell you what you don’t want to hear.

This is near identical to an anti-Christ, someone who sets himself up as a Christ substitute. Pope Francis is an anti-Christ. Barack Obama was an anti-Christ. Mark Zuckerberg is an anti-Christ. Hillary Clinton wants to be an anti-Christ, but no one pays her any attention.

5 14And I will execute vengeance on the heathen in anger and wrath, because they have not hearkened.’ 

Again, yes, the protties are right that God is angry with all those who do not fear him. He is still patient and loving, but that does not diminish his wrath.

What they misunderstand is that this wrath is not an essential trait of God’s that must be vented somewhere. It is the same wrath that a father has when someone mistreats his child. It is the wrath a righteous judge has when someone breaks the law and harms other people. It is the wrath a king has when someone close to him leads a coup. It is the anger of giving money to a homeless man, only to watch him spend it on crack cocaine. We are but sinners in the hands of an angry, patient and loving God.

10Is there not fire and the house of the wicked heaping up wicked treasures, and that with the pride of unrighteousness? 

The pride of unrighteousness. What is the single most defining virtue of the sodomite community that they self-identify with? What’s the word they use? It’s on the tip of my tongue.

11Shall the wicked be justified by the balance or deceitful weights in the bag, 12whereby they have filled their riches with ungodliness; and they that dwell in the city have spoken lies, and their tongue hath been exalted in their mouth? 

Justified by false weights. This is the rationalizations we use to create modern ethics. “It’s okay for me to divorce my husband, because I’m not the real me when I’m around him.”

16For thou hast kept the statutes of Omri and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye have walked in their ways that I might deliver thee to utter destruction and them that inhabit the city to a hissing, and ye shall bear the reproach of nations. 

I think a good modern equivalent of this is our love affair with Islam. For decades we have angrily shaken our fist at God, all the while petting this scorpion, and then every time a Musloid does the predictable thing they have done for centuries, we have the gall to say, “Thoughts and prayers.”

Like with Constantinople in the 1400s, I do not care in the least about these terrorist attacks. No one else takes them seriously, so why should I? It’s what we’ve chosen. We’ve abandoned the real God for the pagan gods of the desert.

Last week at work I told a teenage girl she should marry wealthy and have seven kids. She said she only wants two children. I told her that whites are well below replacement rate and that birth control should be illegal. She said that’s a horrible idea, because people shouldn’t be forced to have so many kids. I told her not to have sex if she doesn’t want to have kids and that society is about to collapse. One of the male waitresses said I sound cynical. I told him I’m definitely pessimistic about the future.

7  5Trust thou not in friends, and put not your confidence in guides. Beware of thy wife, that thou commit not any thing unto her. 6For the son dishonoureth his father; the daughter will rise up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are all those in his house. 

The end times are marked by a dissolution in what should be unbreakable bonds of loyalty. People have no loyalty. Your best friend for years will decide he’s bored with you and will quit answering your messages without warning. As we saw above, most parents don’t love their children.

8Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy, for I have fallen, yet shall I arise; for though I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me. 9I will bear the anger of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him, until He make good my cause. He also shall maintain my right, and bring me forth to the light; and I shall behold His righteousness. 

Micah both hopes in God’s salvation and realizes that he has been part of the problem. No one is innocent. We are all collaboraters.

11During a day of daubing of brick, that day shall be thine utter destruction, and that day shall utterly abolish thine ordinances. 12And thy cities shall be levelled and parted among the Assyrians, and thy strong cities shall be parted from Tyre even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain

During your demeaning labor working at a convenience store for a wage less than you can live on despite your years of education, the Mexicans will conquer California and Texas, the blacks will take the mid-Atlantic, and the Muslims will have the upper Midwest.

13And the land shall be utterly desolate, together with them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings. 

Have you seen a picture of Seattle lately? And that’s without the immigrants. Imagine what a couple million Aztecs could do to the Pacific Northwest.

18Who is a God like unto Thee, removing iniquities, and passing over the sins of the remnant of His inheritance? And He hath not kept His anger for a testimony, for He delighteth in mercy. 19He will return, and have mercy upon us; He will sink our iniquities, and they shall be cast into the depths of the sea, even all our sins. 20He shall give blessings truly unto Jacob and mercy unto Abraham, as Thou didst swear unto our fathers according to the former days. 

Thus the book closes with a glimmer of hope, that while we are all guilty, God’s anger will not hold against the penitent. In chapter four there is a section about how there will be world peace.

Which reminds me of something in chapter four.

4 5For all the people shall walk every one in his own way, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. 

That’s the difference between hell and heaven. No need to read C S Lewis to discover the Orthodox concept of hell — it’s right here in the Bible. Hell isn’t merely punishment for being out of communion with God — it is walking in your own way by your own rules for all of eternity.

Obadiah 8In that day,’ saith the LORD, ‘I will even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau. 

This makes me think of academia. We have all these wise men with wise thoughts and wise book deals. Our wise congressmen and bureaucrats listen to them and make wise decisions based on the, and like with the Edomites, it will only lead to our own ruin.

15For the day of the LORD is near upon all thee. As thou hast done, so it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall be returned upon thine own head. 

Again, the Orthodox concept of hell. Actually, it’s not “the Orthodox concept”. It’s the Biblical concept.

We all like this idea, of people getting what they deserve in the eternity, but we all think that applies to other people and not to us. Yes, George Soros will (probably) go to hell, and perhaps we can rejoice at the justice, but the more important question that’s not asked is if we will join him.

I think it’s also interesting in these minor prophet books the tie between faith and works. These two things are inseparable. You can judge the amount of one by the other. The text doesn’t even really focus on motivation. It’s sort of implied that if you have respect for people then it’s because you see the image of God in them.

Jonah 1 14And they cried unto the LORD and said, ‘Forbid it, LORD, let us not perish for the sake of this man’s life, and bring not upon us righteous blood; for Thou, O LORD, hast done according to Thy pleasure’. 15So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging. 16And the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD and made vows. 

So God’s wrath can do a lot to bring people to repentance. I’m seeing a lot of secular people look at the way the far left has gone and how the mainstream narrative has changed and virtually all of this is unopposed, and these secularists are realizing that Christianity was right all along. Chateau Heartiste, Andrew Anglin, Roosh V, Jim Goad and Stephan Molyneux are some of the more famous examples of anti-liberal secularists who are at the least sort of defensive of Christianity and at the most have totally converted in recent years. I also know some people in my personal life.

Wouldn’t it be nice that every time you did something you shouldn’t have done, God would send a storm? Things would be so much more clear. Though that wouldn’t make much of a difference. Ultimately repentance is an attitude, not a logical proposition. The Pharisees had no shortage of evidence. Neither did Pharoah. This relates to my point about chapter three.

3  9‘Who can tell if God will relent and turn from His fierce anger, and so we perish not?’ 10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways; and God repented of the evil that He had said that He would do unto them, and He did it not.

I am of the belief that everyone believes in God. There are no atheists, no agnostics, and no pantheists. Everyone on some level knows that there is one God and that Jesus is his son. The athys and the Jews rage against the Christians, because the Christians by their mere presence and identity are a painful reminder that the athys and Jews aren’t having the integrity they claim.

So you can’t argue someone into faith. People convert by choosing repentance.

This is what it means in Exodus about “hardening the heart”, that when someone who hates God is forced to be around God, it causes that person’s hatred to flair up into an uncontrollable rage. The more miracles Jesus did, the more the Pharisses wanted to kill him. This story repeats itself in early martyr stories, that some saint would survive whatever torture the Roman government did, which would only make the governing official devise an even more cruel torture.

And again in Zephaniah 1,

12And it shall come to pass in that day that I will search Jerusalem with a lamp, and take vengeance on the men that despise the things that are committed unto them; but they say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do any good, neither will He do any evil’. 

This reminds me of Jesus’s parable about the wicked servants who assume the master will not return from his voyage.

Continuing on in this book and chapter,

14For the great day of the LORD is near; it is near and very speedy; the voice of the day of the LORD is made bitter and harsh. 15A mighty day of wrath is that day, a day of affliction and distress, a day of desolation and destruction, a day of gloominess and darkness, a day of cloud and vapour, 16a day of the trumpet and cry against the strong cities, and against the high corners. 17And I will greatly afflict the men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD; therefore shall He pour out their blood as dust, and their flesh as dung. 18And their silver and their gold shall in no wise be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath, but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He will bring a speedy destruction upon all them that dwell in the land. 

I understand that this specifically refers to something in the Old Testament times (I’m assuming the captivity to Babylon), but if we see this as a statement about God’s general nature, I find it very comforting. The day is coming when God will no longer hold back his wrath, and all those who thought they could live without the fear of God will understand that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

This is not me rejoicing in bloodlust like Jonah. This is me seeing how the world is broken and knowing that God will fix it, that the ways in which people have ruined that which was supposed to be and easily could have been good and beautiful have not gone unnoticed. The day is coming when those who were supposed to do the things that were committed to them but despised these things, who believed that the Lord will not react with praise or condemnation, that these people will fall into the hands of the living God. That which is broken will be made right. God is not the absent clockmaker he often seems like.

2  8‘I have heard the revilings of Moab, and the reproaches of the children of Ammon, wherewith they have reviled My people, and magnified themselves against My borders. 9Therefore as I live,’ saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, and Damascus shall be left as an heap of the threshingfloor and desolate for ever; and the remnant of My people shall spoil them, and the remnant of My nation shall inherit them.’ 

Now that Eugene Peterson is dead, here is my own The Message interpretation for today’s audience:

I have seen the subversion of California and the persecution by New York, by which they have persecuted the Christians in the Southeast and Midwest and forced their godless ideology upon the regions which still try to hold to Christian morality. Therefore as a I live, California will be destroyed like Sodom just as the New Yorkers will be like Gomorrah, and Seattle will be left as a pile of used heroin needles on the sidewalk and will be abandoned forever, and those who practice traditional family structures will take their place.

Except that Damascus was not desolate. It eventually became a Christian and then a Muslim city. Maybe this just means the pagans there. Though Islam is pagan. So I don’t know.

“You shouldn’t wish death and destruction on people.”

So I shouldn’t wish for God to do the things he said he would do? Is God making a mistake? Does God not understand what it means to turn the other cheek?

3 8Therefore wait ye upon Me,’ saith the LORD, ‘until the day that I rise up for a witness. For My judgment shall be upon the gathering of the Gentiles, to draw kings unto Me, to pour out upon them all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be consumed with the fire of My jealousy.

Wow, sounds like God is angry with “all the earth”. And what are we to do in the meantime? “Wait ye upon Me unitl the day that I rise up for a witness.”

All I ever do is wait. Like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpking to give him his Halloween gift. Sitting alone in the cold, clinging to faith while feeling like the only idiot in the world.

19‘Behold, I will work in thee for thy sake at that time’, saith the LORD, ‘and I will save her that was oppressed, and receive her that was rejected, and I will make them a praise and honoured in all the earth. 20And they shall be ashamed at that time when I shall deal well with you, and at the time when I shall receive you; for I will make you honoured, and a praise among all the nations of the earth when I turn back your captivity before you,’ saith the LORD.

I don’t know why people say that the Old Testament God is full of anger. These are books of hope.

You would also think that the liberals would like this God, whatwith all the stuff about justice for the poor and taking down wealthy landowners and bankers. But instead they prefer the pot-smoking Jesus whose best friends were homosexuals, abortion activists and negroes.

Zechariah  3 3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, ‘Take away the filthy garments from him’. And unto him He said, ‘Behold, I have taken away thine iniquities; 5and clothe ye him with a robe of a full length, and set a clean mitre upon his head.” And they set a clean mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments;

This reminds me of the parable of the wedding garments. So again we have the Orthodox/Biblical concept of heaven. Only those who have been cleaned can join the wedding. Those who are not clean have to stay outside and wallow in the mud. 

I think part of the indignation people have over hell is the concept. American Christianity sese sin as breaking rules, not as something with a nature to it. In reality, all hell is is sin fully manifested in its nature. If you’re a sinful person, you belong with sin. You can’t show up to a wedding dressed like you’re going to a tavern.

Creating A Vocabulary: Defining Masculinity And Femininity

There’s a lot of talk about being a “real man”. Not much talk about being a “real woman”, and any attempt at that discussion brings a wall of hatred. But we’re going to do it anyway.

So what is the essence of masculinity and femininity? These, I believe, are character traits. Platonic ideals that one should strive for. And it’s what the other sex is most attracted to, so it’s something you should pursue. Androgyny should be considered a horrible sin. The Bible has no shortage of direct prescriptions for what men and women should be like. For example, Titus 2:

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. 6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. [NKJV]

Notice there is not one standard for all adults. The young men are taught one thing, and the young women are taught something else, which includes discretion and home-making (“home-watching” in the original Greek).

So clearly the Bible has different roles for men and women.

As for creating definitions, masculinity is about power and femininity is about beauty, in the broadest sense of those terms. These are not merely external traits but internal as well.

A “real man” is a man who is able to control things, whatever that may be like. All women adore a fascist, as Sylvia Plath said.

Women don’t have beliefs — only contexts. It is the men that St Paul says to have integrity and incorruptibility, not the women. The best advice about women I can give to young men is that they do not care at all how much you agree or disagree with them or what you believe — only that you believe something. They will adapt accordingly. It’s not women’s job to philosophize, and they will resent you for forcing them to.

A “real man” is someone that people trust to take control of the situation. He is someone who can go to a mess and say “I’ll take care of this” and the women and children will walk away as though it is already solved.

Any marriage where the man is less than 51% in control will fail. “Equal marriages” don’t exist — they are always where the woman dominates the man and the man lets her because he’s afraid of losing access to sex, which only makes her resent him more. Someone will wear the pants, and if the woman isn’t allowed to be the woman, she will resent her husband for making her be the man.

A “real woman” is beautiful. This includes that kind of grandmotherly charm that comforts and heals. The feminine is tied to the home, because it is at the home where the heart is. Thus St Paul says that women are to be chaste, obedient and domestic. It’s not that these are bad traits for men to be, but they are especially important for women.

Men are the head, and women are the heart. Men are the gas, and women are the brakes. Men are the creators, and women are the nurturers. This balance is absolutely necessary for society to function. These boundaries are not an accident of society.

Another good example is 1 Peter 3

3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. […] 7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. [NKJV]

If men and women were equal, then women wouldn’t be weaker. Clearly women are weaker because they are not supposed to seek power. They are supposed to nest and trust the men to wield the axe.

Notice also St Peter’s connection of beauty to the inner disposition. This isn’t the liberal “real beauty is on the inside” platitude — this is saying that women should aspire to be gentle and patient. Liberals are anything but gentle, quiet or patient.

The “hidden person” and “quiet spirit” are especially important for women when you consider how destructive their gossip is when unrestricted. Now we have men being thrown in jail on false rape accusations or denied access to their children through divorce courts, which is nothing more than society having no restraints on women talking. It’s not that women should never talk — just that they should be extra careful when they do so.

Bible-Quote-3-768x512

Yes, men should have discretion as well, but it is extra important for women because of their nature. Or at least, it’s a different kind of discretion. In the same way, all the virtues St Paul says for men also apply to women, but they are extra important for men due to our own weaknesses.

None of this is perfectly definable. I’m not writing a legal treatise. Just general patterns. This isn’t plug-and-exchange philosophy.

Once again, masculinity is about power and femininity is about beauty in the very broadest and most whole sense of power and beauty.

Any Christianity that does not teach these basic principals will fail. There will be no reversal of the divorce rate until Christians return to a Titus 2 model of men and women. Without a biblical model of the family, any talk about “family values” from the religious right will fall on deaf ears, and the gays will have free reign to molest our children.

I will not compromise on this point. This is the hill I will die on.

Read More: Sexual Complementarianism As Platonic Ideals

Creating A Vocabulary: The Fear Of God

Every problem in our society can be traced to the lack of fear of God. But what does this term mean, “fear of God”? You see it all through the Bible, but it’s rarely preached on. Growing up in evangelical protestantism, we were very confused by this term. If God is love, how could you fear love? You are supposed to embrace God, not run away from Him. I was told that it’s really like a deep respect, which seemed like a stretch.

So I’m going to define it for all of you, and you will see how simple it is.

You fear God in the same sense that you fear your father. You love your father, and so you are afraid of him being disappointed in you. You fear his lack of approval, so you do what he wants of you. And especially as a child, you are afraid of your father’s punishment. If a child does whatever he wants, clearly he does not keep in mind the punishment his parents have for him, and therefore he does not fear his parents.

So our society doesn’t fear God, and by that I mean that we don’t fear Hell. We don’t fear the Great Day of Judgment, when every person will stand before God and give an account for how he spent his life. These are just abstracts to us, even as Christians. This is the greatest trick of Satan, to convince Christians that Judgment Day is merely a formality.

Christians spend their lives watching television and buying a nicer car because they don’t think they will ever have to give an account. After all, it’s not necessarily a sin to watch television or buy a nicer car, so therefore there’s nothing wrong with making that the primary focus of your life. They think that as long as they are saved (or going to purgatory, whatever) that they will be able to skip the Great Day of Judgment.

Fools! They have blinded themselves. The Bible has no shortage of warnings, and America has no shortage of Bibles. And yet most American Christians still believe that the Final Day will just be like standing in line at Disney World for them.

I live in constant mindfulness of my death. Every night as I go to bed, I consider how I might not wake up in the morning. One day I will die, and then I will have to give an account of what I have done. How much of this account will be given at my death and how much on that Final Day, I do not know, because God only gave us a warning and not an explanation. But I know that with every sin — and perhaps even with anything that is less than perfection — I am choosing hell.

The protestants will say that this is merely works-salvation, that the Apostle Paul clearly teaches that works are irrelevant to salvation. Let me then quote this same Apostle:

[All Bible verses are NKJV.]

1 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Is that a metaphor? Did the Apostle mean something else than what he said? Will you fault me for taking the Bible at face-value? Should I base my entire theology on three chapters of Galatians and nothing else? Μη γενοιτο!

Our society pretends that death doesn’t exist. We shut this out of our minds. We don’t tell children about death. We fantasize about transhumanism, the singularity or cryogenics. Some people even believe in reincarnation. Our medical science is based upon living longer instead of living better, that we are more focused on cures than prevention.

But death is coming for each and every one of us. At that time there will be no more excuses.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

The evangelicals believe that repentance is a one-and-done thing, not a lifelong journey of introspection. But we do not even know ourselves. We have always repented less than we think we actually have. Only God knows the depths of our hearts. We are all more selfish than we think.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

The Bible says to remain watchful. You should never let down your guard. Otherwise the demons will swallow you up, which clearly means that those who were saved can go to Hell. I don’t know how this could be more obvious in the Bible. It’s right there.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Why would Jesus say to continue watching if salvation is a guarantee? Why continue to be ready if all the preparations have been made?

Revelation 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

And you can go to these people, Christians even, who live in fornication and ask them why do they do the things they know will send them to hell, and they will merely say, “I don’t know.” They may even admit that fornication will send them to hell, but they continue in it anyway. It is not ignorance — only lack of fear.

But we do know why, and that is because they worship the creation instead of the Creator. Sex is the true American god. People will sacrifice anything for Christ except for sex. On that one issue they will not move an inch. Numb people down with porn, and you can rule the world.

Jesus continues,

Matthew 24:45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The wicked servant is not an outsider. He is one of the congregation, and he chooses to do the opposite of what he has been told to do. What then will his excuse be?

At your job, if your boss tells you to do something, and you do not do it, you will get in trouble. If you continue to not do it, he will cast you out of his business. And so you do what your boss tells you to do because you fear being unemployed.

Only the faithful and wise servant is “blessed”.

Every problem in our society — and in our churches — is rooted in the lack of fear of God. We have sex outside of marriage, we condone sterile sex, we get divorced, we cheat on our taxes, we watch Game of Thrones, we value money over family, and we eat ourselves obese all because we either do not believe or do not care that one day we will all answer to God for what we have done with our lives.

Most people, Christian or otherwise, float through life waiting for the next good feeling in whatever form that might be. They don’t think about end times. They don’t think about a morality that aspires to a higher ideal. They only think about what is the minimum of what you should not do, and then they play with that line to move it a little lower.

If American Christians want a third Great Awakening, I suggest they begin fearing God again.

Creating A Vocabulary: “Fun” Doesn’t Exist

I’ve written about this before, but it’s been a while and it wasn’t a very good post. This is an extremely difficult concept to explain.

Fun is a very new concept. People have always done things we would think of as “fun” — there have always been songs and stories and laughter. But it was never in the sense we view these things now. The word “fun” doesn’t exist in other languages, and its modern usage in English is only maybe two centuries old. You don’t see Shakespeare writing about “fun”.

You yourself probably could not give a real definition of it. What is fun? You can give examples of fun. You could probably say “doing something which you enjoy and makes you happy”, but that would include things like going to church or moving out of your parents’ house. Surely fun is more than just being happy.

It’s not that “fun” activities are wrong in themselves or that laughter is sin — it’s the underlying intention in pursuing these activities. To go to Six Flags with my friends and just laugh all day seems really perverse to me, or at least childish. I tell jokes and laugh, but I don’t make this a primary focus of my life. People “enjoy” reading this blog, but they certainly wouldn’t say it’s entertaining in the way a TED talk is.

A lot of pastors try to be as funny as possible, and people consider this a positive trait. Catholics threw away the old mass for something more interesting. Christians think church is about entertainment, because everything has become about entertainment.

 

Spot the difference?

*****

Two days after writing this blog post, I came across a great explanation of this concept in the the book Spread the Word by Fr Michael Keiser, in which he explains that joy is essential to evangelism.

It is important to understand what joy is not. Joy is not fun. Fun is not a biblical word. Fun is often a self-centered attempt at entertainment and distraction. Christian life and worship are not meant to be fun-filled excursions to Happy Clappy Land in which we whip up the emotions to an abnormal high. That leads to let-down and burnout.

I don’t think in the category of “fun”. I barely think in the category of “entertaining”. These words are irrelevant. So what if something is fun? How does that at all affect its value?

We live in a society where we associate fun with goodness. We cannot understand how doing something to feel good could be a bad thing. We live life like it’s a math equation of good feelings. If your life had lots of good feelings, then you had a good life. If your life had a lot of difficulty, then it was all a waste. And nothing makes us more angry than someone who ruined our good feelings, even if through no fault of that person.

*****

I did a search, and only six times did Shakespeare use the word “fun”. In only maybe one of those does it have its modern sense. This is from a playwright who frequently wrote about people playing pranks on each other.

From Romeo and Juliet:

Nay, an there were two such, we should have none
shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou! why,
thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more,
or a hair less, in his beard, than thou hast: thou
wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no
other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes: what
eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel?
Thy head is as fun of quarrels as an egg is full of
meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as
an egg for quarrelling: thou hast quarrelled with a
man for coughing in the street, because he hath
wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun:
didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing
his new doublet before Easter? with another, for
tying his new shoes with old riband? and yet thou
wilt tutor me from quarrelling!

I’m not sure what that means. It seems to mean “full”.

Othello:

Cassio. Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.
Iago. Not this hour, lieutenant; ’tis not yet ten o’ the
clock. Our general cast us thus early for the love
of his Desdemona; who let us not therefore blame:
he hath not yet made wanton the night with her; and 1150
she is sport for Jove.
Cassio. She’s a most exquisite lady.
Iago. And, I’ll warrant her, fun of game.

Here it seems to mean “fond”.

Tempest:

Admired Miranda!
Indeed the top of admiration! worth
What’s dearest to the world! Full many a lady
I have eyed with best regard and many a time
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
Have I liked several women; never any
With so fun soul, but some defect in her
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed
And put it to the foil: but you, O you,
So perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature’s best!

I guess this could mean “fun” in our modern sense, but it still looks like “full”.

From the same play:

I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking;
So fun of valour that they smote the air
For breathing in their faces; beat the ground
For kissing of their feet; yet always bending
Towards their project. Then I beat my tabour;
At which, like unback’d colts, they prick’d
their ears,

This seems to mean “full”, and it seems to have the connotation that they have been driven insane with the alcohol and valor.

Twelfth Night:

Viola. No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little 495
longer. Some mollification for your giant, sweet
lady. Tell me your mind: I am a messenger.
Olivia. Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when
the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
Viola. It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of 500
war, no taxation of homage: I hold the olive in my
hand; my words are as fun of peace as matter.

Again it seems to mean “full”.

From the same play:

Go, write it in a martial hand; be curst and brief;
it is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and fun
of invention: taunt him with the licence of ink:
if thou thou’st him some thrice, it shall not be
amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of
paper, although the sheet were big enough for the
bed of Ware in England, set ’em down: go, about it.
Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou
write with a goose-pen, no matter: about it.

Once again the word seems to mean “full”, but if you squint a certain way it could have the modern meaning.

*****

The idea of going to Six Flags and spending all day laughing — that’s kind of psychotic. There’s something deeply wrong with this idea that the right way to spend your day is to have unbridled, blinding happiness that makes you forget everything else, and that being able to afford this drunken happiness is the primary purpose in earning money.

If you could go back in time to your ancestors and say that they are building this amazing country so that you can sit at home and watch theater shows all day, and if they actually believed you, then they would think you were wasting this great gift they are sacrificing for. If you told them that most people plan their day around watching four hours of theater and that a third of the time involves advertisements, they wouldn’t have bothered to settle the frontier.

Fr Seraphim Rose said in a speech just a few weeks before his death:

The message of this universal temptation that attacks men today—quite openly in its secular forms, but usually more hidden in its religious forms—is:Live for the present, enjoy yourself, relax, be comfortable. Behind this message is another, more sinister undertone which is openly expressed only in the officially atheist countries which are one step ahead of the free world in this respect. In fact, we should realize that what is happening in the world today is very similar whether it occurs behind the Iron Curtain or in the free world. There are different varieties of it, but there is a very similar attack to get our soul. In the communist countries which have an official doctrine of atheism, they tell quite openly that you are to: Forget about God and any other life but the present; remove from your life the fear of God and reverence for holy things; regard those who still believe in God in the “old-fashioned’ way as enemies who must be exterminated. One might take, as a symbol of our carefree, fun-loving, self-worshipping times, our American “Disneyland”; if so, we should not neglect to see behind it the more sinister symbol that shows where the “me generation” is really heading: the Soviet Gulag, the chain of concentration camps that already governs the life of nearly half the world’s population.

This idea that you can go to Disneyland, “The Happiest Place on Earth”, and just have unrestricted happiness through the sheer manufactured wonder of everything, that the secret to having a fulfilled life is the tea cup ride — it’s sick,  in every sense of the term. This isn’t right. This isn’t sustainable. You can’t build a civilization on this.

Again, this concept is extremely difficult to explain. You either see it or you don’t.

And this idea of fun saturates everything. Why do people have sex with people they have no intention of procreating with? “Because it’s fun.” I ask how fun is relevant, and they say that fun is fun and it’s good to pursue fun.

I tell people that I hate how I wasted my childhood playing Pokemon, and they say, “Oh but you had so much fun!” But frankly, I don’t know what else I would have done. My parents told us to play outside, but there wasn’t anything to do out there. We didn’t learn any life skills. We didn’t go camping. We just had fun, and we were all miserable.

It seems that we think the primary purpose of childhood is to have fun. There’s no sense that childhood is about preparing for adulthood, because we have no model for adulthood. Children go to school and learn to read and do math, but they don’t learn how to fix a car or prepare a pot roast.

All of this is insanity. I cannot believe that I have woken up in this society and found this to be the reality we live in. Out of all the times I could have lived, it had to be in the 21st century where people’s highest values is fun. That’s the real reason Whites are not reproducing. It’s cruel that I have to live and function and hold a job in a world where the highest value is blind laughter.

I listen to people talk about how they are planning their trip to a generic European tourist trap and have been to various other European tourist traps to look at European things, and I just feel sad for them that they have nothing else in life to live for. Their whole life is built upon waiting for their week’s travel to Ireland, and they would never sacrifice that week for anything. They don’t spend their money on their children — they spend it on plane tickets. If a pastor preached a sermon that all your excess money should go to the poor or to the missionaries, these people would leave the church.

*****

When most people are diagnosed with a fatal disease, they break down. There was so much fun that they wanted to have, and now they won’t get to have that fun. They always wanted to see Rio, but they spent too much time at the office.

I would not care at all if I had cancer. Actually I would probably be kind of happy. I am certain I would not cry about how I never got to see or do something I always wanted to see or do. I cannot imagine having the vapidity of soul that upon learning that I’m going to die I would say, “Oh but I never went to Rio!”

When you’re dying, you’re supposed to reflect on how you lived your life and repent for anything you may have over-looked. Dying is supposed to be sobering and humbling. You are supposed to accept your powerlessness in the world. You are supposed to realize that all the things you thought were important will very soon not matter. To look heaven and hell in the face and decide that what really matters is the earth misses the point of the great gift of dying.

The joy of heaven will not be roller coaster joy. All true Christian joy is intimately mixed with sadness, particularly the relief from it. There will be joy in heaven, but there will not be laughter. Most people cannot understand how joy can exist without laughter, and therefore most people will not go to heaven.

Letter To Roosh

Two months ago in late May I sent an email to Roosh, whom I haven’t spoken to in several years, as we never knew each other well. At the time he hadn’t fully made known he had become a Christian, so I have delayed posting this. At this point he isn’t being subtle anymore.

*****

This is Austin Martin / Blair Naso, who used to write for your website several years ago. I live in St Louis now.

Some of my readers (and one in particular) have been emailing me that you’ve converted to Orthodox Christianity. I’ve told them that you haven’t said anything conclusive yet. I just saw your God Pill forum post and Eulogy article. I’m still not convinced, because you haven’t outright said it, but obviously you have thought a lot about it.

I feel like I should say something, but I don’t know what. I’ll link to a blog post of mine you may feel helpful, but I don’t know what words you need to hear or if there are any words you need to hear.

I just felt like I should reach out. You can ignore this if you want.

https://blairnaso.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/eucatastrophe/

You recently wrote that modern life is AIDS and posted one of those pictures that reminds me why I’m not a white nationalist. The Bible says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and I think that’s what’s happening to our society. We’ve chosen to prioritize pleasure at any cost, and the result is a dying civilization.

We kill our unborn children physically, and if they survive, then we kill our children emotionally and spiritually through the school system, all so that we can have money and careers. The other day at work, this-24 year-old divorcee said she was glad she didn’t have any kids because she can spend her money on herself.

I don’t need to tell you how self-destructive the homosexual lifestyle is. And yet that’s become our nation’s highest value. It’s more than the media — the city governments push the normalization. Many cities try to ban Chick-fil-a merely because the owner said he didn’t support gay marriage when asked point blank in an interview. In no way does the business actually discriminate against gay employees.

You spent your life initially looking for success in careers and sex, and when you found it didn’t exist, you began looking for the good and beautiful in a humanistic sense. But it seems you’re realizing that doesn’t exist either. The good and beautiful cannot exist without something by which to measure it against. Otherwise, good and beautiful is just an opinion.

The only thing that can provide the satisfaction you are looking for is Jesus Christ, because He is the only thing that can make order of all the bad in the world.

The whole paragraph I quoted above in Romans 6 says,

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So before you lived a hedonistic, naturalistic worldview, and the Christian idea of becoming Christlike wasn’t relevant. That’s verse 20. But now you’ve progressed to verse 21, that you see that that lifestyle was fruitless and you’re embarrassed of it. You understand how the standard modern prescription for life ends in death, in every sense of the term. You thought travelling the world banging beautiful women was freedom, but now you see that it was a different kind of slavery.

The next step, then, is to advance to verse 22, that you become a slave to God, so that you can now produce fruit which will lead to actual righteousness and eternal life. Verse 23 summarizes, that you can choose death and sin, or you can choose eternal life with Jesus Christ, but there is no middle ground.

This righteousness is the self-improvement you have actually been looking for, and it happens on a deeply ontological level. It’s not just being nice — it is a total change in how you view every smallest decision.

This world is torture. I hate it. I’m glad you had a close family, but like many people in the Manosphere, I did not have that blessing. I hate the television, I hate the music, I hate how we’ve created a society of lonely people, and I hate how there’s nothing I can do to change it.

The only comfort I have is that one day, when everything ends, whatever is crushing me today will seem like the smallest concern, like a child who cries because his fingers prune in the bathtub.

Karl Marx said that this is just an opiate. Liberals claim that Christians focus on heaven because they can’t process the troubles of the earth. I think that’s a fair question to ask. The answer is that there is no fixing the world. Without the foundation of living for the next life, all we have is living for this life, which results in the picture in your “Modern Life is AIDS” article.

The secularist makes this criticism, and yet he does the same thing. His highest ethic is the avoidance of suffering, and so this is what all of our social discourse is about. What the secularist cannot consider is the value of suffering. That suffering can build character is irrelevant, because the secularist has no objective standard of character to build towards. His only moral is “Don’t harm other people, unless it’s kind of inconvenient”.

This void is filled with existentialism, in which you force the banality of life to have a meaning it doesn’t. This is why people claim they love their job, when all it is is processing insurance claims, and then spend $200 on the weekends eating out trying to entertain themselves. Obviously they don’t love their job, but they have to delude themselves that they do.

Religion might be the opiate of the masses, but the masses need an opiate. But even then, I don’t think opiate is the right word. Religion, if done correctly, just gives you a different perspective. Opiates deaden your senses and numb you, and that is a far better description of Marvel movies, television, pop music, and anything else on the endless buffet of distractions our society offers. I think pornography is a far more effective opiate of the masses than religion.

Therefore, if you don’t have anything to live for, because you see the naturalist philosophy of our society for what it is, then you can at least live for the Second Coming of Christ.

Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Most people see that as an opiate. But for someone like me who has endured innumerable pain and disappointment, that’s hope, and it’s the only hope possible. If you’ve lost your faith in people, you can at least take hope in the eternal life.

All things will be new. The laws of nature, the way animals interact with each other (“the wolf will lay down with the lamb” Isaiah 11:6), the priorities people have, how people interact with each other, what emotions you feel. Everything will be new for those who have chosen to be the slave — and now son — of God.

The next verse shows the opposite.

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

I think it’s interesting that in this passage, the focus on those who go to hell are not individual sins but character traits. The cowardly, the faithless (as some translations put it), the abominable, those who value short-term pleasure over the long-term good (murderers and the sexually immoral), and those who try to subvert the nature of reality (sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars) will not spend eternity with the One who created all goodness and beauty.

These are all traits of the secular left-wing. When you think of the secular left, you think of people with no loyalty, who build their values based on others’ expectations, who obsess over meaningless pop culture, who can look at hard empirical data (about race, sex, the sexes, etc) and outright deny it, who are spiteful and petty in the name of compassion, and who only do good things so that others will see it (i.e, virtue signaling)

These people will burn in hell, because they hate God and actively oppose all reality. They oppose anything actually good or beautiful so that they can declare anything to be good or beautiful. Given the choice, they would rather live in hell than in heaven, and so that’s how they live their lives. They hate goodness and beauty, so why would God force them to spend eternity with the Source of all goodness and beauty?

Recently I wrote a long rambling post about how WordPress banned Heartiste (skip halfway down to the section with the video).

https://blairnaso.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/wordpress-has-banned-chateau-heartiste-truth-and-blogging-a-glimpse-of-god/

I made a point that many Manosphere writers catch a glimpse of God and decide the cost is too high. But they can’t go back, and so they become bitter and cold-hearted. This encounter-and-then-rejection of God, despite whatever nominal acceptance they loudly claim on their livestream, has totally changed them. I didn’t name names, but I was especially thinking about [redacted].

I’m praying that the same doesn’t happen to you and Heartiste, because I think both of you are really waking up to the true reality of the world, that there must be a God who provides an absolute standard to base your life upon.

Ultimately, though, this is a choice. Christianity is not merely something you believe or a team you are on. It’s not just a social philosophy about how to build a better America. It is not making an agreement that you’ll abstain from certain fun behaviors that everyone else gets to do.

Truth is a Person that you accept to totally subject every part of your life to in the hope of a future life where “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying”. That subjection is a choice you actively make, both in the short term and every day. It is a constant choice to submit yourself to the reality of the world instead of trying to remake it for your own happiness.

Pontius Pilate had the opportunity to ask God any question he wanted, and he clearly saw that Jesus was special; yet he was dismissive and cowardly, ultimately handing Jesus over to the mob. The rich young ruler, who had kept all the external rules, walked away disappointed because the cost was too high. Judas Iscariot had no lack of opportunity. Herod allowed John the Baptist to speak freely and even listened to him, until a stripper forced him to make a decision.

The Centurion at the cross saw all the same things as Pontius Pilate, and he came to the conclusion that this man must be the Son of God. History remembers him as the martyr Longinus.

*****

His reply, and I don’t think he would be upset at me publishing this, was:

Thank you for this email. It’s a lot to take to heart, and I will contemplate your words. You are the second man is as many days to send me Romans 6:20-23. I do believe God “sends” me information through other men, so I have no doubt that passage applies to me.

I’m working on many articles which describe what happened to me, but as of now I can tell you I am an Orthodox Christian and am attempting to do what is right, no matter the worldly cost. There will be no half-measures. Those who I thought were friends will now see me as an enemy, but so be it.

I want to stress that I think it’s really really important that we don’t do any kind of grandstanding as though we just won a trophy convert celebrity. There’s been a lot of issues, in all veins of American Christianity, of making a big deal every time a famous person converts to one’s sect.

A few years ago a C-list TV star joined the Orthodox Church, and almost immediately he had all kinds of speaking engagements at Orthodox conferences, even though being a movie star isn’t rally a Christian profession. I’m not upset at that particular celebrity, since he’s just doing what he was asked. I have a problem with the archdiocese that put him on a pedestal just because he’s famous.

I am certain that people in the Orthodox Church will try to do this to Roosh. He seems like he has the maturity to handle that, and he isn’t giving details (as far as I can tell) on what parish he is attending (nor did I press him on the issue). There’s also the possibility that they’ll treat him like Matthew Heimbach. The way the late Fr Peter Gillquist, a reformed cult leader, twisted Scripture and Tradition to save his reputation was just horrendous and blasphemous regardless of what you think about Heimbach.

So any freewheeling traditionalist wanting to become an Orthodox Christian will have some landmines to traverse. Four pieces of advice I would give:

  1. ROCOR has a lot of room for traditionalism, but they are a big ball of chaos, and I’ve lost all respect and benefit of the doubt for ROCOR (regardless of the very good individuals I’ve met).
  2. The GOA generally doesn’t police its members, priests have a lot less authority, and they don’t allow a lot of the … wackiness … you find in other jurisdictions, so the Greek Church is my personal preference.
  3. Be very picky to which priest you go to confession. Some priests use the sacrament as a weapon.
  4. Don’t listen to Ancient Faith Radio, except for Kh. Krista West and Fr. Josiah Trenham.

A Charlie Brown Christmas: A Christian Allegory

Obviously I’ve been thinking a lot about Charlie Brown lately. I’ve been reading through the comics. Currently I’m in 1954, which is before the strip really took the form we now think of.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is an immortal classic that no one ever thinks about. Christians like it because there’s the big climax where Linus says that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus. Beyond that we just love the snow and the music.

The jazz soundtrack to the episode, while amazing, would have better fit the episode if it were Phil Spector’s Christmas album, which despite a few decent tracks is a horrendous beast of bad pop music for the mall.

The episode is the story of my life and probably a lot of other Christians’ too. Charlie Brown feels depressed at how fake the world is. Lucy puts him in charge of the Christmas play, but all the kids know he can’t do anything right. He wants to put in a lot of effort to make the play really good, but the kids just want to goof off and have fun. So they send him to buy a Christmas tree.

At the Christmas tree lot he sees the same lack of authenticity that he saw in the other children. Almost everything for sale is an aluminum Christmas tree. No maintenance required. Just plug it in and enjoy how pretty and perfect it is.

These trees disgust Charlie Brown, but in the corner he finds a small, ugly tree that is an actual tree. Despite it’s terrible appearance, Charlie Brown appreciates the tree because it is actually something real. Unlike the pink trees, the green tree requires maintenance and care. You have to water it every day. You have to sweep up the brown needles. You have to be careful it doesn’t catch on fire. The ugly little tree is life. Having a real Christmas tree requires work, and Charlie Brown understands on some level that that work is what gives the tree meaning. That’s the difference between living things and robots.

When Charlie Brown sees the little tree, he sees life, and he desperately craves for life. He lives in a constant state of ennui and hopelessness, and this little tree shows that there can be something in the world that actually needs him. Charlie Brown is desperate to be wanted. All of us need to be needed. Hope is the air humans breathe.

Despite being a passive-aggressive loser, Charlie Brown understands what real beauty is, that it’s more than just “this thing looks pretty and makes me feel good”.

He brings the tree to the other children. They immediately hate it. They want something easy and artificial, just like their play. They want instant beauty and instant perfection with no work required. They think he’s a total screw up instead of understanding that he just has a different values set. If you go against the dominant social philosophy and buy a real Christmas tree (or whatever that may represent in your life), then they’ll assume you’re an idiot who can’t do anything right. They can’t imagine anyone would have deeply questioned all the assumptions around them and come up with a different worldview.

Charlie Brown asks that if this authenticity and real-ness is not the real meaning of Christmas, what could the real meaning be? Linus, who always plays the prophet role, then gives his famous monologue where he quotes Luke 2:8-14 (with the textus receptus reading).

Charlie Brown has found the true meaning of Christmas. This gives him hope and joy like he’s never felt before.

It is here that most stories would stop. The hero has learned a lesson. Problem solved.

But what we need to see is how the hero applies that lesson and how the world reacts to it. This is the part of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth theory that is usually left out of stories today. The hero doesn’t just need to defeat the dragon; he must also reflect on what it means to kill the dragon and then readjust to the world being a new state of knowing what it means to kill a dragon. Frodo and Sam have to try to live the simple country life in the Shire after going to hell and back; Dorothy has to see her family again; Alice has to wake up from the dream. The status quo must be restored but with the addition of the new knowledge.

Charlie Brown decides he will spend Christmas honoring real-ness, even if it means spending Christmas alone. He takes his ugly little green tree with real cytoplasm and chlorophyll and tries to work on it to make it beautiful. His very first effort, a single ornament, kills the tree. Charlie Brown runs off-screen screaming in existential pain.

And I think the reason for the existential pain is how quickly that hope Linus gave him failed. He had the capital-T Truth. He heard the Good News and embraced it. And as soon as he tried to apply the Good News in the real world, the real world slapped him down and reminded him that everything is ugly and hopeless. Nor was it the other children that slapped him down — just the cold laws of nature making sure everything is always worse off than before.

Everything degrades. Your best efforts will not make America great again. Nobody is actually interested in real-ness and authenticity. We just want cheap plaster wood furniture. Nobody takes ethics or theology seriously. Nobody takes what they think is true and follows it to its furthest extent. There is none righteous; no, not one.

This really is where the story ends. That thing in life you really care about that you put all your effort into will fail. And you’ll get some great encouragement from church and try to put it into practice, and that will only cause you to fail even harder, and you’ll wonder if all capital-T Truth is just a nice theory. You’ll scream into the void like Charlie Brown, and no one will hear you.

For a long time I thought that the ending where the kids have a change of heart and sing a song was a dumb deus ex machina, and maybe it is, but I am starting to think that it’s the Eucatastrophe. That at the end of everything there will eventually be the great redemption. At the darkest hour when all humanity has degenerated and there’s no hope of ever making it right again or returning to decency, when you least expect it but need it the most, then comes the Second Coming and the Great Judgment, and everything will be made the way it should be, and only the things that are authentic and real will survive the cleansing.

One of the greatest metaphors ever of what it means to be a Christian, and far better than anything Tolkien or Lewis wrote, broadcast on major networks every year, and nobody ever understood what it was about. They always thought it was a weird story with some snow and jazz and some kids tormenting each other.

It’s also possible that Schulz did not put that much thought into it and just wrote himself into a corner.

Don’t Be A Charlie Brown

Was Jesus a victim?

No.

He gave himself willingly.

I’m so sick of victim politics. Everyone feels sorry for himself. The world has done him wrong, and that gives him an excuse to complain forever and, worse, demand that others fix the problem.

All western secular values are bastardized Christian values. And so all western secular liberals, no matter how much they hate Christianity, claim Jesus as one of their own. They all think Jesus was a socialist who hung out with the gays and sluts.

But you know what Jesus never did? Demand his rights. He was a lonely virgin who stayed silent during a show trial.

I just read this dumb article in an otherwise great series about the theology of the Peanuts comic. It says that Charlie Brown is a Christ-figure, because of how he constantly accepts the cruelty of others without seeking revenge.

But there is more than solidarity with the victim in Peanuts. As we watch Charlie Brown suffer, his innocent non-retalitory response begins to unmask the violence around him. The violence seems so much more violent when directed at Charlie Brown. As Michaelis notes, when Charlie Brown absorbs violence “no rage boils up, no self-pity spills over, no tears are shed, no punch line squeezed out–just silent endurance.” (5)

This “silent endurance” begins to unmask, highlight, and indict the violence. As Umberto Eco noted, Charlie Brown “acts in all purity and without any guile”, and, as a result, “society is prompt to reject him…”

But actually he constantly responds with passive-aggressive one-liners once the other kids are off-screen. Charlie Brown is a loser who brings his misery on himself through his own cowardice. Maybe there’s a lesson there, and maybe we are all Charlie Brown on some level, but in no way is Charlie Brown a Christ-figure.

This is most visible in the Christmas special where he sarcastically thanks Violet for the Christmas card she didn’t send.

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Jesus wasn’t a victim. No one took his life. He gave it away willingly.

Everything that ever went wrong in your life is your fault. Even if it isn’t actually your fault, it might as well be, because no one will fix it for you. There are no excuses. The most painful red pill is that you are responsible for your own happiness.

Don’t be a Charlie Brown.

Read More: Don’t Be A Severus Snape.

And then: The Christmas Post

Waiting For The Great Pumpkin

I had a pretty bad week. I’m feeling kind of black pill. I have a vague feeling that I’m going to die in a couple years. My guess is some kind of stomach cancer. Most likely I’ll die how I lived: bitter, lonely and racist. Those seem to be the values I based my life on.

I think my body is shutting down in general. I have a chronic cough, I don’t have any stamina, and often I start wretching like I’m going to throw up without being nauseous or having eaten anything. I’ve said for years that I don’t want to live past 40. For the last few years I’ve half-wished half-joked that I’m dying. I’d put it at 20% odds, as just my guess.

I don’t think the black pill is really sustainable to believe in, because it’s just too bleak, and humans need some kind of hope. Intellectually, though, I think we all know that everything degrades. Things only get worse. America will not become great again.

In my last blog post, I mentioned the Great Pumpkin from the Peanuts comic. The Great Pumpkin was a metaphor for Charles Schulz’s faith. It’s something I frequently think about, as I have had many Great Pumpkin seasons in my life.

Linus tells everyone around him that good children who wait in the pumpkin patch all night will receive presents when the Great Pumpkin rises. Everyone laughs at him. Occasionally people will wait with him instead of trick-or-treating, but like in the parable of the sower, they all quickly apostatize at the first sign of disappointment. Linus alone continues believing despite that the Great Pumpkin never shows up. Occasionally he has moments of doubt, but he never abandons his faith, and he never ceases evangelizing for it.

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Scan 1But since the kids never grow up, we never see what happens when Linus realizes that the Great Pumpkin will never come. In the strip he is only waiting with disappointment and anxiety. In his own narrative, the Great Pumpkin will eventually come and make sense of everything. And that’s the state a lot of Christians find themselves in more often than not. I would argue that any real Christian who actually thinks about his beliefs beyond just “Yeah I’m saved, and all my friends go to my church” spends most of his life in the pumpkin patch. Everything feels like a lie, but we keep pushing forward and trying to ignore the vague doubt in the back of our minds.

Some of my readers start seriously investigating the Orthodox Church partly because of my writing, which is kind of odd and was never the purpose of this blog. I mean, I’m really glad people are doing that, but this blog was never supposed to be one of those Orthodox blogs where I quote the saints and give deep esoteric teachings for today’s on-the-go consumer. Keep in mind as you read my blog that I say a lot of things that most Orthodox Christians wouldn’t agree with. That doesn’t mean that they are right or I’m right or anything. I just feel like I should emphasize that my observations and interpretations are my own.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to tell you what the Orthodox Church’s teaching is when the Great Pumpkin doesn’t show up, and that position is nothing. I’ve read a pretty thorough sampling from the Church Fathers over the years, and as far as I can tell, no one in the history of Christendom has ever considered the answer to this question. If you think the Orthodox Church will provide answers to all your difficult metaphysical questions, you’re wrong.

The Church doesn’t have an answer for what to do when the Great Pumpkin doesn’t show up. The Church’s answer is just to keep trusting your parish priest.

Your priest is a fallible human with his own petty pride and prejudices. Jesus isn’t going to protect you from him misdiagnosing your issues and giving you the wrong solution, no matter how golden his motivations. Jesus isn’t going to make sure the priest doesn’t teach soft Marxism about how it’s a sin to say “nigger”. Jesus isn’t going to save the EP from excommunicating itself. We’re on our own.

Even if your priest is an absolute saint who always does what he thinks is right, he’s still just making decisions based on his best guess.

That’s a difficult black pill to swallow, but I keep waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive and make sense of everything and prove that my faith wasn’t in vain. I’ve spent my life in the pumpkin patch. All of this has to mean something. The shame of admitting to my peers that the Great Pumpkin is a silly children’s story and that I should have spent my life having fun with my friends and eating candy is too much to bear. Suffering in the cold and loneliness of the pumpkin patch is less painful than admitting that Halloween should be spent on mindless gluttony.

Nothing has meaning. When I die of stomach cancer in two years, it will be just as meaningless as the shit I took this morning (which was probably caused by said nascent stomach cancer). Nothing happens for a reason. Things just happen. But it’s literally impossible for me to believe that everything is meaningless, so I keep looking for reason and probably will continue to do so. All this quasi-deist black pill I’m talking about, I can never believe in it for more than a few days, even though I know it makes far more sense that life is all coincidences.

The solution to the problem of the Great Pumpkin is to just sit in the field until you’re old and die. Maybe the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come until you’re dead, and then He says, “Good job. You spent your whole life crying in the dark and cold instead of getting candy with your friends. Here’s your Halloween present.” And I’ll say, “But where were you? Why were there so many false signs? Why didn’t you tell me how I was supposed to discern the 90% bad guides from the 10% good guides?” And He’ll say, “That’s just how it is. All beauty comes through suffering. Your present wouldn’t be worth it if it came easy.” And I would be like, “I sat in the pumpkin patch all alone freezing to death for 90 years. What about all that about ‘Lo I will be with you always’?”

And maybe there will be some platitude about being forever in our hearts or carrying us on the sand, but I can’t read God’s mind, so I don’t know. I don’t know why these things happen. If something happened to you from some kind of church figure that you deeply trusted and had every reason to believe in their goodwill and wisdom, and then that mentor figure betrayed you, and you’re wondering where was God in all this, my answer is that I don’t know. I don’t know if God was there or if He wasn’t there at all, and I don’t know what it means for Him to be there.

And the Orthodox Church doesn’t have any answers to this question. It’s not even on their radar, as far as I can tell.

Growing up in evangelical protestantism, there was often this parable of sorts about how God carries you through the sand. When someone was singing an offertory solo and they couldn’t hit the high notes in the last verse, they would just recite this story, and everyone would feel very warm.

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If I get to heaven and that’s what Jesus says, I’m going to throw a chair. He didn’t carry me. I fumbled around in the dark and had to figure out for myself what the demonic voices were. I spent my life in the pumpkin patch.

The Orthodox Church has kind of an anti-logic leaning, because your intellect is fallible, but what is often never considered and is even taught against is that your intellect is a gift. Your intellect is what keeps you moving forward when all your emotions are telling you lies. Your intellect is what looks at all the data and decides what is truth and what is falsehood.

Gifts are only good or bad by how you use them — a ballpoint pen can be used to write a love note or to stab someone’s eye out.

I don’t know what you are supposed to do when the Great Pumpkin doesn’t arrive. I think you’re just supposed to sit in the Pumpkin Patch until you die.

And I used to think that God would provide the right spiritual mentor you can safely trust, but I don’t think I believe that anymore. I think God just gives you some instructions and may occasionally hint at some guidance if you pray for wisdom, but really you’re on your own to figure it out and learn how to not listen to the demons. Which means that in some sense after eight years I’ve horseshoed back to protestantism, because the Orthodox Church has been totally worthless at providing solid answers to make sense of life’s most difficult problems.

You might say, “You’re over thinking things. God protects everything. We’re still here after 2000 years.” I’ll consider that once the Great Pumpkin arrives and clarifies everything. Meanwhile the demons talk to me far more than the Holy Spirit.

Psalm (LXX) 14 (13):1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They have corrupted themselves, and become abominable in their devices; there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one. 2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there were any that understood, or sought after god. 3 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.

So there is no one you can trust to give you the right guidance. Not me, not your parents, not your church or your pastor or your favorite philosopher. You yourself will not give yourself the right guidance. You will read the Bible and make a total mess of it despite all your best intentions, and the Great Pumpkin by all appearances (or lack thereof) won’t care. You will join the Orthodox Church and learn a lot of really great insights, but in due time you’ll realize that most priests are still giving it their best guess based on today’s dominant worldview and a very cursory glance at the Fathers — and worse, they will tell you that this is Absolute Holy Tradition and that you’re committing the sin of pride to even question if maybe the Church has only a very recent history of opposition to racism and slavery because neither of those are actually sins. And if you push back, the priest will take that “bind and loose sins” thing very seriously and pull rank, and no one will care.

No, I haven’t been kicked out of the Church. But I am extremely careful which priests I go to confession for, because I’m not sure just how arbitrarily you can be totally excommunicated. What I’m trying to warn you is that if you’ve read a bunch of stuff in the alt right and manosphere about how the Orthodox Church is a bastion of pure traditionalism where everyone hates Jews and feminists, you’re in for a sore disappointment.

I seem to be the only one having this problem. Everyone else in the Orthodox Church gets along fine. I’m the only one who notices these things. Am I crazy?

And it’s not like these people are disingenuous. Most priests are 35-year-olds who have read a book of baby’s first Church Fathers, but even among the ones who really know the Tradition and try to live it out to the best of their understanding, “there is none that does goodness, there is not even so much as one.”

And you can say, “Well you shouldn’t have faith in people — you should only have faith in God.” But the Great Pumpkin still hasn’t come, and in the meantime it’s people who are calling the shots.

And I want to emphasize that none of this I’m saying should change. It’s baked into the cake. You can’t excise out the parts you don’t like. You can’t pick and choose what you like about an ideology. An ideology has to be accepted as a whole. The fallacies of any belief system are more like conditions than flaws.

I’m tired of making long term plans, and I’m tired of relying on people to be good, and I’m tired of having to figure out if people are good with my own judgment, and I’m tired of trying to solve problems that don’t have solutions. I think I’m going to go do nothing for a while. Just move back to Tennessee and write my crappy blog about how I hate niggers and the Irish.

I read a quote by Mother Theresa that says that the absence of God is His presence. That your longing for the Great Pumpkin to rise and confirm your faith is proof of the Great Pumpkin, because in the pain that comes from the absence you feel the effects of the Great Pumpkin. The desire for the Great Pumpkin gives Him meaning, in the same way that you only miss someone you love because of the what that person means to you.

*****

I’ve been thinking about the Brian Wilson song “Love and Mercy”, about how he sees all the bad in the world and just wants there to be love and mercy. I saw an interview about the film where the actor says that what Brian Wilson needed was love and mercy and no one gave it to him.

I could say, “How dare Christians not give me love and mercy”, but that’s cheap and obvious. And I hate complaining about how others don’t treat me right. It’s weak and liberal.

Better yet, how can we demand God give us mercy if we don’t give mercy to others?

The Orthodox Church has a much broader understanding of mercy. It’s not just sparing someone from what they deserve. It’s the kindness shown to someone who is suffering. Jesus had all kinds of parables about how He won’t forgive you if you don’t forgive others. I think this applies broadly. If you don’t have love and mercy, then asking God fifty times in the liturgy to have mercy is just blasphemy.

So go show mercy on people. When someone cuts you off in traffic, consider that maybe they have a very good reason for being in a rush. If someone at work is being bitchy, think that maybe their mother is dying. It’s a thousand little things that make America Great Again, not one sweeping gesture of feeding the poor.

Meanwhile, you sit in the pumpkin patch in the dark and cold while every laughs and has fun. There are no answers and no solutions.

 

Read More: The Halloween Post

Who Was Therese Of Lisieux?

Here in suburban St Louis there’s a Catholic bookstore. There’s almost nothing from the Church Fathers beyond Augustine’s Confessions. Nothing in Latin. No English translation of the Vulgate. No Thomas Aquinas or late medieval devotionals. Nothing about the Saint Louis our city is named after. But they had three rows of books about how to get an annulment or how to start dating after a divorce. And a bunch of unconsecrated communion wafers in a plastic jar, because Catholics have no respect for the sacred.

The oldest saint that had several selections for devotees was Therese of Lisieux. One pope said something like she exemplified the true essence of Catholicism. So I figured it would be good to read up on her. After all, Catholicism today doesn’t really have anything in common with Aquinas or Augustine. And she’s pre-Vatican II, so perhaps she shows the bridge between the traditionalists and modernists.

Like with my article on Francis of Assisi, I’m going to examine her from the Catholics’ own hagiography [links here and here].

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First let me say that I don’t have a problem with her in the same sense I have with Francis of Assisi. It seems to me that she was a well-meaning young girl who just wanted to love all the precious creatures and was not given any guidance. I don’t think she was a radical narcissist like Francis.

Second, I want to say that all the miracles both in her life and afterwards are irrelevant. This is a topic for another post, but miracles don’t prove anything. Even if you can prove with complete epistemological certitude that a miracle happened, it would still be meaningless. The same is true with dreams and visions. None of this matters.

Therese was born in France in 1873 and entered a convent at the age of 15. Back then we understood that the purpose of childhood was to prepare for adulthood instead of playing in the nursery all a summer’s day long, so this was okay. Three of her four sisters had already entered some form of the monastic life, two of which were at this same convent. Four siblings died as children, and her mother died when she was four.

At first the convent’s priest told her she could not enter without the bishop’s permission. So she asked the bishop. He told her he would think about it. So she found a way to ask the pope.

The great day of the audience with Pope Leo XIII came at the end of their week in Rome. On Sunday, November 20, 1887, “they told us on the Pope’s behalf that it was forbidden to speak as this would prolong the audience too much. I turned toward my dear Celine for advice: ‘Speak!’ she said. A moment later I was at the Holy Father’s feet…Lifting tear-filled eyes to his face I cried out: ‘Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you!…Holy Father, in honor of your jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen.'”

Father Reverony, the leader of the French pilgrimage, stared stonily at this bold little girl, in surprise and displeasure. “Most Holy Father,” the priest said coldly, “this is a child who wants to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen. The superiors are considering the matter at the moment.”

“Well, my child,” the Holy Father replied, “do what the superiors tell you.” “Resting my hands on his knees,” Therese continued, “I made a final effort, saying, ‘Oh, Holy Father, if you say yes, everybody will agree!’ He gazed at me speaking these words and stressing each syllable: ‘Go – go – you will enter if God wills it.'”

Therese did not want to leave the Holy Father’s presence, so the papal guards had to lift her up and carry the tearful young girl to the door. There they gave her a medal of Leo XIII. Her old nurse, Victoire, probably could have told the Pope he should not have been surprised. Victoire had seen Therese in some rare displays of determination.

That’s actually good advice. Do what you’re told. Don’t try to subvert the order.

Her father didn’t really like the idea of her becoming a nun, but he allowed it anyway and tried to help her speak to the right authority figures. So he was a very pious person who was willing to offer to God his own daughter.

Her last remaining sister later joined the same monastery she had been a part of.

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One of the first things that stuck out to me is that she was very physically attractive.  I don’t know if the book publishers made a point to show pictures that accented this. She herself seemed aware of how she looked and saw herself as being especially precious to God.

She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese.

So this is a very phlegmatic personality. The typical girly girl who loves everything cute. There’s nothing false about that, but conventionally Christianity sees humanity as being deformed and in need of repentance instead of just being beautiful and wonderful.

As a child,

Every time Therese even imagined that someone was criticizing her or didn’t appreciate her, she burst into tears. Then she would cry because she had cried! Any inner wall she built to contain her wild emotions crumpled immediately before the tiniest comment.

The convent had a lot of people who were too obsessed with God’s judgment and anger. Therese responded by swinging too far to the other way, emphasizing the good feelings that come from knowing God.

Therese was aware of her littleness. “It is impossible for me to grow up, so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short and totally new.”

Therese went on to describe the elevator in the home of a rich person. And she continued: “I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched then in the Scriptures for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: ‘Whoever is a little one let him come to me.’ The elevator which must raise me to heaven is your arms, O Jesus, and for this I have no need to grow up, but rather I have to remain little and become this more and more,” And so she abandoned herself to Jesus and her life became a continual acceptance of the will of the Lord.

The Lord, it seems, did not demand great things of her. But Therese felt incapable of the tiniest charity, the smallest expression of concern and patience and understanding. So she surrendered her life to Christ with the hope that he would act through her. She again mirrored perfectly the words of St. Paul, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” “All things” consisted of almost everything she was called upon to do in the daily grind of life.

Again, the obsession with being small and precious.

And what is the way to perfection? Is it through humility, careful soul-searching or self-sacrifice? Even though she combed through the Bible trying to answer this question, she could not figure it out.

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. [NKJV]

Matthew 19:20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [NKJV]

So the Bible says that perfection comes through selling everything you have and being kind to people you don’t like.

Her notion was a kind of protestant passiveness, that Jesus will bring you up to him without any effort on your part. Just believe, and the rest will happen.

Nevertheless, she learned to be patient and forgiving with the bad-tempered nuns.

Shortly after her father died,

This began a horrible time of suffering when she experienced such dryness in prayer that she stated “Jesus isn’t doing much to keep the conversation going.” She was so grief-stricken that she often fell asleep in prayer. She consoled herself by saying that mothers loved children when they lie asleep in their arms so that God must love her when she slept during prayer.

Notice that she doesn’t go to the mother of the convent, the priest chaplain, the writings of the saints or the Bible. She invents warm words to comfort her.

And yes, it’s true that God will love you no matter what, but she resolves the problem through her own best efforts instead of asking those wiser than her. And her response isn’t anything pro-active — it’s just to accept how it is and to do nothing.

She also seemed to expect Jesus to react. She wanted that direct feeling of God’s presence and couldn’t understand why she didn’t feel God present.

What is not stated is that when God doesn’t make His presence known He does so that you will learn to trust Him. She had asked God for the opportunity to become perfect, and so He delivered her that opportunity. She doesn’t seem to have realized that she was getting exactly what she asked for.

Therese made a point to do all sorts of little sacrifices and learn to accept things she didn’t like. This is all well and good. I feel like I just need to point this out for the sake of completeness. She seemed to understand that love is about the small things, not grand gestures.

Therese continued to worry about how she could achieve holiness in the life she led. She didn’t want to just be good, she wanted to be a saint. She thought there must be a way for people living hidden, little lives like hers. ” I have always wanted to become a saint. Unfortunately when I have compared myself with the saints, I have always found that there is the same difference between the saints and me as there is between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and a humble grain of sand trodden underfoot by passers-by. Instead of being discouraged, I told myself: God would not make me wish for something impossible and so, in spite of my littleness, I can aim at being a saint. It is impossible for me to grow bigger, so I put up with myself as I am, with all my countless faults. But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.

She starts with humility, which is good, but she seems to think that the reason she cannot be a saint is her physical size. There’s nothing in this about how she isn’t a saint because she’s a wretched sinner who can do nothing right. Her path to sainthood seems to be focused on how she does all these little good things. It seems she was very proud of all her little good deeds and how no one ever saw it.

But when you do something good, you aren’t supposed to even think about it. You should immediately forget about the good you did after you did it.

Matthew 6:3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. [NKJV]

So I kind of want to know, how do we know about all these little good deeds? Were they in her diaries? In her letters? I’m sure some of these little good deeds would have been noticed by the other nuns and recounted later, but how is there this many stories?

Another issue. No actual saint focuses on the label of sainthood. The entire purpose of sainthood is to provide a model for us on earth to follow. In heaven there will be no distinction between canonized saints and non-saints.

The first step to being a saint is to not focus on the label “saint”.

She worried about her vocation: ” I feel in me the vocation of the Priest. I have the vocation of the Apostle. Martyrdom was the dream of my youth and this dream has grown with me. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I desired to see myself in them all. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places…in a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love…my vocation, at last I have found it…My vocation is Love!”

So she didn’t know what she wanted out of life, like all teenage girls. She had read lots of saint stories and decided she wanted to do the exact same thing.

She doesn’t ask her elders for advice. She just decides to boil everything down to the lowest common denominator. Notice also she doesn’t provide any kind of definition for “love”. I love Pizza Hut — is that what she’s talking about?

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Therese died at the age of 24. She was canonized as a saint 28 years later.

Then in 1896, she coughed up blood. She kept working without telling anyone until she became so sick a year later everyone knew it.

Again, her isolation. She was seriously ill and didn’t bother to tell anyone. Why? Isn’t that something people need to know? Did she have a martyr fixation like Kurt Cobain?

Her one dream as the work she would do after her death, helping those on earth. “I will return,” she said. “My heaven will be spent on earth.” She died on September 30, 1897 at the age of 24 years old. She herself felt it was a blessing God allowed her to die at exactly that age. she had always felt that she had a vocation to be a priest and felt God let her die at the age she would have been ordained if she had been a man so that she wouldn’t have to suffer.

Again, this is about her desires. What she wants. Her hopes and dreams and fears. She just assumes that she will live on as a lower goddess granting favors to other people.

Okay, that’s extremely cynical of me. But it’s rather arrogant of her, to just assume that she will be a saint who can work miracles from heaven.

Why did she want to be a priest? Did the community need another priest?

Look, you shouldn’t “want” to become a priest, in the same way that you want to become a surgeon. You should “want” to become a priest like you “want” to wash the dishes or fix a leaky pipe. Someone needs to do it, and there’s a vacancy in the community. Or maybe that people around you tells you it’s the right thing to do with your life, and you can’t derive meaning from secular work.

You don’t become a priest or a pastor or a missionary because you think you would enjoy it. You do it because you’re called to serve. You become a priest because there’s a community that needs your leadership.

She was already a nun. What more did she want? Isn’t a nun supposed to give up all her ambitions? Was it just about serving mass or hearing confession? Was it about the vestments?

Didn’t being a nun already fill that need to totally give her life to God? What specifically about the priesthood attracted her?

Why did she want to be a priest? I feel like that’s an important question, and it doesn’t seem to be answered.

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I was going to quote Therese’s own writings, but it’s a lot of sentiment about how much she is going to love the world. There’s nothing particularly deep or novel about it.

Not that it’s a flaw to not have anything new to say, and indeed it is usually best to just restate old ideas. But I didn’t think she was worth quoting. The Bible says everything she says and better.

You can also see the underpinnings in her of the dumbing down of Catholicism. Catholicism doesn’t really know what it believes. It knows it should have love, but it interprets this as social justice.

The Catholic Church considers Therese of Lisieux to be a doctor, which means that she is a teacher who can be reliably trusted and referenced. Some claim that a doctor is infallible, but I recently learned that Catholicism technically doesn’t teach this.

But what was her qualification as a doctor? Her sincerity? Her theology is emotional outbursts. There’s no stability in it. What if you’re not an emotional person?

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Russian Orthodox theology professor Alexei Osipov writes about Therese,

Yet another illustration of sanctity in Catholicism is Therese of Lisieux (“The Little Flower,” or “Of the Child Jesus”), who, in 1997, the centennial of her repose, was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by the “infallible” decision of Pope John Paul II. Here are several quotes from the spiritual biography of Therese, who only lived to the age of twenty-two, which eloquently witness to her spiritual state (The Story of a Soul [Paris, 1996]).

“During a conversation before my tonsure, I gave a report of the activities I intend to undertake in Carmel. ‘I came to save souls, and first of all, to pray for priests.’” Not having saved herself yet, she came to save others!

She seemingly writes about her unworthiness, but then adds, ‘”I always harbor the bold hope that I will become a great saint.… I thought that I was born for glory, and sought a path to its accomplishment. And the Lord God … revealed to me that my glory would not be visible to the mortal gaze, and the essence of it consisted in the fact that I would become a great saint!” (See St. Macarius the Great, who was called by his co-ascetics “an earthly god,” who only prayed, “God cleanse me a sinner, for I have never done anything good in Thy sight.”) Later Theresa writes something even more frank: “In the heart of my Mother the Church I will be Love … then I will be everything … and through this my dream will come true!”

This teaching of Therese’s about spiritual love is telling in the extreme. “This was the kiss of love. I felt beloved and said, ‘I love You and entrust myself to You forever.’ There was neither forgiveness, nor struggle, nor sacrifice; already, long ago, Jesus and little, poor Theresa looked at each other and understood everything.… This day brought not an exchange of views, but a mingling, when there are no longer two; and Theresa disappeared like a drop of water lost in the depths of the ocean.” There is no need to comment on this dreamy romance of a poor girl, who the Catholic Church has—alas! called its “Doctor.”

I think “poor girl” is a good term. This was a pious young woman from a pious family who wanted to give her entire life to God and had no direction. She did not even know where to look, and it’s clear that she did not trust her elders to give her that direction.

Nothing she says, as far as I can tell, is particularly wrong, but none of it is really right either. It is her creating theology out of emotions. For her the Christian life is more about how much the world needs you. It is about your status and feelings of love.

So what do you do when you no longer feel the love of God? How do you solve the problem of the Great Pumpkin? What do you do when God no longer shows up?

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What I see in Therese of Lisieux is a waste of potential. I see a young woman who was wise in her own eyes and rightly sensed that the priests and older nuns had no idea how to guide her. Her writing obviously became very popular, but that doesn’t mean that they are good.

I see in Therese of Lisieux the same guesswork as in all of Western Christianity, and above all I find it very sad that she had to try to figure out how to how to be a saint on her own. She knew there was some higher level of righteousness beyond the mundane, and she desperately craved this, but she only had bad guidance or no guidance. She was someone living in great spiritual poverty who deserved better riches.