Haman and Hate (and Hamas by Proxy?) meet the Hangman, Part Three

Part One: A Feast for the Eyes 

Part Two: Persia Meets Reality and Esther

 

Part Three: Haman and A Star is Worn

 

We begin this post with an understanding of Mordecai’s world view:

 “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.  Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; …” Deuteronomy 6: 13-14

 As we have learned previously an assassination plot against King Xerxes had been foiled because of Mordecai’s ‘spying’ at the king’s gate. The information he gathered was relayed to his adopted daughter Queen Esther. She alerted the King, the story was checked out and the would-be assassins were sent to the gallows. Mordecai and Queen Esther had saved the Persian King’s life. But then a curious thing happens. We are not told why.

 “After these events, king Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.”

Haman on Parade

Haman on Parade

 The king’s officials took note of Mordecai’s lack of protocol and respect. They asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command? Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he told them he was a Jew.”

 Let’s rewind and reflect for a moment. Remember, the king’s officials also wondered about Queen Vashti’s refusal to the King’s request to appear before him at the end of the banquet days. The king, as could be imagined at the climax of his “keep-my-cup-full” wine fest, had way too much to drink. Queen Vashti was well aware of this and made a wise choice to stay put.

 Subsequently, though, because of her choice, the queen was deposed from her throne, banished from the king’s presence via a decree sent out to the whole of Xerxes’ kingdom. The decree was worded so as to place all women in the kingdom into subservience to their husbands. Men were to be officially made the masters of their households and women were officially to be put in their ‘proper’ place.

 Since nothing happens in isolation, what, more importantly, also transpired? Hegemonic patriarchy took over.

 The king’s officials, evil men, conspired together and wrote the self-serving decree.  This perverted patriarchy would go on to exclude women on the basis that women had a voice and a will of their own and therefore could make choices. To counter their fear of women and to shore up their insecurities the intended impact of the officials’ decree was to make women unequal with men. They placed a lesser value on women giving them no voice and no choice. A woman’s will was not to be her own anymore.

 This was all done ‘officially’ to promote ‘order’ in each household throughout Xerxes’ kingdom. The official exclusion of a woman’s natural rights removed women’s choice. Exclusion by decree also created a hierarchal marriage based on gender. Later, Islam and its guard dog Sharia law would codify the same exclusion and misogyny of women.

 As an aside, it should be noted that the Islamic ‘revelation’ of the false prophet Muhammad (born c. 570 A.D.) was a synthesis of Zoroastrianism, Christianity and other pagan religions. This ‘revelation’ inculcated the same hegemonic patriarchy and misogyny of women.

 The very same evil of Xerxes’ day became the basis for the prophet’s written ‘revelation’-the Quran. And it is the modern day interpretation of the Quran by one if its religious scholars, Qutb, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, that prompted the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2013 to announce to the world the “Islamic Awakening”-an invitation to join the Islamic world order revolution or else.

 What can be said about the roots of this destructive world order that declares a deadly fatwa and religious crusades (jihads) to eradicate the West and all infidels? What can be said when at the edge of a sword you must either embrace Islam and Sharia law or face exclusion of your head from your body?

 Per Miroslav Volf, the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, in his book, “Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation”:

 “What then is exclusion? In a preliminary and rather schematic way one can point to interrelated aspects of exclusion, the one that transgresses against “binding” and the other that transgresses against “separating.” First, exclusion can entail cutting the bonds that connect, taking oneself out of the pattern of interdependence and placing oneself in a position of sovereign independence. The other then emerges either as an enemy that must be pushed away from the self and driven out of its space or as a nonentity-a superfluous being-that can be disregarded and abandoned. Second, exclusion can entail erasure of separation, not recognizing the other as someone who in his or her otherness belongs to the pattern of interdependence. The other then emerges as an inferior being who must either be assimilated by being made like the self or be subjugated to the self. Exclusion takes place when the violence of expulsion, assimilation, or subjugation and the indifference of abandonment replace the dynamics of taking in and keeping as the mutuality of giving and receiving.” (Empahsis mine)

 By now, from the story of Esther, you know the basic riff: insecure hegemonic masculinity, subjugation, exclusion, lots of drinking and Xerxes’ knee jerk reaction to kick things off. The Book of Esther contains two unmistakable examples of exclusion. It reveals both aspects of exclusion in Volf’s “bare bones sketch of exclusion.”

 Now let’s return to the story.

 

Haman became enraged when he heard about Mordecai’s defiance. Haman, in fact, was so apoplectic that he not only “scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole Kingdom of Xerxes.” An eradication of all Jews would be sufficient to serve Haman’s huge hegemonic ego. Holocaust became his answer. Exclusion of the Jews to the nth degree was his judgment.

 It was about four years after Esther became Queen that Haman, a superstitious man, cast lots (pur) to see when would be the best time to carry out his evil plan. The lot fell on the twelfth month, the month of Adar. This being the case, Haman would have time to plan his holocaust. But the delay would also give the Jews time to react. Haman went to work.

 “Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed in all the provinces of your kingdom whose custom are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out the business.”

 Haman, the enemy of the Jews was then given the king’s signet ring, told to keep the blood money and then told to do with the people as he pleased. Xerxes washed his hands of the matter, as would Pontius Pilate of the crucifixion of Jesus. 

A signet, a star, a slaughter

A signet, a star, a slaughter

 Royal secretaries were summoned. Royal decrees were written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Dispatches were sent out to all of the governors and prefects of the kingdom. The royal order: kill and annihilate all the Jews-young and old, women and children on a single day-the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. And, don’t forget to plunder their goods. This is the law. ‘Problem’ solved.

 “Spurred on by the king’s command, the couriers went out, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.”

 Bewilderment is only a sliver of what the Jews were feeling while the Cult of Personality band played on. Imagine being hated to death by a Supreme Leader.

Mordecai mourning

Mordecai mourning

 Part Four: Who Can Remain Silent in Times Like These?

 

Haman and Hate (and Hamas by Proxy?) meet the Hangman, Part Two

Part One: A Feast for the Eyes

Part Two:  Persia Meets Reality and Esther

 As you will recall from Part One, King Xerxes put on a six month display of his kingdom’s wealth (c. 482 B.C.) Most likely he wanted to show off his ability to conquer and to accumulate the wealth of the conquered as a means to impress his generals and his court advisors. Xerxes was whetting the troop’s appetite for the next conquest.

Persian Empire circa 500 BC

Persian Empire circa 500 BC

 To carry on the family’s acquisition ‘business’ the Persian monarch Xerxes planned to invade Greece. This after King Darius’ had died while he was preparing for his second invasion of Greece. Xerxes, like Darius, wanted to punish and subdue the Greeks for previous loses in battle and for Greek resistance to the Persian throne.

 You might recall the Battle of Thermopylae (lit. “hot gates”) the Persians fought against Greek city-state alliances led by King Leonidas of Sparta (as depicted in the movie “300”). A conquest of Greece would increase Xerxes’ kingdom, his wealth, his harem and his fame. Xerxes was already known as “King of Persia and Media”, “Great King”, “King of Kings and King of Nations” (i.e. of the world). He wanted another conquest, another notch in his titles.

 There was a ‘reason’ for the exalted titles: about 2500 years ago, modern Iran (Biblically referred to as Elam and Media and Persia), and portions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan were once part of the extensive Persian Empire.

 Speaking about the ancient Persians in his recent book “World Order” Henry Kissinger noted, “The fifth-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus described the self-confidence of the people that had absorbed the finest customs of all foreign nations-Median dress, Egyptian armor-and now regarded itself as the center of human achievement.”

 Now, one could wonder, also, with regard to attacking Greece if Xerxes had heard of the Greek Dionysian festivals dating from 487 B.C. These rural and city festivals honored the Greek god Dionysus and involved a lot of alcohol. Xerxes, it could be said, based upon past conquests, was into monarchial enforced multiculturalism.

 The same self-absorbed hard-nosed demeanor is seen in modern Iran’s obstinate conquer-the-world-for Islam rulers ‘two-faced diplomacy’. That ‘diplomacy’ includes their diplomats saying “let’s talk about us” and the most recent words, ‘Death to America” spoken by the Supreme Leadership Authority of Iran. In fact, the title given to Iran’s (Persia’s) theocratic head honcho is “Supreme Leader”.

 The religious lineage of Persia, foundational to its later acceptance of the false premises of Islam, includes, like many ancient empires, the worship of numerous pagan gods. Ahura Mazda (Mazdaism) was considered by Persia as the Creator and the supreme god. Lesser deities Spenta and Mainyu were included. Herodotus, the historian, considered the Persian religions as being simplistic- a worship of many gods and of nature itself-wind, fire, water, earth and sky.

 Back to the Future: by way of the Lord’s prophet Ezekiel, in chapters 38 and 39 of his recorded words we learn of a future confederacy of nations linked to Persia (Iran)-the Last Assyrian, Gog and Magog (Russia), Gomer and Togarmah (Turkey), Ethiopia and Libya-that align to do battle, to plunder and spoil Israel and the ten tribes living there. Also recorded for our faith in God’s salvation is the fact that the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lord Jesus Christ, intervenes and does not let the enemy of His people come into Jerusalem.

 Back to the Past: For the invasion of Greece Xerxes would need everyone on board with the plan. His ‘greatness’ and his designs for a Persian world order were at stake.

 During the six months of lavish exhibition Xerxes spoke with his military men plotting with them the invasion of Greece. Then, as recorded in The Book of Esther Chapter One verse 5, Xerxes, at the end of those six months, declared a seven day drinking feast. It was time to ‘juice’ up the troops. I could easily imagine that Xerxes was aware that wine played an important role in the Greek Dionysian culture. So why not give the troops a taste of what could be had-a harvest of grapes from someone else’s garden?

 “By the King’s command each guest was allowed to drink in his own way, for the king instructed all the wines stewards to serve each man what he wished.” Chapter 1, vs. 8

 Jeopardy answer: “liquid courage”. Jeopardy Question: “What happens when men drink the king’s wine and sing the king’s songs?”

 Same song, second verse: Queen Vashti, it is recorded, “also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.” Wine, women and song-a “Ladies Only” sign hung on the door. This was a smart move considering that hordes of inebriated men were in the wings of the palace.

 Well, after seven days of ‘perfected’ drinking the King decided to show off his most prized possession to the rabble. Xerxes sent an envoy of seven eunuchs to fetch his queen. As mentioned in Part One, Queen Vashti said “No.”. So, after some bad counsel Xerxes, as king of his household, banished the Queen and… invaded Greece in 480 B.C.

 Well, again, the Greeks defeated Xerxes’ men after several battles. (At the climax of the battles Xerxes cried out, “A queen, a queen, my kingdom for a queen!” Not really but I like Richard III.)

 Defeated in battle and the prior decree of the Queen’s banishment left Xerxes feeling, let’s say, like one of his eunuchs. The bad decisions were taking their toll on his manhood. Maybe a new queen would help him regain his machismo.

 Reenter Mordecai and Esther. (Before we go on you should know that Esther, in Persian, means “star”. Hadassah her Hebrew name meant “myrtle”.) 

Esther in Harem Painting by Edwin Long, 1878

Esther in Harem
Painting by Edwin Long, 1878

 In the Book of Esther Chapter Two we read:

 “And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. Now the king was attracted to Esther more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. And the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday…”

Mordecai sitting at the King's Gate-all ears and eyes

Mordecai sitting at the King’s Gate-all ears and eyes

 Mordecai, the one who had adopted Esther, the orphaned daughter of his uncle Abihail, kept a close eye and ear on Esther. Mordecai would daily sit by the king’s gate where all the important news and gossip could be heard. He listened and this is what he heard:

 “During the time Mordecai was sitting at the gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. .. Mordecai … told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were hanged on a gallows. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.”

 Now here’s something rather strange. A disconnect begins.

 “After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman…” Huh, and huh?

 Haman, an Agagite-who may possibly be related to the Amalekites and if so, a descendent of Esau, an enemy of the descendents of Isaac-demands to be honored as divine in keeping with other Persian prefects.

 Mordecai, a Jew, will not worship anyone but the One True God, ergo….

 Part Three: Haman and A Star is Worn 

 

Haman and Hate (and Hamas by Proxy?) meet the Hangman

Part One

A Feast for the Eyes

Esther

Esther

 

The account of a courageous woman named Esther as recorded in the Old Testament book by the same name, brings together the elements of anti-Semitism, ethnic ‘cleansing’, an assassination plot, of sexism, of civil disobedience, of speaking truth to power, of actions one woman takes to save her people, the Jews, from total annihilation. Most importantly, it is an account of a sovereign God keeping His covenant promise to Abraham-that His descendants would number as many as the stars.

 We see in this story that God would not nor will He ever let His people be wiped from the face of the earth. God keeping His promises is God’s righteousness. And, even though we are unfaithful, God is faithful. His righteousness is ours for the beholding…

 The Book of Esther never mentions God but God’s overarching sovereignty and His covenant promises for His chosen people inform, I believe, Mordecai’s motives and Esther’s actions. Esther does question her courage but God’s faithfulness is not questioned.

 The Book of Esther recalls the events which occurred during the reign of Xerxes I, known as Ahasuerus in Hebrew. It covers a ten year span, 483-473 B.C.

 Geography: The Book of Esther, Chapter One, verses 1 and 2 give us the details.

Xerxes “ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India and Pakistan to Cush (North Sudan). At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa (150 miles north of the Persian Gulf)…”

 

The Banquet of Ahasuerus' by  Jacopo del Sellaio (1442-1493)

The Banquet of Ahasuerus’ by Jacopo del Sellaio (1442-1493)

If you’ve got it flaunt it…

In the third year of his reign Xerxes decided to throw a whooper of a house party. His banquet was meant to show off his fine china and his collection of bling to the whole world. 180 days worth of his vast wealth was put on display. But that wasn’t all. Xerxes also wanted to display another ‘possession’-his Queen, Vashti.

 The account does not give the reason for Queen Vashti’s refusal to appear before Xerxes. Maybe she was having a bad hair day or maybe she didn’t like being put on display during the chattel call. Or, maybe, things between the king and queen went down just like they did on a certain Honeymooner’s episode. I’ll paraphrase:

 Ralph (Xerxes) to Alice: “Remember Alice. I am the King of this household and you are nuttin’.

Alice (Queen Vashti): “Well, if you are the king, then you are the king of nuttin’”

 In any case the Queen’s reply to the king’s emasculated seven (eunuchs that is) was, “No”. As you can imagine this answer did not go over well with Xerxes and did not bode well for the queen. Xerxes felt dissed before his previously wowed guests. 

The wise men and nobles of his Xerxes’ court were summoned to court and asked “What response should be given to a Queen who refuses her king? Their reply: if this spousal refusal was found out by Xerxes’ subjects then all women would openly disobey their husbands-all hell would break loose (a KV paraphrase):

 “This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.”

 The ‘wise’ men, those who were not physically eunuchs, decided that they would not be ‘emasculated’ by their own ‘disrespectful’ wives. So, using words that sounded like good political sense-keeping Xerxes kingdom under ‘proper’ social order and control-the wise men counseled Xerxes: Queen Vashti would be banished from his presence and then some.

 These wise men also advised the king that a royal decree must be sent out, one that puts a finger in the dam of rebellion control. The king liked this advice and issued the edict: “every man should be ruler of his own household.”

 Now, before all this falderal I would have recommended a little one on one communication with Queen Vashti before listening to the “yes”-men’ wise guys. I would also have recommended that king and queen read the original Love Language book, Solomon’s The Song of Songs. But that is not what happened. Protocol and paltry patriarchy gave way to punitive separation.

 As you know, one bad decision easily leads to another. The queen was banished from Xerxes presence forever-a new law written into the books for Persia and Media. Then,

Esther Chapter 2 tells us that the king’s personal attendants suggested a beauty pageant of virgins to ‘assuage’ the King’s rueful heart. You see, Xerxes later regretted his decision. Men!

 Here’s the good part: God’s sovereignty, regardless of bad men, bad advice and bad decisions does not affect God’s righteous purposes. They are rerouted through the king’s heart.

 “In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” Proverbs 21:1. Wisdom always trumps folly.

 Once again, Esther Chapter Two: Under the king’s command the chief eunuch, Hegai, was told to assemble beautiful virgins from every province into a harem at the citadel of Susa. These women were given an exclusive salon and spa treatment. It was figured that one of these select beauties women would replace the banished Queen Vashti. It is at this juncture that we meet another main character, Mordecai, a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin or, rather, wisdom and love personified.

 “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as (Hashtag) Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.” (The Book of Esther Chapter 2, vs. 7)

 “I’m in heaven.” Esther quickly got Hegai’s attention She pleased him, winning his “favor”. Immediately she was put on a very short list of one contender. To channel things in the King’s direction, Hegai assigned to Esther seven select maids. He also gave her the royal salon treatment and put Esther and the seven maids into the best place in the harem.

 Now the story and the “stream of water” begin to flow down a unexpected course, a fast-tracked one of God’s veiled purpose, the ramifications of which lead to a crisis of conscious for everyone involved including Esther.

 Esther had not revealed to anyone her family background-she was Jewish. Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. In the days ahead Mordecai would keep close tabs on Esther, his beloved foster ‘daughter’. I believe Mordecai knew that Esther would fill a position in history that he as a man could not.

 Esther was now neck (and face) deep into it. Court protocol demanded that any ‘girl’ who would appear before the king must beforehand undergo twelve months of beauty treatments-six months with oil of myrrh and six months of with perfumes and cosmetics. Henna for Hadassah? Probably.

The Match dot-Harem protocol of separating the sheep from the goats:

“And this is how she was to go to the king. Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.” (The Book of Esther Chapter two, vs. 13-14)

 

Coming to a post near you….

 “Part Two

Part Two:  Persia Meets Reality and Esther

Kadosh Ata (You are Holy)

LEFANEICHA ANI MISHTA-CHAVEI, AL BIRKAI
NOTEN LECHA SAMCHUT
AL KOL YAMAI
AHALEL OTCHA LE-NETZACH KI ATAH ADONAI
ATAH LE-VADCHA YESHUA, SIMCHAT CHAIYAI
KADOSH, KADOSH, KADOSH ATAH
(HOLY, HOLY, HOLY ARE YOU, LORD)
KADOSH, KADOSH ATAH

(HOLY, HOLY ARE YOU, LORD)
I WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, LORD
I’M DOWN ON MY KNEES
I’M GIVING YOU ALL MY DAYS, MY GOD, MY KING
I WILL PRAISE YOU FOREVER LORD, FOR YOU ARE ADONAI
YOU ALONE YESHUA, ARE THE JOY OF MY LIFE

Sung by Joshua Aaron

AIPAC PC 2015 Monday Morning Session-Live

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s speech begins at the 1 hour: 26 minute mark. Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations spoke beforehand. She emphasized the close, enduring relationship the U.S. has with Israel.

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”  Matthew’s Eyewitness account, the Gospel, chapter 5 vs. 9

We The People must hold Samantha Power and the Obama Administration accountable.   Their words never ever seem to match the reality of their actions.

The church’s ‘corporate’ foreign policy

  1. Speak truth to power.
  2. Speak truth every man to his neighbor.
  3. Defend widows and orphans-the helpless.
  4. Pray for those in authority over us.
  5. Carry out Civil Disobedience (think Shadrach Meshach and Abednego and Daniel) (think Esther) when evil laws are decreed.  

    Shadrach Meshach and Abednego meet the Lord in the Fire

    Shadrach Meshach and Abednego meet the Lord in the Fire

  6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
  7. Wait on the Lord. He will act.
  8. Live an uncompromised unblemished life before the Lord and the world.
  9. Hold accountable those in authority over us.

 

The Kingdom Disciple’s Personal responsibility:

  1. 1.    Live out the Sermon on the Mount in all it facets
  2. Apotheosis: “Laying Aside” Yourself for the Gospel – Saeed Abedini

(Remember this Iranian Christian still being held captive by the war-mongering terrorist abetting Iranians? Pastor Saeed Abedini had returned to Iran to set up an orphanage. But because he is a Christian he was taken captive and has been badly mistreated since. Now Obama wants to give the Iranians sweeping diplomatic ‘latitude’. You must know by now that Obama is a Muslim and was never a Christian. He lied to get himself elected the first time; he also lied about being against homosexual marriage to get elected the first time, this per his close aide David Axelrod.

  1. Speak the Good News-the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel message is not a fire insurance plan to save you from this earth and from hell fire. it is not about getting into heaven. It is not, in toto, God ‘imputing’ His righteousness onto us somehow. Rather, the Gospel message is that the One True Righteous God who, to the children of Israel, gave his promises, his covenants, fulfilled those covenants in His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah. And these promises were not just for Israel but for all who would come to believe in the One true God who keeps his promises. God is faithful to keep and to do that which you have committed to Him. His righteousness makes us righteous if we choose to accept and believe His message. If you do, then you will ask, “What will you have me do, Lord?”  Wait on Him and He will answer.

All of God’s promises were given so that God could set up His Kingdom on earth in order to merge God’s ‘space’ with man’s ‘space’. (More about God’s kingdom on earth will be written in a later post.)

  1. Discern the spirits to know whether they are from God. Become educated in Scripture and in science and in all manner of intellectual concerns which lead back to the truth.
  2. Understand that the spirit of the anti-Christ is at work in the world today. Have you noticed that lies, lawlessness, scandals, chaos and confusion constantly follow Barack Obama? Have you noticed that Radical Islam is the spirit of anti-Christ in a religious form? Radical Islam wants to kill all that involves the One True God-mainly Christians and Jews. This may be why Barack Obama cannot speak the words “Radical Islam” just as he cannot say the words “The Lord Jesus Christ”.

 

“Imagine” Juxtaposed

Previous posts attempted to expose the Epicurean influence on modernity: the exclusion of God from the garden of good and evil and replaced with Darwinian materialism under the influence of man-made reasoning: “cogito ergo sum”.

The posts also revealed the inclusion of ‘reasoned’ or ‘rational’ people into the high-horse club of scientism. This exclusive club is governed by those who have the power, perhaps the raison d’état, to control the inputs and outputs of desired ‘truth’. “What is truth?” Pilate asked (when he thought he had the force of the whole Roman empire to define it.)

As I wryly mentioned in my previous posts the above either/or, God/science dichotomy came, at first, philosophically, from what I call Epicurus’ “High-Horse” Mal-ware. This mal-ware has since been downloaded over the centuries into each century’s modern man’s psyche. The devastating effect of the Mal-ware was to disable the AND gate of your truth tables. It was not to be used in queries.

Now, like the historically recorded scene of two thieves each hanging on cross with Jesus hanging between them, I offer a similar juxtaposition of two end results, two disparate “Imagines”.

One “Imagine” is Epicurean, God dismissed, materialistic, nihilistic and personified in the likes of former atheist Christopher Hitchens, materialist Barack Obama and fatalist Beatle John Lennon:

 The other “Imagine” is God-inclusive. Here, God is the nucleus, the epicenter of being and meaning. Here, God and science coexist as Lion and lamb, creation being the sublime work of His hands, His signature found in the molded clay.

God’s Kingdom, now begun on earth, has become a dwelling place for all who see His light and follow it. True reality is made known to His followers by the Holy Spirit. The earthly spectrum of sodium street lights, of tungsten lights, of neon lights, of mercury lights, of halogen lights, of xenon lights, lights all of which enable us to see our way on earth are sourced from the Prism of Eternal Light.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C.S. Lewis

At His appearance we will then know Him as He knows us. That Eternal Light you see is Love, not short-lived Epicurean fireworks and party favors. 

 

Footnote: The above song by MercyMe was played during my son’s funeral service, about fourteen years ago. Justin was eighteen when the Lord took him home in a freak car accident. The police reported that it was a clear, sunny and dry day in Texas as Justin drove down a frontage road and lost control of the car. No other cars were involved. No drugs or alcohol were involved according to the Police report.

 Justin had recently graduated from high school. The afternoon of his death he was driving back from his girlfriend’s house. We don’t know why this happened. We just know that we will see him again and this is not final. The Joy that only God’s True Love can give replaced the deepest loss I have ever experienced.  Physics caused the physical death. But, Justin lives on.

 Sure there is pain, loss and evil in the world. But God is greater than any of these, if you let Him be God in your life.

One Nation Under Epicurus?

Previous posts have exposed the false either/or thinking of Epicurean philosophy and its now universally subverting High-Horse Mal-ware, a mal-ware that bifurcates mankind’s worldview.

 At ‘ground level’ there is science, scientism, facts and secularism. In the attic are God, religion, values and meaning. Richard Dawkins and other angry atheists such as the former Christopher Hitchens, both keenly Epicurean, would opine “There’s probably is no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy life. Here is your ground game:  avoid pain, seek pleasure and BTW there is evil in the world therefore God must be AWOL.”  

The "Great Divorce" bus? vide C.S. Lewis

The “Great Divorce” bus? vide C.S. Lewis

 The Epicurus “High-Horse” Mal-ware landed on the shores of the New World ready to create a new saeculum- a new age. Thomas Jefferson declared himself to be Epicurean. Look at your dollar bill: ANNUIT CŒPTIS NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM=“Initiate the new world order”. The new world order of America was to become the Enlightenment’s gift to the world-Governor John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” (1630).

 Mankind in this New-Age-New-World, already exposed to “High-Horse” mal-ware, was thought by many to be made of random atoms which materially evolved without any help from above. Ergo, mankind would just as ‘freely’ determine its fate via scientism using a co-opted and modified European/Westphalian system of order (17th century) while keeping God at attic’s length. The pilgrims did inject a belief in an Epicurus defined fear-mongering God but their distant “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” Deist God would later only be mentioned at funerals and never mentioned on resumes. (I realize that I am summing up at lot in a short post.)

 Now that you have heard about the Epicurus “High-Horse” Mal-ware you will begin to see its effects in every day life. For instance…

 Recently Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a potential 2016 POTUS candidate, was asked if he believed in evolution.

 “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a potential U.S. presidential candidate, on Wednesday declined to say whether he believed that humans evolved from other life forms, a theory widely supported by scientists but rejected by many American voters.

 “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other,” Walker said during a question-and-answer session at Chatham House, a London think tank…

 …When asked by the moderator whether he accepted the theory of evolution, Walker also declined to answer.

 “I’m here to talk about trade, not to pontificate,” he said. “I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin.”

 Scientists widely agree that humans have evolved from other life forms over the course of millions of years, as English naturalist Charles Darwin first proposed in 1859.

 But the theory of evolution is rejected by many evangelical Christians, who view it as conflicting with the Bible’s story that the universe was created in seven days.

 More than four in 10 Americans reject evolutionary theory and believe that God created humans in their present form, according to a Gallup opinion poll conducted last June. Creationism runs strongest among older, more religious and less educated voters, the survey found”

 Wow! “less educated voters”!! Talk about pompous “High-Horse” Mal-ware social manipulating scripting!

 The intent of this line of questioning reported here and by other high-horse trolls was to expose Walker as intellectually weak: “Are you a “down-to-earth rational being who believes in science and evolution or are you another one of those silly Christians who believes in Creationism created by an AWOL god?”

The interviewer was hoping Walker would click on the “High-Horse” mal-ware message, make a fool of himself with a reply and then get spammed by the media. The question (Obviously I can’t read the interviewer’s mind but the question itself in this context was meant, I believe, to divide ‘rational’ believers in Darwinian evolution and materialism from the silly ‘superficial’ believers in a Creationist God.) The intent also, as I see it, was meant to contrast those who consider themselves really really smart, proud of their belief in scientism, Epicurean in their default cynicism against those who (in the interviewer’s mind) hold ‘silly’ religious “God is not dead” views. And, this question was posed to divide Walker’s base constituency of Christians. There are those who still hold to a young earth literalist Creation and there are those who have moved on with science and accept theistic evolution. These latter Christians accept that the first two chapters of Genesis are poetic in nature and are not to be interpreted as literal. These latter Christians also accept that these two chapters most definitely give us God’s perspective on mankind’s origin and purpose–Humanities 101.

 Here’s another similar post ‘taken over’ by “High-Horse” mal-ware:

 

“Scott Walker Humiliates Himself On The World Stage By Dodging A Question About Evolution” 

Walker was asked if he was comfortable with, and believed in evolution. It was a simple question that made the Wisconsin governor look like a fool, “For me, I’m going to punt on that one as well. That’s question a politician shouldn’t be involved in.”

Moderator Justin Webb of BBC Radio4 took Walker to task, “That is a question any British politician right or left wing would laugh and say, “Of course, evolution’s true.”

Gov. Walker replied by digging himself in deeper, “To me, I’m here to talk about trade, not to pontificate about other issues. I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin. It’s going really well, and I’d like to see it even bigger.”

The implication being here, if I may, that “you are way too stupid to govern you silly little man, Scott Walker, if you don’t agree that science is the court of last resort and far superior to any irrational belief in a god.” “High-Horse” mal-ware defaces truth once again.

 The interviewer’s question not only echoes Epicurus but also a Garden of Eden questioner. Remember the Genesis account of a ‘serpent’ speaking to Eve in the Garden? “Did God really say that you could not eat the fruit of that tree?” This could be taken as, “Does God really get involved or care or even know about your daily life? He shows up now and then. And what about that rule “don’t eat the fruit of that tree”? Would a ‘good’ God deprive you of the pleasure of ‘that’ fruit?

 Epicurus would later answer (supposedly), “No, don’t deprive yourself. In my opinion even if there was a god he wouldn’t mind if you took your pleasure in the fruit of that tree. And is there a god? Men do evil and no good god would allow it. Let go of your fears. Go on Eve “Let It Go”, eat it. Any more questions?”

Now, if I were Scott Walker in that situation, my response would be, “Yes, I accept theistic evolution-a finely tuned theistic universe, a personal cause of the universe and a theistic objective morality. Science is only one of several tools for understanding the material world we live in and it won’t supply meaning. Science does not prove or disprove whether there is a god but it most assuredly hints at there being an Omnipotent Outsider. And.…(deep breath) I also accept the historical facts of the birth of God Incarnate–Jesus Christ, His “Sermon on the Mount” life among us for thirty years, Christ’s death on a cross, and his bodily resurrection. I accept the historicity of each of these facts. And, (another deep breath) I accept that all of this was done so that God could set up his Kingdom here on earth among men in order that He could make the earth righteous as he is righteous by redeeming and reconciling His eagerly awaiting creation to Himself. There will be no more bifurcation of heaven and earth. Any more questions?”

 

As I write this the U.S. is one nation under Epicurus, but not for long. The kingdoms and rulers of this world will soon be under submission to the One True God-The Lord Jesus Christ.  This King of Kings and Lord of Lords shall reign for ever and ever.

 “Worthy is the Lamb…”

 

Adoration of the lamb Jan van Eyck (circa 1390-1441) Ghent altarpiece

Adoration of the lamb
Jan van Eyck (circa 1390-1441)
Ghent altarpiece

For further theistic evolution information see the Biologos website.

Epicurus “High-Horse” Mal-Ware v. 2.015

As my last post noted Greece, the home of the ancient philosopher Epicurus, rejected fiscal restraint and austerity in exchange for “Hope is coming” debt finagling.

Epicurus sans hammock

Epicurus sans hammock

 “Syriza” or “Let the Good Times Roll Without Repercussions Party” has won a short-lived victory in Epicurean Greece: “Avoid pain or at least spread it around. Give it to someone else. Let us work a few hours a week and then let us seek our pleasures. Let us surround ourselves with good friends and good drink. Forget the creditors. Those fools believed we would pay them back”. And so it goes in ancient modern Greece.

 Well, back in the day Epicurus had an even bigger dilemma than a fiscal crisis. But it was a problem that he was able to philosophize or finagle away with even bigger denial than today’s Greeks. I am talking about the problem of evil.

 The problem of evil–whether viewed as a man being burned alive or as a Roman crucifixion or as someone stealing cigars from a mini-mart or as one neighbor lying to another neighbor-is in our face daily. This enormous topic can only be glanced at in this post. I will give you a perspective to consider. First, let’s see what Epicurus foisted on his followers from his hammock ‘high horse’.

 From Wikipedia Chapter One, verse two:

Logical problem of evil

The originator of the logical problem of evil has been cited as the Greek philosopher Epicurus and this argument may be schematized as follows:

  1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not.
  2. There is evil in the world.
  3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist.

This perspective of the problem of evil is held by many in the world. It is a perspective which atheism willing points to and one that bothers agnostics. It is a perspective that lends itself to the myopic religion of scientism where everything can only be validated through scientific proofs or, basically, through one’s senses (a more refined Epicurean philosophy). Yet, the above logical problem of evil is self-defeating. It assumes knowledge of good and evil.

One has to ask, how did Epicurus determine good and evil and the truth that defines them? Did he feel their effects via his physical senses? Did he and his friends determine what is good and what is evil via their collective senses? Did Epicurus make up ‘truth’ about good and evil by what his friends let him get away with saying? Or did Epicurus as a proto-Foucault define ‘regimes of truth’ as “the historically specific mechanisms which produce discourses which function as true in particular times and places”? Or, did Epicurus, as President Obama has recently done at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, use moral equivalency or relativism (in this case, high horse lecturing Christians with historical error) as a basis to decide what is a good and what is a bad by comparison (with God as a rubber stamp). It should be noted that none of these premises and perspectives is based on a perspective outside ones’ self or on an Absolute reference point. At the epicenter of these premises is self-serving man, ergo the likes of the American Humanist Association and their motto: “Good Without God“.

 If you believe as pre-Darwin-pre-Enlightenment-pre-scientism Epicurus believed-that humans are just randomized atoms (as he called them) that “swerved” and collided to form the materialistic world-then how did a rational concept of good and evil enter our gardens of random atoms? Remember, in Epicurus’ worldview god had been expelled from the garden of good and evil.

 This early formulation of the logical problem of evil, as I see it and now describe it, is when the Epicurus “High-Horse” Mal-ware began its download hactivism into the software of our networked psyche creating a down-through-the-centuries botnet. This Mal-ware put God in the “Recycle Bin” and made Him inaccessible. It also redirected our boot up executable file to scientism, making it our default root drive. Social manipulation by amoral hactivists and humanists keeps the botnet going.

 The Epicurus “High-Horse” Mal-ware searches for any thought of God and seeks to delete it from your consciousness. It causes doubt spam and creates a zombie-like effect with regard to outside-your-senses thinking. You are made subservient to a ‘regime of truth’, to those who now have the power to control truth. And, there are many who would desire to do so in this present age. And remember, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus “What is truth?” as if Pilate could willy-nilly define truth through his earthly power.

 For the sake of brevity I think you will agree with me that the logical problem of evil comes down to premises and perspectives. You may also agree with me that there is a need to wipe clean the hard drives of our minds of all Epicurus “High-Horse” Mal-ware.

 Here is a proper perspective from Dr. Ron Rhodes regarding the existence of evil:

 …it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle).

The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it.

If Epicurus had read the even more ancient book of Job perhaps he would not have been so clueless and the “High-Horse” Mal-ware would never have been downloaded with its intent on hacking into our truth files.

One more perspective regarding truth, good and evil and moral equivalency:

C.S. Lewis has a few words to say about the matter, too:

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

 “Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning.”

 “There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”

Epicurus Wins Greek Election or Pain Must Be Shared to Be Fully Enjoyed

My last two posts took you for a ride in the “Wayback Machine”. The ride, with no cost to you and minimal effort on your part, took you back to the time of Epicurus, the Greek philosopher. Then I forwarded the machine to our present time, the age of the Angry Atheists. Today’s post will take you for a ride in the “Lean Forward” Machine.

 The “Lean Forward” Machine is not like the “Wayback Machine”. Whereas the “Wayback Machine” records and regards history in its travels as an annotated time line worthy of informing present decision-making regarding morals, social concerns, spirituality, politics and economics the “Lean Forward” Machine says “phooey with all of that”:

 “Let’s go full steam ahead to the future. “We have the omniscient and omnipresent being-‘perfected’-as-we-speak-with-your-tax-dollars Government (of Titanic proportions mind you) to pilot us (in ad hoc fashion mind you) to the Elysian Fields of the Brave New World.”

 At this point you should know that the “Lean Forward” Machine is regarded by some as a religious temple. Some even call it by the sacred name of its goddess-“Progress”.

 But, before we “Lean Forward” into unreality let us take at quick look at Epicurus’ homeland today to get a reality check on effects of his philosophy:

 

Epicurus' party pic

Epicurus’ party pic

Left-Wing Syriza Party Wins Big as Greece Rejects Austerity

ATHENS — Greece’s left-wing Syriza appeared on course to trounce the ruling conservatives in Sunday’s snap election and could win the absolute majority it wants to fight international creditors’ insistence on painful austerity measures.

Tsipras’ campaign slogan “Hope is coming!” resonated with voters, weary of austerity after six years of constant crisis that has sent unemployment over 25 percent and threatened millions with poverty.

“Hope is coming!” Wait! Where have I heard that before?

 Anyway, Greece, the land of the ancient philosopher Epicurus, has rejected austerity and forsaken posterity!: “My friends, let us make Epicurean lifestyle the epicenter of things! Eat, drink and be merry with impunity! Run up the tab! The gods don’t care. Why should we?”

 There you have it my friends. Sorry to say but it appears that the ticket for the “Lean Forward” Machine return trip would cost you everything. And, if you did go, you would not see your children and grandchildren flourishing. Rather, you would not find them at all, having vanquished in the Farmworkers’ Grape Pickers Camp; having been cast into the great winepress of the wrath of Progress.

 

I’m not going with you to look for my future in the “Lean Forward” Machine. I have not lost the Spirit or my faith in God. I have the Kingdom of God here on earth to tend to whether or not my belly is full. The Kingdom of God is my vocation, my calling, my camp.

 

“Instead, make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew’s Gospel 6, verse 33

Aren’t You a Bit Solipsistic?

My last post “Aren’t You a Bit Epicurious?” acquainted you with the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. I presented also several of his main theories, three of which in particular bring us to today’s post” Aren’t You a Bit Solipsistic?”

Epicurus believed that you could learn everything you needed to know through your senses, a form of solipsism but with his close friends at hand just in case he was wrong, I suppose.

Epicurus also promoted Demetrius’ proposition of Atomism-random, unguided ‘atoms’ (as he called them) smashing and swerving into each other, creating the world and life around him.

And, Epicurus also believed that the gods were distant and uninvolved and therefore unrelated to‘thinking’ and ‘sensing’ man’s life. Today, Epicurus’ philosophy is found, mutated, in the DNA of our zeitgeist. This post deals with the Epicurean presupposed philosophical divide between science and religion. So put on your thinking cap, Sherman.

 Critical thinkers now that you have your thinking cap on and a pot of coffee brewing sit back and listen to Alvin Plantinga, Christian philosopher, discuss the topic at hand before students at Biola University Center For Christian Thought. (Note: Just after the one hour mark there is a Q &A session. The video upload is dated 2012.)

Suffice it to say, ‘n’ & ‘e’, is self-defeating and can’t rationally be accepted; evolution is compatible with “mere Christianity”.

And, solipsism is inherent in Darwinian materialism, narcissistic identity politics and predestinational behavioral social science.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 176 other followers