And Nothing but the Whole Elephant

 

Jesus said to them, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before you. If you were from this world, the world would be fond of its own. But the world hates you for this reason: that you’re not from the world. No: I chose you out of the world.” John’s gospel account 15: 18-19

~~~

Why would Jesus say ‘know that it (the world) hated me before you’?  From the many conversations I have had on Twitter, the word on the street is that “God is love and approves of anyone who loves.” So, where does the world’s hate come in? And, why do so many in churches today feel the need to make Jesus more marketable (less severe) to the world?

~~~

Coming to a church near you: a populist theology which promotes the acceptance of the gay lifestyle, universal health care and illegal immigration all as works of Christian charity from the pulpits of body-of-Christ-divisive politics (race, gender, class, sexuality, etc.). This populist theology uses the high-sounding term “social justice” so as to neutralize detractor’s objections and to force a consensus, a groupthink around the premise of political correctness redefined as God’s love.

I encounter this populist theology every day now. If you are on Twitter “fighting the good fight”, you may receive the same replies from Catholics that I did. They go something like this:

1.)    “God is love. I know many committed gay couples who love each other.”

2.)    “Jesus never talked about sexuality or homosexuality, therefore it is a non-issue. If Jesus was concerned about homosexuality he would have said something.”

3.)    “Jesus is about loving your neighbor. Jesus is not judgmental. Jesus is fully accepting, inclusive. He’s about loving the homosexual. Who are we to judge?” (from Pope Francis’, “Who am I to judge?”).

4.)    “Loving your neighbor means universal healthcare. You are not charitable if you are against universal healthcare. You must be a Conservative who hates people.”

5.)    “Jesus and Paul are not the same. Jesus is love and Paul is rules. Jesus is universal love. Paul, on the other hand, is a picayune fundamentalist and fundamentalists are authoritarians. Jesus would say “Live, love, eat, pray and let live.”

6.)    “Jesus is social justice. He talked about helping the poor. Dorothy Day is a hero. Many of our heroes are beatified saints, saints who did good deeds while alive. Jesus demands good works from us. “Faith without works is dead”.”

7.)    “Women are talking in church. Women are being ordained. Scripture is being updated and should be inclusive of homosexuality, as well.”

 

My first thought when I encountered these replies: “The Catholic church has done great harm to its charges by not teaching the whole of Scripture, the whole council of God.” Scripture has been defined down to a constructed abstraction of Jesus’ words.

One of the main reasons the populist theology has taken root in the Catholic and all (yes, all) of the mainline churches, I believe, is the lack of Scripture knowledge coupled with a deficit of personal faith-history. Deism is pervasive in the church: “God and His Word are far away from reality and not relevant to what I am experiencing”; “You don’t understand same-sex attraction. You can’t change me so, accept me for what I am.”

Post-modernist pop-theologians rightly question history and what has been passed down through millennia but without a sufficient regard for and knowledge of the discipline of the study of history – factual non-repeatable events. Their pick-and-choose history approach leads to utter confusion about who Jesus is, what happened the first century and to whether or not Jesus even existed. I have witnessed such dissociative history making on Twitter. Such groping at history and at Scripture reminds me of the Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant: each of the blind men encounter a different part of the elephant (trunk, tail, etc.) and then return home and proceed to project their ‘understanding’ of the elephant as the elephant while claiming the other five blind men must be mistaken. 

Populist theology also has historical Leftist ties (“Unconstrained vision” is the term used by Economist Thomas Sowell to define the philosophy of the Left). Political philosopher Jean-Jacque Rousseau wrote, “man is born free, but is everywhere in chains.” Another philosopher, Marquis de Condorcet, believed that men in their natural state with a “natural inclination” would seek out the social good. For them, man’s nature was not the problem. Rather, institutions needed to be reformed so that man’s better nature would come out. Hence, pop-theology presses for reforms: the church must be reformed to help men to realize their better nature. “We are so much smarter now,” is the inference.

Enter the church’s “social justice” moment. And the “social justice” proffered is done under the guise of the common good but it is in reality a narrowing of focus down to subjective individual rights and individual happiness, in parallel with what is happening politically in Europe and the U.S. currently. The “common” part of their “common good” are those who share the same self-directed interests. Others must conform to their self-interests for the common good.

My second thought after reading the above replies: “It is time for another reformation – putting the Bible (again) into people’s hands and teaching them how to read it for themselves.”

It would seem that many of the above respondents view Scripture through the lens of a post-modern Epicurean Catholic world view, a worldview which replaces historical narrative (in this case, derived from the “faith once delivered”) with a relevant “social gospel” or populist theology promulgated as authentic Christianity. And with little knowledge of Scripture many Catholics are ‘falling’ for what they have been taught by the top-down government and media of the Catholic church and its social justice-primed priesthood.

When they do (see replies above) they end up with a Jesus who is fantasy blend of Dorothy Day, Ghandi, Mr. Rogers and a Democrat with a Jesus bleeding heart – an ends-justifies-the-means person. In other words, they end up not with a literal historical Jesus, but rather a figurative Jesus and one disposed to making you and your world feel good about doting on yourself. And, if you can get other people to dish out love and charity and “understanding” and, most importantly, cash, then you have done right by pseudo-Jesus.

Every self-designated Catholic I have encountered on Twitter appears to know little or nothing of Scripture. For them, it seems, raw Scripture, unrefined by the Catholic priesthood, seems to be tied to evangelicals who are considered fundamentalists and therefore, presumptively, not connected with Jesus’ all-assuming love. What they know and repeat is what a priest or Jesuit tells them, and their reply is usually about social justice, a catch-all for not being judged but for being loved.

Without making this post too long, here are some of my quick replies. Feel welcome to add yours in the comment section below.

  1. The plea bargaining “God is Love” defense is foiled when you define love, not in terms of codependence and sexuality, but as desiring the ultimate good for another. This of course leads to a definition of what is good. I reply with Jesus’s request of the Father, “Set them apart for yourself in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
  2. When someone says that Jesus never talked about homosexuality I remind them that Jesus’s mission was to the lost sheep of Israel, the ones who were supposed to be “a light to the Gentiles”. The Israelites knew the law, the Torah. The law forbids homosexuality. This was common knowledge in the first century. Jesus did not need to repeat it. Paul, on the other hand, an apostle to the Gentiles did need to speak about the matter (e.g., Rome, Ephesus, etc. had temples to pagan gods which involved all manner of sexual immorality.)
  3. Here we have justification by plea bargain. Jesus prays for his own that they will be sanctified, separate – “taken out of the world”- worldview.
  4. If you know Scripture then you know that Jesus did not heal everyone in the world during his earthly time. He told us that we can do the same and greater things than he has done when filled with the spirit. As I see it, universal healthcare removes a person’s personal responsibility for their health onto a non- caring government entity. This tax-payer costly bureaucracy will need to control your behavior and the doctor’s practice and more to control costs. As such, it is caring to not desire socialized coverage.
  5. When I hear someone say that Jesus is Gospel and Paul is not relevant I remind them that Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. In the fullness of time Jesus encountered Paul. I remind them that Paul right then and there became an eyewitness of Jesus and therefore an apostle. I remind them that Jesus sent Paul to be Jesus to the Gentiles – the heathen, the pagans, the unclean. I tell them that Paul wrote the theology of the newly established Kingdom of God on earth in his letters to the infant churches.
  6. I remind them that the gospel is “Jesus is Lord”. All else falls in line and in order under this proviso:  salvation, sanctification (called out of the world) and then social gospel (to affect the world under the direction of the Kingdom’s Lord.)

When Jesus tells the rich man “Sell all you have and give it to the poor” we understand the means to the rich man’s salvation: renunciation of his coveting relationship of wealth- a relationship which came between Jesus and the rich man, sanctification (separation from the love of his money and the hold it had on him) and then faith with works – a complete detachment from self-preservation- giving his wealth to the poor, a product of the new Kingdom focus.

  1. Women vs. gay acceptance and Scripture: I remind them that there is a difference between culturally defined and morally defined. Paul wrote about such difference in his letters. Anything perceived as ambiguous was directed back to a person’s Holy-Spirit filled conscious.

 

It is no secret that the Evil One’s mission is to ask, “Did God really say you couldn’t…?”

Pop-theology proposes to modernize and conform the church to be a welcoming inclusive place for whatever the prevailing winds of PC doctrine bring to the church’s door step. Be it known:  the called-out ones – the ecclesia – will remain faithful under the Lordship of Jesus.  The churches that wallow in the world will have their candlestick taken away. In the dark their mutual admiration society will be left grappling with elephant parts.

~~~

 

Added 10-4-17:

Known in the Things Made

 

“What can be known of God, you see, is plain to them, since God has made it plain to them. Ever since the world was made, his eternal power and deity have been seen and known IN THE THINGS MADE. As a result, they have no excuse: they knew God, but didn’t honor him as God or thank him. Instead, they learned to think in useless ways, and their heart grew dark. They declared themselves to be wise, but in fact became foolish. They swapped the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of the image of mortal humans-and of birds, animals, and reptiles.” -Paul’s letter to the Roman church

“A man who lies to himself is often the first to take offense.” Zosima, the Elder, The Brothers Karamazov, F. Dostoevsky

~~~

Let’s start here:

 

Some observations, after debating pro-homosexuality Catholics on Twitter:

1/Appropriating Scripture to fit within your worldview is perilous. I see this happening all the time in Twitter replies to me: appropriating Christian love to accept homosexuality, to justify national health care and redistribution of wealth, aka, socialism. Of course, LGBT appropriated ‘love’ does not justify them loving a Christian or a Christian way. LGBT love is only one way.

2/Many preachers of Scripture use their own Post-modern and Epicurean worldview to template Scripture and then make life application love potions from that admixture.

3/The post-modern view is one of deconstructionism: nothing, including the Bible, has any authority because such authority has been up till now been viewed only through the eyes of dead white men who must, according to feminist ideology, have been Patriarchal to a fault. Professor’s claiming authority deconstruct meaning from any text offering you nothing or nihilism. In effect, one is told that your present experience is more than enough compared to the millennia of knowledge, wisdom and tradition passed down through the ages to present day.

4/ Following in deconstructionism’s path, language is being changed–emptied of meaning or meaning nullified-to promote homosexuality:  from “marriage” equaling the sacred union of male and female as understood for millennia to “marriage” equaling the secular union of two men or two women under the banner of “equal rights”, thereby equating male/female marriage to homosexual ‘marriage’, equating love for a different but complementary other to self-love narcissism.

5/Homosexuality has been around throughout Scripture’s long and many cultured history. Never once is it condoned and shown as normative in Scripture. Never. God’s rejection of such behavior-sexual immorality-does not change with the calendar, as God’s covenant with men has never changed

6/In Scripture, homosexuality is presented as a form of sexual immorality. Sexual immorality, like all sins, is a form of idolatry-placing a much-revered image between you and God. In spite of this self-serving and toxic myopia, today, many in the church give homosexuality a pass. They prefer to render homosexuality as an adaptation-a coming to terms-of one’s sexuality. Therefore, Scripture must be updated to validate this ‘enlightened’ position as another form of need-love ministry which is then on social media likened to what minorities, immigrants, the poor, the suffering, etc. must feel.

Practicing sexual immorality (idolatry of any kind) automatically keeps one out of the kingdom of God. Scripture is very clear and empathic about this. Yet, Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Universalists and a host of new age churches suppose themselves magnanimous with God’s grace. God’s grace is never cheap and affordable. His grace cost him everything to sanctify a people to himself.

As self-styled oppressed and hurting minorities, the LGBT community will tell us over and over that we do not understand them-their needy love nature bent towards the same-sex. They will call us (and me almost daily) “homophobic”, a pseudo-psychological term used to shut down further conversation and to claim that we have the mental problem and not them.

7/Three key New Testament passages concerning homosexuality: Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10

8/Romans addresses the aberrant nature of homosexuality and man’s wickedness in the context of first century Epicureanism. With the gods ‘away’ the men with men will play. The Roman church is surrounded by images, cults, idolatry, prostitution, and homosexuality, not unlike our modern-day “diverse” culture. Paul’s letter to Roman church outlines his vision of the church and of the Kingdom of God on earth. Jews and Greeks and Romans are to come to together in the unity of holiness and in their acknowledgement of God’s covenant faithfulness which now means that Jesus is Lord. The unity and diversity revealed in Romans are exactly what the culture is trying to fashion, on its own terms. The Satan is a plagiarist who then perverts what God has written on the human heart.

9/From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture presupposes that heterosexuality is normative (1 Corinthians 7; Ephesians 5; 1 Peter 3; et al.) and highlights such relationship:  The Wedding feast at Cana, Christ and His Bride. Jesus was not born out of a homosexual relationship. Mary submitted herself to God purposes, not to her own purposes, even though the social-media of her time-gossiping-would have condemned her.

10/ New age thinking, Oprah style, synthesizes all kinds of gnostic elements, elements of good and evil to form a theology they can ‘live with’. I find this thinking in many tweets, where a person tells me that homosexual marriages is as good as male female marriage: it’s “love” that matters, and “Isn’t God love?”

11/The LGBT-ers and their corporate sponsors demand that transgendered ‘women be allowed to use the women’s room. They posit that such person will have mental anguish if not allowed to do so. What they will not posit or acknowledge is that if males who are trying to look like a female enters the women’s room, millions of women would suffer mental anguish. Bottom line: the LGBT-ers demand that the common good be thrown away for the individual’s ‘right’ to pee wherever one feels, to lessen one’s mental anguish. For the LGBT, the needs of the one outweighs any consideration of others.

12/The Obvious:  nature alone reveals that homosexuality is anti-human. No homosexual relationship will produce offspring. The words of procreation– “Be fruitful and multiply”- was stated at the beginning of God’s written communication with us

Of course, homosexual advocates will posit that gay men and gay women can have adopted children, that such configurations, now denoted as “gay families”, are equal to male-female families. This appropriation of male-female families to connote equality with male-male families reveals the loss of meaning to the word “equal.” “Equal” now means: plagiarizing God to obtain a waiver from all accountability.

13/Fourth of July message: a nation which turns its back on Christianity and its coexistence with the neutral State to promote secularism’s “values” and individual rights will lose all its authority as a nation state. Radical secularism will induce governing paralysis. It is happening in Europe and we, in the U.S., are seeing this happen before our eyes.

To be continued…

 

 

 

Added 7-3-2017:

Here’s are interesting column:

Queer divorce in the time of Pride

“What does a lesbian bring to a second date?” my then-girlfriend joked early in our relationship. A U-haul.”…

 

“The complicated human experiences of LGBTQ folks often come at the cost of producing images that heterosexuality will accept. In places like Chicago, most LGBTQ folks are allowed to thrive as long as they follow the same rules as their progressive, straight-identified allies.”

Added 7-4-2017

Resources added 7-8-17:

BORN OR BRED? Science Does Not Support the Claim That Homosexuality Is Genetic

Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth Paperback – February 1, 1996 by Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.

A Christian psychiatrist examines the latest research, refuting the alleged genetic basis for homosexuality and assessing the social power homosexuals have gained.

 

 

 

 

Dragon-Skin or What Not to Where

 

Maybe you can relate. As often happens when I am out and about I come across a homosexual* waiter or cashier. They want to be queer-noticed. They present themselves with false feminine affected speech and limp-wristed affectations. I am immediately repulsed by such an unnatural demeanor as I am by the sight of graffiti-tattoos on the human body.

I do not find such behavior cute, charming or creative. Such behavior is not distinctive of the homo sapien species. It is actually of the animation genre – shallow, fabricated, meant for sale, a sham within a sham.

It doesn’t take much insight to see that homosexuals scream for attention, validation and for positive affirmation. Homosexuals compensate for their neurosis by idolizing their missing symbol-male or female, as the case may be, and by preening to gain the missing symbol’s attention. When I encounter such unnatural behavior, my impulse is to look away when I pay the bill. But, I have wondered about my response.

If I smile and act polite in these situations, is that encouraging them to continue in this behavior when I know such behavior depraves their humanness? If I look and act disgusted, does that incline them decide to harden their ways?

Of course, I am not responsible for their reaction. I am responsible for my Kingdom behavior. So, my Kingdom of God response is to look him or her in the eyes, human to human, and to pray in the spirit for the waiter, the cashier, for the boy or girl under the dragon skin. Under that ‘protective’ veneer of inhumanity is a human.

~~~

“C.S. Lewis put this so poetically in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. There’s a boy named Eustace, and everybody hates him and he hates everybody. He’s selfish, he’s mean, and nobody can get along with him. But he finds himself magically on a boat, the Dawn Treader, taking a great voyage. At one point this boat pulls in to an island, and Eustace wanders off and finds a cave. The cave proves to be filled with diamonds and rubies and gold. He thinks, “I’m rich!” And immediately, because he is who he is, he thinks that now he’ll be able to pay everybody back. Anyone who has laughed at him, stepped on him, slighted him, will now get their comeuppance. Eustace then falls asleep on a pile of treasure—which he doesn’t yet know is the hoard of a dragon. And because he falls asleep with greedy dragonish thoughts in his heart, when he wakes up, he’s become a dragon—big, terrible, and ugly. Soon he realizes there’s no way out. He can’t go on the boat, he’s going to be left on the island alone, he’s going to be horrible all of his life. He falls into despair.

One day the great lion Aslan shows up, leads him to a clear pool of water, and tells him to undress and jump in. And suddenly Eustace realizes that “undress” means “take off the dragon skin.” He begins to gnaw and claw off the scales, and he realizes that he can shed his skin. Working at it, he finally peels off this skin—but to his dismay, he finds that underneath he’s got another dragon skin. He tries a second time and a third time, to no avail; the same thing still happens each time. In the end the lion says, You’re going to have to let me go deeper”

-from Timothy Keller’s “King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus”

 

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .”

Eustace speaking about what he let Aslan do for him – C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawntreader:

~~~

Consider Jesus word’s in John 16: 8-11 regarding the Spirit and our indwelt mission:

“When he [the Helper] comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong on three counts: sin, justice, and judgement. In relation to sin-because they don’t believe in me. In relation to justice-because I am going to my father, and you won’t see me anymore. In relation to judgement-because the ruler of this world is judged.”

 

Any outworking of sin is idolatry. Idolatry replaces belief in Jesus and the Triune God with man-made symbols.

When Jesus, the perfect Israelite who had no sin-the spotless lamb-came, he came not to judge but to give his life as ransom for many. Those of us filled with the Spirit reveal Kingdom of God justice–the ruler of this world is judged. Jesus is Lord. No one has to live under dragon skin. We tell others that the skin comes off, as it did in our case, and that it hurt, but that abundant life is uncovered.

~~~

Consider that Jesus, who, though he worked many healings (restoring sight to the blind, making the lame to walk), talks about amputation as a form of deliverance to be done by the individual now or later by God. Choose your pain.

‘And if your right hand trips you up, cut it off and throw it away. Yes: it’s better for you to have one part of your body destroyed than for your whole body to go into Gehenna.” Matthew 5: 30

I’m sure some people felt bullied by Jesus when he said this. Others wanted the dragon skin to come off.

~~~

Once again, I am reminded of the pernicious nature of homosexuality and pornography. Within the last few weeks I sadly learned of a fellow Christian-an Anglican priest, a friend and former homosexual-who fell back into sin. He confessed to the trustees of his ministry that his fall was because of stress which led to pornography which then led to a homosexual encounter.

This man has ministered, in the U.S. and in Europe, to thousands of people who have desired to leave homosexuality. I have known this man and have worked in parachurch ministry alongside him. My son played with his son. This man left the homosexual lifestyle after twenty-some years, married and had several children. He developed his ministry into a full-time ministry to help others gain freedom from homosexuality. Now, according to his Board of trustees, he is on extended leave. According to a Facebook post, his wife is divorcing him

~~~

-*I do not use the LGBT disposed word ‘gay” for this human dysfunction. Homosexuality is a psychological disorder that is based in neurosis, a splitting off from the proper symbols put in place by God when He created us in His image.

Homosexual neurosis may include separation anxiety issues or abandonment issues. A homosexual response is a learned response towards the path of least resistance and the least amount of pain. Their response is narcissistic in that the individual choses to pamper their wounds instead of address them as wounds. Their responses are stoked in this Epicurean age where Pride Parades reinforce the idolatry of false, mentally engraved images

If you were to look up homosexuality on Wikipedia, you would find that everything is cool, homosexuality is a non-issue.  That revisionism is the work of LGBT lobbies who do not want the DSM to diagnose them as having a psychological problem. In fact, homosexuals will use the psychological sounding term “homophobia” to claim that you have the mental problem and belong in the DSM and they do not.

The insidiousness of homosexuality is now beginning at a very early age. Its promoters want to seduce middle age kids into thinking that they must be gay if they have feelings toward the same gender. You and I know, parents know, that middle school age kids deal with a LOT of feelings on the new social roller coaster they are on. Kids at that age are trying to define themselves and their relationships. Beware! The LGBT is right there to persuade kids that same sex feelings must be gay and must be validated as such. Beware! The schools, which are supposed to teach the three ‘R’s, are teaching your children LGBT ‘values’.

Why would a boy or girl come from school and say “I’m gay” if they were not informed of that word and that such behavior was promoted as an acceptable “variation” of humanness? There is nothing human about homosexuality. No wonder The Satan promotes the narcissistic antithesis of the image of God

 

 

 

Become informed…

Microphone cut after Mormon girl reveals she’s gay at church

Britt Jones, a bisexual Mormon who runs a podcast called “I like to look for Rainbows” that featured Savannah’s story, said the leaders should have allowed Savannah to finish.

“Queer issues don’t get talked about in the church enough,” said Jones, who is married to a woman and has children. “It was really brave and really admirable, particularly for somebody that young, that she not only wanted to talk about it herself but be a voice for others suffering in silence.”

All Sex, All the Time

“…children inhabit a highly sexualized world earlier and earlier, and social pressure upon them to exhibit sexualized behavior starts earlier and earlier. A schoolteacher friend recently told me how she had comforted a seven-year-old who was in tears because a girl in his class had insulted him, calling him a virgin. She asked whether he knew what the word meant. “

“No,” replied the little boy. “But I know it’s something horrible.”

Obituary of 15-year-old who committed suicide calls out school bullies

“For a young lady so excited about going to high school, things sure went terribly wrong for her.”