A Blessing on Those Who Hear God’s Word!

 

lo·go·cen·tric [ˌlôɡəˈsentrik, ˌläɡə-]

 

ADJECTIVE: regarding words and language as a fundamental expression of an external reality (especially applied as a negative term to traditional Western thought by postmodernist critics, e.g., French philosopher and Deconstructionist Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004).

~~~

Deconstructionism is taught and practiced extensively in colleges and universities today.  It directly affects our world by removing traditional meaning from texts and, thus, effectively shutting down debate. Here is philosopher Roger Scruton’s take on deconstructionism and Derrida:

“Deconstructive writing refrains from stating anything directly or assertively. It quickly withdraws from any proposition that it sets before us, and spirals off into questions – as to deny a foothold to the skeptical outside…. the deconstructionist critic will not engage in philosophical argument…Derrida is aiming for a radical ‘reversal’ of our ‘Western tradition’, and of the belief in reason that has guided it.”

–Roger Scruton, An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture, the chapter entitled, The Devil’s Work

For Derrida and other decons, there is no authority, sacred or otherwise, except for their self-referential community, the ‘intelligentsia’. For them, there is no truth and no creator and nothing transcendental to be found in texts. Texts contain only words on a piece of paper and they will gladly help you deconstruct those words down into gobbledygook. They are the purveyors of absence of meaning, the dispensers of Nothing. Decons turn language against itself. And, it seems now that Orwell’s 1984 was prescient, presenting us with Newspeak.

But those of us in the Kingdom of God know better. Or do we?

~~~~

Scripture as read, in the churches that I grew up in, was just snippets of text meant to support the preaching. In liturgical churches, such as the one I attend now, Scripture readings include Old and New Testament texts, a portion of a Psalm and a Gospel text. In both scenarios, the choir rehearsed, but, sadly, the Scripture readers did not.

As a youth I was encouraged to memorize volumes of Scripture. Scripture memory contests were held over several weeks in Sunday School. I am thankful for such a time as many Scripture texts were imbedded in my memory. I recall memorizing texts like Psalm 103. In my twenties, I memorized the Letter of James.

When I attended Moody Bible Institute the curriculum included Old and New testament Survey classes. I had to read the 66 books of the Bible. These courses, along with N.T. Greek, gave me a broad overview of the Scriptures. I have since read through the Bible again and again. But, when I look at the church today, I see that broad overviews and whole book reading of Scriptures have been deconstructed from our worship.

We certainly live in an accommodation culture. Everything, including church, is abbreviated to fit our lifestyle. It seems that we have Twitter-ized Scripture reading down to one-hundred forty characters. Perhaps this is so that we can get out of church on time to watch the football game or to make a lunch commitment. As such, it isn’t any wonder that the church is crawling along on all fours and being fed with droplets of milk. And, man cannot live by the Four Spiritual Laws alone.

Lacking a big picture understanding of what God began in Genesis and is summed up in Revelation (heaven and earth coming together; God making his tabernacle with man) makes a Christian and a church spiritually ineffective and worse, of little value to the kingdom of God. Those who see the big picture use their talents wisely (see Luke 19: 11-27).

~~~

Reading God’s word in public is an act of worship and not a pre-text for a sermon. Reading Scripture – whole book readings- in public offers the listeners a narrative and a context and, better, an eye-opening understanding of what God is doing.

There are many ways to read the Scriptures. Using actors to read the text is one way. Another is to invert the liturgy. Read the whole Gospel of Luke text and insert the elements of the liturgy into the reading. See The Big Read.

Here is one example. Recently deceased, British actor Alec Mc Cowan recites the Gospel of Mark in one evening. This can be done in churches, instead of the deconstruction of texts.

No Stone Left Unturned

 

“Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”” Matthew 24: 1-2

~~~

jerichoA “Roll away the stone” anthology: Jericho’s stone wall fortifications fall under their own weight and with the help of a pro-God marching band. An adulterous woman, caught between a stoning and a hard place, looks to the Rock that is higher than her and her accusers. The man of God Stephen speaks aloud his rock-solid revelation while on trial and is consequently stoned to death by a PC jury of non-peers. Lazarus becomes memorialized forever, but not in stone. The disciples find that the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb has been rolled away – and pulverized! Even stones will cry out in praise to God if others are silenced! woman-caught-in-adultery

 

Urban fortifications, buttressed by Reason’s Redirects:

“…from the eighteenth century on, people have said that if you believe in modern science – by which they mean the Epicurean project of scientism, which claims empirical evidence for the philosophical worldview – then you can’t believe in the resurrection. This skepticism has, however, nothing modern about it. Lucretius, the greatest ancient Epicurean, would have scoffed at the idea of resurrection. So would Homer or Aeschylus or Plato or Pliny. The point is that the resurrection, if it had occurred, would undermine the Enlightenment’s self-congratulatory dream of world history reaching its destiny in our day and our own systems. That’s why the resurrection has been seen in scholarship not as the launching of new creation but simply as the most bizarre of miracles, then as an impossible miracle, then as a dangerous ideological claim. You bet it’s dangerous. If it’s true, other ideologies are brought to book. (Emphasis added) N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Scripture

Stephen being stoned (1)There are those, of course, who wish to remain under a rock, preferring to be entombed in “night’s predominance.” They would hate for anyone to turn over their stone and expose them to the “living light.”

There are those, of course, who wish to keep people under a rock, preferring them be entombed in “night’s predominance.” They would hate for anyone to turn over their stone and be exposed to the “living light.” See the Ruling class and its humanist Kulturkampf war on the family, Progressives, atheists and others disposed to slither from rock to rock.

lazarus8

~~~

Truth-seekers turn over every stone until they find the Stone that was rejected by society’s builders. And regardless of what the culture is telling you, that Stone has become the cornerstone from which all things are to be aligned and made square.

 

Once you find that Stone, then like the resurrection you become “dangerous” and begin to turn the world upside down, stones included. The world will notice and protest vigorously…

Acts_of_the_Apostles_Chapter_17-6_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media)

“…they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,…” Acts 17:6

HOSHIANA Once and for All

sacrificial love

Roll Away the Stone from Your Mouth

 

“Take away the stone,” Jesus said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

Is ‘t night’s predominance or day’s shame

That darkness does the face of Earth entomb

When living light should kiss it?

Ross, Act 2, Scene 4, Shakespeare’s Macbeth

~~~

In the previous post Cow Bells Are for Fellow Travellers, the link presented Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s essay Live Not By Lies prefaced as follows:

Solzhenitsyn penned this essay in 1974 and it circulated among Moscow’s intellectuals at the time. It is dated Feb. 12, the same day that secret police broke into his apartment and arrested him. The next day he was exiled to West Germany. The essay is a call to moral courage and serves as light to all who value truth.

Solzhenitsyn’s polemical speech to Harvard was also a call to moral courage.

But what happens when moral courage is eschewed and truth is not uttered?  “Darkness does the face of Earth entomb.”

There has been a long history of “night’s predominance.” And you may think that you are a modern enlightened individual who can shed light on the road before you, but check your rear view mirror to see where you have been.

Epicurean philosophy, in vogue since before 300 BC, has denied the existence of a Personal God and, alternatively, has placed a high value on sensate feelings and friendship.  As a consequence, today truth is most often considered not to be Objective – the authority of an absolute infinite-personal God, but rather subjective, what our friends let us get away with saying.  Truth now lives with its ‘friends’ in the land of “Like” on Facebook and Twitter.

Epicurean atheists and agnostics posit science – Epicurean atomism – as the beginning and end of all knowledge, declaring revelation and immortality to be romantic nonsense or the effects of too much wine.

The Long March of Cultural Marxism up to the present day disregards any absolutes and even the verities of science.  President Barack Obama declares AGW to be “settled science” when in fact Obama has no published thesis or academic record to show if he is even worthy of us contemplating such an outrageous claim.

The Long March stomps out revered traditional values and Christianity wherever such Objective Truth-based morality is found, replacing them with immediate social consciousness sound bites. And thus, subjective truth becomes a milieu of Epicurean-based malleable “truth”, worthy of Karl Marx. Marx conceived of truth (only in political-economic terms, of course) as what friends contrive when amassing social consciousness. Later, French philosopher Foucault would say the same. Thus the importance our culture now places on social media, polls and majorities, and on discrimination instead of discernment, as opposed to Objective absolute Truth.

 

What happens when moral courage is eschewed and truth shunned?   There is a loss of liberty.

“You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” –Jesus. But the Ruling class elites want to define truth and set the narrative.

Professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, Angelo M. Codevilla’s National Review article Standing Up to the Ruling Class: What citizens can do to resist the ruling class’s redefinitions of moral and cultural norms speaks directly to the reality facing us, and those who have recoiled from truth-speaking:

“If you’re wondering what Americans can do as our ruling class sets about enforcing its redefinition of marriage, start by looking back at what it did to the citizens of Indiana when their legislature raised the possibility that someone might object to joining in celebrations of homosexual marriage…

Indiana’s Republicans, its churches, and conservatives in general pled for the liberty to speak and act according to religious faith. They did not and do not argue the worth of the Judeo-Christian religious beliefs that the ruling class deems odious.This has proved to be self-defeating. Appeals for tolerance of all beliefs in the name of America’s traditional freedoms fail because they concede the ruling class’s assertion of its own moral-intellectual superiority, as well as its underlying assumption that good and evil, better and worse, are just other words for its own likes and dislikes…

Consequently, if we wish to remain who we are in the face of threats and declamations meant to force us to honor intellectual and moral falsehoods, we have no alternative but clearly and loudly to distinguish between true and false, fully making the case for what we believe to be right. There is no viable alternative to confronting the ruling class’s fantasies and euphemisms substantively, in detail.

Peaceable behavior will not protect you from being hounded as a “hater.” A whiff of “offensive” attitudes is enough for the ruling class to make you as untouchable as the lepers of old. Nor is silence a refuge.” (emphasis added)

You will want to read the whole article, contemplate its message and summon moral courage.

~~~
Jesus stood before a member of the Ruling Class, Pontius Pilate:

“What is truth?” Jesus did not bear witness to what his friends wanted him to say. Jesus did not say, as French intellectual Michel Foucalt postulated, that truth is “regime” of beliefs and values linked to systems of political and economic power, a scientific, non-universal apparatus feeding into majority opinions.” 

In the days before his foretold crucifixion, Jesus told Pilate, and his disciples previously, that He came to bear witness to all that his Father does and says.  Crucifixion was invoked by the “Crucify him!” social consciousness to silence Objective Truth – what the Father does and says.  But then Objective Resurrection occurred and Truth was exalted to the highest place – God’s right hand.

 

Who is your father?  The father of lies who is the grand marshal of the Long March.  Or, is it the Father in heaven? Who do you testify about?

Have you ever seen the Father rejoice over homosexuality or homosexual marriage? Jesus at the wedding in Cana showed the Father’s blessing of his creation: male and female marriage. Never once has Objective truth ever endorsed homosexuality.

The unscientific paramours of homosexuality, psychology and psychiatry, add their voice to the loudest, angriest voices on social media so as “to raise awareness” and to alter the predominate consciousness of the natural union of male and female.

~~~

Speaking of the binary:  Truth-seekers need both reason and revelation.   Each informs the other. Both need to be declared. And, we must leave the nether land of sentimentality that keeps us entombed in darkness and ready to give up.

Start with the Objective historical facts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  There were hundreds of witnesses to the resurrection. And like Paul, we have become witnesses of the Resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus revealed truth about the Father, that there is life beyond atomism. There is immortality; life is more than the body, and incredibly more than the packaging of identity politics.

A.D. The Bible Continues

Be not afraid. Roll away the stone from your mouth. Do not remain silent. And, did not Jesus say that persecutions would come when we spoke truth? Were these persecutions based on silent acquiescence so as discern whether to be “Liked”? No. Here’s what Jesus said:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

The Eternal Living light:

“The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.”  I John 1:2

~~~

 

Scripture urges us to “expose the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11) and avoid becoming partners with those “who deceive with empty words” (Ephesians 5:6). Colossians implores us not to be “taken captive by deceit.” We’re warned in 2 Timothy that the time will come when people will not want to hear the truth, so they will surround themselves with frauds who tell them what their “itching ears want to hear.” I believe we have arrived at that moment, and it is now urgent that we specifically identify these frauds and false teachers. This is not a fun or polite process, but it is necessary, so we must get on with it.” (emphasis added)

Let’s Remember The Cowardly Conservative Leaders Who Betrayed Us For Trump

Resurrection Doesn’t Stop There

white lilies

 

Heaven

 

Beyond “Imagine“,

There, You Are.

 

Before me

Unbound Substantive Reality, The Living Word

Lifted from gilded pages to eternity’s masthead: “Alpha and Omega.”

 

He now walks among us with beard and white gown,

A purple sash hides a pierced side,

He is the only Disfigured One among us,

The walking Redeemed.

 

He is Truth Unfiltered,

Full-Colored, not developed black and white,

Heaven’s Endless Searching Light,

Light once diffused and then restored,

Among prisms of white calla lilies.

 

Heaven,

A hope not disappointed, no longer dot-to-dot discovered, And,

A harvest, garnering displaced ones into

The dancing embrace of the Triune God:

“That where I am, there you may also be.”

 

Beyond “Imagine“,

Here I am ~ a harlot,

My redemption once hanging by a Scarlet Thread,

Now I’m dancing in the streets!

 

Holy, Holy, Holy. Trisagion.

 

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

 

© Sallyparadise.com, 2014, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

White lilies from www.flowers-magazine.com

Wait Here and Watch

After saying these things, Jesus went forth with his disciples beyond the torrent of Cedron, where there was a garden…” (John 18:1) “According to his custom” adds Luke.

“And they came to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.’ And he took with him Peter James and John, and began to feel dread and to be exceedingly troubled. And he said to them, My soul is sad, even unto death. Wait here and watch.’…”

A terrible sadness overcomes our Lord ~ sadness “unto death” says the Holy Scripture. Then Jesus tells also the three to wait~perhaps they are surprised to hear him say they should watch with him; it is probably the first time he has ever asked them to. Alone, he advances a few paces, falls on his face and prays…

 jesus-in-gethsemane

What does faith tell us? Before all else who this man is there on his knees – the Son of God in the simplest sense of the word. For that reason he sees existence in its ultimate reality.

 Wherever we encounter Jesus, it is as the Knowing One, as he who knows about man and world. All others are blind; only his eyes are all-seeing, and they see through to the very ground of human depravity.  The forlornness Jesus beholds there embraces the whole of human existence.  And he does not see it as one who has broken through to spiritual health and clarity with the help of grace.  Jesus’ knowledge of sin is not like that of fallen mankind;  he knows about it as God knows – hence the awful transparency of that knowledge.

Hence the immeasurable loneliness.  He is really the Seer among the blind, sole sensitive one among beings who lost their touch, the only free and self-possessed one in the midst of general confusion.

 Jesus’ consciousness of the world’s corruption is not grounded in the world and therefore the prisoner of existence.  It springs from above, from God, and enfolds the whole globe, seeing as God sees:  around existence, through existence, outwards from existence.  Moreover, Jesus’ divine consciousness, before which everything is stripped and lucid, is not extrinsic, but intrinsic, realized in his living self.  He knows with his human intellect, feels the world’s forlornness with his human heart.  And, the sorrow of it, incapable of ripping the eternal God from his bliss, becomes in Christ’s human soul unutterable agony.  From this knowledge comes a terrible and unrelenting earnestness, knowledge that underlies every word he speaks and everything he does.  It pulses through his whole being and proclaims itself in the least detail of his fate.  Here lies the root of Christ’s inapproachable loneliness. What human understanding and sympathy could possibly reach into this realm in which the Savior shoulders alone the yoke of the world?  From this point of view Jesus was always a sufferer, and would have been one even if men had accepted his message of faith and love; even if salvation had been accomplished and the kingdom established alone by proclamation and acceptance, sparing him the bitter way of the cross.  Even then, his whole life would have been inconceivably painful, for he would have been constantly aware of the world sin in the sight of a God he knew to be holy and all love; and he would have borne this terrible and inaccessible knowledge alone.  In the hour of Gethsemane its ever-present pain swells to a paroxysm.

 ****

Selections from the chapter Gethsemane, from the The Lord by Romano Guardini

****

Lord, I will wait and watch with you this day.

There Is No Greater Love

Sacrificial Love

By Chuck Asay – March 30, 2013

Earthquake Day

Earthquake Day

Tremor was always, before ex Nihilo showed up out of nowhere.

Tremor was there when man finally noticed Big Bang and all of
the little Bangs including mathematics, quantum mechanics, knot theory, string theory, radio pulsars, genetics, music, phi, art and poetry.

Tremor was in the apple bite’s rude awakening.

Tremor showed red when murderous Cain fled.

Tremor, as Plumber, called Noah and told him to ship out. Later, when things were settled, Tremor threw a palette of watercolors at the sky indicating a watershed moment.

Tremor used a slingshot against incredible bull’s-eyes.

Tremor gave the startled stars something to blink about.

Tremor was magnified in the womb of Mary, there was room for Him there.

Tremor sat in the temple teaching Rabbis everything a Father has said before.

Tremor whipped up a tempest, the Sea of Galilee provided support.

Tremor caused a stir at the local water fountain by saying, “I am He who is to come.”

Tremor gave the blind a new outlook and the lame a leg to stand on.

Tremor received a farewell gift of pure nard and a woman’s tears.

Tremor stood at the death’s door and said “Lazarus, come out.”

Tremor did an exposé on white-washed tombs.

Tremor broke the loaves, divided the fishes, according to old math.

Tremor broke the bread, drank the cup of sorrows and poured itself out.

Tremor was nailed down, pierced, forsaken and crushed. Violent insurrectionists like me were set free.

Tremor tore a curtain from top to bottom under orders from the Weaver.

Tremor woke up those staying in catacombs.

Tremor angels shook the rug under a rocky patch of earth, happy to find nothing there.
Seismic joy and fear were recorded that day.

Tremor decided to walk through walls and then tell everyone not to be afraid.

Tremor walked out to sea and back again for a fresh fish lunch with his friends.

Tremor had to move on but did send Another Tremor for everyone who loved Tremor.

Tremor will one day separate the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the goats. Tremor will make the lion and the lamb see eye to eye. Hold on, Tremor is beginning again.

© Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved

Heaven

Beyond all my “Imagine,”
There, You Are.
The Ligature between God and man. The Crimson Thread.

The Living Word, unbound Substantive Reality,
Lifted from gilded pages to eternity’s masthead: Alpha and Omega,
Now walks among us with ruddy beard, white gown and purple sash,
Forever marked by love for me.

He is the True One, Unfiltered,
Full Colored, not developed black and white,
Heaven’s Endless Light both searching and present,
Light once diffused and then restored,
Among prisms of white calla lilies.

Heaven,
A hope not disappointed, no longer dot-to-dot discovered, And,
A harvest, garnering displaced ones into
The dancing embrace of the Triune God:
“That where I am, there you may also be.”

Holy, Holy, Holy. Trisagion.

Come, Lord Jesus.
Heaven.

© Sally Paradise, 2011, All Rights Reserved