Not All Roads Lead Home

In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown.

Before the Technicolor fairy tale of a quartet of troubled characters trekking through a foreboding forest hoping to gain what they lack from the “great and powerful” Self-Gnosis (The Wizard of OZ), there is a tale of a young man taking a similar journey. And though there is no fear of “lions and tigers and bears” in this tale, there is “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!”.

It seems to me that both tales are about journeys into the dark side – the nocturnal forest – to look for an esoteric mystical experience that would supply what is missing. But unlike the “There’s no place like home” heartening ending of the OZ tale, we find in the second tale that those who covenant to journey into the forest and the deepest darkest part of it, come home disillusioned and faithless.

Often, especially in our youth, we begin to question the religious beliefs and worldviews of our families, of our mentors and of those around us. We see hypocrisy around us and despise it and yet become two-faced in our own sought out experiences wrought in the dark. We then begin to take on ambivalence about evil, giving ourselves the ‘grace’ to operate in both good and evil ways. Moral relativism is that form of grace.

We tell ourselves that there are people who are restrictive, conservative and Puritanical – “They don’t know me.”. We tell ourselves that we have become too worldly-wise to be like them: “I have Jesus. I’m above all that narrow-minded out-of-date conventionalism. I’m the progressive sort.” So, we journey into the dark forest, into the deepest darkest part of the forest, and think ourselves to be impervious to whatever lurks there. With each step we tell ourselves “I am only seeking understanding”.

We give ourselves permission to investigate the dark side. We say to ourselves “I will do it just one time. Why be left out?  Why not join the “communion of our race””? Thus, we journey into the night and encounter evil. And like Goodman Brown, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story by the same name, we come home disillusioned, our faith destroyed.

Young Goodman Brown sets out one night to gain existential insight into good and evil. The story, set in 17th century Puritan New England, operates within the Puritan context of sin, grace and unconditional salvific election. I consider the tale an allegory, as it employs symbols starting with the names Goodman and Faith.

In the tale before us, Goodman Brown leaves his saintly wife Faith at the threshold of their home. She is wearing a pink ribbon on her cap. The pink ribbon, mentioned throughout, I read as a symbol of the admixture of purity (white) and sin (red). The color speaks to Goodman Brown’s spiritual understanding based on his Puritan beliefs and also to his rose-colored romance-based naiveté about the nature of evil.

“Poor little Faith!” thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; ‘t would kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.”

With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.

As Goodman sets out, he does so under the cover of night and the cover of assumption: as a Puritan, Goodman Brown considers himself one of the elect. He carries with him a Puritan/Calvinist ‘good hands’ insurance card – the doctrine of predestination. He doesn’t leave home without it. And, as you read above, Goodman assumes that his association with the right people – his wife Faith in particular and the town’s good church folk in general – that he will follow them to the heavenly home. Goodman Brown goes out into the portentous night feeling safe and secure from all alarms. But his predetermined confidence quickly melts away as soon as he steps into the mysterious dark woods.

He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.

Goodman’s first encounter in the woods is an old man who reminds him of his goodly grandfather. The old man appears to be waiting for Goodman. He says, “You are late, Goodman Brown.” Goodman replies “Faith kept me back awhile”.

Though the old man appears similar to Brown in many pedestrian ways the old man also appears to have “an indescribable air of one who knew the world”. And there’s something else Goodman notices and tries to explain away.

But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light.

It is clear to the reader that the old man is the devil who is supported by the serpent staff, He does his best to entice Goodman Brown down the road to what is later called “the communion of your race” where he will learn of the “secret deeds” of his fellow townsfolk and see hypocrisy countenanced.

Goodman balks, claiming to be one of a breed of men who is above the riff-raff.

“Too far! too far!” exclaimed the goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk. “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs; and shall I be the first of the name of Brown that ever took this path and kept—”

Goodman’s journey away from faith is stop and go as wrestles with the temptation of going on. He encounters something he initially resists and uses the honor of his good name and of those before him as a reason to rethink things before giving on to going on. But, he doesn’t use his faith as a shield and so bends in to temptation. He continues his journey with the old man’s urging.

The old man tries to persuade Goodman to get up and continue. He does so by using Goodman’s own argument. The old man conjures up a kinship with men like Goodman. He lies about having personal knowledge and acquaintance of Goodman’s family. He then speaks of townsfolk – deacons and those in power – as personal references. He cajoles Goodman to continue their ‘association’ by journeying on.

Goodman Brown once considered himself impervious to all the devil’s wiles. After all he was one of the elect and associated with the right people. But each step he took in the wrong direction away from faith weakened his resolve. His compromises were reinforced by his inordinate curiosity. He continues his journey into the deepest darkest part of the forest and sees what the “communion of our race” so desires, “that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were sinners abashed”.

There are several interpretations and critiques of the story. Some will say that Hawthorne is pointing out the hypocrisy of a society that prides itself on its high moral and civic standing and makes outcasts of those who do not live up to its standards. Other interpreters go out on a dark forest limb with their construal:

Modern critics have interpreted “Young Goodman Brown” in many ways. The story as a critique of society stands out to some. To psychologically inclined readers, Brown journeys into the psyche. The village represents the superego, whereas the forest and darkness become equivalents of the Freudian id. The entire story becomes a portrait of one human mind that discovers the usually suppressed and disquieting reality of animal instinct

The story’s symbols lend its meaning to a wide audience and to many interpretations. As you read it you will have your own takeaway. I consider it an allegory or parable about assumptions, hypocrisy and the lure of evil to pull one away from one’s home base of faith toward the “reality of animal instincts”.

The story doesn’t tell us Brown’s motives other than “present evil purpose” Conjecture would lead us to think that young Goodman Brown had become questioning about evil and the devil even though he lived surrounded by strict warnings against both in Puritan village. One gets the sense that Brown goes out by himself to just stick his nose in on evil for the sake of understanding the world he lives in and perhaps the fear of evil inculcated in him by his upbringing.

I have provided some of my take on Young Goodman Brown and some excerpts from the story with the hope that you will read the short story (it should take about fifteen minutes). I invite you to consider what road you are taking when you want to stick your nose in on evil. Consider where it leads and what you will encounter. And, where it will lead you. This road does not lead home.

We are told in Scripture to “test the spirits” so that we may know what is good and true and from God. That is not what is going on in Young Goodman Brown. Rather, this a young man who leaves faith behind and takes a walk on the wild side and ends up at a satanic ritual. His road did not lead back home to faith. It led to nihilism and despair and the resolve to no longer exist.

In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown. On he flew among the black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man. Thus sped the demoniac on his course, until…

Well, you’ll just have to read the story:

The Monstrous Left and Their Misplaced Faith

“Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural.”- G.K. Chesterton

You don’t need Stephen King or R.L. Stine for exposure to the bizarre, macabre, and grotesque. Just empower Progressives. These soul antagonists synthesize the unnatural with natural to produce the profane.

They solemnize sex and sodomize the sacred. Gay marriage is one example. Another is their abuse of truth in order to validate perverse behavior. They tell us that gays are “born that way” as if homosexuality was a genetic disposition. It is not. There is no gay gene, just as there is no racist gene. Both behaviors are learned. But the “born that way” lies continue. And so that they can reject God at every level of being and absolve the perverse of any responsibility for their actions at every level, they repeat the lie.

Again, they solemnize sex and sodomize the sacred. They shut down businesses and churches during the COVID “public emergency” and allow gay bars and bath houses to remain open during the “public emergency” of monkey pox.

Again, they solemnize sex and sodomize the sacred. How else can one explain abortion? How else can one explain Bishop Jennifer of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis bemoaning the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision?

Progressives splice truth together with lies and tell us that truth is what they say it is. They apply their “settled science” to COVID. Climate Change, homosexuality, and now the economy. A “state of transition” is what they call an obvious “recession”. They balk at telling us the definition of a woman. For them, biological gender is not “settled science”. They view it as just another “state of transition”.

They lionize democracy and steal elections. They lionize democracy and silence vox populi on social media, Remember, truth is what they say it is.

They shut down businesses because of COVID and open the border to all kinds of disease-carrying illegal immigrants. The economic opportunists, gang members, terrorists, felons, and sexual predators flooding across the border by the millions are not only carrying disease. They are bringing in deadly fentanyl.

Progressives, like Pharisees in Jesus’s day, portray themselves as being on the “right side of history”. As they look down on the common people, they pray to the themselves “I thank thee that I am not as other men are”. One of Progressivism’s High Priests called us common folk “bitter clingers”- . . . they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

They ply us daily with “hell-broth fire and bubble” fear porn to keep us coming back for more horror fiction updates.

Progressives experiment on humans with their mNRA-altering-aborted-human-fetal cell vaccines.

They decry “the rich” while all the time making huge profits to accrue wealth and power. How is it that politicians gather up so much wealth?

They criminalize our existence with mandates. They send the police state – the hulks of DOJ, FBI and IRS – to plunder our lives.

Again, they solemnize sex and sodomize the sacred. They expose their freakish nature to our children in schools. They offer “gender affirming treatment” that is the exact opposite of gender affirming. They encourage children to undergo destructive life altering physical changes thereby producing more freaks like themselves. They fondle our children with touchy-feely social emotional learning and pronoun probing. They delight in making our children targets of minor attracted persons – the user-friendly destigmatized version of pedophilia.

The obsessive promotion of LGBTQ by the American ruling class is not incidental but a well thought out program following to the letter Herbert Marcuse’s idea that through the cultivation of a “polymorphous perverse” sexuality among children you can bring about a “radical transformation of values”. Since time immemorial humans understood that a society can’t hold itself together unless it is organized around heterosexuality and biological reproduction. But Marcuse argued in Eros and Civilization against the “repressive sexuality” of biological reproduction which employs sexuality as a means for a social end —— in support of “the perversions” of polymorphous sexuality to “challenge the very foundations” of Western society. -Dr. Ricardo Duchesne

As I said, you don’t need Stephen King or R.L. Stine for exposure to the bizarre, macabre, and grotesque. Just empower Progressives. These soul antagonists synthesize the unnatural with natural to produce the profane. Their Marxist “end of history” focused religion would have it no other way.

It is a religion divorced from God and which holds contempt for reality. Clearly, they resent the handed-down received things that most of us base our lives on. Clearly, they breathe in the air of noxious nihilism. Clearly, they reduce life to materialism and to power games.

Clearly, the constant upheaval of society by them is being done so to shovel up humans and throw them into the hopper of communism whence the masses will be extruded into a pliable form. Clearly, they practice alchemy.

Alchemy is the art of liberating parts of the Cosmos from temporal existence and achieving perfection which, for metals is gold, and for man, longevity, then immortality and, finally, redemption.

~H. J. Sheppard (1986) Gnosticism and Alchemy

Progressives see themselves in an alternate reality. Thereby, they consider Christians to be eccentric – off center – while they see themselves as centered and possessing special “gnowledge”. They are the special ones.

“That one day someone will arrive from the mundane nothingness and say the words, “No, my friend, not you. You don’t belong here Come with me You belong with the special ones.”Dispatches from Elsewhere

I choose Chesterton’s quote Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural because Progressives deny the supernatural. The effects of suppressing or ignoring the vital religious dimensions of the human person are partially listed above. In their attempts to secularize the world in their image, there has been a correlating loss of human freedom and the disfiguration of mind, body and spirit. Meaninglessness abounds. The bizarre, macabre, and grotesque abound.

Try as one may to understand what drives Progressives to do what they do, the constant complaining and churning and upheaval of the world and the absurdity by which these secular humanists order life, their behavior continues to confound. The following video presentation aids our understanding. It provides in-depth background of Progressivism’s (the Left’s) “end of history” faith and religion.

Here are some quotes from the video and web page:

“The Left has a different operating system. . . “

“Marxism is a theology, and its religion is Communism. That we have failed to understand this fact over the 175 years since Marx wrote the early drafts of what he originally called the Communist Confession of Faith and published in by the title The Communist Manifesto is indisputably one of the most damaging analytical errors in human history, if not the single worst. It’s time to set the record straight. Marx laid out an evil theology, and the practice of his religion is a liturgy of death and destruction. . .

 . . .Hegel, building on Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Father of Leftism), Immanuel Kant, and others dialectically synthesized Hermetic alchemy and Gnosticism, hammered it into a Christianity-based metaphysical framework, and mislabeled it a “system of science.” Thus we arrive at what has been variously called “Scientific Gnosticism,” “Gnosticism in the Modern Era,” and “Dialectical Leftism,” which outlines a broad system of faith in man’s necessary role as a transformer of reality into its utopian idealized state at the End of History.”

(Go to the video’s 1:35:00 point for a summary of the Left’s faith.)

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“Like 1984, only on a smaller scale, C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength describes a descent into tyranny that bears an eerie resemblance to our current situation.  However, Lewis foresaw a few things that weren’t on Orwell’s radar.”

C.S. Lewis’ Fantasy is Our Reality | FrontpageMag

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Writer Flannery O’Connor once wrote to a friend in 1955: “If you live today you breathe in nihilism. In or out of the Church, it’s the gas you breathe.”. 

“You shall know the truth and the truth will make you odd.” – Flannery O’Connor

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Theater of the Absurd:

Consider the following quote and list from Issue #1246: The social tipping point is here (tftc.io)

“The list could go on for days. There has been a never-ending barrage of complete and utter nonsense that the common man has been subjected to by the mainstream corporate press and the puppets in government for decades that was very effective.

Stop driving your car.

Stay six feet away.

Eat the bugs.

Don’t you dare try to own anything.

We’re taking your farmland.

You can’t work unless you take these shots.

Sorry, not going to be able to let you in to granny’s funeral.

The gym is closed but the liquor store is open late.

We need some of you to lose your jobs to save the economy.

You, over there, no pulling yourself out of poverty by leveraging hydrocarbons.

Call that dude a chick and let him compete against chicks.

Step into this security scanner.

Give us your guns.

Cow farts are killing the planet.

The inflation you think you’re experiencing isn’t real.

This isn’t a recession.

We must aid Ukraine.

Those people wandering aloofly in the Capitol Building are insurrectionists.

Don’t ask us about Building 7.

Use this windmill instead of oil and gas.

Nuclear energy is bad.

Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

Trust us. The banks needed to be bailed out.

Six-year-olds need to learn about blow jobs.

Drag queens getting dollar bills stuffed into their thongs for reading your kid’s books is completely normal.

Watch this game.

Look at this feud.

Take this pill.

Read this think piece.

Think about your shortcomings.

It’s your neighbor’s fault.”

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Post-Modernism and Neo-Marxism and their effects on culture:

An engaging and insightful conversation between Camille Paglia & Jordan B Peterson: Modern Times: Camille Paglia & Jordan B Peterson – YouTube

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Informed Dissent:

“In Memoriam”

Remember the OSHA vaccine mandates of fall 2021? Remember the media’s vaccine blitz?

Since Thanksgiving of 2021 the executive director of our engineering group has announced four deaths in our group. These were young people.

I’ve worked at this company fifteen years. Prior to last fall, infrequently would a death be announced. The person who passed was typically someone much older and who had worked at our company and had retired.

We don’t know the cause of the death for these four co-workers. Could it be correlated to the vaccine?

Pfizer Documents & Official Real-World Data prove the COVID Vaccines are already causing Mass Depopulation – The Expose (expose-news.com)

Ivermectin: Why is the Administrative State willing to kill you? (substack.com)

mRNA Vaccine Detox Protocol (anggur.uk)

The funeral business is doing great! – by Alex Berenson (substack.com)

A People’s History of COVID-19 by William M. Briggs ~polpes-pidryd • by ~bidbel (marsreview.org)

Fourteen young Canadian docs die after getting the shot. Normally would be ~0 over 30 years. (substack.com)

(REPORT) Pressure to approve Covid vaccine boosters with ‘grossly insufficient’ data | Sharyl Attkisson

1 in every 246 Vaccinated People has died within 60 days of Covid-19 Vaccination in England according to UK Government – The Expose (expose-news.com)

Deborah Birx’s Guide to Destroying America – Tablet Magazine

News anchor dies of blood clots after Covid vaccine | Sharyl Attkisson

A New Name for Monkeypox is Coming, Cardiovascular effects from the Vaccine, Polio Spread and More (substack.com)

Vaccines Are Bringing Back a Nearly Eradicated Deadly Virus (theepochtimes.com)

My interviews with Ryan Cole, Deb Conrad, and Gina Doane: Why aren’t docs seeing vax deaths? (substack.com)

Stand for Health Freedom:

“The House is set to vote on landmark federal privacy legislation, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act. While we all want our privacy protected, this bill is a snake in the grass for states’ rights as it is written. The bill would allow federal law to override state law, prohibiting states from enacting more data privacy protection than the federal bill would set.

Data privacy is so important for health freedom — it touches the health apps we use, the online doctor’s appointments, the wearable devices that monitor our vitals, and more. We saw during the declared pandemic how tenuous our grasp on our privacy truly is – and how our health choices profoundly impact our lives and the lives of our children.

We cannot let the federal government monopolize how our data is collected, stored, and transferred, without allowing our states to regulate. We need to call on our representatives to demand that the ability of states to protect their own citizens be included in the bill, or the bill must fail.”

Take Action. Click link to contact your reps in Congress.

Americans shouldn’t compromise on privacy. | Stand for Health Freedom

Removing WOKE ESG from Banks:

Republican states are planning an all-out assault on woke banks — The Republic Brief

The Progress of Progressivism:

Non-woke liberals describe ‘living hell’ caused by Minneapolis homeless encampments – Alpha News

California governor declares monkeypox state of emergency | AP News

The kids are not all right… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Crazy scene in Venice Beach… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Democrats create a private army:

Raheem J. Kassam 🍊 on Twitter: “Lmao they just used your taxes to increase your taxes so they could hire 87,000 IRS agents to rifle further through your taxes in case you owe more taxes. It’s a kleptocracy. https://t.co/UXY3pp5ZFc” / Twitter

American Kleptocracy. – Raheem Kassam’s Substack.

Here Are The Winners And Losers In The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ | ZeroHedge

Democrats Just Hired 87,000 More IRS Employees to Harass, Attack Americans — Here’s a List of the Conservative Groups the Obama IRS Targeted in 2012 (thegatewaypundit.com)

Why did the IRS buy 5,000,000 rounds of ammo? – New York State Firearms Association

Democrats’ ‘Inflation Reduction’ Bill To Make The IRS Larger Than FBI, Border Patrol, State Department Combined (thegatewaypundit.com)

The reconciliation package would also double the current IRS workforce by hiring an additional 87,000 employees to the bureau’s staff of 78,661 employees, a move that would make the IRS larger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI and Border Patrol.

The IRS is training their agents to come after us in tactical situations.
If the clot shot doesn’t kill us, the IRS will.

Our taxes are paying their salaries and for their govt. benefits.

Guess what party they will vote for to keep their positions? And, guess who’s the target of the expanded IRS.

American Kleptocracy. – Raheem Kassam’s Substack.

Here Are The Winners And Losers In The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ | ZeroHedge

Life-saving Conservatives:

Roe v. Wade: Indiana legislature first in US to pass near ban on abortions (firstpost.com)

The Green Agenda Insanity:

Is it ethical to purchase a lithium battery powered EV? – CFACT

The Unintended Consequences of Declaring ‘Climate Emergency’ (townhall.com)

Scotland cut down 14 million trees to make way for wind turbines – Energy News Beat

Not All Roads Lead Home

 

In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown.

Before the Technicolor fairy tale of a quartet of troubled characters trekking through a foreboding forest hoping to gain what they lack from the “great and powerful” Self-Gnosis (The Wizard of OZ), there is a tale of a young man taking a similar journey. And though there is no fear of “lions and tigers and bears” in this tale, there is “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!”.

It seems to me that both tales are about journeys into the dark side – the nocturnal forest – to look for an esoteric mystical experience that would supply what is missing. But unlike the “There’s no place like home” heartening ending of the OZ tale, we find in the second tale that those who covenant to journey into the forest and the deepest darkest part of it, come home disillusioned and faithless.

Often, especially in our youth, we begin to question the religious beliefs and worldviews of our families, of our mentors and of those around us. We see hypocrisy around us and despise it and yet become two-faced in our own sought out experiences wrought in the dark. We then begin to take on ambivalence about evil, giving ourselves the ‘grace’ to operate in both good and evil ways. Moral relativism is that form of grace.

We tell ourselves that there are people who are restrictive, conservative and Puritanical – “They don’t know me.”. We tell ourselves that we have become too worldly-wise to be like them: “I have Jesus. I’m above all that narrow-minded out-of-date conventionalism. I’m the progressive sort.” So, we journey into the dark forest, into the deepest darkest part of the forest, and think ourselves to be impervious to whatever lurks there. With each step we tell ourselves “I am only seeking understanding”.

We give ourselves permission to investigate the dark side. We say to ourselves “I will do it just one time. Why be left out?  Why not join the “communion of our race””? Thus, we journey into the night and encounter evil. And like Goodman Brown, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story by the same name, we come home disillusioned, our faith destroyed.

Young Goodman Brown sets out one night to gain existential insight into good and evil. The story, set in 17th century Puritan New England, operates within the Puritan context of sin, grace and unconditional salvific election. I consider the tale an allegory, as it employs symbols starting with the names Goodman and Faith.

In the tale before us, Goodman Brown leaves his saintly wife Faith at the threshold of their home. She is wearing a pink ribbon on her cap. The pink ribbon, mentioned throughout, I read as a symbol of the admixture of purity (white) and sin (red). The color speaks to Goodman Brown’s spiritual understanding based on his Puritan beliefs and also to his rose-colored romance-based naiveté about the nature of evil.

“Poor little Faith!” thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; ‘t would kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.”

With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.

As Goodman sets out, he does so under the cover of night and the cover of assumption: as a Puritan, Goodman Brown considers himself one of the elect. He carries with him a Puritan/Calvinist ‘good hands’ insurance card – the doctrine of predestination. He doesn’t leave home without it. And, as you read above, Goodman assumes that his association with the right people – his wife Faith in particular and the town’s good church folk in general – that he will follow them to the heavenly home. Goodman Brown goes out into the portentous night feeling safe and secure from all alarms. But his predetermined confidence quickly melts away as soon as he steps into the mysterious dark woods.

He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.

Goodman’s first encounter in the woods is an old man who reminds him of his goodly grandfather. The old man appears to be waiting for Goodman. He says, “You are late, Goodman Brown.” Goodman replies “Faith kept me back awhile”.

Though the old man appears similar to Brown in many pedestrian ways the old man also appears to have “an indescribable air of one who knew the world”. And there’s something else Goodman notices and tries to explain away.

But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light.

It is clear to the reader that the old man is the devil who is supported by the serpent staff, He does his best to entice Goodman Brown down the road to what is later called “the communion of your race” where he will learn of the “secret deeds” of his fellow townsfolk and see hypocrisy countenanced.

Goodman balks, claiming to be one of a breed of men who is above the riff-raff.

“Too far! too far!” exclaimed the goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk. “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs; and shall I be the first of the name of Brown that ever took this path and kept—”

Goodman’s journey away from faith is stop and go as wrestles with the temptation of going on. He encounters something he initially resists and uses the honor of his good name and of those before him as a reason to rethink things before giving on to going on. But, he doesn’t use his faith as a shield and so bends in to temptation. He continues his journey with the old man’s urging.

The old man tries to persuade Goodman to get up and continue. He does so by using Goodman’s own argument. The old man conjures up a kinship with men like Goodman. He lies about having personal knowledge and acquaintance of Goodman’s family. He then speaks of townsfolk – deacons and those in power – as personal references. He cajoles Goodman to continue their ‘association’ by journeying on.

Goodman Brown once considered himself impervious to all the devil’s wiles. After all he was one of the elect and associated with the right people. But each step he took in the wrong direction away from faith weakened his resolve. His compromises were reinforced by his inordinate curiosity. He continues his journey into the deepest darkest part of the forest and sees what the “communion of our race” so desires, “that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were sinners abashed”.

 

There are several interpretations and critiques of the story. Some will say that Hawthorne is pointing out the hypocrisy of a society that prides itself on its high moral and civic standing and makes outcasts of those who do not live up to its standards. Other interpreters go out on a dark forest limb with their construal:

Modern critics have interpreted “Young Goodman Brown” in many ways. The story as a critique of society stands out to some. To psychologically inclined readers, Brown journeys into the psyche. The village represents the superego, whereas the forest and darkness become equivalents of the Freudian id. The entire story becomes a portrait of one human mind that discovers the usually suppressed and disquieting reality of animal instinct

The story’s symbols lend its meaning to a wide audience and to many interpretations. As you read it you will have your own takeaway. I consider it an allegory or parable about assumptions, hypocrisy and the lure of evil to pull one away from one’s home base of faith toward the “reality of animal instincts”.

The story doesn’t tell us Brown’s motives other than “present evil purpose” Conjecture would lead us to think that young Goodman Brown had become questioning about evil and the devil even though he lived surrounded by strict warnings against both in Puritan village. One gets the sense that Brown goes out by himself to just stick his nose in on evil for the sake of understanding the world he lives in and perhaps the fear of evil inculcated in him by his upbringing.

 

I have provided some of my take on Young Goodman Brown and some excerpts from the story with the hope that you will read the short story (it should take about fifteen minutes). I invite you to consider what road you are taking when you want to stick your nose in on evil. Consider where it leads and what you will encounter. And, where it will lead you. This road does not lead home.

We are told in Scripture to “test the spirits” so that we may know what is good and true and from God. That is not what is going on in Young Goodman Brown. Rather, this a young man who leaves faith behind and takes a walk on the wild side and ends up at a satanic ritual. His road did not lead back home to faith. It led to nihilism and despair and the resolve to no longer exist.

In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown. On he flew among the black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man. Thus sped the demoniac on his course, until…

 

Well, you’ll just have to read the story:

We’ve Been Down This Road Before

 

One does not need a degree in cultural studies to see that our culture is charmed by and suffused with charismatic self-knowledge, self-love, self-esteem, and self-awareness. The powerful, the glamorous, the ministers of inclusion, and the gurus of self-help each promote their version of snake oil which, by application, would lift the unenlightened feeble off of terra firma to the heights of self-dom. Their special tonic is said to awaken consciousness, to liberate from conditioning and to provide relief from suffering. Mystical, intuitive, subjective, inward, and emotional approaches to truth are everywhere promoted as leading to a higher plane of existence where self-knowledge is knowledge of the divine. The self and the divine are to be perceived and experienced as identical.

One quote from a gnostic teaching website is sufficient to reveal the ‘higher road’ many are taking:

“Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of gnosis. Another gnostic teacher, Monoimus, says:

Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says,” My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.” Learn the sources of sorrow:, joy, love, hate … If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself.”

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent asked, “Did God really say…?” And, based on what I am seeing today, I can imagine that It also whispered “What does the god within you say?” The choice Adam and Eve made put them on the road leading out of the garden. This is the road most travelled.

As I was considering this topic the Technicolor image of the cowardly lion wringing his hands came to mind. I had the misfortune of seeing the musical fantasy Wizard of Oz in my youth.

Why the misfortune? While it made fantasy-tale sense that characters made of straw and tin needed something to be humanish, what was a humanish animal requiring courage about? What was it about this movie that disturbed me? It took me some time to sort out – discern – why I do not like the movie: it’s promotion of Gnosticism in the morally vacuous Land of Oz and the wimpy withering lion.

The lion in the Wizard of Oz is the anthropomorphic personification of presumably silly and timid humans lacking self-awareness. The lion comes into the story like a bleating lamb and leaves as a roaring lion. How did the transformation happen? Through gnosis. The lion is told by a wizard (a professor; a spiritual guide and self-help guru of sorts) that the lion must acknowledge the courage he already possesses inside. The same self-knowledge mirror is held up for the Straw Man and the Tin Man.

And what is the purpose of the new found-in-self brain, heart and courage in the moral vacuum of Oz? To “awaken their consciousness and liberate them from conditioning”? And the reason for courage? Courage to not be afraid of what? Of things that go “Boo” in the night? Courage to be yourself?

Lest anyone think that I am being picayune about a now beloved child’s fantasy they should pull back the curtain and see what’s lurks there in light of the above and with today’s culture in view.

In the moral vacuum of the Land of Oz, does gnosis-courage mean one bravely acts to be one’s self at all costs? If the only moral reference points are yourself and someone telling you have what it takes within, are you prone to then embrace your base desires to be one’s self? Are we to believe ‘wizards’ that through self-knowledge we change from baaing sheep into roaring lions? See for yourself what’s come out from behind the curtain in the Land of Oz:

Actress Judy Garland (1922–1969) is widely considered a gay icon. The Advocate has called Garland “The Elvis of homosexuals”. The reasons frequently given for her standing as an icon among gay men are admiration of her ability as a performer, the way her personal struggles seemed to mirror those of gay men in America during the height of her fame, and her value as a camp figure. Garland’s role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz is particularly noted for contributing to this status. – Judy Garland as gay icon

Has Western culture has followed the Yellow Brick Road? Besides the ubiquitous adverts by wizards of enlightenment coming out with their brand of snake oil, we hear almost every day in the media of someone coming out (via self-knowledge) as gay. This gnostic way of understanding has been confirmed by Pope Francis when he said “God made you this way.”

It is no secret that Progressive elements in our culture promote being oneself as one walks along on their wide Yellow Brick Road of self-discovery. This way is touted as the higher, more “universal” and thus “neutral” perspective and that the meta-narrative of Christianity is the narrow road which must be avoided and declared the wrong way. Progressivism doesn’t see its own meta-narrative of identity politics and of reducing the moral universe to the god within. Progressivism isn’t self-aware.

Universities, under the thrall of Progressivism and of course benefactors, are incubators of gnosis. They seek to awaken a new vision and to stir up dormant impulses in cowardly lions. Pseudo-disciplines like women’s studies, black studies, LGBTQ studies, etc., offer Woke gnosis.

The Land of Oz campus admins create physical safe spaces so that self-realization is safely tucked in and away from things that go “Boo!” in the day. For Land of Oz sustainability, Marxism and socialism are taught as the means to create financial safe space. The idea is to make others pay so the disciples of self don’t have to concern themselves with material concerns. This, so one can continue to grow in self-awareness and be an SJW with a moral center carefully crafted around gnosis.

At graduation, participation trophies are presented to the brave – those who stood inside safe spaces against outside knowledge, and to the compassionate (for others like themselves). A diploma, a medal and a ticking heart-shaped watch are passed onto to another generation. These trinkets of gnosis are bestowed under a ceremonial banner, which reads: “Know thyself, Be Thyself. We are here for our own sake”.

There is a Yellow Brick way that seems right to a man who seeks to find what it takes to be one’s self, but the ends thereof are the ways of self.

 

 

~~~

Of course, not all self-reflection is be rejected. Proper introspection is to occur in the prayer closet. There, in the Light of the Lord, sin is exposed and named. You learn to see yourself as the Lord sees you. You confess your sin and ask for forgiveness. Then the Lord returns you to the road before you to walk in his resurrection power.

Now, it takes no courage whatsoever to tell others how to live to make them comfortable for you to be around. That is social justice for the woke generation. It does take considerable courage to look into one’s soul and see the darkness within, to repent and to cast out any unclean spirits in the name of the Jesus.

The absolutions of the Woke World humanist religion are self-justification and self-righteousness. Both are repulsed by the Lord. Prayer-closet courage is required to resist both.

Somewhere Over and Under the Rainbow

The Evil One and his minions never rest. Unclean spirits roam the earth looking for someone to inhabit. We are told in Scripture (1 Peter 5:8) that the enemy of our souls, Satan, walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he will devour. He will use enticements to lure his prey. And a when human is devoured by the Satan they become devoid of humanness and thus a puppet-disciple of the Evil One. In the novel Perelandra we find a depiction of such a one. His name is Weston.

In Perelandra, the second novel in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy (see my last two posts for background), we find Ransom the invitee arriving on Perelandra (Venus) and meeting the Green Lady. Ransom finds her to be childlike, innocent, and unspoiled by that which despoiled earth. Upon meeting her, Ransom thinks…

What overwhelmed him was not in the least the fact that she, like himself, was totally naked. Embarrassment and desire were both a thousand miles away from his experience: and if he was a little ashamed of his own body, that shame had nothing to do with the difference of sex and turned only on the fact that he knew his body to be a little ugly and a little ridiculous.

Ransom and the Green Lady converse, trying understand each other and their unique worlds. At one point they both see an object fall from heavy into the sea. Later, Ransom sees Weston (introduced in the previous post) emerge from a spacecraft. Ransom is filled with horror. Why did Weston come to Perealndra? His last encounter with Weston on Malandra was anything but good. Weston was sent back to earth because of his behavior.

Ransom’s initial conversation with the newly arrived Weston, the uninvited, was philosophical and rather benign. It appears that Weston meant to soften Ransom’s attitude toward himself. But Weston soon changes from humanist-philosopher-scientist to an inhuman creature – the Un-man.

Following a night of sleep Ransom awakens and begins walking to find Weston who vanished the day before. As Ransom walks, he comes across a horrible sight – a mutilated frog. As he goes further, he finds a trial of mutilated frogs, unthinkable in the unspoiled teeming world of Perelandra. At the end of the trial he finds Weston mutilating a frog with his long sharp nails.

Here’s what Ransom thought when he encountered the figure of Weston:

If Ransom said nothing, it was because he could not speak. He saw a man who was certainly not ill, to judge from his easy stance and the powerful use he had just been making with his fingers. He saw a man who was certainly Weston, to judge from his height and build and coloring and features. In that sense he was quite recognizable. But the terror was that he was also unrecognizable. He did not look like a sick man: but looked like a very dead one. The face which he raised from torturing the frog had that terrible power which the face of a corpse sometimes has of simply rebuffing every conceivable human attitude one can adopt towards it. The expressionless mouth, the unwinking stare of the eyes, something heavy and inorganic in the very folds of the cheek, said clearly: “I have features as you have, but there is nothing in common between you and me.’ It was this that kept Ransom speechless…the conviction [came] that this, in fact, was not a man: that Weston’s body was kept, walking and undecaying, in Perelandra by some wholly different kind of life, and that Weston himself was gone…

Weston’ body, traveling in a space-ship, had been the bridge by which something else had invaded Perealndra – whether that supreme and original evil whom they call the Bent One, or one of his lesser followers, made no difference.

 

As you read on you see that evil has devoured Weston. He is not content to keep it to himself. Evil is isolating. Weston or It must corrupt those around It for company in hell. And so, Weston begins to ply the Green Lady with words. He tells her that Maledil, The Lord of the universe, wouldn’t mind if she went to the Fixed Land (forbidden to her). He tells her that good will come of it and that Maledil desires for her to break His word to her.

With endless words and cajoling Weston entices the Green Lady. Ransom tries to refute Weston’s untruth and the confusion he is invoking in the Green Lady. At one point he says, “In our world to be older is not always to be wiser.”.

Going back to Ransom’s and Weston’s initial conversation occurring when Weston arrived on Perelandra and the one before Weston was de-humanized into the walking dead, we learn of the synthetic gnostic thinking which had enticed him and reduced him to his low estate. Here’s Weston, the Tempter, responding to Ransom:

“Now your mentioning the Devil is very interesting, “said Weston, who had by this time quite recovered his normal manner. “It is a most interesting thing in popular religion, this tendency to fissiparate, to breed pairs of opposites: heaven and hell, God and Devil. I need hardly say that in my view no real dualism in the universe is admissible; to reject these pairs of doublets as pure mythology. It would have been a profound error. The cause of this universal religious tendency is to be sought much deeper. The doublets are really portraits of Spirit., of cosmic energy – self-portraits, indeed, for it is the Life-Force itself which has been deposited in our brains.” …

“Your Devil and your God, “said Weston, “are both pictures of the same Force.”

(Regarding aspects of dualism, see my previous post Don’t Adjust the Contrast. Regarding the dehumanizing aspects of evil read Perelandra.)

What are the characteristics of evil shown on Perelandra and about us in various measure on earth?

Evil is grandiose. Weston boasted of all the benefits the Green Lady would obtain by doing things his way.

Evil is manipulative. Evil will use good attributes (beauty, older and wiser, etc.) to ensnare a person to do evil.

Evil holds up a self-gratifying mirror for the headstrong: “Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will.” Scott Peck, M.D. People of the Lie*

Evil people lack the motivation to be good but want to appear good. The will consistently lie to protect their appearance and to deceive themselves.

Conversations with evil people will always create confusion.

Nothing is ever fair for those in the thrall of evil. The evil live in an unsatisfied state.

Evil people are chronic scapegoaters. The evil lash out at others who don’t affirm them. The evil project their own perverted emotional state onto others. They have no problem calling people some form of phobic.

Evil people are consistent with their sins. Evil is known by its rotten fruits.

Evil people are destructive. They do not forgive others. And they do not forgive themselves because they do not acknowledge their sin or guilt.

Evil people refuse to have any sense of their sinfulness. They refuse self-examination. They deaden their conscience. They become very defensive against any personal responsibility and guilt.

 

Now, no one is born evil. (I don’t accept the premise of original sin whereby sin is somehow transmitted via the parents to a newborn child. Each person is born a tabula rasa regarding sin.) A person can become evil by continuing to deceive themselves. Out of that self-deception they will make a series of choices which degrade the truth. They will compound lies and compartmentalize them into their evil self so as to look normal on the outside. They must maintain their outward moral purity at all costs. They are the people of the lie*. Evil parents maintain a perverse environment which breeds the mental illness of evil in their children. The evil work to inhibit the spiritual growth of others.

The embrace of evil doesn’t happen overnight. As Ransom listens to Weston drone on in endless babble, he thinks…

If the remains of Weston were, at such a moments, speaking through the lips of the Un-man, then Weston was not a man at all. The forces which had begun, perhaps years ago, to eat away his humanity had now been slowly poisoning the intelligence and the affectation had now at last poisoned itself and the whole psychic organism had fallen to pieces. Only a ghost was left – and everlasting unrest, a crumbling, a ruin, an odour of decay. “And this, “thought Ransom, “might be my destination; or hers [the Green Lady].

 

As Followers of the Lord of the Universe it is important for to understand evil. But we should not focus on evil or be overcome by evil or call others evil. We are to recognize the dynamics of evil so that we can discern when we are being tempted to synthesize what God calls good with what God has called sinful. There is much of this Gnostic synthesis going on churches today in their effort to be inclusive.

“Inclusive” is the popular political word that on the surface sounds wonderful. Yet, it hides the dreadful desire to purge the dualism God has put in place and to replace it with New Age pluralism. God’s dualism is deemed too harsh and too exclusive. Remember, there is territorial spiritual warfare going on all around us. This warfare affects our culture and our politics. The forces for good battle the forces for evil. As C.S. Lewis put it, “There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” Weston’s efforts to entice the Green Lady reveal the extent to which the forces of evil will go to persuade one to come over to the dark side:

It was on those lines that the enemy now worked almost exclusively. Though the [Green] Lady had no word for Duty he [Weston] made it appear to her in light of a Duty that she should continue to fondle the idea of disobedience, and convinced her that it would be a cowardice if she repulsed him. The ideas of the Great Deed, of the Great Risk, of a kind of martyrdom, were presented to her every day, varied in a thousand forms.

The Tempter goes on to entice the Green lady into disobedience with feminism.

 

 

As recounted in part above, what Weston embraced leading to his mental illness and dehumanized state is common to modern man under the rainbow. Weston proceeded to take his poisoned soul over the rainbow to another planet where he began to sow seeds of deception with the likes of “Did Maledil really say that?”. Don’t be deceived or devoured by evil. For now, the Followers of Jesus are to be the people of the tension – choosing the good and abhorring the evil all around us.

“See here,” Jesus continued, “I’m sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves. So be shrewd as snakes and as innocent of doves.” Matthew10:16

 

 

~~~

I recommend C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. The above passages are only a small selection from a trio of novels which depict good and evil and more spiritual realities via fiction. You’ll be better for it.

*I recommend M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie, The Hope for Healing Human Evil, quoted above. Peck, a psychiatrist, provides eye-opening accounts and descriptions of human evil.

“Doubly Dead and Uprooted”

tree limb

The title of this post comes from the following scripture passage, written by Judah.

 Judah identifies himself first as a slave of the Lord Jesus and then as the brother of James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem. Judah is the half-brother of the Lord Jesus.

 Judah tells us that he earnestly wanted to write about God’s salvation realized but he turns quickly to the false teaching among his “beloved ones.” These false teachings sprung up in the early days of the church and even while the apostles, the eye witnesses, were still alive.

 Beware: false teaching is happening everywhere around us, even more so since the first century AD.

 In those days Gnostic teaching of the antinomian type was creeping into the church teaching. The Gnostic “false teachers” viewed the material as evil and the spiritual as good. Thus they cultivated their ‘spiritual’ lives and let the flesh to do whatever it desired to do. In effect, they gave license for all kinds of fleshy lawlessness including acceptance of the sexual perversion of homosexuality as normative within the church of the Lord Jesus.

 Gnosticism exists today in all its lawless or antinomian forms within many our churches: Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Evangelical.

 Here is Judah’s letter:

The Letter of Judah

 Contend for the faith

 Judah, slave of Jesus the Messiah, brother of James, to those who are called, the people whom God loves and whom Jesus, the Messiah, keeps safe! May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

 Beloved, I was doing my best to write to you about the rescue in which we share, but I found it necessary to write to you to urge you to struggle hard for the faith which was once and for all given to God’s people. Some people have sneaked in among you, it seems, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation ~ ungodly people, who are transforming God’s grace into licentiousness, and denying the one and only master, our Lord Jesus the Messiah.

 False Teachers

I do want to remind you, even though you know it all well, that when the Lord once and for all delivered his people out of Egypt, he subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. In the same way, when some of the angels did not keep to their rightful place of authority, but abandoned their own home, he kept them under conditions of darkness and in eternal chains to await the judgment of the great day. In similar fashion, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities round about, which had lived in gross immorality and lusted after unnatural flesh, are set before us as a pattern, undergoing the punishment of endless fire.

 However, these people are behaving in the same way! They are dreaming their way into defiling their flesh, rejecting authority, and cursing the glorious ones. Even Michael the archangel, when disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not presume to lay a charge against him of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you.” These people, however curse anything they don’t know. They are like dumb animals; there are some things they understand instinctively ~ but it is these very things that destroy them. A curse on them! They go off in the way of Cain; they give themselves over for money into Balaam’s deceitful ways; they are destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These are the ones who pollute your love-feasts; they share your table without fear while simply looking after their own needs. They are waterless clouds blown along by the winds. They are the fruitless autumn trees, doubly dead and uprooted. They are stormy waves out at sea, splashing up their own shameful ways. They are wandering stars, and the deepest everlasting darkness has been kept for them in particular.

 Enoch, the seventh in line from Adam, prophesied about these people. “Look!” he said. “The Lord comes with ten thousand of his holy ones, to perform judgment against all, and to charge every human being with all the ungodly ways in which they have done ungodly things, and with every harsh word which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These people are always grumbling and complaining, chasing off after their own desires. From their mouths come arrogant words, buttering people up for the sake of gain.

Rescued by God’s Power

But you, my beloved ones, remember the words that were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. In the last time,” they said to you, “there will be scornful people who follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who cause divisions. They are living on the merely human level; they do not have the spirit. But you, beloved ones, build yourselves up in your most holy fait. Pray in the holy spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of god, as you wait for our Lord Jesus the Messiah to show you mercy which leads to the life of the age to come.

 With some people who are wavering, you must show mercy. Some you must rescue, snatching them from the fire. To others you must show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes that have been defiled by the flesh.

 Now to the one who is able to keep you standing upright, and to present you before his glory, undefiled and joyful ~to the one and only God, our savior through Jesus the Messiah our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all ages, and now, and to all the ages to come. Amen. (emphasis mine)

 

 “Doubly Dead and Uprooted” aptly describes the moral relativism, the lawlessness, of our day. People are uprooted from absolute truth and are just dead tree limbs, blown about by the winds and whims of our “values” culture.

 I have written about our culture’s ‘uprooting’ in previous posts.

America’s ‘Devalued’ Moral Currency

 

Tear Down That Anthropocentricity

 

 Many churches now teach a ‘feel-good gospel’ that is ‘inclusive’ …but also damning.

 With the church failing in its mission to make disciples, America is now rebuilding itself on a foundation of sand, of lawlessness, much like Europe has already done. We will soon be washed away. The torrents will come.

 My “beloved ones’: Reading Judah’s letter you can’t help notice that as someone who grew up with Jesus Judah understood his half-brother Jesus from his orthodox Jewish perspective to be the anticipated Messiah.

 Finally and most important of all, Judah mentions Jesus the “Messiah” over and over again within this short missive. The Kingdom of God on earth began in those days and continues to the present! Judah urged his brothers and sisters in the faith, including us, “to contend for the faith that was once entrusted to the saints.”

 

 

(Tree limb picture from Aerophant.com)