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Archive for September, 2008

Screwtape Truth I

Screwtape Truth I

My Dear Slobgob,

Really, we are taking the most foundational knowledge and twisting it, and it has the lovely effect of trickling down to everything. The school at Berkeley has contended that there may not be a right answer to a true or false question! Because they derived from a simple science experiment that truth is relative. This was their experiment: they asked, “How many ducks are on the pond?” To this question, my friend, there is only one right answer, which any moron can see. But, the “intellects” say, “well, this is debatable, depending on your vantage point. Perspectives can vary, so depending upon where an individual stands, some may see 2 ducks and others 3, and therefore, more than one person can be correct. Consequently, truth is not absolute.” Music to my ears! See, we are taking what is not, and treating it like it is. So, now we have phrases like this: “if you believe that, that’s your truth, that’s your reality.”

Here is the equation: different people = different lenses = different interpretations = different realities = different truths. Never mind that 2 + 2 has one answer and that it’s solution is objective. This new generation of scholastics has gotten a hold of an old idea and combined with their clout, it will have a pleasant impact not only on alumni, but anyone proud of their association with such a respective program.This equation (in the previous paragraph) assumes that each person has been formed and made uniquely, which usually takes us down a road we do not want to go, but we are making the best of a bad situation…our motto. The Enemy has painstakingly crafted a variance of souls and characters intending for all of them to testify to His own creativity, through a certain oneness- how jealous of Him!

I must say we have succeeded in making the oneness, twoness; right wing/left wing, liberal/conservative, white/black, upper class/lower class, peace/war, Obama/McCain, and environmental savvy/wasteful . If only one of those groups acknowledges the Enemies intentions, there is dissention, factions, labels, and therefore judging. I say with great pride, the blending of all kinds of characters and souls with varying gifts has been at a standstill. The melting pot of diversity is supposed to be overcome with unity, so much so the diversity disintegrates- not on my watch! We want divisions, so those without the truth, can not so much as stand the other group’s views, even if they have the truth. The member of two groups identified above will not even associate with each other’s doctrines even if they agree, for fear they may compromise their political status in the eyes of people in their sub-group, political party, neighborhood or morning coffee group.

The right wing is supposedly religious, although many of them are building on sand and give into elementary temptations without any fight at all. And the left wing is supposedly “lost,” which we know is know is not true, as we are working overtime to keep a good plenty from the Enemy.

We have helped create a culture where it is socially acceptable to call the people that believe that there is good and evil, (and no in between) fools. Oh! How we have succeeded, the people who believe truth is subjective are called open-minded. No wonder the Enemy calls our chief “the father of lies.” We know there is right and wrong, black and white, heaven and hell, but the temperature of the culture is so infatuated with suiting itself the definite right (truth) has been muted and fogged over.

We have had a change in our manual and I want you to take note. We often refer to our work as “lies” or “deception.” Those words really don’t describe us. Our work is to uphold “truth claims.” Just as the Enemy claims that He has the truth (He even goes as far to say He is the Truth), so do we. We want to parallel what He does because His methods have turned out more than we would like to admit.

I will explain the ramifications of the little experiment our friends at Berkeley have completed. Unbeknownst to them, from the word go, they only looked to support what they want to believe. They set out on a venture with things fixed in their minds, and inevitably their results were going to maintain their worldviews and philosophies. “Open-minded” the braggarts call themselves! When really their duck research only affirms and condones how they live their “private” life. “Be your own God,” the oldest trick in the book, does it ring a bell? People would rather follow us than be told how to live. So, leave more than a crumb trail for them.

I know it takes little to none coaxing to assist these students to sin. However, let’s be wise and tempt them with sins that will make others sin too and lead them to more sins. Sexual immorality coupled with deceit and lies is better than sexual immorality- see what I am getting at? Don’t stop to look at the scenery until you have utilized all the techniques you were taught. I would have thought you would have learned this from me. Remember, where there is a willing sinner, there are always more sins they are willing to commit.

Those who conducted this project “duck on the pond” project have freely lived a life with poor morality, and in essence they will not make any concessions to the possibility of the existence of both right and wrong. Everyone knows there is an order to how things go. For example, one can not issue them self their own driver’s license, but, in essence, this is what we are trying to promote; license by “preference” and unalienable right. Whatever suites the individual tastes is what matters.

Continue to encourage them to follow the scent, act on impulse, and gratify their instincts. It is the result of this sloppiness people are dehumanized, “loved” and kicked to the curb, used for selfish gain and discarded like yesterdays newspaper. Along with these come the most pleasurable things to observe and partake in: pain, loneliness, suicide, eating disorders, depression, worthlessness, brokenness and emptiness. Normally, brokenness and emptiness would be concern in and of themselves, but there is no one within miles who can even tell them how to really fill that life-sized hole in their torso. Fortunately, disappointment leads to more searching and subsequently more “experimental living.” Keep them on that cycle…round and round they go!

In summery, people believe they can not believe in God and then also do what they want. That is precisely right. They can not do what the part that we have wants and simultaneously abide in obedience to the Enemey. They don’t think they can have their fun and the Enemy too. Little do they know, those varmints, as far as I can see, have endless pleasure, much deeper than their chasing after the wind. Always keep their stomachs hungry, keep people’s appetite for indulgence one step ahead of what they are eating at the moment so they never have their fill. Keep the “next thing” magnificent- looking, like it will be culmination of experiments- the end of the maze, the thing they are really looking for.

Above all, there is no “above all.” Let nothing prevail but feelings- leave it up to the humans consent. They belong to themselves. They have to believe they have certain inalienable rights and that they affect no one else by their actions. They think, there is no condemnation for anyone, but we know that there is only no condemnation for those who are mysteriously in the Enemy. Really, nothing is really “theirs,” for in the end, it is either ours or the Enemies.

Warmest Regards, Tinhoof

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Why don’t people wonder?

It amazes me the things people don’t wonder about. For example, people don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about these things: “Why are we here?” What is the purpose of life?” “How did we get here?” “Who made the sun, how does it light the earth and how does it burn?” “Why is the world bad?” “What are the voices in my head?” “Why did I do this or that?” “Why are my feelings hurt?” “Why do I feel a sense of purpose, or why do I not?” “How and why does my brain work?”The list goes on.

It seems like every person should be on a mission to find the answers to these questions, because they are so foundational to life. It seems like those kind of questions should burn in our brains and plague us until we are certain we have an answer to them. But, it doesn’t seem like people are that preoccupied with these questions. Why not?

So, my questions for anyone who has any ideas are:

“Why don’t people wonder (about the answers to the questions in the first paragraph) ?”

“Do they wonder and don’t want to discuss?” “Why don’t they want to discuss?”

“Why don’t people spend more time thinking about the answers to these questions?”

Maybe if any or all of us think about this we could share some ideas. The questions in bold are for everyone to chime in on.

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Some random wanderings around the net:

Excellent and very convicting articles from David Powlison concerning what he calls “The Therapeutic Gospel

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Another great message from John Piper: The Mind of Christ: Looking out for the Interests of Others

Some before and after photos showing the devastation left by Hurricane Ike.  Keep praying for these people!

The most helpful (from what I have read/heard) teaching regarding legalism and grace: a message from Bryan Clark titled “The Spirit at War With The Flesh.”

Suffering from allergies?  NASA can help.

In case you were wondering about the first frost….

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The Constant

I have been studying a lot of physics and general chemistry lately in preparation for the Optometric Admission Test (OAT), so my mind has been constantly bombarded with equations.  For someone who thinks pretty linearly as I do, equations are helpful in understanding chemical and physical relationships.  I also often find myself putting many other spheres of life and their principles/relationships into equations, which helps me think about them easier and also remember them.  The notes I take when reading and/or studying scripture often contain many equalities, proportions, and simple addition and subtraction problems.

Wednesday was a pretty stressful and frustrating day for me, so it could be graphed as a multiple variable equation.  I was scheduled to take the OAT at 9am, but because of a mishap of mine, I was not able to and will most likely have to reschedule for another couple of weeks.  I was originally going to take the exam last Saturday on the 6th but needed to reschedule due to a work conflict.  Apparently, when I tried to reschedule the appointment for Wednesday, the 10th, either I did not completely submit the form online or some sort of internet disconnection happened and my request for rescheduling was not received.  So, thinking that I had rescheduled successfully, I prepared for a top-notch performance only to find out a half hour before the 9am start time that I not only could not take the test, but would have to resubmit an application for the test, pay for it again, and wait another couple weeks.

Needless to say, I was very frustrated.  I had been planning for this day for the last year and have been studying intensely for it the last 2-3 months.  Lauran and I had been counting down the days to when I would finally have more free time in which each extra moment did not have to be a discussion on whether it would be better for me to study or just relax a bit.  During the two hours between 8am to 10am yesterday, I went through a flurry emotions, the high state of emotions associated with pre-exam anxiety all the way to the low of frustration, impatience, and a bit of anger.  The ups and downs of the morning were quite draining to say the least.

As for the rest of the day, I tried to find truth in the situation and level out the emotional tide.  I began to think about how great it was that even in the ups and downs of life, in the midst of stupid mistakes, disappointments, failed plans, and even successes and joy, there is a constant.  Life can sometimes be like a huge sine curve, or any wave for that matter… in which our emotions (mine at least) are always alternating between highs and lows.  But the one thing that is constant is Christ Himself.

To me, equations with constants seem to be less stressful because there is less of a mess to figure out.  For example, take the Ideal Gas Law, PV=nRT.  Looks intimidating, but you only need to 3 out of the 5 variables in order to solve a problem because R is a constant.  R does not change.  It stays the same so the rest can be handled adequately.  As I thought about my day in this context, I appreciated more and more how Christ is a constant.  He does not change.  He is stable.  He is supreme.  He is sufficient.  He is with me.  None of that changes.  Christ is who He is and I can trust Him always because His character never changes.  In the midst of successes and failures, emotional highs and lows, it can be difficult to find consistency in our lives.  But we can in Christ.  The world, the culture, fashion, nearly every thing around us seems to be in constant flux.  What a blessing it is that as certain philosophy or technology trends come and go, Jesus is King through it all.  His consistency gives us life and truth to cling to, even in the mess of so many fluctuating variables.

Christ, the constant.

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Screwtape 9/11

Screwtape 9/11

(for those who know C.S. Lewis’s concept from “The Screwtape Letters.”

Slobgob,

Part of our success from 9/11 has been brought about from the hope men have in themselves. Anything labeled “tragedy” without the realization of our Chief’s temptation of Eve we should encourage.

If man sees the doings of man, and mourns it more than the fallen nature of man, we have kept them from the root of the problem, which is the person in the mirror, not the people on the other side of the world. Never let them at the cause for the tragedies that men wreck on men, which is their own inherent nature.

When you can, play the comparison card. Promote the “sin sliding scale.” The “their sins are worse than my sins, therefore my sins are justified” attitude is the type we need to encourage. This pride makes them feel good. As long as they use human standards to judge themselves and not the Enemy’s, we are golden. We want them to think, “those terrorists can never be forgiven, I, on the other hand am not that bad.” Keeping our Enemy’s ability to forgive small in their eyes is key to keeping themselves big in their own. People can know they are sometimes bad, but they can not know they are all bad without intervention of the Enemy. Things such as breaking the speed limit and telling a harmless lie must remain easy to dismiss, we can suggest they call them “faults,” “misgivings” or “mistakes.” We and the Enemy alike know the wages of little “faults.” Those we tempt must believe sin is permissible and innocuous and overall harmless.

Above all, keep people focused on what they do– no different than how our predecessors worked in the Church’s in Galatia and Philippi. Work to advance the idea of necessity of attachments to that which needs none. When the Enemy’s complete and finished work is not considered or not in view, we have fertile soil for advancing the ideology that “works” can earn approval or lose approval. Keep them focused on “keeping” “good” codes, ethics and rituals. We know that neither eternal confidence nor disappointment can come from what they do or don’t do- but, rather what the Enemy has already done…but they don’t know this. Allow confidence to take its natural course of pride and allow disappointment to take its natural course of depression- these are two of our greatest allies.

The higher the hopes of the moral good, the harder the fall for those who hope in it. John Lennon’s naive peace sonnets are still paying dividends. The phrase “World Peace” lends a enormous, grandiose imagery to those who are at war with the Enemy in their own fist-sized hearts. Of course, Lennon’s followers have met bitter disappointment through the generations- because we have kept them disillusioned- hoping for impossibilities: “Imagine there’s no heaven,” “Imagine world peace.” The unenlightened romantics are astonished at the human race. A country shocked and in disbelief is better than one with the knowledge of the somber reality imparted by our Enemy: “In this world you will have trouble.”

We love the motives of the peace lovers who do not know the “Prince of Peace.” They rely fully on their tainted, self-centered morals and ethics! Get behind them, instruct them, exalt them, reward them with revelations! Act as a mentor to them, and nourish their commitment to the impossibility of a moral cleansing of unsaved, corrupt people. We know this only happens when the Enemy gives the varmints “new hearts” through the forgiveness of sins through the shedding of His blood and they are somehow “born again,” and subsequently lost. This is not even on their radar because they are so anti-organized religion and anti-church, that they won’t even consider what they think is a “religious” concept.

There is a fine line we must walk here. We know those with hearts and minds seeking the Enemy will grieve sin itself and even sincerely! And few will even pray for those who are afflicting them! Try to twist their thoughts so that the emphasis would be disappointment in man more than trust in the Sovereignty of the Enemy. After all, such adversity caused by the terrorists has allowed many doubts about a benevolent God creep into the minds of good little Christians. However, you have failed an assignment- you have allowed Time Magazine to print Tony Blair’s quote: “Just because man is bad, it does not mean that God is not good.” This profound, easily-memorized, quote is being carried around in the minds of those “on the fence,” and has become food for thought for those deep thinkers of ours. Do not let people see the depravity of themselves, do not let them make a connection between the terrorists and themselves. Continually remind people of their good works and the good works of all people and let that be their fill- this way they believe they have no need for a God that is good. Remember, someone who thinks they are good overall never thinks they need to confess or repent.

Men’s hope in morality has kept more than our share in our clutches. We should never be remiss enough to encourage belief in any type immortality. If they believe “what they see is all there is,” what hope could they have in a better place or worse place?

Some varmints have been given the stench from the Enemy we call faith! And, in the midst of “tragedy,” they see an opportune time to tell others about immortality- a place where pain does not exist. These faith swindlers tell of human history: famine, suffering, war, genocide, terror, exploited power and they rightly give us credit, but this also leads to us being discovered. Don’t you see, us discovered means us uncovered, and how many people have you known to run arms open wide once they see us for who we are?!? In addition to this, I would rather have a soul for eternity than a little credit and recognition for now, and I know our Chief would, too.

Some of ours are taking note that this hope in immortality transcends what they see. The little varmints are not acting “normal” (according to ours) thanks to His Supernatural interference and it is starting to rub off like poison ivy in some parts of the city. You must put a stop to this.

My advice: stay cloaked in the darkness of the nature of man and hide in the crevasses of evil in their hearts, OR appear as illumination. But be careful, the best we can do is replicate how the Enemy nourishes a soul with “illumination.” We have to keep the Enemy’s methods twisted and distorted.

Warmest Regards, Tinhoof

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Lately, a lot of my classes have been focusing on the question of how we can know the Scriptures are reliable.  Early in the class I was concerned to find out the most of the manuscripts we have for the Bible dated back to the ninth century AD.  For someone like myself who holds passionately to the Bible as the inspired Word of God, that was disconcerting.  However, a little deeper probing into the subject brought back peace and a greater confidence that the Word is in fact reliable.

In Biblical times (OT and NT), most writings were recorded on papyrus.  This material is biodegradable, therefore, unless kept in a moisture free environment it would stand no chance of survival over time.  So it makes sense that the copies of the Bible we have today would be copies of copies of the original manuscripts.  While great care was taken in copying these manuscripts, without the originals how were we to know that the copies were accurate?  This is why the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 was such a monumental discovery.  These scrolls were dated back to the second century BC to 70 AD.  Many of these scrolls (about 40% of the total found) contained Scripture.  Among the manuscripts which contain parts of every Old Testament book except Esther, was a complete scroll of the book of Isaiah.  When these manuscripts were compared with the manuscripts from the ninth century AD, it was found that there was greater than 99% agreement between the texts. 

The discovery of the Scrolls gives us confidence that the Old Testament has been diligently preserved.  But you may be wondering, “What about the New Testament, can we know it is reliable?”  The greatest witness we have for the reliability of the NT would be that of the church.  The majority of the books in the New Testament canon have been accepted by the church with little argument since the time they were written (with the exception of the apocrypha – those books only the Catholic Church still includes).  The qualifications for books to be accepted into the canon were that they 1) were written by the apostles or by close associates of the apostles on their behalf 2) they were in agreement with other Scriptures (showing Christ as the fulfillment of the OT) 3) their application was universal and not just to a specific time.  Peter also shows his support of Paul’s writings as Scripture in 2 Peter 3:16 “…as they do also the rest of the Scriptures…”

So what impact does this have?  For me, I am more confident that the Bible is the accurate and reliable Word of God.  We have a God who cares for us enough to reveal Himself to us!  Now, we ought to passionately journey through the Word daily exploring His truth!!

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Great Words (part 1)

I’d like to begin a series of posts that contain some of my favorite words read or heard outside the Scriptures.  I call this a series because I have been exposed to very little compared to the seemingly infinite amount of classic books, sermons, and songs written about Christ, so it must be an ongoing project.  God willing though, I’ll have some more years to chip away at my constantly growing Amazon.com “wishlist.”

Up to this point in my life, Robert Robinson’s final verse in Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing contains some of my favorite words written outside of the Bible:

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!  Let thy goodness, like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee.  Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

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