Here is a collection of thoughts for today and the past few days.
1. In Revelation (the Book of the Apocalypse) it reads (when describing the heavenly Jerusalem) “And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21).
Imagine how beautiful heavenly gold is, where it flows purely under spiritual feet. Now think about how the people who most loved gold will never see it again after death, for they, unrepentant and unsanctified by God’s forgiveness and grace, are in hell.
This is an example of where one reads a fact in the Bible (that St John observed that in heaven Jerusalem has a street of gold, and how there is no temple or sun “for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23) and can then, on further meditation regarding that passage, can extract wisdom. By thinking about the irony and futility of sin, where those who loved gold the most on earth will not see the street of gold in heaven, one better understand the truth of all that scriptures contains and how the truth of salvation history has continuing urgent applicability throughout all time.
2. My opinion about the election unrest in Iran is that the problem in Iran, which I am surely concerned about and disappointed about, is, nonetheless, a temptation to the arrogant and self righteous in the western world.
Consider Iran a mini-case study in not only diplomacy but also in faith and reasoning and also morality (and sin). Ironically I am not referring to the sin of oppression, which is apparently occurring during the protests (always be careful to have the complete facts before jumping to conclusion. Facts involve collecting both the truth of what is happening and also putting it in reasonable proportion and context). I am referring to the sin of hubris, egoism and arrogant self righteousness. Who is the United States, France or any other country to criticize a country that is a theocracy, just because those countries “don’t believe” in either state religion or that specific religion?
A theocracy does not function the same way as a republic or a theoretical democracy, I mean, duh, think about it. The entire structure of not only the government but all decision making is based on entirely different criterion in a theocracy than in a republic or a theoretical democracy. It’s hilarious that in the television series “Star Trek” a generation of liberal mush heads grew up admiring its godless but “moral” “non interference in alien cultures” stance, yet these liberals (and self described conservatives) can’t wait to criticize and interfere in an earth based reality based genuine different culture. If aliens were presented on “Star Trek” wearing the hijab, burqua or other conservative female garb the popcorn eating viewers would be applauding the noble Enterprise crew’s “non interference.”
Turn off the TV fantasy and get real about respecting other people’s culture and religion. Also, as another example of thinking out of the box (but being reality based), I have heard that Neda, the woman who appears to have been tragically killed in a protest in Iran, was at the protest with her father. That may or may not be true as facts are, as I warned above, sketchy. Parents, I have to ask you, do you think that taking a child who still is young and has life ahead of him or her, even if they are “mature” and in their twenties, to a protest where there is life threatening danger is a good idea? That is not a decision that I would have made. I would not go to a protest or other danger if a younger member of my family insisted on going with me.
Part of being a parent (or a mature adult of any form) is to look at the long view, the big picture, and help younger people make mature decisions accordingly. Also, are things going so well in the United States? Are things going so well in France? Are western countries in possession of such perfection that they can devote an unprecedented amount of ink and TV time about Iran’s election and theocracy?
3. I find I have to remind people yet again of the following:
In heaven: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new. ‘ And he said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful’” (Revelation 21:4-5).
Think about this: if God erases all death, sorrow, crying and pain, what do you think happens to the people who cause death, sorrow, crying and pain in others? Read onward just a few passages further.
In hell: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Notice the categories of people that God himself lists as being cast into hell for all eternity, the “second death” that occurs after their body dies and each person is judged by God. Do you notice that it is not only the unbelievers in God, but also the “fearful” who are sent to hell? Those who “fear” to serve God in their lives have to be genuinely concerned about meriting hell for their lackluster and tainted faith. Also notice that it not “whores” but “whoremongers” who need to fear hell. A whoremonger is someone who promotes whorish behavior. As Jesus demonstrated repeatedly, whores are forgiven, but whoremongers are not. Think about the filth of modern society and understand how many millions of whoremongers exist in society today. How about the abominable? I was in a church service this Sunday and someone flashed an obscene gesture in my direction. Um, have people gotten so stupid that they do not realize that personal beefs, playacting, and obscenity and disrespect is not only sinful and bad to do, but when it is in a house of God (no matter the denomination, for all exist in theory ‘in his name’) that this is an abomination? Call me an ass or whatever on the street and it is a sin and boorish behavior (and probably based on idolatrous beliefs) but if you do the same thing in a house of God, it is an abomination, and risks being unforgiven and being cast into hell upon death.
And, finally, notice that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.” I’ve written extensively how “liars,” being those who disobey the Commandment against false witness, includes not only flat out lies but also all forms of misrepresenting of information, whether about a person or a business. Withholding information is not a way “around” lying but is part of false witness. Friends, this modern society is entirely comprised of liars. You need to shudder in fear at how generations are being taught falsehood and to live entirely within falsehood, raising their children to be unable to tell the difference and who, in fact, raise “acting out a part” and being “poseurs” to a high art of lying. All, unrepentant and unforgiven, will be cast into hell after being judged by God, and in the scripture you have been warned by St. John’s witness of God’s own words in heaven.
4. I have one continuing ongoing regret and sorrow, which will delight those who enjoy knowing about my pain. I regret that I ever had the level of affection for humans that I have been among. Whether love, friendship or adoptive parenthood, I regret the depth of my love and affection because they did not want nor deserve it-not because I am so great, but because they have all believed so little in God. It is one thing to love someone who needs help with their faith, or who have not received the word of God into their lives and hearts. It is another thing to have affection toward those who manipulate both my affection but also their faith (such as it is) or who are idolaters who secretly worship pagan non-existent gods and who decay genuine glorification of the real God. I am actually ashamed at how much I have loved certain people, only to find how filthy they have been toward God, in their minds and in their theoretical hearts. I can’t even think of family, friends, ex-loves without being ashamed that I loved people who care so little for God, and who cover up such dark and disgusting beliefs.
5. Wow, I am glad that even though it was for bad reasons (going broke and the sadness of my family and so called friends decay) that I gave up golf and sold my golf clubs. Enough said.
6. Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.