Because Two Can Keep a Secret, if One of Them … Doesn’t BLOG! — reblogged

The Secret by Felix Nussbaum (11 December 1904 – 9 August 1944)

The Secret by Felix Nussbaum (11 December 1904 – 9 August 1944) (more here)

Rah’s Mirror is a relatively new blog. I “discovered” it thanks to a reblog by Wally Fry.

Because Two Can Keep a Secret, if One of Them … Doesn’t BLOG! by Rah Plotts.

addresses a difficult issue. When we blog about our personal lives, when do we cross the line and share secrets we have no right to reveal.

My blog, is in essence, a reflection of me. It tells hidden (and not so hidden) stories of what I have experienced. I appear to be telling you how to react or feel or respond or believe, but in truth, I am really telling me.

When speaking of my life, it is really hard to not speak about the people in it. I didn’t get through this life alone… after all.

After the post about my abortion gained as much attention as it did. After I read it and re-read it, again and again, each time, through the eyes of someone else. I started to see how much of other people’s business I was potentially airing on my blog. (continued here)

Why the picture above? Here is book that provides a commentary on Nussbaum’s pictures. The Secret shows how people react to the true horror of a dreadful invasion. When considered with a wider perspective, what may seem like a dreadful invasion may actually be small potatoes. Therefore, before we angrily blow up at an overzealous blogger, we may wish to think things over first.

  • Was anything actually revealed? Are a bunch of detectives now on your trail?
  • Does it truly make any difference if the “whole world” knows? Is the “whole world” really going to laugh at you or despise you? Are you going to jail?

Do I blog personal experiences? Rarely. Because I want to keep the focus on a logical and relatively dispassionate discussion of issues, I don’t speak about myself. Others, however, use what they have learned from their personal experiences as a testimony. Frankly, such personal testimonies sometimes strike me as a bit reckless. Just the same, I must admit such testimonies can also be quite powerful.  See I Killed HIS Baby, for example.

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LITMUS TEST

Moderation in all things. — Terence (from here)

I have a commenter, novascout (or scout, depending upon his mood), who is confused about litmus tests.

litmus test (noun)

  1. Chemistry. the use of litmus paper or solution to test the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
  2. a crucial and revealing test in which there is one decisive factor.

With respect to our judgement of politicians, the second definition is relevant.

left a string of comments on DO LIBERAL DEMOCRATS REALLY THINK THEY ARE TOLERANT? starting here. That post is about a court decision that supports punishing a baker for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex “marriage.” In his first comment  took issue with my application of a litmus test.

Tell me more about the Judge. How do you know that he’s a “liberal Democrat”? Did you research his history before you wrote the post? Does he have a track record of importing liberal Democrat ideas into his dispensation of justice? Did you read the decision to see how it tracks with relevant precedent on the point, in Colorado or elsewhere? (continued here)

Based upon the fact that the “Judge” had supported punishing a baker for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding, I labeled that “Judge” a Liberal Democrat. That is, I used the issue of forcing business people to participate in religious ceremonies they think abhorrent as a litmus test. Is my litmus test appropriate? Here are the relevant facts.

  • The Colorado Court of Appeals has 22 members.  Three sat as judges on the case, and I know almost nothing about them.
  • Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of Colorado says the following:

    Religious freedom. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.

    Marriage has huge religious significance.

  • Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of Colorado says the following:

    Marriages – valid or recognized. Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

  • The movement for the approval of same-sex “marriage” has come primarily from the courts. In spite of our government-run, secularized public schools and a Liberal Democrat dominated mass media, the People in various states have repeatedly voted against same-sex “marriage.” There is absolutely no constitutional basis for a “right” to same-sex “marriage.” The people who wrote the U. S. Constitution obviously never intended any such thing. To make it happen, judges violated their oath of office and lied. Oath-breaking is highly intemperate, extreme behavior.
  • After “evolving” (most would call it lying) during Obama administration, the Liberal Democrat party now adamantly supports same-sex “marriage.” How do people change their minds that fast? Democrats have reconsidered the situation. They looked at where their campaign funds are coming from. They looked at the beliefs of the people in the mass media. They put their fingers up in the air.
  • Republicans still strongly oppose same-sex “marriage.” Even RINOs, while they may waffle on the issue, have not come out in favor of it.

So why did I decide “the judge” is a Liberal Democrat? Temperance is a virtue. Therefore, we should not judge the views of others too readily. However, when a politician or a political appointee holds a radically intemperate view (an extreme view), we have a litmus test. Punishing someone for refusing to bake a cake, prepare flowers, cater, and so forth in support of a religious belief they find abhorrent is extreme. In fact, we rightly call forcing someone to serve someone else involuntary servitude. That is a fancy way of speaking about slavery.

Those in support of same-sex “marriage” don’t know when to stop. Even after getting away with abusing our legal system and getting what they say they wanted, a “right” to “marry,” they still are not happy. They have to punish anyone who expresses disapproval their “right.” Just to silence their critics, they would participate in the complete destruction of our republic. Don’t they understand that without freedom of conscience, freedom to believe and practice our own religious beliefs, their “right” to marry becomes meaningless.

The animal needing something knows how much it needs, the man does not. — Democritus (from here)

Those advocating same-sex “marriage” proclaim themselves caring and understanding. In reality, they are simply intemperate.

We need water? Without water, we die of thirst. Too much and we drown.

We need food. Without food, we starve. Too much, and we grow fat. We can even acquire certain debilitating and painful diseases like gout.

We feel the need for sexual intercourse, but unless we discipline that need, it destroys our relationships and our bodies.

Look at our government. Has it not become a disaster in the making? Why?

  • We need laws. Without laws, the strong prey upon the weak until all are subjected to tyranny of the mighty. But too many laws, and we are en-shackled again. Only this time, it is by our own design.
  • We need government spending. Without some government spending, we will not have the military forces we need to protect our sovereignty. Without some government spending, we will not have the police forces and the courts we need to protect us from each other. Too much spending on things our government should not even be doing, however, just drives us into bankruptcy and poverty.

Too many laws and too much government spending. That is the price we pay for voting for intemperate Liberal Democrats.

Posted in Constitution, Culture War, Information Warfare, news media bias, Philosophy, religion, unraveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

MUST THERE BE CHOICE BETWEEN GOD AND GOVERNMENT? — PART 5

Christ washing the Feet of the Disciples by Tintoretto (1518–1594)

Christ washing the Feet of the Disciples by
Tintoretto (1518–1594) (from here)

Here we have the last of a five-part series. In MUST THERE BE CHOICE BETWEEN GOD AND GOVERNMENT? — PART 4, we considered the role of the church and our role within the church. Here we consider why we are failing.

Why All Our Songs Are Laments

Amos 8:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.

It seems an absurdity. Our songs are all laments? Yet it has happened before, and it is happening to our country now. Have you ever stopped to think about why we play the songs we play? Have you considered the top songs and wondered why the are not joyous?

  • Number one this week is “Lean On.” It is a guy remembering.
  • Number two this week is “Where Are U Now.” It is a guy wishing.
  • Number three this week is “Hey Mama.” It is just dumb.
  • Number four this week is “You Know You Like It.” Here the artist whines: “I just wanna have some fun.” Can you guess what kind of fun? Do you imagine he is willing to take any responsibility?
  • Number five this week is “Omen.” It is about a guy ruing his mistake.

Why are the lyrics so shallow? Why is it all about some guy demanding and complaining when he cannot get what he wants?  What have we forgotten?

Have we forgotten the key to happiness? Have we forgotten the example set by Jesus Christ? Have we forgotten how to be servants of Christ?

Imagine praying this prayer suggested by BJ.

God, give me focus. Help me to stop being distracted by the trivialities of this life. I want more and more to become lost in You that You might be found in me. I surrender my needs, my wants, my dreams, and my ambitions to Your will. Through my life be glorified. In my life be everything. (from here)

Instead of thinking about what he wants all the time, wants to serve as Jesus’ hands and feet. Why?

Rob Barkman observes we do have a choice.

Did you know that we are all servants of Christ?  Saved or Lost; Physical Jew or Gentile; those of the Christian, Jewish, Buddist, or Muslim faith; Democrat or Republican; Master or Slave; King or Pauper; all of us are under the authority of Christ and held responsible to serve Him. In that sense, we are all His servants and given the responsibility to fulfill His will.

So what is the difference between these differing groups?  Some are blessed servants who are found willfully serving Christ at His coming… others are evil servants who refuse to submit to His authority and disobey His will for their lives. (from here)

What does it mean to serve Jesus, to obey His command? Can you imagine that God just wants us to love each other?

John 15:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Don Merritt provides examples of people who chose to serve others from the Book of Ruth. Consider Ruth herself.

Whole books have been written on Ruth’s character, so I’ll keep it short; Ruth had the heart of a servant. She was loyal to the family of her husband, she was humble, she worked hard and without complaint, and she was submissive to her elders. In all of this, Ruth shows us what it means to deal with self, for there is no “self” on display in her story.  To top it off, let us not forget the fact that Ruth made a conscious choice to follow the God of Israel. How different she was from the way we are today, and great was her reward. (from here)

In Servant Leadership And Servant Leaders,lafayetteangel explains that even leaders can be servants. Consider this extract.

This kind of leadership doesn’t have the attitude of a snake and the smell of a skunk. It is a leadership as soft as a kitten and bold as a lion. It is the type of leadership that has a compassion for people. It seems to be a leadership that is easy to do but hard. It takes a lot of work to be a servant and yet not be a push over. It takes a life time to learn, to accomplish and yet rewarding.

Ronald Reagan had some of the qualities of  a servant leader. He stood up to the evil empire and won. It wasn’t by combat but standing his ground. He called communism what it was evil. His speeches encouraged and made one laugh. (from here)

If we want leaders who will serve us, then we must each treat each other the way we want to be treated. Instead taking we must give. Instead, crying over our own hurts, we must consider how we have hurt others. Instead of using our government to get what we want, we must strive to use our government to protect our neighbors rights. Instead of using government to force others to be “charitable” or treat “us” the way we want to be treated, we must take it upon our self to be charitable and treat others the way we want to be treated.

If we want good leaders, we have to set a good example for our leaders. Our leaders cannot make us better people. The opposite is true. Or have we forgotten? Christianity is a movement that first spread among slaves, not the royalty of the Roman Empire. The slaves reformed their masters, not the other way around.

1 Peter 2:13-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

Submission to Government

13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

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DO LIBERAL DEMOCRATS REALLY THINK THEY ARE TOLERANT?

A picture of a lightbulb is often used to represent a person having a bright idea.

A picture of a lightbulb is often used to represent a person having a bright idea. (from here)

When Liberal Democrats tout diversity, we get lots of pictures of people who look different. What we don’t get is a picture of bunch of people with different ideas. Perhaps that is why Liberal Democrats can handle the appearance of diversity. They can picture our surface differences.  Whatever the reason, what Liberal Democrats cannot tolerate is people who disagree with them.

Here is an example.

Here is something to think about from the CNN article.

Phillips argued that compelling him to make cakes for same-sex marriages compels him to convey a celebratory message about the ceremony, in conflict with his religious beliefs.

The court disagreed.

“By selling a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, Masterpiece does not necessarily lead an observer to conclude that the bakery supports its customer’s conduct,” the court ruled. “The public has no way of knowing the reasons supporting Masterpiece’s decision to serve or decline to serve a same-sex couple.”

Here we have a private citizen, a businessman, trying to do what he thinks is right. From the court’s perspective, what that businessman thinks of his conduct doesn’t matter. It is what others think of his conduct that matters. Doesn’t that sound positively weird? Isn’t what we do when we think no one is watching the true test of our character? At least that is what I think. I guess that Liberal judge thinks I still need to be properly indoctrinated, that is, sent to a reeducation camp.

How about you? Do you have personal standards, or is it just a matter of what others think when they are watching you? Are you a Liberal Democrat?

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Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 3

In Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 1,  I reblogged Everything is a Miracle, an insightful post by insanitybytes22. Because I wanted to discuss in some detail some of the comments that followed that post, I decided to do a multi-part post.  Hence, I posted Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 2 and now this post.

Does The Bible Teach Us To Hate Homosexuals?

Does the Bible teach us to hate homosexuals? No. In fact, some silly people say the Bible does not even condemn the practice of homosexuality (Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality). However, that’s going too far. The Bible clearly condemns the practice of homosexuality. See What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?  and What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Why would people be confused? The Bible doesn’t have much to say about homosexuality. The Bible makes it clear homosexuality is a sin, a sign of depravity, but it then focuses on more important topics. Moreover, because homosexuality has become so controversial, many ministers don’t even like talking about the subject. Similarly, many ministers don’t like talking about the abortion of babies (see Rev. Graham: ‘Don’t Shut Up!’ – ‘Homosexuality is Wrong’ & Abortion is ‘A Sin Against God, It’s Murder). Thus, it is easy to remain blissfully ignorant.

Since we don’t want to be ignorant, let’s consider the matter. What do the practice of homosexuality and the abortion of babies have in common? They are both sins, and the practitioners of these sins have succeeded in convincing large numbers of people there is nothing wrong with these sins. Homosexuals and abortionists have actually succeeded in doing what most sinners — most human beings — attempt at one time or another.  When they rationalized their sin, they convinced themselves and a great many others that there is nothing wrong with their sin.

People will rationalize even the most abhorrent of sins.

  • When do gluttons finally see themselves as obese and not gourmets?
  • When are alcoholics and other drug abusers finally convinced they have a problem?
  • When we run a traffic light and accept the possibility of killing someone, when do we consider it a sin instead of some kind of game we play with the police?
  • When bank robbers rob banks, don’t they make excuses? Don’t they tell us the bankers stole the money or some such thing, that the rich really did not earn that money? Do bank robbers ever understand they have done something wrong?
  • When the Nazis murdered twelve million in concentration camps, didn’t they offer a justification for persecuting the people they condemned? Didn’t the Communists justify the murder of the tens of millions they purged? When did the Nazis and the Communists finally admit they had sinned?

So what are the consequences? If homosexuality is wrong, the Bible (and therefore Christians) can rightfully condemn the practice. Otherwise, when they condemn the practice of homosexuality, Christians commit a sin, and the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.

Why does the Bible condemn homosexuality? The Bible doesn’t specifically say. However, the Bible also doesn’t specifically say what is wrong with stealing or murder. Apparently, we are suppose to have enough sense to recognize something is wrong with murder, stealing, and homosexuality.

Well, that is not entirely true. The Bible does give us a clue as to why sexual immorality is wrong. Consider this passage, written by the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Flee Sexual Immorality

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

The Corinthians Paul addressed in his letter lived in sinful city. According to 1 Corinthians, chapter 6 (www.usccb.org), 1 Corinthians 6 considers two examples of prostitution. Earlier, in verse 9, Paul condemns the used of boy prostitutes. Verses 15 and 16 refer to temple prostitutes who “worshiped” in a temple dedicated to Aphrodite (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 (www.godrules.net)). As the passage continues, Paul makes it clear that sexual immorality (or fornication) is a form of idolatry. That is, sex of any kind outside of marriage is sinful.

Verse 18 refers to sexual immorality as a sin against the body. What does that mean? There are various interpretations.  John Wesley offered these comments.

Verse 18 (from the KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Flee fornication — All unlawful commerce with women, with speed, with abhorrence, with all your might. Every sin that a man commits against his neighbour terminates upon an object out of himself, and does not so immediately pollute his body, though it does his soul.

But he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body — Pollutes, dishonours, and degrades it to a level with brute beasts.

However, in Premarital sex – why are Christians so strongly against it?, altruistico provides an explanation that better indicates why sexual immorality is such a subtle poison.

There is, in truth, no such thing as “casual” sex, because of the depth of intimacy involved in the sexual relationship. An analogy is instructive here. If we take a sticky note and attach it to a piece of paper, it will adhere. If we remove it, it will leave behind a small amount of residue; the longer it remains, the more residue is left. If we take that note and stick it to several places repeatedly, it will leave residue everywhere we stick it, and it will eventually lose its ability to adhere to anything. This is much like what happens to us when we engage in “casual” sex. Each time we leave a sexual relationship, we leave a part of ourselves behind. The longer the relationship has gone on, the more we leave behind, and the more we lose of ourselves. As we go from partner to partner, we continue to lose a tiny bit of ourselves each time, and eventually we may lose our ability to form a lasting sexual relationship at all. The sexual relationship is so strong and so intimate that we cannot enter into it casually, no matter how easy it might seem. (from here)

So what does all that have to do with homosexuality? Some time back I wrote a series of posts on homosexuality.  Since the topic keeps coming up, I did a rerun a couple of years ago, RERUN: REVIEWING THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST NORMALIZING HOMOSEXUALITY — PART 1. The last part, Part 4, included this paragraph.

Furthermore, homosexual sex is unnatural. If Nature’s God “ruthlessly designed” every aspect of sex to further reproduction, not frivolous pleasure, then what is the likelihood a same-sex relationship will function properly to form and sustain a family? When Nature’s God has no interest in such a relationship, why would he want two people of the same-sex to complement each other as well as two of the opposite sex? (from here)

In practice, when two people of the same-sex have sex, all they can do is mess up their friendship and each other. For the sake of a few minutes of pleasure, they can spread disease to each other, they can play havoc with each others emotions, and they can damage each others ability to form a long-term bond with a member of the opposite sex. What their sexual union cannot do is produce anything productive.

In three posts,  talks about the different types of love spoken of in the Greek language.

  • “What is eros love?”: “Eros is the word used to express sexual love or the feelings of arousal  that are shared between people who are physically attracted to one another.”
  • What is phileo love?: “Philia refers to brotherly love and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this generous and affectionate love for each other as each seeks to make the other happy.” To have a successful marriage, a husband and wife must be best friends.
  • What is agape love?: “Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself.” When we have agape love for others, we are willing to make sacrifices without the anticipation of gain for those we love.

Sexual intercourse between two people of the same sex is for the most part about eros love and just about exploiting another human being. That is, when two people of the same sex have sexual intercourse, at least one of them is doing so solely for sake of his or her sexual pleasure. As observes:

When shared between husband and wife, erotic love can be a  wonderful thing, but because of our fallen sin nature, eros too often  becomes porneia. When this happens, human beings tend to go to extremes,  becoming either ascetics or hedonists. The ascetic is the person who completely  eschews sexual love because its association with sexual immorality makes it  appear evil and therefore must be avoided. The hedonist is the person who sees  sexual love without restraint as perfectly natural. As usual, the biblical view  is seen in the balance between these two sinful extremes. Within the bonds of  heterosexual marriage, God celebrates the beauty of sexual love: “Let my lover  come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. I have come into my garden, my  sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my  honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, O friends, and  drink; drink your fill, O lovers” (Song of Solomon 4:16–5:1). But outside of biblical  marriage, eros becomes distorted and sinful.

If you are interested in reading more on this subject, please see Homosexuality: SIN OR ABOMINATION by .

To Be Continued (By Next Saturday, hopefully)

Comments welcome. That includes advice on what I should say when I post on the last topic: The definition of a miracle.

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