March 24, 2016 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Downhill Flow
I just drove a heavily loaded pickup across the country, from the tip of Michigan’s Thumb to Seattle’s waterfront, the pickup delivered to a barge company for transport to an Alaskan community not connected to the Lower 48 by the road system … after being Outside for twenty years, I’m returning North. Whereas when I was in Dutch Harbor in 1979–1980 and even off-island telephone service was less than satisfactory [wind affected the microwave signal, or at least the receiving disc, giving intermittent gaps in the communication], technology has steadily moved forward, thereby permitting computer modems to be attached to satellite phones, and the Internet to reach isolated Bush communities: the work that I now do can be conducted from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. And as salmon return to familiar waters, I’m going North to catch a few salmon while I can.
But it was while driving at night through North Dakota, Montana, that I listened to a multitude of Christian radio broadcasts, most for only a few minutes, most on local FM stations, most unbelievably dishonest with Scripture—
During this night of unsteady AM radio signals and strong FM signals, I grasped the hopelessness of the work I do if no Second Passover occurs; for “Christianity” isn’t the opiate of the people, but a broadcast of the Adversary received in fear and weakness by the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou’anthropou] that dwells within the soul [psuche] of the person, this “spirit” being “spiritually dead” as the red mud was physically dead before Elohim [singular in usage] breathed the breath of life into the first Adam (Gen 2:7), who wasn’t the first humanoid but who was the first human person created as a “physical” son of God; as a person with a “spirit” (albeit dead) in a soul that animates the fleshly body … what anthropologists cannot recover from fossilized skeletons of early hominids is the non-physical “program” that animated the fleshly body, the “program” that Nebuchadnezzar II had taken from him suddenly when he was given the nature of a beast, an ox, for seven years (Dan 4:31–36).
Human persons are singularly arrogant, believing that they rule over their minds, with this premise challenged in the film, Matrix; challenged in the film, Brazil, a 1985 dystopian portrayal of an alternative reality (it took me weeks to get through the movie: I would watch a few minutes of it, turn it off and dismiss it as nuts, but come back to it a few days later and watch a few more minutes—at the end, I understood) … ultimately, we cannot prove that “we” exist: we have to accept that we exist as a matter of faith; as a matter of “belief.” For the alternative reality of a schizophrenic [delusions and/or hearing voices] is “real” to the person suffering the psychosis. How is the person suffering from schizophrenia to distinguish between what is real and what isn’t? How are you, as someone working with a person suffering from this psychosis, to ascertain with certainty that you are not the one afflicted?
Since returning to the Thumb, there has been another ISIS terrorist attack: Brussels, Belgium. The attack is denounced by all who do not have the mindset of a radical jihadist. I denounce the attack. But upon what basis is such a denouncement made? The basis that no “civilized” person would wage asymmetrical warfare against civilians to win an ideological or theological war against abnormality? What is the culturally sanctioned murder of the unborn if not historically abnormal? Certainly infanticide has been practiced by other cultures, with the “right” of the family to survive being of more importance than the right of any individual to life. But that is not the basis upon which American society was constructed; for our Declaration of Independence is an unique document. It not only attributes human rights as having some from God, but lists the foundational constructs from which all rights are derived:
Second paragraph, not first, says,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The granting of the right to life—to live as a free person—is attributed to God in the second paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence … the first paragraph addresses the necessity of dissolving a political union when that union no longer serves the people as a representative of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.
Do the Laws of Nature that undergird biological conception in mammalian species give to any political construct the right to murder the unborn? No, they do not. Nor does Nature’s God give to political constructs the right to sanction the murder of the unborn. Nor do the Laws of Nature or Nature’s God give to political constructs the right to sanction sexual liaisons between the same gender in mammalian species.
When the granting of human rights comes from the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, then some understanding of who Nature’s God is should be part of basic American educational instruction—and it was for a century and a half. This is not to say that any instruction occurred about the Most High God, the deity about whom ancient Israel knew nothing, and the deity that Christ Jesus came to reveal to His disciples, not to anyone else.
There has been a long-term misconception that the deity whose breath [pneuma Theou] descended upon the man Jesus of Nazareth and entered into Him (Mark 1:10) was Nature’s God—this breath seen by John the Baptist as a dove and heard in words saying to Jesus, You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.
The linguistic identifying phrase, Nature’s God, assumes that Nature and the Laws of Nature are ruled by a deity outside of Nature, this deity being the one who created all that exists physically … the Apostle Paul wrote,
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom 1:11–20 emphasis added)
Who’s without excuse, and for what would “this who” need an excuse?
America’s founders were neither the Greeks nor the barbarians to whom Paul wrote. America’s founders were proto Utilitarians, holding that the Laws of Nature produced consequences for actions; that Nature’s God was a deity holding individuals responsible for the consequences of their deeds. Within the scope of consequentialism, right and wrong is established by the communal consequences of individual actions, not by a Commandment-giving deity.
Christians generally hold that a person and his/her neighbor are part of a tri-part paradigm, the third part being the God of Abraham who stands between the person and his/her neighbor, thereby determining how the person is to treat his/her neighbor and vice-versa. But as proto Utilitarians, America’s founders established a tri-part paradigm of individual and neighbor, with the third part being the culture or society organized within the rights given by the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God. Thus, “right” [versus wrong] isn’t determined by the Commandments of the God of Abraham, but by what constitutes the greatest good for the most amount of people. Hence, individual rights only exist as an expression of the greatest good, something I had to address as a shop steward when it came to seniority trumping religious belief … keeping the Sabbath was of less importance than seniority, meaning that employers did not have to accommodate Sabbatarian employees if working around the Sabbath interfered with another employee’s seniority. The Sabbatarian would be faced with the choice of quitting, or violating the employee’s conscious by working on the Sabbath.
I quit a job of seven years because of the Sabbath, and then spent most of my working life self-employed: I am still self-employed forty-four years after quitting Georgia-Pacific in 1972, for there is no quitting God.
Thus, despite what political candidates claim about the United States of American being founded as a Christian nation, it wasn’t … in this President Obama was correct when on his 2009 apology tour, he said America was not a “Christian nation.” If it were a “Christian nation” as the Apostle Paul practiced Christianity, the Commandments would be part of the foundational constructs of the nation, and this includes the Sabbath Commandment and all that it entails. Instead, what we have received is moral worth being determined by what contributes to maximizing happiness: this is where a woman’s right to control her reproduction trumps the natural right to live that the life conceived in her womb has.
The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God become squeamish at times …
Paul went on to say in Romans,
For although they [the still undefined who] knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Rom 1:21–32)
The philosophical weakness of America’s founders is seen here in what Paul writes; for where has America come? To the place where women exchange natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise give up natural relations with women and are consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men. And where is this place? It follows giving up the worship of God and going on to the worship of the creation [the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God] rather than the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of living ones, not dead ones. … It was the God of dead ones that Christ Jesus revealed to His disciples, not to others. It is the God of dead ones that has remained concealed from the world, hidden from even “Christians” by Christianity.
All of the preceding is background data that every American Christian should know but doesn’t … there’s a war being fought within the Adversary’s administration of this world, a war between demonic kings, all of whom rebelled against the Most High God, but some of whom want to borrow what they believe worked for the Most High [those that are represented by white metals]; some firmly opposed to the concept of Commandments, dictates, decrees, Law [those represented by yellow metals]—
The Adversary remains the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:1–3)
Again, the Adversary although judged remains the ruler of this world: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).
“Now” is a problematic time marker; for the Adversary as the ruler of this world is cast from heaven only one time, halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation, with John in vision supporting the words of the prophet Daniel:
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Rev 11:15–19)
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Rev 12:7–12)
In vision, Daniel sees this one-time transfer of dominion over the single kingdom of this world:
As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Dan 7:9–14)
The “now” when the Adversary will be judged is halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. The “who” that left off worshiping the Creator and began worshiping the creation is all who are sons of disobedience, the serfs of the Adversary. This “who” includes all of America’s founders; all who signed the Declaration of Independence; all who believed that their human rights came from the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God; all who continue to believe that America began as a Christian nation.
The fact that homosexual marriage is today not only permitted but fully protected by the nation’s courts goes back to America’s founders, who defined morality through the lens of what produces the greatest good for most citizens. Thus, because what one person does in his or her bedroom doesn’t have an easily discernable effect on the person’s neighbor, the instructions Moses gave to ancient Israel are legally scrubbed of their Puritanical righteousness and re-baptized in the sewers of urban America, thus defining “marriage” as any committed relationship, leaving open the possibility of a man marrying his Springer Spaniel.
Is it any wonder that Islamists, serious about worshiping the God of Abraham—but understanding virtually nothing about either The Beloved or the Most High God—have declared war against all who practice consequentialism?
If Islamists’ asymmetrical fight against Western nations enrolled in worship of the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God wasn’t so ludicrous, it would be easily seen that the Most High God, doing at a higher spiritual level what the God of Abraham did when He physically brought Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans against Jerusalem and the House of Judah (Jer 25:8–14), will bring a people that nominally serves the God of Abraham against those technically superior nations that murder their unborn and flaunt the Laws of Nature but engaging in sexual intercourse solely for the satisfaction of the flesh, the gratification of debased minds who believe they are wise and filled with wisdom but in reality are filled with the Adversary’s broadcast of rebellion against the Most High.
Because I have more to say about Christian broadcasters (usually a local minister) being clueless about what Paul taught; about the Gospels, I will break this Commentary here. After all, it has been a while since I have written about Christian ministers’ lack of courage to confront the text, the Bible: they were collectively as water flowing downhill, seeking the path of least resistence, temporarily slowed by a dam [a Commandment], but finding a seep, a wet spot through which a trickle can squeeze, then slipping away, continuing their downstream meander away from God. In reality, they are as the homosexual who hasn’t yet come out of the closet—and it is here where the second part of this Commentary will begin.
* * *
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."