No Machismo, No Hembrismo

On November 15 A.D. 2019 The New Yorker published an article by Susan B. Glasser entitled:

“In Trump’s Jaded Capital, Marie Yovanovitch’s Uncynical Outrage”

Yovanovitch is a former U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine, and the article dealt with her testimony in the current presidential impeachment inquiry. The title of the article and the gender of the former ambassador led me to coin a term:

Non-tyrannical patriarchy.

Sure, the ouster of Yovanovitch by President Trump was abrupt and no doubt shocking to her. But it’s a rough world out there. Once it was common to say, “It’s a man’s world,” because it was commonly recognized that men and women are not only anatomically different, but psychologically and emotionally different – which is not equivalent to inferior.

We non-tyrannical patriarchialists affirm those distinctions and believe that society is better off when it does likewise: men normatively in positions of leadership such as an ambassadorship. Yes, ordinarily men should be heads of state, town fathers, heads of households. God’s word the holy Bible insists that all ordained leaders in the Church of Christ be male.

At the same time, we non-tyrannical patriarchialists deny that men have the right to regard their wives as mere chattel slaves or to oppress women. Remember that good old word chivalry? Let it be equally normative that men cherish, protect, and provide for the mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of the world.

Vive la difference. Let society’s vocations generally reflect the toughness of masculinity and the tenderness of femininity. Long live “the binary.” Let men and women, both bearers of the image of God, celebrate and enjoy the respective roles God has given to each of the two (and only two) sexes.

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Half Baked

POTSTIRRER – Do you believe in evolution?

WINGNUT – Of course! Don’t tell me you deny it!?

POTSTIRRER – I do, and am sad that you and many others cling to that foolish myth.

WINGNUT, laughing heartily – This is incredible! I bet you believe in a flat earth, and refuse to accept that gender is merely a social construct!

POTSTIRRER – The earth is roughly spheroid…kinda pear shaped. But let me ask you this. You maintain that over millions of years as our ancestors procreated sexually, mutations and natural selection made the human race what it is today, right?

WINGNUT – It’s science, man! Shake off your religious superstition and face it!

POTSTIRRER – I’ll take that as a yes. Here’s my follow up question. At what point during those millions of years, when evolution was going on courtesty of that natural, inescapable reality called gender, did said natural, inescapable reality magically become merely a social construct, and how did that happen?

WINGNUT – Stares at POTSTIRRER with that deer in the headlights look.

POTSTIRRER, continuing his deconstruction work – In reality, the absurd idea that gender is merely a social construct was constructed within the last decade (at most). So which is it? Is evolution true, or is gender real? You can’t have it both ways.

WINGNUT, blubbering and hissing – Look at this cake on my pretty rainbow colored platter.

POTSTIRRER, eyes widening – What cake? I only see the platter decorated with the sign of the covenant God established with all flesh after the great Flood.

WINGNUT – I ate the cake!

POTSTIRRER – Oh, I get it. You can have your cake and eat it, too?

Wild-eyed WINGNUT – Exactly! Now bug off, you hateful racist bigot!

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High Flying Figure

The following analogy addresses the canard so often presented by defenders of abortion, namely “what about cases of rape?

Private jet A takes off. Shortly after reaching cruising altitude, the owner’s crew informs him that a child stowaway has been found on board. He makes a wicked choice. He orders the crew to open a hatch and throw the child out. After all, it’s HIS plane, HIS choice! His henchmen do the savage deed.

Private jet B takes off. Shortly after reaching cruising altitude, the owner’s crew informs him that a child stowaway has been found on board. He makes a merciful choice. Upon reaching his destination, he turns the stowaway over to the authorities, who arrange for the child’s adoption. It’s HIS plane, HIS choice!

Private jet C takes off. Shortly after reaching cruising altitude, the owner’s crew informs him that a child stowaway has been found on board. He learns that the child was forced onto the plane by her dead beat parents, in an effort to send her far away to get rid of her for good. The jet owner makes a loving choice. He adopts the child himself, welcoming her into his family. It’s HIS plane, HIS choice!

The one time stowaway from jet B grows up and cures cancer, while the one time stowaway from jet C grows up and becomes the first woman in human history to stand on the planet Mars.

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Trying Again

To be PROGRESSive means you want to make PROGRESS. You want to see our society go from Point A to Point B.

As one who would identify politically as a conservative in the constitutionally originalist sense, once more I ask my progressive friends to provide a tangible identification of that to which they want to progress. Exactly where is your Point B, so to speak?

Expressing aspirations like having a drastically reduced “carbon footprint,” or universal health care, or lasting world peace, or freedom and prosperity for all is not answering that question. Telling us HOW you are going to attain such things is! How are you going to get to your Point B?

Analogy: Perhaps in A.D. 1969 some child in a third world country gazed up at the moon and wished he or she could go there and explore. Meanwhile, what happened that same year in this Republic? Built on the ideology of our declaration of independence, our Constitutional Republic (we are NOT a pure democracy, i.e. a land of mob rule) became the first and so far only country to plant human feet on the silvery orb that rules that night.

The vision for that amazing, feet planting feat was articulated by old line Democrat President JFK. It was carried to completion thanks first to the God of kind providence, then to the motivation, ingenuity, and industry which are gifts from the same God and which still thrived in those days in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Progressive friend, where is the figurative moon to which you want America to go? Who is your JFK-like visionary? What is going to motivate and spur us to want to go your figurative moon? What is your blueprint for the figurative rocket that will blast us off on our progressive journey?

I hope your answers to those questions do not involve socialism. Just look at history’s wrecks of once prosperous and free nations that have tried it. Can you say Venezuela?

I hope you’re not relying for your success on the oppressive micro-management and hyper regulation of a big central government controlling every facet of life, which makes a mockery of freedom. Can you say ultimate wet blanket? Can you count down to…oops, no ignition? Can you say de facto tyranny by a nanny state?

The Democrat party of today has become the poster boy (oops, poster person) for virulent progressivism. It has some youthful and inexperienced voices shrilly crying with great passion for all sorts of changes. Self controlled passion, purposefully channeled by the mind, is good but what is their party’s realistic, communicable plan?

Where are its wise and seasoned senior statesmen (oops, statespersons) with a well charted route for going to point B, which factors in human nature’s natural corruption as well as economic and current geo-political realities? And again exactly where is point B? After you point it out – very specifically – on the sociological map, persuade me to want to go there with you.

You can even hit me with a few epithets and hurl some ad hominem invective first. Go ahead, get them off your chest. But then answer the question calmly and cogently. I grow weary of hearing nothing but figurative crickets.

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Dialog on Gun Control

An acquaintance on Facebook wrote to me as follows:

Keith, one should always look at all the teachings of Jesus and study before drawing conclusions – I think. In Matthew 26:52 Jesus also said:”Put your sword back in its place. … for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” And then proceeds to say he could call upon his Father to protect if needed. Actions at this point reported almost the same in Mark and Luke. The only place I am aware of where Jesus acted with anything close to violence was in his removal of the money changers from the temple. And there it was his reacting to the sacrilege of the temple. Paul also said, “we must obey God rather than man.” If one must choose between God’s command to love everyone and their constitutional right to kill or maim someone in defense of their family? Most everyone will choose to defend his/her family. Fortunately, these are rare instances. Most killings in our country don’t so occur, most are by intentional shootings of victims, accidental shootings of innocent victims – many children – , suicide, and in small number – some mass shootings. The big question for everyone is: Are the 30,000 or so killings in our country every year (and growing) justified, just so that every citizen can have access to any type gun? Particularly when we can look at many other countries and see their killings are a tiny fraction of that in our country. I don’t wish to debate the 2nd Amendment. I just wish a fair discussion of my question.

My response follows…

[Name], I couldn’t agree more. The context of a passage of Scripture, the need to diligently cross-reference other passages, and being as familiar as possible with the whole counsel of God in Scripture is essential. So often, folks grab a snippet from the “good book” and off they go glibly into error.

One example is how the Sixth Commandment should be understood: “You shall not commit murder.” Yet, in Genesis 9:6 we read “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” So the just and lawful execution of a murderer at the hand of human beings (after due process, of course) is not the same as the crime of homicide. This is further established in God’s Law by the “lex talionis,” the rule of retaliation. It was given to prevent the infliction by sinful man of punishments that went beyond what the crime committed required.

So God commanded “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” so that enraged lynch mobs and vigilantes, ignoring due process, would not take two eyes for one tooth, or an arm and a leg for one eye. He commanded life for life so that entire families would not be obliterated in escalating blood feuds. Jesus in His sermon on the mount is not negating the Law, He is giving the correct understanding of it to those who had twisted it.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Jesus speaking, Matthew 5:17)

“Do we then make void the Law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” (the apostle Paul, Romans 3:31)

Here is another classic example of how a superficial understanding of Biblical truth comes into play. Many people are quick to say “do not judge” when a certain behavior is condemned by another. “Who are YOU to judge?!” is often added with great moral indignation. The actual Bible verse is “Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1; parallel Luke 6:37)

But turning to John 7:24, we find the Lord Christ also saying “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” In both cases, He is speaking imperatively…the Master commanding His disciples about judging!

So actually we are commanded to judge! But we are to do so righteously and without hypocrisy, not ignoring our own failings and always tempering judgment with mercy. Christ’s apostle Paul laments as follows to the Christian disciples at Corinth:

“…Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?” (1 Corinthians 6:5)

So I agree, we get in trouble when we operate with only a superficial understanding of the Word of God. Since guns are a means of self-defense (yes they also can be used for wicked purposes, like building bricks, baseball bats, or butcher knives), let’s bring more of the full teaching of Scripture to bear on the heart of the matter. Do the words of Jesus about turning the other cheek, or other statements in the Bible, mean we are forbidden to defend ourselves or others? My judgment is no, the Bible does not forbid us to defend ourselves or others.

That is why in another post I referred to Jesus’ words at Luke 22:26 “…But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)

Just as one might embrace the “do not judge” command but ignore the “judge righteous judgment” command, so here. One might err by taking the statement Luke records out of context, disregarding the full teaching of the Bible, and concluding that Jesus’ kingdom is one which advances by military might. That of course would be wrong, as you pointed out citing Matthew 26.

There, the Lord says that He could appeal to His Father Who would send twelve legions of angels to deliver Him. Had the Lamb of God asked for and received that temporal deliverance from the cross that lay ahead of Him, He could not have lovingly laid down His life as the substitutionary sacrifice for His sheep, that they might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Standing before Pilate, Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36)

So let’s put this together. His kingdom does not originate in this world, but at present it is in this world. It does not advance by the sword (or the gun) but by the Gospel, “the power of God unto salvation.” (Romans 1:16)

Nevertheless, there is evidently a just and lawful use of swords, or the sinless and perfect Christ would not have told anyone to go BUY a sword! The sixth commandment, part of that Law He did not come to abolish and which His apostle says faith does not nullify, requires more than than not committing murder.

Compare the Eighth Commandment. It not only forbids me from stealing, but commands me to protect my neighbor’s property. The homespun adage “finders are keepers, losers are weepers” is a wicked one. Godly finders are people who actively seek to locate losers – i.e. the true owners – and return their property to them!

Even so with the Sixth Commandment. Not only am I forbidden from committing homicide, but from harboring wicked resentment and hatred against another (Matthew 5:22), and from failing to defend and protect his physical life, reputation and honor. That pretty much sums up the motive of those who oppose that savage, barbaric form of homicide called abortion.

Finally and briefly, the inalienable rights to which the American Declaration of Independence refers are not given by any government or human document, but come from God. The Second Amendment was written to protect the right of self defense. Gun control laws only assault God given rights. Criminals intent on using guns for evil purposes will scoff at such laws as surely as reckless drivers scoff at speed limits…while law abiding people, since they ARE law abiding, will comply with “gun control laws” at their own peril.

This response is long, yet so much more could be said. I hope that to some extent I have addressed your wish for a fair discussion of your question. I am happy to discuss it further if you wish.

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Against Old Earth Creationism

Science and Scripture: some say they represent truth and fiction. Others say they are both valuable but like like oil and water just don’t mix. Still others say they are like the ingredients of a delicious smoothy, still others seek a middle way. During an online discussion at another forum, one participant wrote as follows:

“Hello, if I could nudge my way into this excellent discussion here briefly. But would you allow a non-scientist such as Ken Ham to tell you should interpret science to fit it into the bible just because he starts with a presupposition you already hold to? I’m only asking that we don’t yield unquestioning authority to those who are not experts. I would prefer not to have Ken Ham and other picking the Bible up and twisting science with it or picking up science and twisting my Bible with it either. Forcing us to believe that the Bible requires us to believe that two animals flew off the ark and evolved into 1200 species of bats in a few hundred years shouldn’t be the only valid way we must interpret scripture.”

This writer responded as follows; some minor editing was done to remove the superfluous and to protect privacy.

Hello Mr. [name], I am going to back way up and challenge the very concept of expertise, especially when it comes to theorizing about the phenomena of this fallen world.

An expert pathologist or mortician would be able to tell us, in great technical detail, what happens to the body following a person’s decease. A process called autolysis starts within minutes of expiration. Deprived of the oxygen supplied to them by the now still cardiopulmonary system, cells break down releasing enzymes, and decomposition is underway.

I “googled” and condensed that info. (Here’s a word I added to my vocabulary when doing so: thanatomicrobiome. I can’t wait to use it in everyday conversation. ☺) But without benefit of search engine, our expert no doubt could discourse at length about that as well as the next step, when microorganisms start spreading out from the gut as the descent back to dust marches on and a stench starts to ascend.

The expert would be able to speak in expert language about the pooling of blood, the cooling from 98.6 F (or thereabouts) to room temperature, the discoloration of the skin, and the rigor mortis which begot that slang term for a corpse, “stiff.”

What if this expert should go on to tell me that based on his profound scientific knowledge, it is absurd to believe that Jesus rose from the dead after three days? I would reply that the Father did not suffer His holy One to see corruption (Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, Acts 13:35). I would proclaim that the Christ in Whose mouth was no deceit said He had the power to lay down His life and take it up again (Isaiah 53:9, 1 Peter 1:22, John 10:18).

In my joyful hope of someday sharing in it, I would declare that Jesus’ resurrection was accomplished with power according to the Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4). By that power He Who is able to subject all things to Himself and Who will raise His people from the dead (Philippians 3:21), was able to suspend or alter the ordinary course of providence following physical death. (For when gestation, autolysis, decomposition, lunar phases or ANY phenomenon is observed, the observer is beholding providence, whether he recognizes it or not.)

In short, I would tell that expert he was…er…dead wrong! Should that expert profess to be a Bible believing Christian, but one who on the basis of what he observes cannot accept the literal, bodily resurrection of our Lord, I first would charitably assume that the expert on death was woefully untaught about the Person and work of the Prince of life, and show him from Scripture that our faith is built on this pillar of Gospel truth: the true, literal, physical, bodily, historical (add as many affirming adjectives as you will) glorious resurrection of our Savior!

And what did that miracle of miracles demonstrate? Perfect justification following all the eternal damnation meriting sin of a multitude of sinners which no mathematical expert can number! In His resurrection inheres the ultimate destruction of death itself, the eschatological redemption of the now groaning creation (Romans 8:19-22) which was created in Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16) Who is spotlessly pure. How could that which was created in Christ the dazzlingly holy One ever have had death in any form whatsoever unless sin had come in, and death with it (Romans 5:12)?

Those trusting in His victorious abolition of death now can be assured that they are adopted as sons, partakers of the sanctifying Holy Spirit, yea partakers of the divine nature! Wow, who dares claim full understanding of that breathtaking promise! Who does not fear to go beyond what it written, lest he blur the Creator/creature distinction? But so it stands in the inspired apostolic letter, 2 Peter 1:4.

Seeing what was accomplished according to Scripture by all the adoration instilling miracles from incarnation through ascension, how can we doubt that lesser divine works were done beforehand to accomplish God’s eternal purpose in Christ?

Two such works, prodigious in their display of power, are the parting ot the Red Sea and the standing still of the sun and moon at the command of Joshua. Do we believe these things truly happened, or do we let experts in hydraulics or astronomy intimidate us into believing the Israelites crossed in some unusual but not miraculous way at the ebbing “reed sea,” and that there is some “explanation” for what happened on that singular day at Gibeon in the valley of Aijalon, that day unlike any day before or since (Joshua 10:14)?

How many other miracles recorded in Scripture would rile “experts?” Did the serpent in Eden or Balaam’s donkey really speak, or must those events be explained or spiritualized away? How about the floating iron ax head, or the shadow on the stairway of Ahaz going back ten steps? Where exactly did Elijah go when a chariot of fire and horses of fire suddenly appeared and he went up by a whirlwind to heaven? The list goes on.

Did God create the universe with “the appearance of age?” Only if one already has certain presumptions does age appear. If we had been able to see Adam one hour after his creation, we probably would have assumed that he had already lived a couple of decades or so. But Adam was not created with the appearance of age. God determined to create the first man, not the first zygote or baby!

Adam and then Eve were the crown of a universe fully functional from the beginning. Why can we not reason analogously to the case of the newly created Adam when it comes to stars at a great distance from the earth, or apple trees already laden with fruit? Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14). Our confessional position on creation solves the age old riddle, which came first, the chicken or the egg? It was the chicken!

What grounds exist for incredulity if the wise, omniscient God created a single primeval kind of bat with the capacity to adapt (not evolve, unless the regrettable term “micro-evolution” is used instead of adaptation) into diverse versions of that original kind, i.e. into what modern experts call species? Also, there might have been more than one original kind of bat.

[Another participant in the conversation] has indicated that he believes in an historical Adam and that the geneaologies of Genesis 5 and 11 give us a reliable chronology; an actual history recorded in terms of literal years of ordinary length, made up of literal days of ordinary length, from the first such day of Adam’s life onward.

ASIDE: If the creation week was not a week of consecutive days of ordinary length, just when was the first day of ordinary length? (I avoid the term “solar day” because the first three days were sunless; God made the sun on day four to govern a length of duration which He had already established.) If the sixth creation day was an eon of uncertain length, at what point during that eon was Adam created (or given the imago Dei), and how does that effect the reliable geneaology?

What about the first sabbath? Was it an eon or a literal day? Maybe the eighth day was the first literal day, called by the same name even though its duration was infinitesimally shorter than the first six or seven. Where in Scripture do we find the change in the length of a day from eon to 24 little hours?

I challenge either of you or any other old earth creationist to interpret the following pericope in a way consistent with belief in a literal, historical Adam:

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:21-23 NASB).

The idea that God took two human-like beings, added the image of God and voila…Adam and Eve! flies in the face of this passage. It denies that Adam preexisted Eve. (That he did so only for a brief period is immaterial.) It denies that Eve was taken out of Adam’s body by an extraordinary work of creation. And thus it turns Adam’s statement into nonsense, as well as Paul’s: “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.” (1 Timothy 2:13 NASB).

So it is with old earth creationism generally speaking. It elevates the fallible observations which fallen men make about this fallen creation over the special verbal revelation God has given us. To cite the enemy of us all, “Has God really said?”

Finally and very briefly: without launching into the pre-mil vs. a-mil vs. post-mil discussion, I ask that you also consider Isaiah 11. Unless we spiritualize away statements made there regarding the animal kingdom, it appears that predation will, in God’s time, be a thing of the past. If the cosmic redemption being accomplished in Christ includes the behavior of animals, is it not reasonable to believe that as far as predation, “in the beginning it was not so?” On the other hand, if predation is part of God’s primeval very good pronouncement, should we expect it to exist in the consummate state? In that case, what do the words of Isaiah mean?

I make no apology for my presupposition that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, God-breathed and fully authoritative. Shall I compromise with what error-prone, fallible, “experts” say with their own breath when it contradicts what God has clearly said?

“May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.’ ” (Romans 3:4 NASB)

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Did Animals Die in the Beginning?

It is from God’s self-disclosure in Scripture alone that we gain understanding of His being and nature. The living God of unfathomable love and perfect righteousness reveals Himself as Creator, Redeemer, Provider…He makes known His glorious holiness and adorable attributes such as eternity, omniscience, omnipotence, aseity, immutability and more.

Although the science of theology must never impute its formulae into Scripture, our Scripturally accurate understanding of God MUST inform our hypotheses and theories as we investigate God’s universe; this great theatre of His glory. Hence the saying “theology is the queen of sciences.” Like all human pursuits, scientific ones must be done righteously. This of course is expressly and vigorously contrary to the wicked thinking that equates objectivity with godlessness…

When it comes to the branch of science known as cosmogony (not to be confused with a closely related discipline, cosmology) are we doing justice to the Bible and a Biblical understanding of God’s being and nature if we believe that death for animals existed even before the Fall of Man into sin? The Bible says it was that tragic Fall, the most surpassingly tragic event in history (real history, not the evolutionary re-write) which brought death into God’s once perfect world (Romans 5:12). Can we reasonably limit that to human death?

How so, if we are mindful of the divine Lawgiver Who ordained a sabbath rest for man and beast (Exodus 20:10,11)? How so, remembering that the God of all mercies expressed to the prophet Jonah His concern for even the cattle of the city of Nineveh (Jonah 4:11)? How so, if the Creator Who says of His image-bearer that righteousness involves tender concern for the life of his animal (cf. Proverbs 12:10)? How so, if the prophet Isaiah (chapter 11) foresaw peaceful co-existence where the predator and prey relationship exists now?

No kind of death, decay, corruption, or futility inhered anywhere in God’s very good creation (Genesis 1:31) at the beginning. Christ’s apostle summarizes why those things exist now, as well as the hope which the Bible believer has regarding their ultimate and eternal demise:

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:20-22)

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