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Adding to the Newspeak Vocabulary

“As personal communication, Newspeak is to be spoken in staccato rhythm, using short-syllable words that are easy to pronounce, which generates speech that is physically automatic and intellectually unconscious, thereby diminishing the possibility of critical thought occurring to the speaker.” — George Orwell

It’s too bad about the word ALIEN. Originally, it referred to terrestrial human beings. They were citizens of one nation sojourning in a nation of which they were not citizens; some in a lawful way, others unlawfully. With the advent of science fiction came an etymological metamorphosis.

Now, the word ALIEN conjures up images of E.T., little green men from the red planet, or entomological predators which use human chest cavities as hatcheries. Meanwhile, at least in America, people who are citizens of other countries are indiscriminately called “immigrants.”

Lawful immigration is good. But people lawlessly crashing our borders are not engaged in immigration. They are illegal aliens. In a nation of laws, they are criminals, comparable to the criminal who breaks and enters a private dwelling or place of business.

America is a country which has historically welcomed people from all over the world. Some entered as visa holders, others as lawful permanent residents (“green cards” were originally called alien registration cards), some became naturalized citizens. Yes the Statue of Liberty symbolizes the compassionate, welcoming spirit of America. Yes, we want people to come here lawfully to enjoy all our great country has to offer.

But to simply allow people to rush in unvetted, unknown? What a threat to national security! What a slap in the face to persons who have lawfully sojourned among us or diligently and painstakingly have pursued their prized goal: CITIZENSHIP in the one country where freedom and opportunity flourish as they do no where else on Earth!

What a cruel way for poor and oppressed people to get beguiled into criminal behavior. What a way to give human coyotes an exploitation field day, and to incentivize child abuse and human trafficking. What a way to unleash hardened criminals into new territory in which they can murder, rape, and steal.

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Answered: Cotton-Eye Joe* Question!

Major theological battles have been waged over what the Bible teaches about origins and destinies. What we believe about where we came from and what we believe about where we are going both have tremendous impact on how we live NOW.

In other words, eschatology is important, and so is protology.

What if one believes that in the beginning, an inexplicable explosion somehow caused matter of unknown origin to organize itself into a universe? What if one believes that life mysteriously sprung forth from that matter then evolved, and that people are only one result of evolution? What if one believes that in the end humanity and all life forms will go extinct and the meaningless universe collapse into oblivion? Only utter despair is consistent for one holding that basic world view, however nuanced.

What if one claims to believe the Bible but allows that its clear account of divine creation is ambiguous and/or might include evolution directed by God? In that case Marxism or other forms of statist idolatry as well as ideologies about ethnic supremacy, abortion, and others cannot be consistently denied. It’s the law of the jungle, the best predator rules!

And if that one’s eschatological view is one in which Christ somehow wins as far as eternal matters but evil wins the day in history, zeal for the advance and triumph of the His kingdom here and now is rendered inconsistent.

However, what if one believes that God brought forth the entire universe about six thousand years ago, with human beings specially created in his holy image? What if one believes that the same God has been directing all of history since creation toward a gloriously triumphant conclusion, albeit through many an evil day and through battles not merely theological but bloody? If one so believes, then what?

Despair is ruled out and hope abounds. All forms of hatred, despising of human life, and organized oppression can be opposed consistently and vigorously. With full expectancy that His kingdom is coming and will come, that one continually prays to the God of creation, providence, and redemption: “Thy kingdom come.”

Short version: Even while the universe was being created, the Creator saw that it was good. On the day it was finished, He pronounced it very good. Then, tragically and incomprehensibly, the universe including humanity was horribly ruined by human sin.

But God the Redeemer’s eternal plan and purpose to save it through Jesus the Messiah immediately began to unfold and continues to this day. On the day of the consummation of history…at the time of the restoration of all things, then the universe will be GLORIOUS!

*Debby McClatchy’s modern version of a folk song of older and obscure origin minded the author to so title this meditation. That song includes the lyrics:

Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

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Which Rising?

One rising is a myth masquerading as history. Unimaginable eons ago as the story goes, chaos magically caused life to rise up from inert matter. Instead of the magic wand of other fairy tales, this one uses more fantastically long stretches of time as it continues to spin its yarn.

It waves that wand over a lifeless ball of dust spinning in the big bang begotten cosmos and poof! Microbes rise into mice and men. Though unable to offer one shred of fossilized proof, it would have us accept its arcane interpretation of the fossil record as the true account of the existence of our species, which is no more than the one which has risen to the top of the food chain…for now.

The other rising is of one unique Man. That Man above all men rose from the state of death three days after His execution. Reliable historical records, including the eyewitness testimonies of many, are extant. The easiest means to disprove that He rose would have been to produce His corpse: Christianity quashed.

Though an empire shaking movement was based on the claim of His resurrection, a claim made fearlessly by men who proclaimed it at their personal peril, that corpse was never and has never been produced. Efforts to disprove the rising of Jesus Christ have more than once resulted in the convincing of the would be debunker that indeed He is risen!

Believing one rising over the other has more than mere academic consequences. Put your trust in Darwin’s theory and you have no rational, consistent basis for any kind of ethical system. For instance, perhaps oppression on the basis of ethnicity is the outworking of the law of the jungle…the survival of the fittest. Or why are murder and other forms of violence “wrong?” For billions of years various specimens of the result of inexorable, perpetual evolution have been killing others for their own advantage. How…why…do we try to stop it now?

Put your trust in Christ and you have a sure foundation, and not only for ethics. You have eternal hope for your personal future, and escape from the despair of believing you are merely a meaningless speck, the trivial spawn of chaos doomed to everlasting oblivion. You come to know that although you are desperately in need of redemption from the guilt and corruption of sin, you are a being made in God’s image for whom the divine Messiah lived, died, and rose again.

Which rising? evolution or Easter?

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Settled?

Geocentrism, the discarded theory that the Earth is the center of the universe, is commonly associated with second century astronomer Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), though he built upon the even earlier observations of Hipparchus of Nicaea et. al.

The Ptolemaic model was displaced by that of heliocentrism. It is commonly associated with the Renaissance astronomer Copernicus (Nikolaus Kopernikus, d. A.D. 1543), though Aristarchus of Samos had offered heliocentric postulations before the time of Christ’s earthly life.

That once reigning dogma which held that the sun is the astrophysical center of the cosmos is now dethroned. Today’s scientific establishment views the sun as an unremarkable star located in a minor stellar arm of the swirling Milky Way galaxy. And according to the website LiveScience, “the universe, in fact, has no center.”

So 21st century astronomers are as amazed and baffled as their predecessors, despite their highly sophisticated telescopes and instruments, as they gaze into the Heavens, seeking the score for the music of the spheres.

Should these experts glibly assume that their theories will not be displaced in the future? Should the rest of us believe what LiveScience’s statement would have us believe, any more than their contemporaries should have believed Ptolemy or Copernicus?

Consider that area of scientific pursuit which traffics not in parsecs and light years but in molecules and quarks. The search for something like the ancient Greeks’ proposed ATOMOS (the smallest, indivisible, and indestructible unit of matter) ever reveals greater complexity in the structure of matter as well as its relationship to energy.

Whether by the naked eye or with the help of the Hubble telescope or the Hadron particle collider, we are confronted with the majesty of the God Who reveals Himself both by His world and His word. Both are unfathomable treasure troves of knowledge for mankind – the crown of creation appointed to subdue the Earth and have dominion over it to the Creator’s glory.

We were justly evicted from its divinely planted garden spot millenia ago, but Earth is still man’s home. It was called into being by the word of God’s power before all the heavenly luminaries. It is the theater so to speak upon which the Creator became incarnate as the Man above all men and dwelt among us. Both divine creation and the work of the saving grace of Him Who since has ascended far above the Heavens hallow the Earth with a transcendent centrality.

Again, the ideas of Ptolemy and Copernicus have been surpassed. Who can say how future models, based on keener and more precise observation, might eviscerate the current tenets of astronomical science and other disciplines?

What scientific dogmas now deemed unshakeable will in turn go by the wayside as we continue to investigate the sub-atomic realm, the “…sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,” and everything in between?

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Information Ageless

So here we are in the Information Age. Yet, information was around during all previous ages. Only the variety and sophistication of the media which carry information gives our age that title. In fact information has existed since time began.

One obvious aspect of information is that it requires a SENDER.

Every snapshot video, mobile phone text, social media post, e-mail, voice call, paper letter, or smoke signal ever received was SENT. Where there is no sender, there can be no information. The more complex the information, the greater must be the intelligence of the sender.

DNA is an extremely complex form of information. It well has been described as an intricate code or a very detailed blueprint. This amazing information is meticulously recorded at the microscopic level in all living things, from germs to geniuses. It provides the genetic instructions which enable all living things to procreate, grow, and function.

So who wrote that intricate code? Who drafted that detailed blueprint? With whom did those instructions, written on the medium of molecules, originate? In short, who SENT the information contained in DNA?

To learn more about the source of that information, Who has nothing to hide, read the first chapter of the book of Genesis.

For more specific information about the origin, nature, purpose of, and original plan for humanity, read chapter two.

Read chapter three for even more specific and historically accurate information. There you will learn why we live in such a world as this. You’ll find out why we live in a world where crime exists. (Thankfully DNA information is so helpful in solving crimes. What depth of foresight on the part of the information Sender!)

For further information that will prove more helpful than you could ever imagine, even in your wildest dreams, and most importantly to find hope, keep reading.

If you stick with your reading plan, eventually you will come to the following statement found in a letter to a student from his mentor. This statement refers to the incalculable value of that information, and urges the student to continue his course of life in light of it. We do well if we internalize the statement for ourselves…make it our own…get it into our spiritual DNA:

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” — Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ, to his Greek/Jewish spiritual son Timothy, c. A.D. 60

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A Boxing Day Meditation

What so many celebrated yesterday is this:

The One Who took a rib from Adam’s side and formed Eve (Genesis 2) became incarnate in order to be pierced in His own side. From that wound flowed the justifying blood and cleansing water (John 19:34, Romans 5:9, 1 John 5:6-8) by which He will present to Himself a spotlessly righteous and pure bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).

The Speaker out of a bush that was on fire and yet unconsumed appointed Moses, Aaron and Joshua to serve as foreshadows. It was He Who came and dwelt among us, speaking words of truth. He, the great I AM, is the substance. He is that solid Rock of ages which cast those shadows. He was born a true Man to lead His people out of a more bitter bondage into a greater promised land, and to serve as a better high priest (see the book of Hebrews).

The Object of worship Who in times past received many offerings according to the Levitical priesthood, offerings which could never take away sins, Himself came into the world so that he could become the once for all sacrifice, taking sins away forever.

Jesse’s youngest son crushed a giant’s head with a slung stone. The One Who is both the Root and the Offspring of King David is also the bright morning Star. His royal birth was signified by a star standing over David’s home town, where the baby King of kings was held in His virgin mother’s arms (Revelation 22:16, Matthew 2:9). Hosanna to the Son of David Who crushed the head of a greater foe, even that ancient serpent. For He is also the Son of God Who appeared to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John 3:8.

The Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm and John 10 became the Lamb “standing as if slain” of Revelation 5. That Lamb, once dead but risen and alive forevermore, is also the door of the sheep who hear His voice, and the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Great indeed we confess in the mystery of godliness, 1 Timothy 3:16!

So on that silent night in the little town of Bethlehem, the joy to the world of which the herald angels sang was joy over the enfleshment of the eternal Son of God. This is the core message of God’s book of inexhaustible wisdom. That book, breathed out by Him Who is the eternal Spirit of the Father and of the Son (Galatians 4:6, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20,21) infallibly declares the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation.

Little children, you who have been baptized according to Jesus’ command in the one Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves from the weak and beggarly idols of today!

They are no more able to save than were the dumb and deaf statues of ancient times, those wretched works of sinful hands and minds, Psalm 115:4-8. Flee the seductive siren song of polytheism, falsely promising that regardless of how we imagine deity in our own conceits…whether we call that invention Jack or Jill or Bess or Bill…we all have the same god.

Rubbish! Accept no substitutes! There is only one way, one truth, and one life. God discloses Himself, for none can search Him out. He tells us Who He is and what He has done. Jesus, Immanuel, is LORD! This is the true God and eternal life.

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Happy What-i-Days?

1. In President Abraham Lincoln’s A.D. 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation he asked his fellow Americans to “…set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

As of A.D. 2018, Thanksgiving Day is 156 years old and going strong. Thanks indeed be our beneficent Father in heaven. What a blessing to live in a constitutional republic that still has one day set apart for that high and holy purpose. No violation of the First Amendment’s non-establishment clause here!

2. Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is an eight day festival which originated in 165 B.C. at the time of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of ancient Judaism’s temple in Jerusalem where the God of the Bible was worshiped in Old Testament times. According to the Gospel of John (10:22) this festival was observed by Jesus Christ.

3. Although we do not know the actual date of Jesus’ birth, the December 25 holiday called Christmas exists because of that birth. (The Santa Claus legend has its origins in the life of a fourth century leader in the Christian Church.) Moreover, the former Occupant of Bethlehem’s renowned manger is smack dab in the center of the whole world’s calendar.

4. Why? Because whether the years before His birth are designated B.C. or “B.C.E.” and the years after His birth called A.D. or “C.E.,” the fact remains that the years are counted backward and forward from the birth of Jesus. Every New Year’s Day is the first day of another year Anno Domini – of our Lord. So Jesus the unique One makes the years of antiquity “Before Common Era.” Jesus the peerless One makes the years since His birth “Common Era.”

Note, this is true even though calendar year A.D. 1 is actually a few years after Christ’s birth. The calendar used universally today is the Gregorian calendar, introduced by Pope Gregory in A.D. 1582. Just what is it about that Man from Galilee that the whole Earth is now reckoning time according to His birth?

Listing these four historical holiday tidbits was occasioned by another list. If was found on Facebook in a meme which included this text:

“I say happy holidays because I don’t always know if the person I am speaking to is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Navajo, Pagan, Atheist, Pastafarian, Klingon, Jedi, or Scientologist, and I just want to say something nice.”

Let’s think about that. Think word origins…think of the two word term “holy day” changing over time into one word…letter Y becomes letter I, giving us holiday. So a holiday is a holy day, a day set apart for religious observation and/or celebration.

Now let’s think a little further about that list of religions from the meme in connection with what our society calls the holiday season. People of all beliefs agree that in early 21st century America, that season is roughly the time between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day, as it has been for a long time. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Go ahead, sing it.

Stick with me here. Hanukkah is primarily a Jewish holiday, and Christmas is primarily a Christian holiday. Virtually all Americans observe Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day, even if it is only a day off work for some.

But what holiday, widely recognized by society in general, is observed or celebrated as holy primarily by followers of other religions during the days beginning around late November and ending on January 1, when the expression “Happy Holidays” is used by many?

If the user of that expression is concerned about his or her lack of knowledge of others’ beliefs, how do they know they are not offending followers of those religions by saying “Happy Holidays” since those religions don’t have any holy days –any days set apart for a purpose pertaining to them – during that season?

And if they are consistent with what they believe, followers of the belief system which claims it is not a religion (a-Theism) have no holy days, no holidays, at all. Perhaps we should go with “Happy Nothing Day” every day of the year to make sure we don’t offend them. Hmm…come to think of it, what do a-Theists have to be happy about?

(Maybe their own birthdays? In other words, that day about nine months after some molecules which had turned into two cells which in turn had come together and grown into a non-viable lump of tissue which somehow became something called a baby which would grow up, die, and go back into the darkness of oblivion, birthday candles eternally extinguished. Oh the warm fuzziness of it all!)

Finally, the meme included Navajo in its list. Can a person not be a Buddhist Navajo or a Christian Navajo or a Muslim Navajo, etc? What’s wrong with that part of the picture? How offensive!

So putting this all together, if you say Happy Holidays between Thanksgiving and New Years Day in the good ol’ U.S.A., the John Q. or Jane X. Public whom you so greet will assume you refer to a holy day that our society recognizes (even if some do so begrudgingly or even if some don’t observe it religiously), and which exists in one way or another in honor of the God of the Bible.

So all you out there saluting us your neighbors with Happy Holidays, thanks! And Happy Thanksgiving, or Happy Hanukkah (starts December 2 in A.D. 2018), or Merry Christmas, or Happy New Year back to you!

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