What is Evil?

everdeepening

This is a response to this post by Insanity Bytes on “There’s this Thing Called Biology”:


IB:

This is a terribly complex problem, but fundamentally, I see it this way: love (which is God) enters into all things, because everything desires the power that it offers (the essence of loving is to offer power). But that power comes with constraints – love will abandon us if we hurt others. So love turns everything to its purpose, which is loving. To preserve their identity, the things that love embraces will do terrible things to push it away.

You began your post with a meditation on dysfunctionality in relationships. Often, that is what I see going on: people struggling for control against the dictates of love.

Jesus taught on many occasions about this struggle: the parable of the talents, the exhortation to “die to yourselves.” He understood how difficult it was, confronting…

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Kevin Graduated!

I spent yesterday afternoon at UCLA waiting through the commencement ceremony to KevinCapAndGownget this fuzzy photo of my son in line to be announced as having earned his baccalaureate in Electrical Engineering from UCLA. He was recognized as acting President of the IEEE club and received Student Welfare recognition as well. Now it’s off with him to Google next month. (Starting work the day before my birthday. Happy coincidence!)

Victory over Sin

everdeepening

In my previous post, I promised to examine how a limited human perspective causes confusion when trying to interpret the teachings of Christ through the Holy Spirit. I’m going to take one of the most fearsome passages in the Bible, that of Revelation 21:8, in which John interprets part of his vision as a “second death” reserved for those that sin.

When confronted with the reality of sin and the pain it causes, it is natural to use threats to keep it at bay. Our legal system does this, and that is echoed in the Law of Moses that was used in the Bible between Noah and the ministry of the savior. For those that sympathize with this approach, it is natural to interpret the Crucifixion as atonement for our sins, and the terrible destruction John describes in Revelation is interpreted as justice being meted out on the sinful.

But…

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Separation of Church and State III

My response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation turned their position on its head. Rather than keeping religious leaders out of politics, we need to keep political leaders out of religion. The tendency for leaders to cross lines is one of the greatest dangers to religious practice.

Steve Matichuk offers a summary of the absolutist Christian position. Essentially, as Christ seeks a universal brotherhood, any celebration of national identity dilutes his message. Steve holds out for some accommodation. My response below:


This is very close to my mind at this point, as I am just working through a video teaching on Revelation 13. In Revelation 12 the dragon (or Satan) is expelled from heaven, and in 13 he plots his dominance of earth by raising up tyrannical governments that are supported by hypocritical religious practices.

On the other hand, in Christian terms some governments are better than others. We should celebrate actions that manifest Christian ideals, while avoiding at all cost the use of government to enforce Christian morality.

As I emphasize in the video, the real battle is in the human mind, which continues to evolve after birth. Beginning with the collaborative experience of nursing, the brain actually develops centers that support socialization, culminating in adulthood with the center responsible for altruism – or what Christians would call “Unconditional Love.”

The holidays that you list are manifestations of many of the virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5-8. But it is those virtues that should be celebrated – not some abstract ideal like our “freedom.” We are all yoked to God’s purpose, and so none of us should consider ourselves to be privileged with absolute freedom.

Mueller to File Lewd Conduct Charges

Pursuant to his remit to investigate “Russian interference in the 2016 election, and matters that arise directly” from that investigation, Special Counsel Bob Mueller is planning to file charges against President Trump for “grabbing government by the pussies.”

This blogger has obtained the case brief. Exhibits include:

  • Public scraping and bowing at Cabinet meetings. Obviously unhappy with the proceedings, none of the Cabinet members had the balls to resign. Pussies!
  • Paul Ryan exonerating obstruction of justice with the allowance that the President is “new to his job.” Pussy! New neurosurgeons will be relieved by a precedent that establishes a defense against malpractice: “Yes, I shouldn’t have cut the spinal cord, but I’m new to my job.”
  • Mitch McConnell promising that the Senate will empanel all of Trump’s judicial appointments. We wouldn’t want to have a robust system of checks and balances to protect our citizens from government bullying, now would we? Pussy!

The Nature of Sin

everdeepening

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve had the privilege of being passionately committed to the service of two spectacularly beautiful feminine personalities. Unfortunately, as women like that tend to have a lot of dirt dumped on them, neither of them understood the depth of their beauty. In the second case, I finally found myself whispering across a crowded room, “Please, please, please. Please come into yourself. We need you here so badly.”

While I’ve been physically lonely for a long time, this process of calling beautiful women into the world has its positive benefits. I dance alone most Saturdays, but I dance with the joy of knowing that my loving is connected to a purpose that I find to be precious.

Many women respect that intention, but there are those that see my devotion as a resource to be turned to their benefit. The methods they use are pretty crude…

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On Being Blessed

I was returning from my Saturday walk down to the pier when I spotted a Hispanic man holding his granddaughter. He was smiling at me, so I walked over to say “Hello.” He didn’t answer, just smiling all the while, and I asked him if he was holding his granddaughter. He still didn’t answer, just giving a little nod, and I had the strong suspicion that he didn’t speak English.

But his hopeful smile compelled me somehow, so I reached out and placed my hand on her head, enjoying the softness of her hair while feeling that familiar tingle as energy passed from me to her.

He looked really happy as I walked away.

I had planned to spend a good portion of the summer down at the beach. I bought an awning and the shade enclosure for the three sides, but I never bought the banner to put across the front. I’ve been so busy with the videos out at love-returns.org.

The plan was to advertise “Free Blessings.” The night that came to mind, I had a dream about a newlywed couple, and then a young girl and her brother. Last night I had a dream about the beautiful daughter of a friend who is leaving work to support his lady while she attends school in Oklahoma. In each dream, the focus ended up being how to explain to people what a blessing was so that they could prepare themselves to receive it.

It goes something like this:

Think of your life as pages in a book. A blessing reaches through to those pages where you need extra strength to help you do something wonderful.

So a blessing connects this moment to the future. It is most powerful if you let it reach through the pages into your future, rather than trying to make it do something specific. That reaching through can be hard if you don’t think of it in the right way. You can open a book to any page you want to, but the pages of your life you share with other people. The future pages only open when everyone on the page agrees to open them. That usually happens only if everyone believes that love is waiting for them on that page.

So before you are blessed, open your heart to the future and imagine giving love to other people. The blessing will be the extra push that helps them receive it. When they do, they will give you the love you need in return. All that strength will add up to get you and the people you love through the difficult moments in your life.