21 November 2019

The Letter from James (James 1 - 5)

After all the elaborate writing of Paul, I always find the epistle of James to be a wonderful and understandable respite, except for the fact that James highlights many principles of behavior and living on which we need to be working!

Here is a bit of a list that I came up with.  Surely, all of you could come up with better lists, given how "meaty" James is!

  • It is better to be a "low" person with afflictions than a rich man living in ease. (1:9-11)
  • Everyone is tempted (not just "bad" people) - it is how we endure temptations that matters (1:12-15)
  • Actually being and doing good is much better than hearing and talking about doing good. (1:22-25)
  • Pure Religion - visit the fatherless children and widows - sounds like ministering! (1:27)
  • You shouldn't treat people differently, rich or poor. (2:1-9) 
  • You can't pick and choose the laws you keep, you have to keep them all. (2:10-12)
  • "...faith without works is dead..." (2:17-26)
  • Be careful and thoughtful of what you say (I need to work on this one) (all of chapter 3)
  • Lusting leads to war (4:1-5)
  • Be humble and resist evil (4:6-10)
  • Don't spend your life acquiring riches. (5:1-6)
  • Be patient in doing good and following the Lord until he comes (5:7-20)
Hopefully, you can come up with better specifics on how to be!

14 November 2019

Changing a Climate Without a Clue

Climate is changing all the time. In what records scientists have been able to develop, there have been things like ice ages and warming trends in the past, among all sort of variations. These seem to have been happening for the entire lifetime of the earth, which length of life there is all sorts of debate. Basically, experts can't definitively agree on much about how the earth works, much less something as basic as its age.

A first painful question:  How do we know if the changes were are observing now in the Earth's climate are really anything that we can affect?

I don't think the actions of humans created the last big ice age - either there were far too few of us or we were more like apes and therefore, by politically correct (pc) standards, totally benign. Why did the climate make a big change then and why?  All we can do is shrug and say "wasn't us!"

Some painful follow-up questions:  What if our heroic efforts to suppress temperature rise actually work and we interfere with a *natural* and "necessary* change in climate?  How do we know if a change in climate is more *natural* (aka pc-good) or if it is more "man-made" (aka pc-bad)?  If climate has always changed over time (looks like it has), how can we ever tell a "good" change from a "bad" change or even guess at a cause, much less if it is altruistic or malevolent?

In any particular change, some species look as if they flourish and others seem to suffer or even go extinct.  Dinosaurs suffered in past climate "catastophies" and mammals ended up flourishing.  Should the dinosaur have been preserved somehow at the expense of those nasty mammals (which includes you)?  Regardless, past climate change was out of the hands of either of these species and things proceeded without an intervention that we can definitely identify. For all we know, the planet wants humanity extinct and we are just acting terribly selfish!

Obviously given the rhetoric, many people think our technology or intelligence can stave off the next global climate event.  Everyone seems terribly sure that it can be done with no real evidence to back up the effectiveness of any proposed action. Yet, we are being demanded by children and politicians that we must seriously curtail humanity in the hope that it will pull our current climatic situation toward a more "positive" direction.  Of course, the children are angry that we terrible adults should have been doing this decades (millennia) ago and we may already be passed an undefinable "point of no return".

For all we know, the "positive" trend could be the warming of the earth and rise of sea-level that we think is happening today - some posit that the earth experienced such conditions in the extreme past and humans, if they existed then at all, didn't seem to take drastic steps to prophylacticly devolve like some demand that we must do today.  Perhaps the heating is returning us to better conditions for life on our planet that existed eons ago!  It could be "the great circle of life" manifesting itself.

Last painful questions: Why does anyone think our world of a few hundred years ago or last week is definitely closer to "proper" (pc-good) than it is today or will be a hundred (or million) years from now?  Who is so sure of this that they are willing to take the entire human race one huge, collective step backwards?  Should we be fighting against what could be the best climate for our world?

Depressingly, too few of our "experts" are willing to admit that questions about the climate are likely unanswerable and that curtailing development has just as much chance of derailing the natural and good course of the world as the chances of "correcting" things and that such efforts might prove to be negligible in either direction of "good" or "bad" results on the climate while possibly distracting humanity from moving forward in the bargain. There is more a political sideshow being acted out than a scientific or even "logical" argument being raised. I think we need more scientists and "leaders" to eschew the financial and honorific awards of playing politics and actually leveling with the world's people.  We don't know much about "climate change" except that it seems to be a regular feature of this stubborn planet, no matter what we collectively or individually choose to pompously do to alter its course.

10 November 2019

The Struggle to Find Masculinity

I listen often to a psychologist and college professor named Jordan Peterson and his insights into our current social upheavels. I was strongly impressed to share this snippet of one of his lectures on masculinity.  In his own way, he describes the sort of responsibility that is particularly resonate with young men that have often been cast aside as worthless and destructive to an emasculated world desired by some.

For my part, I encourage everyone to seek wisdom and they will often find themselves at the feet of Jesus Christ. If you get there through the words of a psychologist or at the hands of a priest, it matters little.  Christ will help you find the true masculinity and transcendence that your soul demands.  I don't pretend to be some paragon of virtue, but I have become acquainted with Jesus and his teachings from many sources and I invite all to find the truth of God through his prophets.  It is a worthy pursuit for any who seeks the divine masculine!