THE LORD EXPOSITION
QUANDARY OF NATURE
Foremost among the mysteries related to Christ is the question of why he should ever have agonized – whether in the Garden of Gethsemane or elsewhere. From birth he had the love and protection of a heavenly Father, not to mention specially-selected and protective human parents. Angelic hosts proclaimed his arrival and would continue to watch over him throughout his entire life, even to the day of his arrest, fully accepting that it might lead to the cross.1 He was blessed by his Father with supernatural perception and wisdom, nourished with living waters, and empowered to perform great miracles. During his lifetime he attracted many devoted followers and disciples (literally), even star-struck worshippers2. A glorious procession accompanied his royal entry into Jerusalem. Though labeled a rebel and an anarchist, even his religious enemies marveled at his scriptural understanding and his influence over the masses. Jesus knew without a shred of mortal doubt whereof he spoke and by whose authority. More metaphysically, he knew where he came from, where he was going, and, peering through his transient mortality, he knew he would gain the ultimate victory over death and resume his place in eternity sitting at the right hand of God his Father.
Jesus was advantaged never to know the hardscrabble effort of being an ordinary man subject to overbearing taskmasters, the harshness of propositioning oneself for market worth, or the lifelong struggle of just trying to put food on the table for himself, his wife, and little ones. He never worried about obtaining suitable shelter, warm clothes, or medical treatment for his dependent family. He would never fall prey to the evil schemes of merchants and advertisers, nor to the false property claims of his so-called loving “neighbors”. He would never faint at the prospect of unholy or carnal temptations. He would never have to shudder in midnight sweats over the threat of economic failure or bankruptcy or, despite our constant prayers and cries of supplication, be judged short in our tenuous struggles to meet life’s demanding expectations. Afterward, then, a longsuffering and painful life, Jesus did not have to worry about dying among the unsaved, i.e., people who had no realistic probability of salvation from the start, fore-destined to spend eternity in Hell. Whence no matter how much we sought divine help, or how much good works we did alongside, or how much we read the Scriptures and memorialized in body and spirit a proper attitude, God’s grace would always be as distant as the vision of heaven itself. All that which marks our everyday living in scorn, belittlement, and rejection was missing from his experience. Rather, unconditional love, incredible talents, immense concern, and true supportive acceptance came formally gifted to him, handed and hammered out to him, as smooth as the prophet’s way that John the Baptist would prepare. Tarry then to think why he would yet appear to sweat blood in the Garden3. I am fiercely more discomfited at my base failure to comprehend. Could the coming separation from the affections of his Father be so grievous, or was it just the contemplation of impending death and a corruptive stay in the nether realm?
The New Testament tells us, Christ was in all ways just like us except in sin, tempted like us but never to be tinged with iniquity, broached like us in moments of weakness but never conceded to a loss of faith or connective will. I wonder, though, what did Jesus really feel? Always without fleeting wants and burning needs, forever in association with a heavenly host and in spiritual communion with a holy Father4 (at least until the cross), always in perspective of his purpose in life, of his beginning and his end, his coming in and going out; moreover always in comprehension of earth’s beginning and society’s end – such as to altogether render a resolution of absolute personal salvation and pure psychological speciousness as to be totally unfathomable for any normal human being. Whereas we are caught dying, repeatedly drowning in the wake of failed Red-Sea crossings. So be it that Jesus’ life might have been troublous and filled with awesome compulsion, forever binding his call to sacred duty … he also wore protective armor that kept him on all points meritorious; and no matter how tight a path of justice and uprightness he was pressured to walk, it was always predesigned to be well-shepherded, well-fenced, and well-lit.
Logically, too, if Jesus was all but immune to transgression, he must have been equally insensitive to the inherent torture afflicting most human souls. If Jesus was without sin, moreover insusceptible to careless mistakes of morality, then he was without guilt, and had none of the emotional racking accompanying our tainted souls. How then could he ever really apprehend our nature, given his inimitable self and rarefied status – howbeit through imaginings? Whereas I need not imagine my diseases, my afflictions, my depression and despair, none of which he knew. I need not imagine my fear and sense of hopelessness in a world built on ‘kill or be killed’ and on the cruel cheating and deceiving of others. I need not imagine my hurt just to write these words with a remnant heart … because my pathway is dark, and the channel lanes mined, and even the Jesus’ freeway of grace carries a heavy toll charge of preordained unconscionable faith. It falls nothing short of demarcation to say, there can come no prophet of God unless he has received it by divine appointment. A man of God must receive the things of God ere salvation is even made cognizant, much more expressed: a call that did not go unnoticed, a power that did not go unquartered, a task that did not go unaccomplished – an appeased Elisha, faith-wise and mantle-covered. Only when his life is evidenced by the divine does a man become truly suitable to evidence the divine.
Truly, then, the Son of Man had to proclaim within himself the body and spirit of God. He must have the Lord in redress, in his essential devisal, not just in the venturing of his ways and pleasing complementary thoughts. A man must correspondingly be in possession of necessary existence, and knowing therein some hallmark of divinity, the means and sublime communion of internalized prophecy. God is the only certainty, but evidence of the divine is scant and bound to uncertainty, for, such as He who is above all contradictions must now submit himself to finite human creation. Regarding Christ, of whom it is believed not just a man of God, but a Son of God, born free of original sin, absolved of all failings thereafter – this One that shall keep true to self – yet who emptied himself of God to become God made flesh; rightly said, who was always being truly tempted as we are, so confined with anguish, who nevertheless lent himself to the cross, and by his alpha suffering and omega crucifixion, was awarded the gain of first-fruits, an inevitable resurrection purposed for eternal life5.
Proceeding from this realization, herein becomes a terrible revelation in respect to the nature of Christ, who if he were truly human, and being tempted in all ways as we are, being thus human, should have also failed … unless to think himself an immortal child of God with the Holy Spirit guarding his every step. Being human, he could not have escaped sin, for that be our definition: human beings – humans being susceptible to conscious sin: who once was small, became large; so implied, who once was small in faith, learned perfection through suffering6, matured closer to his Father, and who knew less the wisdom of God – at some point failed, stepped wide of the path and stumbled. A much earlier oracle had prophesied as much, ‘He lived on curds and honey until he learned to reject the bad and choose the good7.
Was Jesus really in any danger when the devil swept him out of his desert retreat into the holy city and placed him upon the parapet of the temple? This was post-baptism and the spirit of the Lord descending and hovering over him, with a voice saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”8 Therefore, no evil could befall him, nor any external stress make him acquiesce, since he had made the Lord God his refuge and the Most High his stronghold, whose angels were commanded to guard him in all his ways and their limbs to bear him up, lest he dash his foot against a stone9. Was Jesus in any real danger when the city of Nazareth rose up after his mission-speech in the synagogue and led him to the precipice of the hill whereon the city was built, intending to cast him down headlong? He passed right through their midst as though unseen and walked away10. Would Clark Kent have anything to fear whilst walking the streets of Metropolis for the first time? Guardian angels watching over Jesus, withholding him from stumbling or being thrown off a cliff is a metaphor for angels withholding him from committing natural sin, which humans are heir to and by which our downfall is precast. Viewed in context, so much of Jesus was human, but god-like, and he possessed the Holy Spirit and was surrounded by guardian angels steering him clear of possible harm and sin, thereby shielding him also from his humanity, from his confrontation with uncertain delivery and indefinite results. How many times did Jesus say or respond to something in order to fulfill Scriptures or God’s demands11? [Thus saying he fore-knew his way.] While in all apparency a God-king, looking human is not the same as actually being human. Being tempted is not the same as felt tempted, as in, what offering of a carrot will tempt a canine to perform? Would Jesus ever be subjected to a real test? In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus seemed on the verge of faltering and perhaps tempted to forego his fate12. On the cross his faith seemed to waver13.
Who amongst us, saved or not, truly has the Spirit within enabling him not to commit iniquity? Who amongst us can cast out evil demons, save the sick, and heal the lame and the blind14? Who amongst us can raise the dead15? Who amongst us can walk on water16? Who amongst us can feed the multitudes from a miraculous fabrication of loaves and fish17? Who amongst us can read people’s thoughts and foretell the future18? Now ask in full assumption of who we are, was Christ a real human or just a parody of the human condition? Every human child is born predisposed to errancy, to wander in laziness, rebellion, and corruption (like the Ancient Israelites) – facilitating in means dark and deep to make the Devil prince of his life and ruler of this world. A change had to be forthcoming. Even great figures of the past like Moses and Elijah were simply dedicated and celebrated men of God, effecting no real change to human character and cultural development beyond the laws that evidenced their power and the miracles they wrought on the Lord’s behalf. Admitting only, God is a contradiction, and the nature of God a quandary of inconsistent attributes. As God had no beginning, Christ was born human but pre-existed his own birth: before Abraham, I AM (divine).19 As God cannot die, Christ was to die but survive continuously throughout, and be resurrected to live forever. As God can know no sin, Christ circumvented normal birth into original sin via Immaculate Conception, thereby overcoming what is ordinarily a life in servitude to emotional wickedness. So by his character and knowledge saved he himself and us besides. Adam and Eve chose to become like God, selecting desired imagery from their egos of self-glorification so as to season-wish only the alluring qualities of lordship they deemed sweet to the taste and of purely pleasant scent. Jesus, who thought it not wise to merely lounge in occupation of a place-being existence, must henceforth become a sacrifice of place-perfect. He was the first to take that image to the cross, and lordship was added unto him.
VANITY OF VANITIES, VERILY
The struggle to be born, which in its hour is a painful sorrow for the mother, shall find in its afterbirth a welcomed blessing and joy. The struggle to be born anew in the spirit, which in its hour is a curse to the natural self, shall relieve the bodily haunt of its burdensome fear. For it is, while as yet, I still carry a crossness, not a cross for the Lord. Like Job, I loathe my soul and pray that my vanity of days shall be spent alone20. Like Solomon’s inspired song, everything I do under the sun is a vanity, a vexation, and a chase after the wind. Our lot is but to fear God and to keep his commandments21.
The first vanity is kept in a looking glass, with a backward glance toward pride. Holding beauty spectacular, strength and status impressive, position and arrogance necessary, she is off to work to find the most reward from the least beneficiary of the sale. Markets open early, selling cheap wares having little redeeming value to either consumer or producer. Credit shall taste better with a little smattering of praise, mild embellishment, and sweet exaggeration.
Can there ever be knowledge without professorship – the desire to silence others? Can there ever be self-worth without pride and the debasement of others? Experience would think me old and wise while ambition would believe me young and flexible. Not a surety is advanced nor a gift informed else it becomes elevation for my feet and platform rise. To want not is to have. To yield is to overcome. To deny fate is to challenge God. In my head I know all is vanity, but well not within my innermost being. Jesus has yet to paint the signs routing safe passage from an ill-spent mind to a still-born heart.
She is so much like vanity. Her will is to out-sing the nightingale, and out-roar the lion. Her will is to out-wing the butterfly, and out-lift the elephant. Her will is to out-run the cheetah, and out-draft the ox. Such is ‘Garner’, the handmaiden of anguish.
She makes a mansion – ‘the more rooms there are to clean’. She makes the travel heavy. She disciplines the summer rains – ‘too much, too little, too soon, too late’. She extols the clamorous wind. Such is ‘Harvest”, a gatherer of burgeoning sorrows.
She has a siren which for every second blows a melody of distraction. ‘This way to the fairgrounds’. ‘This way to greener pastures’. ‘This way to the settlement’. Such is ‘Overcast’ with her ample showing of false hope. But I said, this is all vanity, because it is all in vain.
What is vanity? Vanity comes betrothed the speaker of influence commanding a captive audience or for the star who promotes her own line of fairy-tale products. Vanity involves submitting to aristocratic arrogance and abuse from your superiors while keeping a strong choke on the neck of servants and underlings. Vanity involves abiding the temperaments of a woman who is beautiful and glamorous, while ignoring the talented elegance of the plain and the mission-sworn. How many times have you fawned over the handsome and the elite? How many times have you heaped superfluous flattery on the already gifted, when with just one kind word, one pleasant gesture, one small assistance, you could have made the day, or maybe the lifetime, of the resented and the socially oppressed?
What is vanity? Vanity is faulting the world for not readily jumping into action: when the unfavored demands pardon and the non-favoring demands welcome. What you most hate in others is too often yourself in reflection. Instead of readily admitting a mistake, anger is aroused, curses are shouted, scapegoats sought, all to cover your own complicity. Indignation falls most easily upon the submissive, blame upon the underprivileged; while success is a loud record that is played with glorious frequency. Vanity is hating a do-gooder who strives for community betterment, or a winner of high grade or award who exercises diligently, trains hard, or is singularly dedicated to study and rehearsal. Vanity is believing to know the most deserving, and on whose altar of sacrifice the blessings of heaven should descend (Cain).
What is vanity? Vanity is the hearing of dire pleas with complacency, sending the implorers away with calm assurance and affirmed faith; then in benign neglect (sometimes not so benign) failing to act as promised. Vanity is saying, Peace! Peace! For an attack on someone else’s shores, but War! War! For an attack on one’s own coastal shores. Everyone else’s galavanting around is immoral, while self’s own affairs are special and beautiful. Every personal misdeed is by accident, while theirs are always mistaken outcomes of poor judgement. Every transgression comes by way of misunderstanding, while theirs, without a doubt, are composed from sin. Vanity is many things, not the least of which issues from hypocrisy. Vanity is all rights argued according to gluttonous American appetites; all interests argued according to corrupt Soviet defensiveness. Vanity is the external conviction of others without the internal conviction of self.
What is vanity? Vanity is a teenager fantasizing over a music idol, visiting every city on tour, and attending every concert: shouting and pushing her way through the crowd. Her mind tells her that if she could somehow manage to get near enough to catch his eye – “See, here I am, your one and only love!” She fails to grasp the fame and fortune of a star swamped by entourages and parties, with millions of fans, hundreds of cameras, and a cadre of women at his beck and call. The question little touches the teenager, why would he want me above all others? She thinks of herself as a natural diamond, a prize any man would want and would consider himself lucky to have. Does any women ever ask herself, what must I bring to this relationship? Are we like birds where only the male must clear a space, whistle out a tune and dance, and flash his feathers to attract a female’s attention? Are we not living in a modern age of cooperation where both male and female must display their colors, and pause in reflection, what sacrifice is required of me to make our love contractually binding?
Come cooling and another reality sets in: vanity is despising someone, existentially, by hurt of generous attentions shunned; despising the ungrateful. Ponder those who give of themselves with strings attached, or second-call the expert advice of someone personally held in low regard.
What is vanity? Vanity infests the relationship of one student helping another, the recipient of which through unwanted dependence begins to loathe the giver; or when lending money, avoids the person to whom a sizable obligation is owed; or the team captain is hated simply because he is the ‘star’. Disdain and ridicule is imparted to a prodigal for his early-in-life achievements; spiting the rich man for his generosity, the intelligent man for his ingenuity. Often in jealousy and envy the righteous man is persecuted without a cause: perchance if we all fail, the Lord will have to grade on a curve. Guilt by words alone, when the unattended becomes the unintended. Love selfishly, and respond to every sad note with irrational hate.
Ways must be sought to entice a child to learn the spiritually good, which should be natural and customary. This innate prevalence toward selfish leanings becomes the skeleton on which a choice is laid, then growing into muscle or fatness – humility or pride. Lost now in social favor – the ability to yield self to a sovereign master. The fate runs deeper: I once thought that passersby upon seeing a man being mugged or a woman being raped in an alley had a moral obligation to render immediate physical assistance. This I now see to be vanity also. Reason cannot sway reasonable men; far less, here the violent response would only invoke a corresponding greater violence. The endangered may be likened to an innocent abused child. Our cries of outrage sometimes spur the pride-hurt parents to inflict even more ill-treatment. The third vanity: not of pictures, not of blinding subjective light, but the vanity which scorches inside; the self-vanity that burns with one man’s indigestion and another man’s dysentery. More than to encounter or to practice vanity; more than to treasure vanity; more even than to eat, drink, or to sleep vanity, to be vanity. I am all vanity. Can anyone tell a vain person what he does not already know? Why can’t everyone be more like me? Like the opinion that must be expressed, the body that must be fed, and a soul that must be quenched; at the extreme vanity is caring whether one lives or dies, or not caring. The engine dies, power engages; should then true transmission begin22.
What next is tragedy? Has there ever been same? When Israel was sent into exile, was that tragic? When the tower fell at Siloam, was that tragic? When Christians were being slaughtered in the Roman arena, was that tragic? When the Spanish failed at inquisition, was that tragic? When France fell to Germany, was that tragic? And when in disenchantment, in ignorance, in false martyrdom, in self-righteousness, in anger you turned your back on God, was that tragic? Has tragedy ever come unwooed; disaster by a more fortunate toll? The Spirit of God can of himself reject no one that has not already found objection in God. Many times I have written, there is no real tragedy in life – because that would be a vanity. That would assume my life meant something … that there was a Lord above who knew and cared, who sought in careful measure under the sun for a vain thing.
From a human perspective, this, too, was Christ’s inherent sin: that he deemed his life of personal import – to earth and the entire universe; whereas to be human, to be truly human, is to know no one cares, and that nothing matters except the stain of being born, the forestalling of death, and the staying from an eternal hell. How would Jesus’ life compare to someone who had no watchful eyes guarding him, who from his birth had no aid or comfort beyond food, water, and bare sustenance? Would Christ have climbed so readily the stairway to heaven? Where was that person stunned with fleshly confinement or stanched with impediments? These sighs and strong weeping, these wants and petitions are bereft of his creation. Lord of the Sabbath and of David, a greater than Jonah or Solomon is here; God, being all things, can have no pretense of being and saying less than what becomes him. An existence without circumstance or position, presiding in order above all human matters; though there should have been more, as at the Garden in prayer, as upon the cross, a vain tearing of doubt from the heart of Jesus.
THE JESUS CHRIST PARADOX
Humans, like animals, construct for themselves a framework of contradictions. The cheetah who lives in fear and loathing of the more powerful lion and his pride, threatening his life at every turn, yet thinks no evil of itself for chasing, catching, and coldly killing the antelope, among other prey. Clerical workers who sharply criticize a boss for bringing a curse on their lives yet will themselves often abuse an inferior or mistreat a customer. Long hours of hard, frustrating labor in the factory or in the fields under a tyrannical overseer will be taken out at home in domestic abuse. What do you know? It is rather what you feel, as you collect drug and drink, gun and knife to squelch the pain inside. First the lamp, then the ceiling – the course of you lashing out. Will next your rampage of shots find your neighbor’s child? Too bad your lashing out carves in you no justice, or your pounding tenderizes yourself to feel better.
The record of social and religious history prior to Jesus supposes that early mankind was first brought under (moral) control by the domination of chieftains, next pharaohs or kings, whose commands had to be obeyed at the risk of ostracism, physical punishment, imprisonment, or death. Eventually these commands became ‘commandments’, ostensibly from a ‘Higher Source’, and which likewise carried concomitant threats of penalty. The Israelite invention was to have citizens bind these laws to their wrists, and eventually to their hearts and minds, in the guise of becoming self-guided mechanisms of honorable existence. Where absolute conformity to these words might fail and strict obedience seemed likely to disappoint, like Abraham with his ordered sacrifice of Isaac, the faithful could still profess that ‘the Lord will provide’, and that much was credited toward their justification. Still, even a man infused with knowledge of the Law since his youth must encounter occasional disturbances to God’s laws and incidents where practical guidance is found wanting. Faith has all our goodness, like John’s raiment of camel’s hair, in a sincerity of reform and repentance. By the wearing of filthy clothes – symbol of our attempts at good deeds – a first dressing is made toward righteous salvation. Such has all our pleas for justice also. Emulating the voice of one crying in the wilderness, it has all our hopes for baptism and the cleansing of sin; though it beset the most esteemed of all the prophets who went running to Christ for confirmation; and for this doubt … it has him losing his head. Then let the dead (on the cross) bury the dead. For in this philosophy there can be no martyrdom, since there was as yet no exponent of goodness; therefore he who died in service to God, died in his own cause.
Enter Jesus, yes, at this critical stage with his more fashionable raiment, dyed in wisdom, love, and humility. Now in cases of the Law where judgement has to be made, though missing are the bright lines of assessment and clear application of defensive sides, forgiveness is pre-granted to the trespasser – provided the manner of its judging is done in sublimation to God’s will. Otherwise the self-redeemed is without satisfactory remedy.
“Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. Verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”. Enter Jesus here as well in the seeming contravention of his own spoken truth [but that is not the Christ Paradox]. With two general pronouncements, much of the force of the Mosaic Law is swept aside:
The eschatological consequences of these imperatives, not so much their religious value or moral sentiments, would create the Jesus Christ Paradox.
In his curious lectures concerning men, women, marriage, and the family, Jesus’ attitude was at best indifferent23, well-nigh inconsiderate24, occasionally openly hostile25. One by-product of this has been the accepted rebelliousness of children over time towards their parents (re: son against the father; daughter against the mother), an act once considered unpardonable under Mosaic Law, even punishable by death, but now almost expected of the younger generation as part of growing up. A far more serious consequence comes by way of Jesus’ proposal of the sword (his mission of division), rather than peace, and the apparent institution of a lax attitude toward granting unqualified (universal) grace. How has this affected the family and human relationships? To be honest, most women would prefer never to marry or have offspring, if given the choice, for the perceived restrictiveness and pressure placed on their physical and personal well-being. Neither do they particularly hold with the notion of surrendering any measure of emotional or parental control over what she considers to be her children (really her slaves in detachment of self). Collectively, the responsibilities of children, the husband, and the marriage duties are all, in her mind, burdens upon the sanctity of her free spirit, even if those relationships are blessed with health and vitality, model behavior, and good fortune, and even if the husband is the sole provider and a model Christian. Every nation or society which has given women (and in some cases men, e.g. Sparta) absolute control over procreation have suffered serious decline in its founding population (the United States, Europe, and Japan). Women’s reluctance at a young age to now interact socially and constructively with members of the opposite sex, much less date or marry them, has ‘bred’ something else: a weariness and an antagonism that currently deteriorates the foundational blocks of civilized culture and amenable child-raising. Ironically, he who would become the capstone of the temple – established on the tenents of peace, hope, and love, has become the trebuchet addressed against the temple of natural procreation, Mosaic Law, and marriage communion. Sadly, men’s response to their (women’s) expression of open dislike for them has spawned the distant-voyage effect, as though they were sailors trapped together for months or years at a stretch on a ship bound for some distant land. The lack of normal companionship and release leads to perversions of homosexuality and other desperate acts, not to mention rising incidents of irrational rage, open defiance of command, and a drop in mental faculty, while simultaneously encouraging lesbianism at home.
Jesus’ own celibacy and general fostering of celibate lives for his disciples was the precursor for (Catholic) priests and some order of monks vowing poverty, obedience, and chastity (not ‘suffering’ themselves to marry), although the true justification was probably more money-centered, maintaining clear-cut property ownership within the Church in priority over surviving heirs of priests. Modern celibacy is in sharp contrast with the Levitical priests who regularly married since the line of priesthood passed through their tribe from generation to generation. Such a break with tradition might seem to herald a freer ministry – as experienced today (favorably?) in the form of women priests, coveted gays and excused pedophiles, not to mention cult leaders and satanic worshippers (hence ‘Christ’s Church’).
What happens now to the biology instructor who tries to teach his students that human infants are born with either the XX or XY, female or male, chromosomes? Or tries to explain the basic indicators of life: (1) a stability of structure and chemistry, (2) the ability to react with the environment and gather energy, (3) the ability to reproduce itself? The students will laugh at him or perhaps get upset over such antiquated, sexist, and biased notions. The strumming of ideas and the ringing of truth have no hearing among the deaf and the close-minded.
Long before Jesus and then Peter26 advised their followers not to repay ‘evil for evil’, David gave practice to this phrase by not killing King Saul who was constantly trying to kill him27, although he had the opportunity on at least two occasions. David did not want to harm the Lord’s anointed or give credence to the proverb ‘from evildoers come evil deeds’. For all his reverence and almost child-like passion for the Lord, in his old age David was so emotionally distraught over the death in battle of his rebellious son, Absalom, that his mourning rapidly began to demoralize his troops, bringing them shame for having fought an honorable battle to save the kingdom. Finally David’s general Joab reproved him, saying, “by loving those who hate you, and hating those who love you … you show that your own officers and servants mean nothing to you… indeed you would think it more suitable that all of us were dead and Absalom still alive”28. Compare these events to Matthew 5:43-48 wherein Jesus commands us to ‘love your enemies and pray for your persecutors’. But Psalms 97:10 says the Lord loves those who hate evil. A time to love, and a time to hate. Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate29. A common human mistake is to hate the evildoer rather than the evil that they do. Were this Jesus’ point of rectification, it would be a gesture of great humanity; instead he seems to be saying ‘love those whose sole aim it is or whose active desire may be to hurt others’.
Forthwith thereto arises the misgivings of the Jesus Christ Paradox, as partially realized in King David loving his rebellious son so much that he began to despise his own loyal soldiers who fought to save him. You who hate good and love evil! As David’s general told him, you have brought dishonor upon those who fought to save your life today, as well as the lives of your faithful wives, your obedient sons, and your loving daughters, all of whom you now cast away as though in death. How twisted is this? Shall this occurrence be an example of the two masters’ dilemma (God and mammon)? If you train yourself to love your enemies, will you not come to hate your own friends for not being as open-minded and as generous as you are?
When this proposal of loving your enemies is brought into conjunction with Jesus’ dismissive attitude on families and marriage (above) and with his goal on earth to spread division, not peace (to make a man’s enemies those of his own household), we may be brought to despair; but now halt in assessment, for surely he must be just placing service to the Lord on a higher plane of performance than respected family service. But the effect is to diminish a (greater-than-Genesis) holy creation regarding the natural order of things from which all science and biology take root. Let it be announced: from henceforth, the sun should not rise in the east and set in the west, men and women should never get married, have babies, and raise a family.
Though there is a time and a season for both love and hate, it is never proper to say, “I love the darkness as much as or more than the light of day”, which is to say, I love Satan in semblance of a god. The judgement of condemnation is this: the light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than the light (John 3:19).
If someone should ask a faithful churchgoer, how many great lights did the Lord God set in the firmament of the heavens to govern the day and the night, hopefully that person would say ‘two’: the sun and the moon. Likewise when asking that same person, how many sexes did the Lord God create in Genesis, hopefully the person would say ‘two’, and not ‘multiples’, as often perversely expounded in false psychology and the even-more corrupt school systems of today. ‘Male and female created he them … and the man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall become one flesh’30. A church once pridefully advertised itself as accepting of everyone – while showing two men hugging and making out in a pew. Yes, God loves us all, but he loves us in spite of our faults, our depravities, and our weaknesses, not because of them – even more truly after reconciliation of our many shortcomings to God. Apropos of a higher consideration, Abraham at Machpelah facing Mamre would not accept the land freely as a gifted burial site for his wife; instead he was careful to strike a land claim for money in order to obtain future inheritance.31 By similar arrangement, all those who draw breath from Jesus and follow his ways exactly in denouncement of perversity and evil represent breakthroughs – living markers – the deed claims of heaven upon an otherwise tractless, godless earth.
Well certainly Jesus did dine and consort with sinners and tax collectors and a panoply of other bad characters who defied moral principles and transgressed social norms of assimilation and decency – therefore he called them ‘sick’, in need of a doctor to effect a cure. Many of Christ’s teachings have been greatly misinterpreted by the Church, by science, and by society as a whole. While Jesus proffered that we should not reject anyone who comes willingly to the Lord, he did not say we should accept everyone as they are. Some change of wardrobe, some dressing for the banquet32, is required. In a clever distortion of Jesus’ words, sinners now self-justify their own faulty behavior and demand to be recognized and admitted on their own terms. A dangerous catharsis belies this universal acceptance (the presumption of Lord’s grace). Instead of developing a worthwhile understanding of mankind’s failings (in preface to salvation), the Church ends up destroying its own sensitivity to right and wrong. Soon no one is left in the ‘Jesus’ society to witness:
The heart that pleads for compassion, next, out of concession, demands what is his right. The misunderstood through over-interest and acquiescence eventually perceives itself justified and saved.
Tell me now if this socio-religious revolution has made society and culture any better. A man who continually raped a girl (originally at six years of age) over the course of a four-year period was sentenced to just two months of incarceration because the court ‘felt’ that he was sick and probably would not be accorded the appropriate medical treatment in prison. Is not everyone who commits a serious crime at least momentarily sick or insane by those standards and should be set free? What normal person would forfeit his job security, his status and possessions, lose his family connections, and risk persecution and brutalization in prison – over what may be a brief tantalizing fantasy or gratuitous pleasure? A slippery slope this is, that Jesus has put us on. There is no sin or blameworthiness, only sickness and the need for easy grace, which sinners translate as assent and dismissal of guilt.
The Biblical prohibition against homosexuality has undergone such a pernicious social morphing:
Sin > Crime > Sickness > Alternative lifestyle > Normal functionality
Already some states have legalized or are in the process of legalizing sodomy, polygamy, incest, and pedophilia. An even more egregious error and poignantly overlooked consequence is: ‘no one is ever saved by excusing sin’; grace itself is just a lenience rest, a respite within which is imposed a future repentance, suitable retraction, and enlightened retrenchment. Sorely the impenitent sinner views it like a child at recess and as permission to inflict more harm and in a more open, deliberate fashion.
A deeper psychological effect has previously been noted and explained in another essay regarding those who say that only actions can be evil and people can never be.
Regarding Jesus’ exhortation to forgive sinners repeatedly time after time (7 x 7), it was made in deference to change-worthiness, reproval, and imminent confession, just as it was for the woman caught in adultery whom he forgave33. Go, and sin no more. The unlimited and unregulated dispensing of Church forgiveness has made true grace a thing dispensed. Priests and judges have prearranged their own coupons of favors and bribes. Paint the stones now of many churches as no more than monuments to human pride and self-gratification or else as dark mausoleums dedicated to the people’s dead faith. For the sake of consolation and consolidation, churches test the wind for every sad exhale of political correctness and turn somersaults over the next ‘equality of standards’ movement. Grace has become ‘common’ and indiscriminate, while the need for true Christian service and restoration has been downplayed or ignored.
Can the conquest of the Promised Land be far behind?
Christ also said, ‘Judge not lest you be judged’34. Interpreted wrongly, this liberalism would seem to deny extraneous truth and the benefits of chastisement. “I should be allowed to do anything I want as long as I don’t seriously hurt someone else outright”. And who is to judge when someone is seriously hurt? No one will, since all judgement has been stripped from the people. [Though not of course from Jesus who will himself separate his beloved sheep from the goats upon his second coming.] Some defer to Einstein’s social genius that ‘everything is relative’. If everything is relative, then nothing is absolutely true (except of course that which I have just written). Such perfidy and self-delusion! Still the liberal chides, “I decide what I want to do; I decide if these troublous acts warrant precaution or offense”. Claims to the opposite are deemed meaningless and without merit since they are projections outside the parameters of my personally-established, God-like framing of life. There can be no substantiation and no reprobation that has not first reconciled itself to my absolute right to do whatever I want.
Baal and the other spirits were not really idols to supernatural demons, but idols to ourselves. Only one Spirit stands apart as good, because God is God (goodness) alone.
Righteousness and wickedness have therefore become mere abstracts without personal relevance. When considered at all, they are just opposite sides of the same coin, the same face viewed from another angle. The saintly then asks, ‘What is the point of my search if there is no honor to be found?’ Does personal sacrifice and doing the right thing ever matter? Does serving heaven bring a blessing (a benediction for extraordinary aspirations)? Does goodness even have a god? If not, why should we ever give of ourselves and our possessions to charity? Why need we ever pray? If the Lord God did not listen to the cries of millions of Jews being carted off, then shoved into gas ovens, what feeble chance does my lonely prayer have to be answered? Why bother going to church – a Babylon anyway of sycophants and pedophile priests? Why should we volunteer our time and effort, or ever yield any of our personal resources to others? Where there is no glory in the giving, there can be no real joy in the partaking. Turning self around, why would anyone want to withhold himself from sinning, since a free pardon awaits us all at the end? We are all judged alike, are we not? Jesus is not prejudiced: he loves us all: the good, the bad, and the morally repugnant. God surely won’t send anyone to Hell! Even the Pope of the Catholic world says so. A prophecy fulfilled: it seemeth to me there is as it were, a plague in this house (or Church); then let the priest come again, and behold; and the priest shall command the stones be taken away to an unclean place.35
What is painfully extracted of humanity over the course of centuries is lost in a single generation, in a year, a month, a day, a moment. The brotherly stance once forsaken, the selfless habit no more applauded, undoes the tireless, hard-fought victories from thousands of years of civilized history, and reduces to nothing the transcendent climb of a learned culture. For the ‘I wants’ and the ‘be mes’ we have always with us, the poor of personalities, the destitute of hearts; whereas the planned garden of those with budding faith and flowering love must always be first deeply plowed, fondly and properly set, and thereafter cultivated clean if minds are ever to be inducted with unselfish charity and be deserving of righteous acclaim.
Like the desert bloom wilting away, faith dies under a vanity sun or for want of a humility reign. How can there be any saints or any martyrdom when there is no exponent of goodness, no real practitioner of the straight and narrow way?
Silence! Say nothing! Evil must be protected from the shame of exposure. God forbid the wicked should ever be made to pay for their atrocities, the calloused heart should be softened, or the errant should be shown the error of his ways before it is too late. Behold you the fallacy of this logic? A parity has been conferred upon the unworthy and the invaluable. Of comparable weight are the child’s fancies with the adult’s visions of fairness, the sick and the insane with the healthy and the humane. Dominion itself has even been revoked its grandeur, being just another vain attitude. Howbeit God thinks this is right and this is wrong, well, that’s his opinion: he’s entitled to his opinion and I to mine. Thus the scales of metaphysical justice are spuriously balanced between heaven and hell.
Drive fast, jump the tracks; hundreds are killed or injured: a natural disaster. Fly too high, stall; rough parachute to safety: an act of God.
The writings of the Apostle Paul are often misread – ‘By faith alone are you saved’, ‘justice comes from faith, not from works’36, and ‘all depends on faith, everything is a grace’37, toward a universal grace for anyone who confesses with his lips that Jesus is Lord, and believes in his heart that God has raised him from the dead38 – till it would seem, as if consideration came in sequence, love by order of maturation; as if favor came betrothed to us, and grace a divine right; as though heaven’s election was but a matter of putting our name into nomination. We do the Church and Christianity a great disservice. Moreover, we have devalued the currency of grace and collapsed the commodity of faith, and made the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross worthless. His was a wasted death. For the Church has created in Christ a paradox. He who was meant to bring life, and bring it more abundantly, has brought only shame and death. How else could even supposedly ‘religious people’ believe that the whole concept of ‘family’, of a man loving a woman, in order to create and raise children has suddenly become perverse and prejudiced?
Consider, in analogy, a more modern irony. The developers of personal computers, tablets, smart phones, advanced apps, unlimited access, and other inventions of the high-tech revolution, presumably set out with the best of intentions, creating instruments that would better the lives of many people and make their work efforts more efficient. Instead, most times and by most people, these life enhancements are used to play games and virally transmit trite messages to their superficial friends, who always seem to reveal way too much about themselves. Meanwhile children, being raised hand-on-screen, using only instruments to learn, never actually acquire the ability to socially interact with other humans person-to-person. Many youngsters view working for ‘companies’ as distasteful, or disdain the thought of actually serving customers or fellow employees, or just doing things that might help the community. Some even consider it ‘racially’ abhorrent. With so much power and research ability at their fingertips, they access facts without making sense of them, they parse data without rational input, and they collect vain photos of themselves and others that have no pertinence or benefit for their lives or lend value to any creative or artistic expression. Addicted adults spend hours streaming or engaging in taunts of one-upmanship – avoiding at all cost constructive physical exercise, valuable mental interests, and healthy leisure activities. Nearly every human talent has been nullified or debilitated by mobile electronics and intelligent robotics. Our students are tech-savvy but societally brain-dead; and grown-ups are in perpetual atrophy. Everyone is so inured by multi-faceted electronics they never stop to think – why would a socio-economic system spend hundreds of thousands of dollars raising a potential service worker (i.e. child) over a span of 20 years or more, then spend more thousands of dollars in professional training and human resource benefits, when a software program or some robot could easily be developed now and even easier in the future to perform as well as humans and at far less expense. Higher education administrators fool themselves into believing that by offering STEM classes (or other ‘green’ fields) they are really preparing for the future. But these plantings come only after the light – in the shadows – casting their leaves in future obsolescence. Did those high-tech developers at the start of this revolution envision these disenfranchising effects on humanity?
Sorrow now with a much fuller understanding the Jesus Christ Paradox – the irony, yes, of creating something that cripples the creative effort: a modern spirit without a soul. More than that, heaven has created its own paradox of faith, seeing the author of peace and supposed savior of all mankind sinuously fashioned through self-gratification into a social degrader and the facilitator of world dissolution. The ‘life’ has already gone out of the Church. The concept of family is dead, and perversion has become the new norm. All drugs are good for you and should be legalized. All wrongs are right and should become constitutional ‘rights’. For the levelheaded, these are torments to reason and impediments to a viable society. In self-defense, sensitive minds succumb to this disruptive rhetoric, inevitably accommodating themselves to popular vote, becoming as brain-dead as everyone else.
Like their tech-savvy children, Church members have become brain-dead; just better embalmed and more ritually buried.
Having denied the laws of universal truth and logical order even once, nothing the minister says or does thereafter becomes expressly out of bounds. A church without morality could then promote totally absurd ideas for the purpose of satisfying selfish agendas. “We don’t need prisons anymore.” “All our soldiers are racist baby killers.” “America is the greatest evil in the world.” Not only would they be believed, they would be welcomed: reason notwithstanding, because in their minds reason has no standing. The unscrupulous now hold sway over the foolish and the ignorant. They could be for open-borders immigration, even though the ‘Promised Land’ was intended for the ‘chosen’ people, those who believe in order and in following the ways of the Lord. Open borders steals jobs from poor Americans, crowds our schools, exhausts our social services and government resources, and promotes the disappearance of the temperate-zone environment by tearing down trees for more living space and destroying once-lush and pleasant habitats. What do they care if domestic America, the homeland of their children, dies as long as these bloated elites can enjoy the fruits of other people’s labor in their life time and wallow in posterity’s stolen richness?
This infection will soon be complete. Fairness loses its sense of justice, democratic security all its options, as authorities and monopolies link together to seize control of every commerce and wealth. Federal agencies will spend more time and resources investigating themselves than they do aiding the victims of crimes. Thieves will steal or destroy property at will, never fearing that they will be caught. Drivers will carelessly run lights, break traffic laws, or even run over anyone who hampers their freedom of movement. In abrogation of Ancient Law (unforeseen by Jesus?), no one will stand up for the orphan and the widow. No one will care about domestic abuse, or for that person lying dead in the gutter, or whether restaurants are selling tainted or poisonous food. Healers will become torturers as hospital doctors and nurses, as well as caregivers for the elderly, would rather see patients dead than alive. Service providers will perform the least amount of work for the premium amount of charge. Scientific ‘truth’, like court justice, will be sold to the highest bidder, as experiments derive only those results they were designed to find. Meanwhile, their socialist compatriots in the schools will continue to indoctrinate students with an anti-faith, anti-factual, and anti-family work ethic. This social and economic decline comes at the behest of crooked politicians who luxuriate in bribery and wealthy takeaways, knowing that the bought media will cover up their malfeasance from the general public (should any of the brainwashed or net-entranced be moved to care). It hardly matters since few possess the mental capacity now to even comprehend, were it to be explained to them in painstaking detail, how they are being misused and betrayed.
The world has received the ‘living waters’ of Christ40, only to find it tainted from the tap.
How ironic it is that Jesus Christ, the religious savior and light of the world, would harbor in his words a dark intimation of moral decline, a prescription for revelation-evil. Above this vision, his life would constitute a paradox insofar as a foreknowing and all-powerful God would predestine something (wonderful) to happen, intend it to happen [the non-appearance of which would be an impossible faltering of divine intent and heavenly design], nevertheless which has veered away from what must be. Surely that would be crazy – almost as crazy as putting an innocent man and a woman in a Garden of Eden, a sin-free paradise, and allowing a serpent to inhabit there, so they could be deceived and forever yield to the Devil authority over all future generations of mankind. Remember, only a remnant will be saved.
1 Matt 26:52-54 21 Ecc 1:14; 12:13
2 Luke 19:36-40; 7:36-50; Matt 26:6-13; John 6:65-69 22 2 Cor 12:9-10
3 Luke 22:44 23 Matt 5:31-32; 19:3-9
4 John 14:10-11 24 Matt 12:46-50
5 Heb 2:17-18; 4:14-15; Is 53:4-12 25 Matt 10:34-39; 19:10-12, 27-30
6 Heb 5:5-10; Matt 8:17 26 1 Peter 3:9
7 Is 7:15 27 1 Sam 24:11-13
8 Matt 3:16-17; 4:1-7 28 2 Sam 19:2-9
9 Ps 91:9-12 29 Ecc 3:8; Amos 5:15; Rom 12:9
10 Luke 4:20-30 30 Gen 1:27; 2:24
11 Matt 3:15; 4:14-16; 8:17; 12:17-21; 13:13-15, 34-35; et al 31 Gen 23:1-20
12 Matt 26:36-45 32 Matt 22:1-14
13 Matt 27:45-50; Ps 22:1-2 33 John 8:2-11
14 Matt 8:1-17, 28-32; 9:1-8, 18-34; et al 34 Matt 7:1-3
15 Luke 8:49-56; John 11:1-44 35 Lev 14:35-40
16 Matt 14:22-33 36 Eph 2:8-9; Rom 9:32
17 Matt 14:13-21; 15:32-38 37 Rom 4:15-16
18 Matt 12:25; 26:20-25; 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19; 26:1-2 38 Rom 10:9-10
19 John 8:58 39 Matt 18:18
20 Job 7:16 40 John 4:10
Dr. Walter Boswell