Jan 4, 2013

An Observation on Culture

[From Mr. Burke, citizen]

I was reading an article that was alluding to the supposed injustice done to pagan culture and society by Christians replacing it with the birth of Christ. As I was reading it I was of course shaking my head. As a believer in the Gospel I honestly have no problems taking things from other cultures and making it Christian in order to save souls.Wedding rings? Christmas trees? Holidays? Crosses? Fish? The Sun? Its all fair game I say.

But then I realized a peculiar phenomena.

How often do we hear about the outrage we Christians have over the secular world co-opting Christmas for their own godless purposes? Removing all the Christian connotations from Christmas because it doesn't fall in line with its dogma? Well, this is obviously no different than what the Church did to paganism. She took many of its symbols and mannerisms and purged them of all common associations with its original subject matter. Now to be certain this revelation shouldn't be anything new or shocking to anybody, but the dilemma still remains as to why Christians find it so intolerable to see their traditions taken by an opposite philosophical view for the advancement of said view when Christianity is basically by definition called to do just that. To Christianize the world and bring the Gospel into everything we do. 

I'd imagine other people who are Christians who might stumble on these sorts of apparent contradictions and hypocrisies might give their worldview a second thought and may even lose their faith and join the ranks of non-confrontational, lets-all-get-along agnostics who don't want to put a pin point on anything relating to a truth claim or a position other than saying they don't have a position. However, I don't look at it this way.

I think Christians have every right to be outraged over seeing their traditions co-opted. On the same note, I think every pagan had every right to be outraged over seeing their worldly traditions taken to represent what they didn't initially intend it to be. No, not because Christmas or paganism has some kind of copyrights to them that we are violating, but because we are afraid that the truth of something may be distorted through the other side's message. I don't want Christmas being taken by secularism because I think we have some kind of special right to the holiday. I don't want that because Christmas reveals a truth that transcends the date or the holiday itself. To diminish that diminishes the chances of the lesson the celebration is supposed to impart to those who celebrate it.

I can hear a few of you say, "But what about the pagans? Don't they have a right to be just as angry over THEIR truth being 'diminished' as you say? And what is truth anyway? I mean none of us can really say whats true and whats not ,right?"
The pagans had their view of the truth. I'm not saying people don't have relative views on truth. This is most certainly the case, but I don't make the claim that it makes the truth relative. I think its quite a logical claim to say that either one of us is correct or we are all wrong. I most defiantly won't make the moronic claim that we are all somehow "equally right" or just right relative to ourselves. See, modern people today, secularists and Christians alike, are shocked over confrontation. They are just dumbfounded over the idea that people take a different stance than them. They are obsessed with the idea of persecution and a sort of validation of their worldview over undergoing some kind of agonizing ordeal for their beliefs. As if people who hold two entirely different perspectives would in no way on God's green Earth come into conflict be it violent or non-violent. But you see this is the phobia of modern man. At some point a line must be drawn in the sand. I stand on this side, you stand on that side. When your side and my side collide and talk becomes empty words then it is time for us to draw our swords like men and whoever emerges victorious shall have the final say regardless on whether or not we are correct in our world views or not. I applaud the battle raged over the idea of truth. I'd expect no different from something that believes it holds the candle in the darkness to shine it in all the unseen places. Truly there are times when things cannot be settled by words or the political process or the internal mechanisms of society. Sometimes you must raise your fists against the enemy and keep them from snuffing out the light of truth. The Crusader must rise up against the Jihadist, the French Resistance fighter against the Nazi occupier, and so on.

For those of you who might be thinking I am advocating a genocide of people who don't agree with my views you are mistaken. Battles can be won by other means than the tip of a sword. But know that a battle is what most certainly will take place. My view and your view won't sit next you each other in harmony if they are in stark opposition. I will charge your flank with my ideas. I will sneak attack you with an argument. I will launch a full frontal assault on your traditions with my traditions and not stop until either the war is won or I am struck down and I expect you to do the same. Only a coward wouldn't fight for their ideas. But war is not the end in itself. The war is waged to end the war. To bring truth to those who don't have it or those who are simply wrong. Don't feel offended that Christmas or Christianity is being infected by an opposing force and sit there crying over fake injustices. Put on your armor, unsheathe your sword, hold the line, and push them back! God made no compromise with Satan. Good makes no compromise with evil. Truth makes no compromise with lies.

Jan 2, 2013

A Short Note on Threat Evaluation

  The media is seemingly constantly awash with stories of dread; from the 'fiscal cliff' to the 'debt crisis' to various acts of violence and political turmoil we seem to be inundated with threats. Leaders of democracies, self-appointed intellectuals, and various flavors of activists seem to be constantly 'doing something' about these threats.
But very little seems to change over time. Despite the sweat, treasure, tears, and blood spilled over these issues we seem to be frozen in a sort of status quo in many critical areas.
This is because of a critical error made at the very beginning; a failure of threat evaluation. By this I mean, bluntly, that the vast majority of people in positions of influence are too trapped within their paradigm to properly evaluate threats to society, leading them to vast amounts of waste. The result is true threats are ignored and solving phantom threats produces phantom results.
Here is a blunt example of what I mean.

A Stone Age tribe is wandering near the edge of their territory when they encounter a group of strangers. These strangers seem much life the tribe; they wear face paint (although the patterns are different) and matching clothing and are armed with spears or clubs. The leader of the tribe counts only 6 strangers, as opposed to the 9 tribesmen with him. The man he thinks leads the strangers is armed with a club, like the chief, as a sign of authority.
Thw chief evaluates the strangers as a possible threat. While they are fewer in number, the strangers are taller and broader than the tribesmen, which could be a factor. The strangers' spears have unusual points – their spear points are very long and serrated along one edge; they would inflict terrible wounds! And their spears are short and heavy, obviously designed for the big strangers to use them as clubs as well as thrusting weapons.
But his tribesmen have long spears designed to thrust or to throw – they will be able to keep the bigger strangers at bay. And each tribesman carried two spears – they can throw one, killing or crippling a few , and then surround the rest easily. The chief also looks at his own two-handed war club, a massive weapon inlaid with sharp stones. The leader of the strangers has only a small hand club, more a symbol of leadership than a weapon!
His threat evaluation over, the chief strides forward confidently, ready to cow the strangers and, if necessary, destroy them.
But the leader of the strangers is also evaluating the situation. His squad of Royal Marines has bayonets fixed and full clips in their assault rifles. He has his 9mm pistol out, just in case. He looks at the 10 men his squad stumbled upon with their primitive speaks and no body armor and strides forward confidently....
Trapped within his paradigm, the chieftain is evaluating the wrong threat. Indeed, he cannot even begin to understand what threats he is facing.
Many leaders of the world, self-described intellectuals, journalists, and policy makers are in similar positions; so caught up within their own paradigm that they cannot grasp the true dangers staring them in the face. Between a false dichotomy of Left and Right, a rejection of objective morality, the belief that certain facts are merely 'social constructs', and the various national and regional concepts (such as Americans thinking Libertarians are conservative) this blindness to true threats is, perhaps, inevitable.
This is why Edan is sometimes slow to respond, or takes a seemingly contrarian position (or no position). We must focus on real threats and on understanding what they are and where they are coming from.