Dead Guys

The Fragmented Past

Our uncertainty about anything is covered up by our assertiveness about everything – that’s how children deal with the big, scary world – and that’s how Western culture now deals with its past and present.

A generation of fools, we are.

lostchildWe modern Westerners have lost the significance of history, even while having the History Channel. We flip through the channels, looking for bits of the past on which to heap our boiling hot scorn, or perhaps our detached bemusement. Those people were a little dopey, amirite – racists, sexists. Who? Everyone until around the year I was born.

History comes through pop culture as a sort of entertaining curiosity – we tweet and retweet interesting photographs from the turn of the century (the 20th, that is), and feel a bit… haute in displaying our cultural sensibility. “I…… know a thing or two about the Boer War – see my retweet of that photo of the British soldier with the cigarette, staring into the distance?”

But we don’t know. We have victimized history: pulled it out of shape, boiled it down to choppy images and soundbites, and now we gawk at the past as a specimen to be scoffed at – we’re the masters of time, us postmodern men and women.

In the realm of reality, however, we are simply the forgetful children and discontent toddlers of philosophy. We don’t know history, and worse, those things we do know about the past are pushed through the merciless prism of “enlightened” postmodernism – which is to say, ultraskepticism and chronological snobbery.

Our ancestors cannot be a source of wisdom and knowledge, at least in any direct manner like in picking up an old, old book and reading it as its pupil… no, those people didn’t have the internet, or auto-mobiles. We look backwards almost exclusively to learn how not to live our lives today.

And for all of this, we are impoverished and isolated like no human culture has been over the past 3,000+ years. We are locked out of the great storehouse of human experience and wisdom as soon as we judge our grandparents as homophobic rubes who didn’t know of modern dentistry.

Yet, here we are… a collapsing civilization. We have annulled the marriage to our cultural past, we’ve crowned ourselves the kings and queens of history, and many of us expect a full-blown transhuman utopia to awaken any day now. In other words, we are the fools of all history.

In trashing the past, we’ve shredded the future. I just hope our sore descendants – 1,000 years from now – will be able to look at our time period in light of the greater scale of human history and properly condemn our philosophical idiocy as the hyperbolic moment of hubris, never to be repeated.

Yep, lively and light thoughts for tonight, I know.

  • Adam
Categories: Dead Guys, Humankind in Distress, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Early Christians were Pro-Life too

Christians are marked by their respect for the dignity of every human life. Any time in history when Christians have acted differently, they have not acted as Christians.

The faith of Jesus Christ is a life-giving faith, and so those with faith in Jesus are protectors of life. Every child has a God-given right to life, from the moment of conception onward.Little Baby

This is why Christians should never use the birth-control pill, as it it possible that it causes the tiny baby to be washed out of her mother’s body in a chemical abortion.

This is why Christians cannot vote for politicians who support abortion in any form.

This is why Christians should go to every reasonable extent to speak up for the rights of the unborn, including stopping doing business with companies who support Planned Parenthood, AKA the Minority Population Reduction Centers of AmeriKa.

And this is what Christians have believed for our nearly 2,000 year history. See a section of a letter from Mathetes to Diognetus, circa A.D. 150 as he describes the distinctive lives of Christians:

 Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers.

They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. (Literally, Christians “do not cast away fetuses”).

They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.

Christians ought to have a completely different mindset than those around us. We do not destroy our unborn children! Yet in America, land of the selfish, thousands of abortions each year are committed by those who self-identify as Christians, Evangelical and otherwise. They are Christian like I am giraffe.

A few other early Christian citations (including one non-Christian Jew), against infanticide-abortion, from http://www.abortionfacts.com/literature/the-christian-view-of-abortion :

“Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19 from 74 AD).

“…And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (The Apocalypse of Peter 25, 137 AD).

“You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1 from 150 AD).

“There are some women among you who by drinking special potions extinguish the life of the future human in their very bowels, thus committing murder before they even give birth.” (Mark Felix, Christian Lawyer, Octavius chap. 30 from 170 AD).

“The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion (see Ex. 21:22) Tertullian, 210 AD.

“Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” (Tertullian, Apology 27 from 210 AD).

“Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses.” (First Canonical Letter from 374 AD).

“The law, moreover enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.” (The Works of Josephus, Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II, 25).

“Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder” (Jerome, Letters 22:13 from 396 AD).

Let us stand with the ancient Christian witness, and with the Word of God: “You shall not murder.”

Thanks for reading,

-Justin

Categories: Dead Guys, Humankind in Distress, Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy, The Message of the Bible, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Quotes from Charles Spurgeon on Affections and Idols

Charles SpurgeonPastor Spurgeon had a gift for clarity – he wielded the surgeon’s knife of biblical conviction, and yet gently healed the souls of those wounded by sin and Satan. Here Spurgeon addresses people like you and me: materialistic, tending to accumulate clutter and expensive stuff. What do you say, brother Charles, to the idea of having lots and lots of stuff in our lives?

Well, brother, well, sister, remember that where your treasure is your heart will go,
and if that treasure be taken away your heart must ache.

Right, and what else?

The more objects you set your heart upon, the more thorns there are to tear your
peace of mind to shreds.

So then eBay is a graveyard for Christian affections?

Those things which we allow to take the chief place in our bosoms have the most
power to give us grief.

Yes. What is the remedy?

We cannot too often turn our thoughts heavenward, for this is one of the great cures
for worldliness. The way to liberate our souls from the bonds that tie us to earth is to
strengthen the cords that bind us to heaven. You will think less of this poor little
globe when you think more of the world to come.

And how then does our Lord Jesus think of our affections being tied up with all these things?

The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom I now speak, is very jealous of your love, O believer.
Did he not choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did he not
buy you with his own blood? He cannot endure that you should think you are your
own, or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that he could not
stop in heaven without you; he would sooner die than that you should perish; he
stripped himself to nakedness that he might clothe you with beauty; he bowed his
face to shame and spitting that he might lift you up to honour and glory, and he
cannot endure that you should love the world, and the things of the world.

His love is…
strong as death towards you, and therefore will be cruel as the grave. He will be as a
cruel one towards you if you do not love him with a perfect heart. He will take away
that husband; he will smite that child; he will bring you from riches to poverty, from
health to sickness, even to the gates of the grave, because he loves you so much that
he cannot endure that anything should stand between your heart’s love and him. Be
careful, Christians, you that are married to Christ; remember, you are married to a
jealous husband…

Strong medicine for a Monday morning.

Thanks for reading,

-Adam

Categories: Dead Guys, The Message of the Bible | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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