The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
02nd of September, 2014

On Guns

This is from an exchange of mine on guns:

What you call beheading videos, I call primary sources. I only watch those because I don’t just read investigative reporting; I am an investigative reporter. Mother Jones is leftist pap, watered down with sensationalised mass hysteria.
Guns have always been here, and only now do you have mass-shootings. Why is nobody mentioning that all the mass shooters have psychotropic medications? (Well, they would know if they looked beyond Mother Jones.)
Do you know what the shoot-out capitals of your USA have in common? LA, NYC, Chicago, DC?

Contrary to popular weirdness, the most-armed places and times aren’t necessary the ones with the highest cases of such mass-homicidal madness. And, indeed, when Rwanda’s time came, just being armed was sufficient—even machetes were sufficient; it didn’t have to be guns. Most murders are not with guns; all murders, however, are by murderers. It is cowardice to focus on the weapons (even if we are speaking machetes and swords), rather than on the murderers themselves.

Haha, Mother Jones is your standard?
Have you actually looked at the stats? And have you considered more than just America (or Brazil), where the problem is violent people, not guns? In Rwanda, for instance, guns not only stopped a genocide (and continue to prevent one), but also every other guard has a gun.
 
Do you think guns are popular for murder, or defence? Most people with guns are not shooting kids. Some places are sick in the head, and the gun is just another factor. If someone is killing kids, it doesn’t matter if he used poison. The problem is not the method.

PS: Most murders are not with guns. In Rwanda, for instance, bare hands, machetes, ropes, and sticks kill more people per day than guns kill in a week. But, of course, I expect every gun murder to be over-sensationalised more than, say, drunken driving which kills more children than murder.

I could find one of the kids whose deaths have been prevented by armed men. (Mostly police officers, of course, but also family members.)
:o)


01st of September, 2014

Streett Meets McGilchrist… Or How the NPP Happens

Daniel Strett is doing it for me again:

This is rather strange. It might be helpful to realize that people do not normally approach literature this way. I did a search on Google Books the other day for the term “exegesis.” I found that every book on the first ten pages that came up was a Biblical Studies book. Literary critics don’t really talk much about exegesis, nor do classicists, surprisingly. Why is that? Those groups talk a lot about interpretation and hermeneutics and context, but not “exegesis.”

forest-for-treesI would like to propose that much of what people mean by “exegesis” is artificial, atomistic overanalysis of little bits of texts that were originally intended to be heard as wholes, not analyzed, labelled and translated. That kind of exegesis results from an approach to texts that I like to call ‘the Bible Code mentality.’
Well, as you know by now, this is what one schooled at the feet of Iain McGilchrist would call “left-brain madness” or something.

I think that some modern heresies, like the “New Perspective on Paul” are a direct result of this, and it is very embarrassing. They yack away and away about “subjective genitive” and so on, but:

So, I find that that the question, “what about exegesis?” presupposes that to interpret a text, one must be able to label, diagram and translate it into another language. I disagree with this. When I read and discuss English literature, I do not analyze syntax or diagram sentences. I also do not label each element using linguistic metalanguage. Rather I discuss meaning, themes, characterization. I summarize. I paraphrase. I make connections with other parts of the text. I tease out logical implications. I examine elements of literary artistry. All of this can be done, indeed, is best done, in the language itself.

Yeah, which is why “pistis christou” is as much “faith is Christ” as it is “Christian faith”.

http://danielstreett.com/2014/09/01/exegesis-vs-reading-or-how-to-dismantle-an-atomistic-bomb/
01st of September, 2014

Assyrian Christians: Between Simele and ISIS

The story of the Assyrian Christians is sad in remarkable ways. I have even found myself searching Revelation 1-4 for the answer to their fate. I have wondered if, instead, theirs is a case of “Judgment starts in God’s household.” I even think I remember a prophet somewhere in the Old Testament who says that, just as the Assyrians reduced the Israelites to exile and diaspora, so also God would humble their remnant.

This video is from before the rise of the Islamic State (Iraq-Syria) and its caliphate that has had a punishing effect on the Christians of the Nineveh Plains.

Notice that the MP brushes past the Kurds’ slow conquests of Assyrian land. Well, in the last days of the Ottoman Empire, and in the early days of the Young Turks, the Kurds co-operated with the Turks on the basis of their shared Islamic creed, to persecute and mass-murder the Christian populations which were primarily Armenian and Assyrian Christians. The Muslims Kurds and Arabs helped in these exterminations, with religion being the uniting factor.

In that time, the Assyrian nation was truly fighting as a Christian nation. Agha Petros flew a flag very similar to one I would fly: a red flag with a white cross. (I do Latin cross, though. ✝) Notice how the Assyrian leaders, without the benefit of our hindsight, are unable to distinguish Kurdish hostility from Arab or Turkish, because it is all Muslim hostility directed against Christians, Armenian and Assyrian alike. And then the British betrayed them into the hands of the Arabs of Iraq—and, consequently, today, the Kurds of Kurdistan.

After the time of the British empire, there were things like the Simele massacre. Then there was the fall of Saddam. Then there was the invasions of the Islamic State jihadists, which expelled the Christians out of Mosul and the environs.

In light of these things, the video of the British Member of Parliament is almost sad enough to round back to funny. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cD49rfFpQc Because now it does’t even make sense to protest the Kurds’ theft of Christian land, when in fact they are the lesser of two dangers. (See? We need the Christian Free State.) What ISIS did by decree, the Kurds do by other means.

26th of August, 2014

Yet More on Cannabis and Legalism

The volume should reduce from here on, as we may hope:
So you smoke dope? If so, why do you not see the cannibas in your lungs before you pick on the nicotine in your brother's?
I smoked cannabis, yes, and I am hoping to resume in about a week’s time, but I don’t think cannabis is bad at all. I don’t see a reason to remove it; I see a reason to use it and to encourage it for those who have a need for it.
However, every animal knows that nicotine is poison, even when it gives them a high. It is sensible that I counsel against nicotine, because I counsel against poison. I cannot counsel against cannabis, because there is nothing wrong with it.

I guess I should tell Ted: “why do you support nicotine, and yet oppose cannabis?” I never go around pointing legalistic finders at tobacconists, but not at cannabists either. I would never have written these if this blog had never first attacked cannabis. And why would I forbid tobacco? Am I in the place of God? Nevertheless, it is certainly a poisonous addiction, and cannabis is certainly a medicinal drug. That’s as far as I go. The rest is for those who are under the law.
26th of August, 2014

Even More on Cannabis and Legalism

My interlocutor attempted this, and I responded:
Mind altering substance (Pharmakia) is a whole different matter than Caffein or Nicotine. But if you insist on your position stop drinking coffee.
You will find that I have a very uncommon position on mind-altering activities and substances: I don’t consider them wrong. That position is simply not in line with my beliefs. I don’t treat highs as bad things; how could I?

If I did, yes, I would be against sugar, coffee, alcohol, smartphones, picnics, music, jogging, sex, red meat, Facebook, Twitter, and all these other non-essential things we engage in simply because it feels good. However, I am not shouting against any of those things. I am shouting the Gospel. I am not a legalist; I am a (Reformed) Christian.

I am also a coffee addict. I am not a cannabis addict at present, though. (It is hard to get a cannabis addiction, and easy to lose it.)
Besides, the research finds more cases of substance-induced psychosis (SIP) from alcohol and tobacco than from cannabis, by percentage. I am not forbidding alcohol, much less cannabis! —Also, ironically, the molecule CBD (cannabidiol) has been found to have a strong anti-psychotic effect; the problem is that modern strains of cannabis are bred for the molecule THC (which gives the high), and not for CBD (which is strongly-medicinal). Now high-CBD strains are increasing in availability, thank God. In typical style, Hebrew University Jerusalem developed the best strain, Avidekel. (Look it up! Amazing stuff. It’s so low in THC, you cannot even get high on it.) In Israel, the best treatment for many old-people diseases is … you guessed it: high-CBD marijuana.

Meanwhile, that pharmakia in Galatians is more of Adderall and the like. Cannabis is naturally-occurring; and unlike tobacco, which today is largely factory-assembled, cannabis is in all cases just plant material. Are you throwing your lot in with a society that declares illegal a *plant species*? How dare they call God a criminal, and declare His work illegal? May God “hasten the judgement on all who, through their wickedness, suppress the truth.” Don’t ever forget that it is just a plant, and it has no poison. Any antipathy towards it is always just because of economics and politics. Corn is more-dangerous than cannabis. HFCS has more addicts (and more consequent diabetics, anddead people) than cannabis could ever manage.

Cannabis is just a plant. It is even more-useful when taken in a form that doesn’t render a high. (Of course, personally it is the high I am after when I indulge.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZXmbEGrlRs
Watch “The Drugging of Our Children”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26e5PqrCePk
But more-importantly, “pharmakia” includes more than just those things that our (secular) society disapproves of, in its self-righteous ignorance. You had better not pass judgement on the plant that has the longest farmed pedigree. Paracetamol kills more people per day than cannabis does per decade; and I am not even campaigning against paracetamol. I could multiply these example by the thousands; I am not joking! How would I throw my lot in with a society that glorifies poison and strictly forbids medicine? Do you think there is anything holy about modern society’s attitudes towards mood-altering substance and activities?
26th of August, 2014

More on Cannabis and Legalism

Once again, from my web escapades:

I find it sad, actually, that you defend smoking of tobacco, and mark anti-tobacco stances as somehow unorthodox and in league with Nazis and Mozzies, while in fact tobacco was historically a poison. Isn’t it good to oppose the consumption of addictive poisons? I mean, the Nazis also banned gay culture; what does that say about other expressions of that normal distaste for homosexuality?

From the beginning, tobacco was known to be a poison, and was first used as an insecticide. (A teaspoon of nicotine will kill a grown man in 5 seconds.) Tobacco addiction borders on incurable, and the withdrawal symptoms are sometimes outright fatal for healthy people.

Of course, the reason one puts tobacco addiction in the wraps of “it is the opposite of the heretics” is simply because one has to justify something he/she cannot stop doing. The reason the Gospel provides Grace is so that you accept the holy and righteous law, even when you do not keep it. No need to say “heretics hate smoking … we are proud of it!” The heretics are right! Smoking is bad; it is slow suicide, and it doesn’t glorify God or honour His temple.

Two things can happen now.

The legalist will lower the standard of holiness, because (he knows that) he can’t quit smoking, or looking at women lustfully, or getting angry, or whatever. He will claim and pretend that smoking (or anger, or porn, or modern movies, or whatever) is permissible. This is the carnal mind. It is in open rebellion against the divine law.

The (Reformed) Christian will emphasise the wickedness of such behaviour, even if he can’t quit. This is the spiritual mind. It submits to the righteous law.

“What Law could not do, in so far as our earthly nature weakened its action, God did, by sending his own Son, with a nature resembling our sinful nature, to atone for sin. He condemned sin in that earthly nature, so that the requirements of the Law might be satisfied in us who live now in obedience, not to our earthly nature, but to the Spirit.” Romans 8. The Gospel of Grace permits man to “approach the throne of Grace with a clear conscience, sprinkled with the blood”. That is Hebrews 10. Is this for those who have no sin (such as smoking tobacco)? If so, why would they need to be sprinkled with Jesus’ blood, to ensure their peaceful conscience? Their conscience is not peaceful because they are not smokers, but because they are Christians, who are sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb. This is what saves them from condemnation; it is what assures their conscience, not the absence of sin. Do your people never ever read Romans 7? (Only Jesus has the right to stand before God with a good conscience without the benefit of this gospel and the sprinkling.)

Legalists always heap scorn on the gospel of Grace, saying we are only encouraging sin. On the contrary, only we are able to respect and uphold the Law. “Do we nullify the Law by this faith? μη γενοιτο! Rather, we uphold the Law.” Romans 5. And those who continue in legalism are in fact “breaking the law, and they approve of those who do.” Even the anti-smoking liberals, “the Nation who have not a Law, when they do the requirements of the Law, they condemn you … showing that the Law of God is written in their hearts.” Can you justify tobacco addiction, or delegitimise the anti-tobacco stance of those heretics? And if you did, wouldn’t you appeal ultimately to the liberty that legalists always reject? So you see, even legalism doesn’t help people keep the law; it just makes them aware of sin, and the flesh goes on to justify (even approve of) sin. The truly righteous concede that the smoking of tobacco is bad, even while they are pulling on a cigarrette. —And the truly righteous stand before God with a clear conscience not because they aren’t smoking (or getting angry or lusting), but because of the sprinkled blood of the lamb. Christianity isn’t about dos and don’ts; it is about peace, joy, and life by the Spirit. If you want dos and don’ts, go to Moses (who fell in the desert with the rebels); Jesus is all about grace. The faux-pious legalists have always rebelled against the amazing grace, even as they are steeped in desperate need for it. “The gospel is foolishness to the reprobate.” And “The foolishness and weakness of God is wiser and stronger than man’s wisdom and strength.” 1 Cor 1. Now you see how true that is.

On the other hand, this brilliant and important weblog launches unceasing attacks on the smoking of cannabis, which is not only non-addictive (or barely-addictive), but also outright cures cancer.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

The reason most people smoke tobacco today is simply because of successful marketing (mostly by Edward Bernays) of a seriously addictive substance; not because it is good, permissible, or beneficial. I do not expect you to ever want to backtrack, or even to be able to (of your own capacity). We all have our prides and weaknesses. However, I am going to openly express my desire that you stop passing tobacco on as a good thing. It is objectively not, its acceptability notwithstanding.

25th of August, 2014

On Cannabis and Legalism

I ended up saying this to a guy on the web. Follow:
I have always found it interesting how many cults prohibit smoking …
But you, my dear beloved brother Ted, also says similar things about cannabis, which is far, far less-harmful than tobacco, and is indeed medicinal, and basically non-toxic. It is even less-addictive than alcohol (to say nil of tobacco), and is a crucial medicine for cases that literally cannot be treated any other way (because, until recent research on cannabis, doctors neither knew about the endo-cannabinoid system, or even how to fix any of the problems that affect it).

All legalists dwell on “touch not, taste not”, including you Roman Catholics. This kind of thing is not so much a feature of cults as it is a feature of all who are unaware of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals to us about the Law, the flesh, and true righteousness before God—which is by faith.
All legalists also dwell on “these things that pass away with usage,” never realising that, for instance, it is less-respectful of your body, and more-harmful, to eat McDonald’s than to smoke a joint. I could extend this to driving cars, surfing Facebook, or whatever. We (Reformed) don’t lack “bad things” to forbid; we just lack legalism. We could extend The Sermon on the Mount with millions of real examples, enjoining and forbidding everything less-than-perfect, but we prefer to preach the Gospel instead. These forbiddings and injunctions have absolutely no power to control sin in the flesh; they are only useful to make people aware that they are sinning. That’s all. They never even change behaviour; they only permit guilt or self-righteousness, depending on whether we are being pharisaical (standards of holiness other than “be perfect as your Father is perfect”) or being “zacchæcal” (as in, “like Zacchæus”, like the other tax-collector who went home justified).

The only reason I don’t lump your (uncharacteristically) poorly-researched position on cannabis with what the heretics do is because you are truly a Christian and I truly respect Romans 14. I understand that your branch of the Church almost fears to countenance with Romans 14 (or Colossians 2, or …), but then “you who are strong in faith, bear with those who are weak.” So I will not argue about cannabis with you, my beloved dear brother Theodore, even though you are wrong on it. (And, by the way, I would strongly urge against ever smoking tobacco. Nicotine is one of the most-addictive things we know of, is a very potent poison—having started out as a poisoning agent—and it is a systemic carcinogenic; as in, not just the lungs, but the entire body. It’s not the smoking that causes tobacco-related cancer; it is the nicotine.)
24th of August, 2014

It’s Taking Shape

Ah, the World after cheap oil! Imagine that these things are being written about a country from whose coast you can actually see Italy with the naked eye:
The situation in Libya is drastically degrading. At the moment this country is becoming a failed state, breaking into small domains ruled by warlords with rather murky reputations.
This situation was created due to complex political, military and social reasons. It is evident that we are dealing not with some short-term crisis, but a long-term tendency that was started by the events of 2011.

“Normal nation-building” has failed. A relatively safe country in close proximity to Europe has become a playground for radical Islamists and terrorists.
There is no progress in the national dialogue. There are no law enforcement agencies. All the government agencies that matter are paralyzed. There are more human rights violations now than under Colonel Gaddafi. Civilians are killed every day, infrastructure is being destroyed, not even a semblance of order exists, and economic development is absolutely out of the question. The latest parliamentary elections did not help to stabilize the situation. The situation in Tripoli has deteriorated so far that the first session of the new parliament had to be held far from the capital of the country.
http://rt.com/op-edge/180240-libya-terrorism-un-security/

You may remember that war that overthrew and killed Gaddafi and all his sons (perhaps save for one). And now the new state of play is taking shape. It doesn’t look good, at all.The smoke from the fighting of these jihadists at Tripoli International Airport is actually visible from Europe. Hmm …

Of course, the issue here is that Libya is one of the biggest oil exporters. Forget the resource curse; think peak oil.

24th of August, 2014

The Free (Secular) World Athwart the Islamists

It is interesting indeed that serious challenges to the modern nation-state have caused the lines between the secular state and the religious state to become ever more important. Without intending to (and, often, without even realising it), the modern states—nearly all of them secularist—are having to emphasise what makes them different (and, as they hope, preferable) to the alternative states that are showing up.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting American official that “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas. …These are both branches of the same poisonous tree. The free world, the democracies have to stand together against this terrorism.”
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24871/Default.aspx

See, the central doctrine of what they call “The Free World” is democracy. This, in its most-basic form, is essentially populist hedonism. What the majority prefers is law. Of course, I need not go on about how this is a very dangerous thing.
But if you want to be free in this sense, that is where you end up. Those who end up with the good system are not free, as even the majority has to conform to what an authority has decided is the right thing.
This democracy they love unto death. The Americans, for example, will sensibly justify an invasion for the sake of democracy. (I totally support people living and dying for their central doctrine; I just don’t support democracy being that central doctrine.)

Now Netanyahu seeks to pull the Gentiles to his side by bragging about how Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and that “the democracies have to stand together.” He doesn’t realise that this is the new paganism; and characteristically Jews would be excellent at high heresy. (Thank God—the God of their fore-fathers—for His unfailing mercy towards them, in spite of them.) These Jews, who do have a divine Law, spend all their religious efforts arguing about how to not keep it (and gathering around themselves a cohort of Rabbis to legalise, or even enjoin, their law-breaking), and when they seek to differentiate themselves from Islamists, it is not their God that they appeal to as the source of their glory, but to themselves and their freedom to choose what is right in their eyes. “The free World,” they call it. Even the mostly-heathen Arabs have not mistaken “popular” with “right”; these Hamas and ISIS enforce bitter and anachronistic laws everyday as part of their commitment to Shari’a, and they don’t care for the popularity of their Islamic law—they believe it to be divine, so they enfocrce it.
It isn’t those who hear the words of a Law that are righteous before God, but it is those who obey it that will be pronounced righteous. When Nations, who have no Law, do instinctively what the Law requires, they, though they have no Law, are a Law to themselves; for they show the demands of the Law written on their hearts; their consciences corroborating it, while in their thoughts they argue either in self-accusation or, it may be, in self-defence—on the day when God passes judgment on people’s inmost lives, as the good news that I tell declares that he will do through Christ Jesus.
—Romans 2
If you are not a democracy, you are some kind of theocracy; since if right is not decided by the (pretense of) majority, then some other entity is understood to have the authority to decide right. Furthermore, wherever such authority is recognised, then Ultimate Authority—God’s rulership—is recognised, even if merely due to logical necessity.
Every single human recognises this authority innately (starting with kids recognising it in their parents); the Enlightenment merely allowed us to ignore this in the same way it permitted everything between Darwinism and gay marriage. I mean, if you will end up at “I have two dads!”, what’s to stop you from sampling abortion, eugenics, and democracy along the way?

The modern World is democratic not because democracy works, but because theocracy was abandoned. (After all, most implementations of democracy are for the purposes of legitimising certain representatives’ authority to compel, and they essentially terminate democracy to establish oligarchy. The point of is not to give everybody a voice, but to convince ourselves that we gave the rulers the authority they have over us. It’s evident nonsense, especially in practice, but democrats actually go on believing this stuff. “Power belongs to the people …” and other such heresies, you know.)

The other thing to note in that exchange is that Netanyahu rightly recognises that Hamas and Islamic State (Iraq-Syria) are essentially the same thing. The problem, though, is that he denounces their “terrorism,” which is actually not a bad thing.
Terrorism is merely a war tactic. If people are dying, it doesn’t matter that they were done after a siege, or after a bomb ambush. Aggression can’t follow rules; conflict is not sport; war is not a game. I remember that the Germans took the Americans to the war court because they used repeating firearms in the trench charges of World War 1. That was, in fact, terrorism, but the Germans had no case: the Americans were at war, and had to win by killing. Does it matter that they used tactics to which the Germans had no response? If you cannot stop the aggressor, why do you expect him to follow your preferences in fighting? If you want to be good in war, don’t fight. I even truly believe that Israel cause a lot of sheer terror in Gaza. (See the video here http://rt.com/news/182416-gaza-large-buildings-leveled/) But if that is how to win, that is how you fight.

What Netanyahu should have called out is their common theology, not their common terrorism. The terrorism is just as bad as all war is. The Islam, though, is what causes the conflict in the first place, which necessitates—even legitimises—terrorism. Don’t fight terrorism; fight Islam.
But the secular World cannot fight Islam, because it would have to become theocratic in order to properly and successfully oppose a theocracy, which is a position it long ago denounced, heaped scorn on, and abandoned. And, unfortunately, if democracy remains, and the demographic trends hold, the West will be theocratic again soon enough—Islamist, to be precise. I think France is approaching 15% Muslim, and so no election campaign can actually oppose Islam and succeed, even though it also cannot succeed as an Islamist campaign, either.

Now the modern nation-state seems to be dying, and with it the principles on which it stood. In an overly-International age like ours, a war in Syria features European and Australian volunteers doing beheadings. As a result, the nation-state is now facing down a challenge—mostly rhetorical—from a faith-nation-state. If you read the first sentence in the Hamas Covenant, is a quote from the Qur’an which says that Muslims are a “nation” (ummah). Islamic State also repeatedly refers to this ummah, which they believe they have created a global state for. Hence there is a global challenge to the nation-state as we know it. The only valid opposite of both Hamas and Islamic State is the Christian state.
24th of August, 2014

We Are All Nasara

I have just updated the new blog design at http://xxvii.1st.ug/ (a.k.a. http://4.the-27th-comrade.appspot.com/). A central feature of this new design is a creepy background image, which is the Arabic letter “nun”, in a circle.

Earlier this year, Islamic State militants in Mosul went around marking the homes of Christians with this letter. It is the Arabic-language equivalent of the letter “N”. They used it to mark the homes of all “Nasara” (which is the Qur’anic term for “Christian”). In fact, this very image is taken directly from a photograph of one of the homes they marked, and touched up slightly to fit the theme.

This is not just the experience of Christians in Mosul; it is the experience of Christians in general. We are all “Nasara”; we are all targetted.

24th of August, 2014

Upcoming Version

There is this version of the blog that I have worked on today, which is basically just a re-design to make the website usable on mobile.

http://4.the-27th-comrade.appspot.com/

I have made it the default, because I kind of destroyed the old design, so now I have to apply myself to this one and finish it soon. I am a bit busy, but I think it should not be a whole month out. The other important thing is that I will not settle for doing just another weblog design. This has to be, at the very least, brave and experimental, even weird.

The old one is licking its wounds here: http://3.the-27th-comrade.appspot.com/

This design is mobile-first, and it is exclusively a design update. I hope to pause it there, until I have a geniunely neat design for a weblog. For now, that minimalism works fine by me. But I think a blog can be done much more interestingly than this.

It is currently showing the same entries as this one. It is just another version of the interface, and currently does not support comments, either.

23rd of August, 2014

The Gift of Life

Yeah, life is God’s gift; while “the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy.” Pretty much summarises the true, classical Islam that the Middle Eastern Islamists of today aspire to.

See, life can only be a gift. We never “earned” to be alive. We never chose to be alive here this long, or even that we would be here, rather than in Tajikistan (http://www.eurasianet.org/node/68806) or India (http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/pictures/filthy-india-photos-chinese-netizen-reactions.html). We cannot take credit for being alive; in this, we very easily admit that God takes all the credit. Nobody has the resources to pay for life. Life is always a gift. Eternal life, in fact, is explicitly God’s free gift, and no creation has the resources to pay for it. (The very thought made me chuckle.) Normal human-originated religion pretends that Man can pay for the blessings that God gives him (whether life, or, say rain, children, wealth, food, intelligence, libido, health, or Christianity). Heretical movements out of Christianity also teach that eternal life is a reward.
The true (i.e., Reformed/Protestant) Christian faith teaches that Man can take no credit for life, and most-certainly not for eternal life. Moses literally said “Israel: do these things, and you shall live by them (the Law).” Legalists say: “Christian: live for God by the Law, then you are assured of eternal life.” Why should we be given an eternal reward for just doing as we were required to, over a small period of time? Variation from this is just a few inches away from saying “Muslim: die for Allah, and then you are assured of eternal life.” Imagine, dying is a curse, the result of separation from the Spirit of God, and they call it a good thing‽
We (Prots) say, “Christian: You are assured of eternal life; live for God by the Spirit!” This is literally what Romans 8 is all about.
There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in union with Christ Jesus; for through your union with Christ Jesus, the Law of the life-giving Spirit has set you free from the Law of sin and death. What Law could not do, in so far as our earthly nature weakened its action, God did, by sending his own Son, with a nature resembling our sinful nature, to atone for sin. He condemned sin in that earthly nature, so that the requirements of the Law might be satisfied in us who live now in obedience, not to our earthly nature, but to the Spirit.

They who follow their earthly nature are earthly-minded, while they who follow the Spirit are spiritually minded. To be earthly-minded means death, to be spiritually minded means life and peace; because to be earthly-minded is to be an enemy to God, for such a mind does not submit to the Law of God, nor indeed can it do so. They who are earthly cannot please God. You, however, are not earthly but spiritual, since the Spirit of God lives within you. Unless a person has the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ; but, if Christ is within you, then, though the body is dead as a consequence of sin, the spirit is life as a consequence of righteousness. And, if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives within you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life even to your mortal bodies, through his Spirit living within you.
(Emphases mine.)
Notice that Paul says the Law cannot put an end to evil habits; only by the Spirit. So if we truly want to end evil habits, we actually have no alternatives to having the Spirit of Christ in us—the Law will most-certainly not help. Furthermore, Paul limits the Spirit to those who are Christians. Notice that he also says that there is no condemnation for the Christians. (I know; Roman Catholics think this would be too good to be true. Even so, since they are of Christ, they actually have this life; but not the peace that the gospel preaches. They are unable to truly love God for the unrelenting and unreasonably-good grace and favour that He gives all of us Chrissies in spite of our not-deserving it any more than the Mozzies do; rather, they see Him as a stern judge who watches every thing and every thought, and whom they have to work hard every day to survive. And they know they don’t match up, so they are not at peace.)
This is from Paul’s mail to the Romans. Hebrews 10 even says: “Let us draw near to God in all sincerity of heart and in perfect faith, with our hearts purified by the sprinkled blood from all consciousness of wrong, and with our bodies washed with pure water. Let us maintain the confession of our hope unshaken, for he who has given us his promise will not fail us. Let us vie with one another in a rivalry of love and noble actions.”
I would stab anyone who says that this has the same source as the Qur’an of that accursed and suicidal heretic Qathem a.k.a. Muhammad. (He did actually have suicidal thoughts, according to the Qur’an.)

And if life is a gift, how much more would resurrection be? Because all humans are spiritually-dead, because of their own decision to side with sin against righteousness. They lie, they steal, they kill, and whenever they open their mouths, someone is hurt. Should this kind of shit ever be let into Heaven? This is why God would be justified if He left us all in their death-from-sin and condemned us all to death for our crazy and unrelenting rebellion against holiness. It is the just and upright thing to do! They mistake sin (e.g., Shari’a Law) for holiness; even when they obey, it is for their selfish interests—to avoid punishment—not out of simple wanting to do that right thing, which can only be based on faith, as would be the case for the law-obeying works done by a Christian. The best summary is Jesus’ words: “Freely you have received; freely give.” They can’t give freely—which is the right way to give, if you are to give at all—because they have not received freely.

If you are under the Law, by the way, it is automatic that you cannot ever “do good works”, you are only ever doing as you should, or else you are breaking the Law. Only the faith-based righteousness of Christianity actually gives freedom to do good because it is good. The bad even the legalists do; but because of their pride in their own righteousness, they are condemned for the bad they do. The good that the legalists do is to save their skin; the good that we do is to just do the good that God in us—the Holy Spirit—actually wants done, because it is the good thing “against which there is no law.” So the legalists hate this freedom, because they think we will take the opportunity to sin. And if we didn’t have the Spirit—if we weren’t Christians—indeed we would! For them, if there were no law, they would have no reason to do good. We, on the other hand, do good because the Spirit inspires it, not because the Law commands it.
It is for freedom that Christ set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not again be held under the yoke of slavery.

For we, by the help of the Spirit, are eagerly waiting for the fulfilment of our hope—that we may be pronounced righteous as the result of faith. If we are in union with Christ Jesus, neither is circumcision nor the omission of it anything, but faith, working through love, is everything.

But the fruit produced by the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindliness, generosity, trustfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Notice how all the “fruits of the spirit” are innately good. Even fun. There is no law against them. Why do you need a Law to do these things, which are clearly worth doing already? And yet because we have a Law to do them—even just knowledge of good and evil; knowing that they are good—even if we did them we would only be paying our dues. Only if we are not under the Law, but under Grace, do they come simply as fruits. And this is just on the technical level alone, to say nothing of the fact that, in spite of their human nature, Christians indeed grow to be better people, doing more good and less wrong, while heathens go from bad to worse.
Entropy is the normal state in this Universe. Death and decay. Everything is dead ever since Adam’s thingy.

Remember: it is not that some are alive and some are dead. All are dead, as they richly deserve to be; only that some are resurrected, entirely due to God’s own unilateral favour, independent of them. (And since it is not by your efforts that you are alive now, much less by your efforts can you stay alive. God chose you, resurrected you, and will keep you safe until the end. That core Biblical comfort is what the Reformation was about. The Jews, in fact, are an ethnic example of God’s insistent Grace to those whom He has chosen—even when they are idolatrous and unfaithful rebels, as the Jews have always been. The Prots always said: Sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura, solo Christo, soli Deo gloria. “Only to God [be] the glory.” And they were right.)

We would all be normal human beings—oriented to sin and death, mistaking it for piety, and proud of it, as the Muslims are—except for the fact that we were pulled out. Our ancestors were like this. (Although, of course, post-Christian is “at least seven times worse” than pre-Christian.) We would be like this, except we were resurrected. Nobody can take credit for life; even less for this life. It is a free gift. Any true faith can be recognised by having no pride before God: when we stand before Him, justified and heirs to eternal life, all that glory and fun that awaits us being firmly, irreversibly and most-certainly assured, we can never find any credit in ourselves. Neither for the life, nor for the resurrection to eternal life.

http://www.slideshare.net/IsraelDefenseForces/new-declassified-report-exposes-hamas-human-shield-policy-38180790
This is on the free Internet, but what you will get in the media is “Israel: bad. Hamas: good. Islamists: misunderstood. Christians: superstitious, intolerant, anti-scientific, self-righteous, anti-choice wankers.”

Either that, or you will hear: “Christians: .”
That’s a total silence on Christians, because even though last week had 400-600 Christians killed by Islamists in Nigeria alone, you will probably hear more noise about the wife and daughter of Muhammad Deif (the same Deif who is mentioned in that video as the Hamas leader whose speech inspired that man to his suicidal stance).
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2729114/As-births-seven-Palestinian-babies-born-UN-shelters-celebrated-Israel-carries-fresh-air-strikes-Hamas-breaches-ceasefire.html
(If you are wondering why there are so many pictures of dead babies, and none of dead combatants—and this on The Daily Mail, at that—it is because … well, that’s how the Islamists want it. Their kids’ TV carries pictures of babies in explosive vests, and their adult media shows dead babies. Imagine being an Israeli, and being forced by a truly crazy World to live with such truly crazy people in your midst! You know what Churchill said about Islam?)

Outright opposition to Christianity was big in the last century (until the dough of the New Atheism failed to prove, at the start of this century); this century, however, seems to prefer silence, which may be worse, and I think that this is preparation for a very difficult time for Christians and Jews everywhere on the planet. The way they never see the good a Jew does, or the evil a Muslim does, and they never forgive or forget the wrong a Jew does, or mention the wrong a Muslim does … this is likely going to become the norm. As an aged, cowardly, and oil-addicted West throws its lot in with the global Muslim agenda. Some things I hope to never see. And I thought I had seen it all. The Chrissies haven’t stood with the Yids, because they do not know that they are in as much real danger.

Probably the only good thing about being a Christian in the last days is that, if you are alive when Christ returns, you never get to experience death. Paul’s first mail to the Corinthians:
This I say, friends—flesh and blood can have no share in the kingdom of God, nor can the perishable share the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you God’s hidden purpose! We will not all have passed to our rest, but we will all be transformed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet-call, the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise immortal, and we, also, will be transformed. For this perishable body of ours must put on an imperishable form, and this dying body a deathless form. And, when this dying body has put on its deathless form, then indeed will the words of scripture come true—“death has been swallowed up in victory! Where, Death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” It is sin that gives death its sting, and it is the Law that gives sin its power. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Therefore, my dear friends, stand firm, unshaken, always diligent in the Lord’s work, for you know that, in union with him, your toil isn’t in vain.
So, yeah, we are for life, we hope for life, we love life, and those Christians who are alive when Christ returns will never experience death. We are the children of light and life. The alternatives are all death, and Islam is one very clear sample of that. (But then, a vast majority of all these heresies are essentially death cults. This includes the Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, or Uganda’s own Kibwetere. Precisely because Islam is not really that unique, it should not be that difficult to point it out for the aberrant demonic wickedness it is.)

PS: “It is sin that gives death its sting, and it is the Law that gives sin its power.”
Some wankers would have us believe the opposite, that the Law weakens sin. God’s testimony is the opposite: the Law gives sin power. More laws, more sins. If they truly wanted to stop sin, they would have long admitted what they all know: that the Law doesn’t actually rein in sin. They are not aware of a valid route to a holy life, because nobody has told them the pure gospel of Jesus Christ which promises and actually delivers a holy life, and an unshakeable peace before God who loves us before we know Him, and then loves us to Himself with assurances of Grace (“The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.”), and then loves us for believing, and then loves us for the fruits that His Spirit brings forth in us.

Life is a gift. So is every good thing God gives us. We can’t have our Creator in debt to us; rather we can only observe undeserved provision for us, in the bounty of creation and in life itself. This is common sense. But humans generally don’t see this, because even sound religion doesn’t just occur to fallen man. It required a special revelation for such now-obvious things to be made plain. Outside of Christianity, everybody is just groping about blindly, missing or rejecting even the most-obvious things. For instance, they get more assurance from religious ritual than from the written promises of God. They treat buildings (temple, church) with more reverence and hushed respect than they treat their bodies—which bodies are the true dwelling of God! They take of God’s creation and offer sacrifices and take pride in that as though it were from their own supply that they give to God, or as though He would have passed out from hunger. And when God told them “Give me 10% of your stuff …” and they also gave 10%, and felt that now they should be rewarded for presumed generosity-to-God, even though He made it possible for them to actually give 100% and still live off it. The worst thing, I think, is that they know for sure that even the smallest good thing they have—be it a good voice—is a gift of God; but they seek to assert their ownership over this great gift that only God can freely-give.
23rd of August, 2014

Re: Gazan Style

See also:
http://www.slideshare.net/IsraelDefenseForces/new-declassified-report-exposes-hamas-human-shield-policy-38180790
Filled with maps, satellite images, and raw videos of the crazy (and, I guess, effective) human shield strategy from the last one month alone.
Hamas’ tactics flagrantly violate international law and the most basic of moral precepts. Given these tactics, the ultimate responsibility for the damage done to civilians as well as the civilian infrastructure of Gaza lies with Hamas.
They forgot to add:
Israel’s tactics of exposing this are a waste of time. Those who would care already know. Those who don’t yet know are not willing to know. The temporal responsibility of defending Israel from all these and other psychos lies with the IDF. Guns, not cameras; Tavor, not GoPro. Shut up and fight.
Sheesh!
Amazing how one short video can explain so much.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIdE_mb9Te0

Whenever you hear of “human shields” you wonder what they are thinking. The Jews and Christians express their faith through life; the Muslims, on the other hand, through death. This man, in holding a one-man protest in support of Hamas, and with references to recent speeches by Hamas leadership, is actually showing you very clearly a human shield family, and what goes on inside Gazan houses just before mainstream media accuses Israel of targetting little girls.

That guy is a Gazan, standing in a street with his family. He is of sound mind and body, except he has truly believed what Hamas told him. That brainwashing is why he even says that him and his little daughters being killed was “glory and honour.” He even notices that Hamas leadership doesn’t take part in this “glory and honour”, but he still never questions the culture of mass-suicidal warfare.

And how do you defeat an enemy like that? If, as Hamas always proclaims, “We desire death as much as the Jews the desire life,” what is the point in not killing them—or, for that matter, in killing them? People think politics is the problem, or economics, or education. Nonsense. Islam is the problem. Muhammad was a heretic.

Hamas literally murders little girls. —Or, in this case, entire families, including the men, women, and children. If this stuff had been done by anynone else, we would probably hear condemnation. If it were done by Israel, NATO would probably invade it. But it was done by Islamists, so you heard condemnation—for Israel. I used to think I had seen it all.

Compare: http://www.haaretz.com/news/idf-troops-used-11-year-old-boy-as-human-shield-in-gaza-1.272716


23rd of August, 2014

Nasara Gear

23rd of August, 2014

Re: Gazan Style

Compare:
http://www.haaretz.com/news/idf-troops-used-11-year-old-boy-as-human-shield-in-gaza-1.272716

Amazing how one short video can explain so much. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIdE_mb9Te0

Whenever you hear of “human shields” you wonder what they are thinking. The Jews and Christians express their faith through life; the Muslims, on the other hand, through death. This man, in holding a one-man protest in support of Hamas, and with references to recent speeches by Hamas leadership, is actually showing you very clearly a human shield family, and what goes on inside Gazan houses just before mainstream media accuses Israel of targetting little girls.

That guy is a Gazan, standing in a street with his family. He is of sound mind and body, except he has truly believed what Hamas told him. That brainwashing is why he even says that him and his little daughters being killed was “glory and honour.” He even notices that Hamas leadership doesn’t take part in this “glory and honour”, but he still never questions the culture of mass-suicidal warfare.

And how do you defeat an enemy like that? If, as Hamas always proclaims, “We desire death as much as the Jews the desire life,” what is the point in not killing them—or, for that matter, in killing them? People think politics is the problem, or economics, or education. Nonsense. Islam is the problem. Muhammad was a heretic.

Hamas literally murders little girls. —Or, in this case, entire families, including the men, women, and children. If this stuff had been done by anynone else, we would probably hear condemnation. If it were done by Israel, NATO would probably invade it. But it was done by Islamists, so you heard condemnation—for Israel. I used to think I had seen it all.

23rd of August, 2014

Gazan Style

Amazing how one short video can explain so much. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIdE_mb9Te0

Whenever you hear of “human shields” you wonder what they are thinking. The Jews and Christians express their faith through life; the Muslims, on the other hand, through death. This man, in holding a one-man protest in support of Hamas, and with references to recent speeches by Hamas leadership, is actually showing you very clearly a human shield family, and what goes on inside Gazan houses just before mainstream media accuses Israel of targetting little girls.

That guy is a Gazan, standing in a street with his family. He is of sound mind and body, except he has truly believed what Hamas told him. That brainwashing is why he even says that him and his little daughters being killed was “glory and honour.” He even notices that Hamas leadership doesn’t take part in this “glory and honour”, but he still never questions the culture of mass-suicidal warfare.

And how do you defeat an enemy like that? If, as Hamas always proclaims, “We desire death as much as the Jews the desire life,” what is the point in not killing them—or, for that matter, in killing them? People think politics is the problem, or economics, or education. Nonsense. Islam is the problem. Muhammad was a heretic.

Hamas literally murders little girls. —Or, in this case, entire families, including the men, women, and children. If this stuff had been done by anynone else, we would probably hear condemnation. If it were done by Israel, NATO would probably invade it. But it was done by Islamists, so you heard condemnation—for Israel. I used to think I had seen it all.

14th of August, 2014

The Ones Who Can Talk

Those who use only Western media do not know that, for example, Hamas recently announced having executed a number of dissidents. This stuff would be covered on archælogical scales if Israel had done it. However, in the case of Hamas it is not even a rumour; I saw their press release, I saw pictures of the gallows, and some other gory, typically-Islamist details. The Gazans under Hamas cannot dissent.

But when they are writing from the safety of diaspora or exile, this is the kind of thing you get:
“Come on, do you guys think we are animals? That we would love seeing Hamas terrorists hiding among our crowds just to have Israeli F–16’s bomb us so we can get the sympathy?” he asked in an interview with JerusalemOnline. “Please understand, yes, Gaza elected Hamas, but people make mistakes. Didn’t the Germans elect Hitler? Were the Germans still in favor of Hitler when Russia and the Allies were marching into Berlin and bombing the hell out of it?”
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24844/Default.aspx?

And when you have watched this kind of thing from a personal-enough perspective, without the virtual reality goggles of the media:
“You know what is the only country around that treats us as human beings?” he asked. “Ironically, it’s Israel. Israel does very stupid things in Gaza. They even commit crimes in Gaza. On the other hand, Israel is the only sane partner with whom we can sit with and say, ‘Let’s make peace.’ They are the only partner that actually labels a Palestinian, even a terrorist, as a human.”
In fact, the Kingdom of Jordan, where that man is based, has an official policy of two castes in its settled population, the one with lesser rights being the (descendants of the) Palestinians. Nobody is complaining about that. Israel is not kidding when it says that it is the only country in the Middle East where Palestinians—even its enemies—have the full, equal rights as the Head of State. No Arab country has even bothered to make the promise at all, leave alone enforce it to the level Israel does. (And Israel never signed the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” because they intended to be truthful—and nuclear-armed. If some day they sign it, we can believe them. Which Arab-Muslim state could we trust with a single self-destructing landmine?)
10th of August, 2014

A Greerian 2014?

Kiev has turned off hot water throughout the city in an attempt to save gas for the winter months. The Ukrainian government is unsure how long people will be affected, or whether the measure will be enough to ensure winter heating.
That is Ukraine, where a huge amount of western Europe’s gas passes. If this doesn’t look like a typical case of Greerian “catabolic collapse” to you, you are missing the details.

http://rt.com/news/178836-kiev-no-hot-water/
The story screams “peak oil!”

And this is after other Greerian-sounding articles like this other one:
http://rt.com/news/174836-germany-typewriters-sales-surge/
An increasing number of businesses are opting out of staying virtually connected and are reverting back to old technologies to avoid being spied on. The move has led to a surge in typewriter sales in Germany.
And also:
http://rt.com/news/173020-germany-typewriter-spying-nsa/
Patrick Sensburg, the chair of the German parliament’s enquiry into NSA alleged spying, said committee members are considering new security measures and are seriously thinking about abandoning email and returning to old school typewriters.

“As a matter of fact, we already have [a typewriter], and it’s even a non-electronic typewriter,” he told the ARD Morning Show Monday.

The interviewer, apparently surprised by the idea, asked if that was really the case, The Guardian writes. “Yes, no joke”, responded Sensburg of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party.


03rd of August, 2014

Jesus and(Zacchæus) the Jizya-Collector

I know how Jesus treated Zacchæus the Tax-Collector. I just wonder how He would treat a jizya-collector. In this case he would have to be a Christian collecting jizya on behalf of Mosul’s Islamists. But now “for the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is empty of Christians.”