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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mrs. King

May the peace and blessings of God be upon our sister, our mother, our friend, Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

Amin

Emancipated by Talib @ 9:30 AM :: (0) minds freed

Monday, January 30, 2006

Payday Someday

Apparently, there are Democrats who have a problem with filibustering Samuel Alito, primarily out of fear that the Party doesn't have a plan to win the overall campaign against Scalito. My response is this: if the Democrats do not have a plan in place for this fight then they ALL need to be voted out - right here, right now. We knew this day was coming as of November 3, 2004. Plans should have been set way back then. If the Democrats don't have a plan for dealing with the narcoleptic public then every last one of them need to find themselves challenged by a well-funded primary challenger, from Harry Reid to Barak Obama. WTF are they there for if not to stop this very nomination? It's kinda like in Goodfellas. Remember when Henry Hill talked about Paulie?
Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy's gotta come up with Paulie's money every week no matter what. Business bad? F you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning huh? F you, pay me.
Same thing goes with party loyalists - Democratic, Republican, or otherwise. Any problems? Go to the base. Trouble with oppo research, funding ads? Go to the base. Need foot-soldiers for GOTV and visibility? Go to the base. There's a price tag attached to the base's support, however - we expect you to vote our way on our issues, to oppose our enemies, and to fight for our interests like your life depends on it, because if you sell us out then your political life is over. Poll numbers down? F you, pay us. Got caught porking an intern? F you, pay us. Linked to licentious lobbyists and connected to corporate crooks? F you, pay us. Rather be golfing or wind surfing? F you, pay us. I know that a lot of Democrats don't go to church any more, but they'd be wise to listen to an old R.G. Lee sermon, Payday Someday.

It's Payday.

Today.

Naturally, as Susanhu noted, some paid consultant believes that the blogosphere is not to be taken seriously, that it is little more than an ATM, but this should come as no surprise - if bloggers are exercising power (i.e. influence) over the process then that means that someone is losing power and influence. Who is that somebody? Paid consultants. So what is a paid consultant inevitably going to say about bloggers? "They're an undeniably good fundraising source (because if I could deny it then I would, but the numbers don't lie) but you don't want to seem like you're their captive - after all, you're my captive."

My solution is simple - declare war. Any Democrat who votes for cloture (or worse, actually votes for Alito) gets a primary challenger, and if the primary challenger loses then we fund and work for his/her Republican opposition. If folks aren't willing to go to war over this nomination then they are wasting oxygen with their continued existence within the Senate's chambers. Can you imagine what would happen if a soldier on D-Day said, "I don't think that shooting at the Germans is such a good idea - they might get angry and shoot back." Two to the dome - we can't afford dead weight. If we're going to lose then let us lose while standing and fighting for what we believe - not bending over, on our knees, taking one for the team; I don't get down like that. Sometimes you have to speak softly while at other times The Bat™ must be unleashed.

Batter Up!

I'm with The Rude One on this: Politics is about power, [m-f'ers]. Use it or lose it. Sure, sure, there's easy principles to defend in blocking Alito because of what Alito believes, but there's also the pure assertion of power against those who seek to disempower the rest of us. The Rude Bar Analogy is on point as well: In the end, if you don't stand up and fight for the one thing you've said you'll throw down on, then you may as well say that you don't actually believe in anything. You gotta be willing to get up out of your seat and tap that [Oler] on the shoulder and tell him to step outside. It's time for the Democrats to put up or shut up, and if they punk out then the blogosphere has to put up or shut up - the time for talk is over.

Of course, if we can't wage war then we need to sit down, shut up, give money and excitement to the paid consultants, and stay out of the professionals' way. What say ye?

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 1:00 AM :: (1) minds freed

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Word For The Week

From PARRISH, The Thoughts

If Truth is stranger than fiction, why are people so compelled to make stuff up?

Whether it's James Frey and his all too recent understanding of what separates truth from fiction, or the President of the United States and his own idea of selective truth, it becomes more and more obvious that truth isn't what it used to be.

Mind you, this is the SAME president that led us into war under two premises, neither proven to any degree of verification, both exhaustively refuted in the mainstream media, and both believed by a majority of Americans despite said refutation:
  1. Saddam Hussein played a role in 9/11
  2. Saddam Hussein had WMD
And lest you think only rich white folk have the sickness, consider the case of one Willie Lynch.

You DO know...the letter is a fake, right?

The immediate response by those who float this stuff out there is to act as though since the letter addresses some actual issues that we as African-Americans face, it is just as relevant.

No.

If it didn't actually happen, IT DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

IT
IS
A
LIE.

You cannot use any lie to prove any kind of truth. No end is righteous enough to be justified by that means.

Yet it pervades our very fabric. And with the emergence of the Internet and it's inherent anonymity, the lure to stretch and contort a small and simple kernel of truth into an all-you-can-eat buffet of justification is just too easy to pass up.

Sending an email asking you to Watch Jamie Foxx's special on NBC because he has a diverse cast of African-American characters isn't enough; there has to be a nefarious conspiracy against the man; who is everywhere at the moment.

Sometimes in our search for the "truth" we make mountains out of molehills when they are, in fact, merely molehills.

Is Kanye West REALLY comparing his plight to that of the Savior of the World?

No...he is just being Kanye West and trying to sell records and magazines.

Far be it for me to do any more to help him than to say his album is great.

Don't worry about the cover...its just marketing masquerading as truth.

No physical likeness - or movie for that matter - can compete with the actuality of what Jesus suffered and why. Some men wore crowns of thorns and some were crucified - justifiably in some cases - but only ONE man rose on the third day and saved me from my sins. Kanye West isn't that man, nor does he pretend to be.

Kanye West, in that tortured genius artist way of his, takes the little truths that live in his mind (George Bush doesn't care about Black People; I am the best in the world at what I do, I have NO problem telling you so, and I think deep down you are jealous of the whole thing) and cultivates them into something that has you talking about him, which is ultimately what this is all about.

To get worked up about a media stunt like that is only to feed into the very insanity such beliefs rely on to survive.

"The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies." - Sir Francis Bacon

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to accept the Truth,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (0) minds freed

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Stonewalled!

This administration gets more and more ridiculous by the day.

Pathetic.

White House Declines to Provide Storm Papers

Emancipated by Talib @ 11:59 AM :: (0) minds freed

New Political Thought Vol. 1

Politics is defined the process by which resources are distributed. The political conversation in our country revolves around two perspectives: liberal and conservative.

It seems to me that black folk do not fit within the pre-defined categories of political thought known as "liberal" and "conservative." The main reason for this is that neither end of the spectrum holds a particular concerns for the rehabilitation, survival and future of black folk (or Latinos or Native Americans for that matter). At one point the argument could be made that the liberal movement was acutely concerned with seeing justice for us, with participation in the second major Civil Rights movement in the mid-twentieth century. However, as we stand back 40 years from the passage of the last great civil rights victory- the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965- we have in some senses witnessed a deterioration of our community.

Black folk own no greater wealth now than in 1865. Far more black men are in prision than in college. Abortion rates are grossly unacceptable. Marriage has declined. The black family has all but fallen apart, with a large number of black women wading in smaller and smaller pool of potential husbands and fathers.

The fact is, the concern for black folk is and was just a segment of liberal concerns, along with the environment, abortion rights, and of course- power. Both Dr. King and Malcolm X concurred that the "white liberal" has a more vested interest in their particular view of order and society as opposed to real freedom and justice.

Emancipated by Talib @ 5:41 AM :: (1) minds freed

New Political Thought Vol.2

Can anyone please tell what, if any, of the core principles or policies of the Democratic Party since 1965 actually resulted in the redress of grievances or spur prosperity? Don't tell me affirmative action, that is a just a band-aid on a gash- better than nothing but not really solving anything on the whole. Sure incomes amongst black folk went up under Clinton, but so did then number of incarcerated black men.

The fact is that government is very limited in what can do to turn around the destructive effects of American society for the past 400 years or so- W.E.B. DuBois leadership for political progress must be taken together with Booker T. Washington's leadership for economic progress. However there are some things that government can do- such as reformation of the criminal justice system. Such as spurring economic development in impoverished communities that actually brings concrete benefits to the people of those communities instead of pushing them elsewhere. Such as actually looking at the bill introduced by John Conyers to study reparations.

Why is that our black men are continually being herded into prisons while so-called "liberals" are virtually silent? Why is that on the flagship liberal radio station Air America Radio, only a very few voices of color are heard? Not to mention the fact that Air America took over WLIB, a potent pillar of the black community for some time. Where are the policies for increased trade- fair trade- within the African Diaspora?

Emancipated by Talib @ 4:41 AM :: (0) minds freed

New Political Thought Vol.3

As far as the conservative side goes, the Republican Party has definitely stepped up its game in the past few years. School vouchers are a good idea, but like affirmative action kind of puts a band-aid on a huge gash. Nary 30 some odd years ago Virginia shut down some of its public schools rather than let black students attend. This legacy will not be corrected by a few token vouchers to a few token students- we need to think on a larger scale. A further fault with the conservative school of thought is that black folk would get ahead if we just worked harder- which is really laughable when you think about. The descendants of free laborers groups upon whose blood the economic foundation of this nation was built don't work hard enough? Negro please

Emancipated by Talib @ 3:41 AM :: (0) minds freed

New Political Thought Vol.4

Often prominent political leaders of both donkey and elephant persuasion will say something to the effect of: while the United States hasn't always upheld its ideals, it has continued to get better and that's part of what makes the United States a great country. I think I've heard most often when speaking of civil rights and/or racial issues, especially around the Dr. King holiday. One the one hand this is true; I mean it is undeniable that American society is much better now than say, in 1833. However when I see these prominent political leaders (usually white and affluent) make such comments, it sounds akin to an abusive relationship in which the abuser says to the abusee: yeah I know I've abused you mentally and physically, but hey- it's not as bad as it used to be, right?

But we're stuck in this relationship for the long haul now. Shoot, you think we're just going to leave the House for which we literally laid the bricks? Even in divorce one spouse gets half of the assests, and reparations or not we ain't leavin' empty handed- I guarantee you that much. Black folk know- and have always known- that our own welfare is connected to the overall welfare of the country, as goes the phrase "when white America sneezes, black America catches a cold" (or something to that effect). If the ship goes down we'll be the ones without the life boat. So of course it's in our best interest to keep the ship running, all the while banging on the captain's door to steer the ship in a different direction.

It's kind of the "double-consciousness" W.E.B. DuBois spoke about in his landmark work The Souls of Black Folk: to ensure your own survival, you have to also ensure the survival of the entity that is the very threat to your survival. Black nationalist thought, as exhibited by Nation of Islam among others, calls for separation; in other words leaving the abusive relationship. The only sticking point is that, as I pointed out earlier, we ain't leavin' empty handed. So we do this dance where push America to stop being a hypocrite, and the rest of America sometimes moves in sync (as in the case of the end of legal segregation). But usually right after the pleasing dip, there is the spin followed by the mashing of toes (as in the assasinations of Malcolm X, Dr. King, and the infamous COINTELPRO which lead to the dismantling of organizations such as the Black Panthers).

Emancipated by Talib @ 2:41 AM :: (0) minds freed

New Political Though Vol.5

The reality is that both Democrats and Republicans have policy ideas that can benefit black folk if properly used. For example, President Bush's touting of an "ownership society" promoting home ownership can really benefit us. The way to build wealth in Western society is through owning property, and we need some serious wealth building. The emphasis on healthcare for all by Democrats without a doubt can benefit black folk, as long as the disparities in health care amongst class and race are addressed.

So amongst all the hoopla about liberal vs. conservative, left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican, let us keep our eyes on the prize, and continue to fight for our mental and economic freedom. The ballot alone will not take us where we need to go; we must vote for the candidate that best reflects our interests with one hand, and rebuild our community with the other. We not only owe to ourselves, but we owe to our ancestors and our future generations. Now is the time for new political thought.

Emancipated by Talib @ 1:41 AM :: (0) minds freed

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Verbal Jujitsu

When Republicans roll out their "Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview" tripe, debunk that framing and then accuse Republicans of having a heckuva pre-Katrina worldview - America hasn't seen another terrorist attack since 2001 but we see natural disasters evey year.

Compile.

Load.

Go.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 7:45 PM :: (0) minds freed

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Word For The Week

Someone once said that if God doesn't deal with America soon then He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. As I look around America and see this Brokeback crap to my left and this Bushwacked crap to my right I see the logic of their assertion. When I look in the mirror and see my own crap I echo Paul's point and I cry, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Do you ever wonder how long this same old stuff will continue to go on, how long the wicked will seem to prosper while those who are trying to do right seem to falter? Habakkuk voiced this concern to God when he saw the wickedness of his own countrymen - the people who were supposed to be a kingdom of priests, who were supposed to be a holy nation, who were supposed to be God's own possession. Instead, what he saw was iniquity and wickedness, violence and destruction, strife and contention, the law being ignored and justice being perverted.

Look familiar?

One day, all of this crap is coming to a screeching halt - the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Yet no one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.

Any day now.

Until that day comes - be that in a few hours or a few millennia - we who are called by His name are called to stand our ground in this evil day. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the body armor of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the armored Humvee of faith, with which you can survive all the IEDs of the evil one. Take the brain bucket of salvation and the rifle of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

We all need prayer. Desperately.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to accept Him on His terms,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (0) minds freed

Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK Birthday

Today we celebrate (officially) the life of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Most everyone will talk about King's dream, the great fantasy of people being judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin. King might have been surprised to find out that today's postmodern people believe that making any judgment whatsoever about someone is wrong, whatever the basis of the judgement.

That said, I'd like to focus people's attention on another King speech - sermon, actually - that I believe is much more important to Black folk and America as a whole: The Drum Major Instinct. Excerpts:
Th[e] poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can't hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out.

And not only does this thing go into the racial struggle, it goes into the struggle between nations. And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. And if something doesn't happen to stop this trend, I'm sorely afraid that we won't be here to talk about Jesus Christ and about God and about brotherhood too many more years. If somebody doesn't bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody's going to make the mistake through our senseless blunderings of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere. And then another one is going to drop. And don't let anybody fool you, this can happen within a matter of seconds. They have twenty-megaton bombs in Russia right now that can destroy a city as big as New York in three seconds, with everybody wiped away, and every building. And we can do the same thing to Russia and China.

But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. "I must be first." "I must be supreme." "Our nation must rule the world." And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I'm going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.

God didn't call America to do what she's doing in the world now. God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.

But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, "Don't play with me." He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, "Don’t play with me, Israel. Don't play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I'm God. And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power." And that can happen to America. Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct.
He that has an ear, let him hear...

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 10:00 AM :: (1) minds freed

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Word For The Week

Recently, a certain politician who calls himself a Christian and a religious leader declared that Israeli Prime Minister Arik Sharon's stroke was an act of divine judgment for conceding land to the Palestinians. Now when it comes to Israel I'm solidly in the Likud way of thinking, but this assertion is positively insane on many levels. Have you ever wanted to gag someone just to shut their mouth? Has anyone's words so infuriated you that you though it might come to physical violence? Have you ever had to deal with a False Prophet?

The first, and most obvious flaw in Robertson's assertion is the fact that Sharon is still alive. I would challenge you to find an instance in the Bible where God struck someone down for their disobedience and they lived for a couple weeks/months/years afterward. Robertson's pronouncement does not conform to Biblical revelation, and that is the first and easiest way to discern a False Prophet from a Prophet of the Lord. Our Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever and what He reveals today will conform to what He has revealed in the past and be confirmed by the Word He has spoken in the past.

The second flaw in Robertson's assertion is that God never promised anything to a secular Israel, and that is indeed what the current nation of Israel is - a nation after Omri's own heart. Israel, as a nation, no more honors the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob than does America honor His son, Jesus Christ. Both are secular nations that (barely) tolerate religious sentiments - i.e. "keep that crap to yourself and we'll get along fine" - but the secular nation of Israel itself is not God's own possession among all the peoples, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. People forget or ignore that God's promise to Israel was conditional: "IF you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, THEN you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Has the secular nation of Israel kept God's commandments? Not any more than has the secular nation of America kept His commandments, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yet false prophets continually speak of God blessing the disobedient. It's almost as if Robertson's never read Deuteronomy 27-28.

The third flaw in Robertson's assertion - and this gets us back to our text - is that the spirit in which it was uttered had nothing to do with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." Fruit trees don't bear nuts, and Robertson's assertion bears no resemblance to the fruit of the true vine - Jesus Christ. Is it loving to publicly castigate someone - someone who supposedly was a friend - as being smitten by God for disobedience? People usually talk to their friends and about their enemies. When Bill Clinton was going through his public scourging over his affair with Monica Lewinsky Al Mohler went on Larry King Live to publicly call Clinton everything but a child of God on national TV. However, when Bob Livingston - Republican Speaker-elect of the House - was caught with his member in someone other than his wife, Mohler privately sent him a letter encouraging him to resign. People talk to their friends and about their enemies, and Robertson treated Arik like an enemy, not a friend. Was this just a case of Robertson's mouth moving before his brain engaged? Maybe, but that would be the "self-control" fruit that is missing. Jesus said that we will know them by their fruit, and Robertson's "fruit" is not in keeping with the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

This is true of many Republicans who call themselves Christians. They cut funding to programs that clothe the needy, programs that feed the hungry, programs that help the imprisoned and the immigrants. They oppose universal health care for the healthy, the sick and the dying. James asks, "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself." These Republicans who call themselves Christians comfort the already-comfortable and afflict the already-afflicted, when James said that those very people are the ones who oppress you and personally drag us into court, who blaspheme the fair name of Jesus Christ by which we have been called. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, but Jesus Christ expects His bride - and marriage bed - to be undefiled, while certain False Prophets seem to be riding the beast like a harlot clothed in scarlet.

This brings up the fourth flaw in Robertson's assertion, or more accurately, the flaw in Robertson's apparent thinking. Robertson seems to think that by forcing an all-out war in the Middle East he can force God's hand in sending Jesus back for the Church. Robertson seems to think that expediting the possession of all of Biblical "Israel" by modern-day Israelis will force God to expedite Jesus' return. If that is true then it is utter foolishness, for Jesus said that no man knows the day nor the hour when the Son of Man returns - not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. There was once someone else who thought that he could force God's hand, that he could orchestrate events to force God to do that which He seemed to be taking too long to accomplish. There was a man who once tried to do what was right in his own eyes, what he thought would advance God's work on earth, only on his timetable.

His name was Judas Iscariot.

Much like Judas, Pat Robertson has betrayed the cause of Jesus Christ. Much like Judas, Pat Robertson's perception of God's intentions are dead wrong. And much like Judas, Pat Robertson will be remembered for the harm that he caused the Church, not the good. Remember, Judas walked with Jesus for his entire ministry. When Jesus fed the 5000, Judas was there. When Jesus healed the sick, Judas was there. When Jesus cast out demons, Judas was there. When Jesus sent the 12 out to minister to Israel, Judas was one of them. Pat Robertson has done some good things for the kingdom of God, but like Judas - who was their treasurer - the bad that he has done will outlive the good, such that no one will be able to name anything good that he has ever done.

That's already true in the eyes of most Americans today.

There is a war going on right now and it seems that some people don't realize that they are opposing the very cause which they claim to be fighting for. I believe that there will be many people who call themselves Christians who find themselves the Judgment Seat of Christ saying, "Lord, Lord, did we not vote Republican in Your name, and in Your name cast out homosexuals, and in Your name oppose many abortions?" just to hear Jesus say, "I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness." The battle is for control of your soul, between humanistic self-determination and a mission of submission to the Divine Mind. So choose this day whom you will serve, be it the "gods" of this political realm or the idols of your own heart, but as for me and my house we will serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pat Robertson seems to think that he doesn't have to submit to anyone - what about you?

The choice is yours.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to exercise your freedom to choose,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (2) minds freed

Friday, January 13, 2006

Perspective

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 5:56 PM :: (0) minds freed

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Word For The Week

Anyone who grew up in the church learned a song at an early age, a song of encouragement entitled Jesus Loves Me:

Jesus loves me! This I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
little ones to Him belong;
they are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

There are two truths asserted in this song that bears directly on our text today - Jesus loves us and the Bible is our authoritative source. We know that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. Some will say that only certain parts of the Bible are true (the parts that they like) while others will say that since we live under grace we are not bound by the Law, but do not think that Jesus came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; He did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished, according to Jesus.

But what's love got to do with it?

God demonstrated His own love toward us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord, such that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.

But what's love got to do with our text?

Everything that the Christian does should flow out of love. When asked about the greatest commandment of all of the Old Testament, Jesus replied with two: "'You shall love the lord your god with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets." In our relationship with God and our relationship with our fellow man, love should rule our every action and interaction - it is the more excellent way, and it is the evidence of our salvation. Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Paul noted that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And Jesus said that you can tell the difference between those who are real and those who are fake by the fruit they bear.

But what does love have to do with this submission thing?

It's in the text - like Ragu, it's in there. First, we have to understand what the will of the LORD is. Our biggest problem is that we fail to ask what God wants and instead insist on doing whatever we want. The first problem is that we don't submit to God our Father. You would think that those who call themselves "Christians" would follow Christ's example. Jesus said, "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." Jesus said, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me." Jesus said, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works." Now, if Jesus submitted to the Father then don't you think that we mere mortals should submit to the Father?

The second problem is that we don't submit to the Spirit. It's in the text. This is the purpose of Paul imploring the Christian to be filled with the Spirit. Paul gives some examples of what being filled with the Spirit looks like - speaking lovingly to one another, singing and making melodies, giving thanks to God, and submitting to one another - but it is the next section of the text that gets people up in arms, ready to storm the Church with torches and pitchforks:

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Postmodern women often have two words for that command, and the second word is, "Naw!" I believe there are three causes for this errant reaction. The first, and most obvious, is the historic abuse of women and this particular passage by men. This is nothing new. Even back in Jesus' own day, when he corrected the Pharisees about marriage and divorce - telling them that they may not divorce their wives - Jesus' own disciples said, in so many words, "But Jesus, how in the world are we going to keep them women in their place if we can't threaten them with starvation through divorce? It would be better to never marry than to give up that leverage!" To which Jesus essentially said, "If you are indeed a Christian then you will not only accept this but embrace and promote it - I wouldn't expect those whom I do not know to accept it, for those will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Men have been wrong about this for a long time, and Jesus checked them on it way back then.

The second cause of this reaction is a confusing of terms. Wives are called to submit to their husbands - husbands are not called to dominate their wives. Submission and domination are two totally different things. Submission is an act of the will and, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, we do it all the time. When we come to a red light at an intersection we stop - we submit. When a police officer pulls behind us with his lights flashing we pull over - we submit. When we go to buy groceries we wait in line until it is our turn to check out - we submit. We submit all the time, the true question is one of legitimacy - do we believe in the legitimacy of the authority to which we are commanded to submit?

This is what love has to do with it.

A husband and a wife should love one another, obviously, and if she loves her husband then she should submit to his authority. But it doesn't end there - the husband is called to love his wife as Jesus Christ loves the Church. Jesus sacrificed all that He was and had for the well-being of the Church. He gave up His life for the Church. When the Church ignores Jesus, He still loves us. When the Church defies Jesus, He still loves us. When the Church is plain acting a fool, He still loves us. This is how a husband is called to love His wife. He is responsible for her well-being, and just like Jesus loves, respects, and protects the Church husbands must likewise love their wives. Keep in mind, Jesus doesn't dominate the Church - Jesus doesn't bark commands and then issue stark punishments for nonconformity - Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Jesus was talking to the Church which He loves - He doesn't kick the door down and barge in; He stands at the door of your heart and knocks.

This brings us to the third problem, the third cause for postmodern peoples' reaction to this passage. The third problem is that they haven't submitted to the Son of God. Obviously, a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. In other words, it is foolishness to expect those who have not submitted to Jesus Christ to act like those who have. We're worlds apart - literally - and the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Children are to submit to their parents, wives are to submit to their own husbands, Christians are to submit to Jesus, and the Son submits to the Father. Likewise, the Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Church, husbands are to love their wives, and parents are to love their children. That's how it works in the Kingdom of God.

This love of which I speak is more than a second-hand emotion, it is the kind of love that made my mother snatch my sister out of the mouth of an attacking bulldog. It is the kind of love that had my father working two jobs to provide for his family. It is the kind of love that kept Jesus nailed to that old rugged cross, and it is the kind of love that caused the Father to raise His Son from the grave. I'm not talking about that "Luv ya!" kind of love, I'm talking about the greatest love of all, the kind of love that Jesus spoke about: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." That kind of love has everything to do with it.

Can you submit to being loved like that?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants to be your friend,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (2) minds freed

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Power of Suggestion

Apparently, George W. Bush has received 13 Secretaries of State and Defense from past administrations (including Colin Powell) into the White House for the purpose of a photo op receiving suggestions about Iraq. Why don't I take him seriously?


Emancipated by Athanasius @ 9:45 AM :: (0) minds freed

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year


The Rude One is highlighting New Orleans this week - check him out.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 9:31 AM :: (2) minds freed

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Word For The Week

Pedro Martinez is one of the best pitchers of all time - batters often fear facing him - but Pedro could never beat the New York Yankees when it counted in big games. Yankee fans began to taunt him with a chant - "Who's your daddy?" Sigmund Freud taught about the male desire to replace the father and it is colloquially said that in order to be the man you have to beat the man, and I believe this all goes back to mankind's Fall from grace, where man first went for the okie-doke - "...and you shall be like God." Martin Luther King spoke about the Drum Major Instinct, about the human desire to exercise authority over others, about mankind's desire for recognition and importance, about man's desire to be out front. King noted that the first cry from a baby is the desire for attention, and that throughout childhood the obsession with attention is all-consuming - children seek their daddy's love and affirmation. Whose affirmation do you seek? Whose approval do you need? In whom do you place your imani, your faith? Who's your daddy?

The general context of our text today begins with the woman who was caught in adultery being dragged before Jesus. (See Trapped In The Closet) Later, once the Pharisees picked their cracked faces up off of the ground, they stepped to Jesus to ask Him point-blank whether or not He was the Messiah. The Pharisees believed that their salvation came from their blood-connection to their father - Abraham. Jesus responded that their damnation came from their spiritual connection to their father - Satan. There are three things that we can learn about faith - imani - from this text.

First, we have to hear our Daddy. Jesus said, "He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." Do you remember being a child, playing with your friends, and then your daddy called for you? You might not have recognized anyone else's voice - you may not have even heard anyone else's voice - but when your daddy called you knew who it was and what he wanted. The same is true with our heavenly Father. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." We have the privilege of speaking with God, as Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Jesus also said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." If we remain in Christ and walk according to His will we have the privilege of speaking with our Daddy, and we need to hear from our Daddy.

Second, we have to resist the devil. Satan is a deceiver and the father of lies. He deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden and he tried to tempt the Father Himself in the book of Job. Satan tried to tempt Jesus with that which seemed good, but looks can be deceiving and Jesus took Satan back to the source of all authority - the Word of God. It is Satan's desire to replace God, such that the term "Antichrist" - which popularly connotes "against Christ" - could be rendered, "instead of Christ." Someone once said, "That which controls your thinking is your God." Who controls your thinking? Who sits on the throne of your life? Who is your God? Who's your daddy? Many Americans have an Invictus mentality - "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." For too many Americans man is the measure of all things and they are the measure of all men - it's all about self (however they define "self") and everyone else should live up to their standard. It is much like the days of the Judges - in those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

In this self-centered situation God's truth holds no value to those who are perishing - it is foolishness to them. God says, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." God says, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" Jesus said, "Go. From now on sin no more." Yet the world says, "It's your thang, do what you want to do!" The world says, "Let a playa cut somethin'!" So what you gonna do when e’rbody at the club getting’ tipsy? You gonna tell them to pass the Courvoisier? You gonna shake it like a Polaroid picture? You gonna make like Lil' John and get low? You gonna act juvenile and drop it like it’s hot? Doesn't that sound Ludicrous? You wanna have some fun - hook up everyone - you with Satan or the Son? Talk to me! Who's your daddy?

Third, we find in this text that we have to love the Son. If God is your Father then you will love the Son - it’s in the text. Those to whom Jesus’ teaching is foolishness simply do not belong to Him, they are of their daddy - Satan.

Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Daddy who is in heaven."

Jesus said, "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."

Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Jesus said, "You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Daddy is perfect."

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to Daddy but through Me."

Jesus said, "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

Who's your Daddy? Jesus has come to save everyone who wishes to be delivered from Satan’s influence. As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For the consequence of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. So if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Once Pedro confessed with his mouth he overcame his enemy – not by power nor by might but by his team. You cannot defeat Satan’s grip on your own, but Jesus has overcome him and will save you from Satan’s influence if you will submit to Jesus and join His team. Will you join God’s team or will you continue falling for the oldest trick in the Book? This first day of the year, this final day of Kwanzaa, in whom do you place your faith, your imani?

Who's your Daddy?

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants to be your Daddy,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM :: (0) minds freed

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