If You Disagree With Me . . . You Hate Me

As you read this post please keep in mind that if you disagree with anything I have to say . . . you hate me.  In fact, if you disagree with the statement I just made, you are probably one of the most hateful people on the planet.  I’ll take it one step further:  if you think the statement I just made regarding my first statement is somehow wrong, you’re no different than the KKK.  I can think of nothing more spiteful, more degrading, and more uncivilized than disagreeing with someone.  The sheer audacity and arrogance it takes to suggest that somebody is wrong is just shameful.

It is because of my desire for peace, love, and harmony for all of mankind (and the rest of the animal kingdom) that I have dedicated my life to the fight against hate.  The first point I wish to make clear is that hate is wrong . . . well, not “wrong” wrong; but just, wrong.  Okay, okay, I wouldn’t say it’s wrong because that would be a hateful thing to do.  What I really mean to say is that hate is just not right . . . that is, I strongly disagree with people who hate.  Hold on a second, that’s not right.  Disagreeing with people is hateful, and I disagree with hate; so, I can’t disagree with people who hate because that would be hateful.  Wait a minute, I think I just disagreed with myself!  Oh my goodness!  I hate myself!

As you can see, hate is terribly destructive.  This is why it is important that we seek to include everyone; quite frankly, everyone’s opinion is valid and should be accepted.  After all, to say that someone is wrong, that someone’s opinion is invalid, is no different than saying that person is a worthless pile of dung.  This is why I have a dream!  I envision a society in which everyone is accepted for who they are and everyone is allowed to think or believe whatever they want without the fear of some arrogant bigot saying they are wrong.  In fact, the only people we would not accept in this harmonious society are those who disagree with us.  This society, like Boston, would be on the very cutting edge of inclusion.  I believe we could make this dream a reality—all we have to do is force, by law, everyone who disagrees with our inclusiveness to shut-up; and if they don’t shut up, we’ll just throw them in prison.

Don’t like what I have to say?  It’s because you, my friend, are a hater . . . oh, and please don’t leave any comments because I would consider any feedback about this article a hate crime.

Polka Is Not Dead!

My incendiary satire of postmodern Christianity Purple Like Polka will be available for FREE download on Kindle Press all weekend!  Just click on the picture below and enjoy!

Nihilism and the Bible – The Vanity of Knowledge

Solomon ends chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes by writing:

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be counted.

I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to knowmadness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.
For in much wisdom is much vexation,and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

This passage might be more difficult for someone like me to accept, that even striving after knowledge is vanity. But why does Solomon say this? It seems that the Bible goes against thousands of years of philosophical knowledge. In fact, the irony is 600 years after Solomon, the Greek philosopher Socrates would teach that the pursuit of knowledge is good in and of itself.

In the modern age we love to use the phrase, “Knowledge is Power.” We encourage students to learn all that they can, but what use is it? All that we know goes with us to the grave. Even if we write it down, we suffer the same fate as those who engage in the pursuit of fame; the pursuit of knowledge, while more practical and a higher pursuit than fame, still has the same conclusion in nothingness.

What good is our knowledge if it is only temporary? What good is our knowledge if it only tells us how bad the world is and how vain the world is – as it did with Solomon – but tells us nothing of a solution? How wise is Nietzsche, who recognized the vanity of life, but who’s solution in the Overman was that of a madman? How wise are the postmodern skeptics who question this world, but then offer untenable solutions that further perpetuate the despair they sought to avoid? What good is knowledge when it cannot free us from despair?

Only knowledge founded in the pursuit of God is knowledge worth having. This does not mean we should only study theology, but merely in everything we learn it should, in some way, point back to God. When it is founded in God, it is eternal and therefore good. If it is not found in God, then it is temporal and therefore worthless.

An open letter to the emergent movement

To Whom It May Concern:

Back when I was struggling in my life, reading some of your books (Messy Spirituality, Adventures in Missing the Point, A New Kind of Christian, etc) provided me an escape from the fundamentalism I had come to loath. I attended a church where every week I heard the pastor rail against women who got abortions, bash homosexuals (in private he called them “fags” and didn’t want them in the church), harp on liberals, and repeat that cycle Sunday after Sunday. All the while, I had no spiritual nourishment, so I grew bitter.

Your books, at the time, were a breath of fresh air. I saw Christians who, rather than rant and rave against the ills of the world, actually taught that we should be the solution. This meant quite a bit to me.

But as time has moved on, I have read more and, to be quite frank, I no longer see the difference between the fundamentalism I came to loath and the Emergent movement I see before my eyes. I appreciate the call to justice, I appreciate pointing out the flaws of conservative Christianity, which has become and is becoming a dead orthodoxy, but my concerns with you far outweigh the positive aspects I see.

Please, don’t take this open letter as a power play on my part, or a mockery of the Emergent Conversation. These are genuine concerns. The fact is, Christianity in the West is in desperate need for an authentic movement, but this movement must have its foundation in authentic doctrine and authentic actions. If either is missing, the movement will fail – either because it lacks the substance to hold it together (proper doctrine) or because it lacks the heart to carry on (proper actions).

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Christianity and Postmodernity

This is the thesis that I wrote last semester as part of a requirement for college (the topic was required, just a thesis). Anyway, as it is quite long, I have put it in PDF format.

I hope you enjoy.

The Christian Response to Postmodernism

More Random Thoughts for the Day

– Liberal ethics: everyone is the victim…except the victim

– “I”m raising awareness.” So what? If I am aware that my neighbor’s house is on fire and he is trapped inside, I can still go to jail if I don’t take action on that awareness.

– Pop culture is full of emptiness because it has forsaken God. It is not that God has cursed them with being empty; it is more that such a culture has, in forsaking God, forsaken their purpose in life, thus all other pursuits are done in vain, which leads to emptiness.

– Postmodern ethics: everything is subjective, except tolerance…and traditionalist beliefs are always wrong

– One can have all the money in the world and the latest technological devices, but still feel incomplete. Happiness is found in the simple things in life; love of God, love of family, and love of virtue are what make a man happy.

– Congress has an oversight committee. They are called the American people. Americans have forgotten that they are the final “check” and the final “balance” in the check and balance system.

– Wearing a t-shirt or putting a bumper sticker on your car to bring about “awareness” is the greatest form of narcissism. It lets everyone know that you care, that you are aware, that you understand human rights, and gives you the self-satisfaction of doing something good without actually doing anything. Everyone wants to appear to be Mother Theresa without doing any of the things she did.

– Prosecuting people in the Bush administration at this point in the new administration is not an accident. It is Obama’s “Wag the Dog.” The health care initiative is becoming more and more unpopular – if he can focus the attention back to Bush, he knows he can get support for his plan. It is a dishonest way to pass a bill.

From Virtue to Vice (Part 1)

Lately, conservative voices have been talking about how we’ve lost our “societal values” in the West. President Obama, alternatively, has announced how America has no right to promote its values overseas. What I’m struggling with on both sides, however, is the idea of using the word “values.”

The word “value” carries within it almost a subjective application; it is what one finds important for one’s own life. “Values” are what we as individuals, families, and communities hold to, but these are subject to change. We view “values” in terms of their usefulness; do they aid in achieving the end(s) that we want? We place different “values” on different objects; what is valuable to one may not be valuable to another. Thus, the very word “values” tends to lend itself toward a subjective stance.

This might be because “virtue” is almost an archaic word in the English language. We’ve made the two synonymous, but this is hardly the case. In Latin (where we get the two terms), “values” comes from the word valere, which can mean to be in good health or to be strong. The word for “virtue” is virtus, which means to be of strong character, or to have worth. In other words, to be “virtuous” in Latin means to be of worth. To have “values” simply means to adhere to the virtus.

Inherent within both claims is an objective and subjective claim. Virtue is the objective standard to which all humans are to strive. All humans are to attempt to be virtuous and lead lives in accordance with virtue. When our lives match up with virtue, then we are displaying our values, or the subjective aspect of our lives. How we apply the virtues will depend on the culture we are in. Thus, virtues are the objective and absolute source of morality whereas values are the manifestations of those realities within our personal lives.

So when we focus solely on “values” without an objective or absolute standard, we really remove the purpose of values. What this has led to, unfortunately, is a value-based society with hardly any virtues. If anything, we have taken the 4 Classical virtues and 3 Christian virtues and turned them into vices. These 7 virtues, three of which anyone can follow, are both truthful, and Scripturally supported.

If we want to redeem our culture then we must return to these seven virtues (or at least the 4 Classical virtues). Though there are more virtues than the 7, the 7 are the main virtues and in some way all other virtues are tied back to these 7. But what are they, why they are good, what is their scriptural support, and how are they now vices?

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