The Alliance of the Secular and the Sacred

The all stops pulled strategy against Paul is evident when he comes to trial before the government under charges by the Sanhedrin.   It surely should have been sufficient for the council to arraign, detain, and try Paul.  That they brought the charges to the governor and had a lawyer in tow shows they wanted something from the secular government that the religious power was not authorized to do (24:1).  Kill their perceived opponent.

After five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders, with an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges to the governor against Paul.

Acts 24:1

The church over the last two millennia has not learned from the corruption that swept her up by her being naively friendly with secular power.  Roman church abuses, Protestant tyranny in Europe,  orthodox silence in the eastern bloc, and the evangelical delusion about a Christian nation.
None of the good things expected from a moral majority, patriotism or civic pride are in the league of the trustworthy promise of the kingdom life.

Some” elders, “a certain” lawyer Tertullus are terms that make the case for dangerous behavior by people in authority.

πρεσβυτερων τινων και ρητορος τερτυλλου τινος

I suspect that “some” elders indicates (a) the high priest did not invite all the elders of the council and (b) he selected those known to be hostile to Yeshua’s followers.  Also under suspicion is the choice of Tertullus, for the same reason.

Beware the religious right, left, and centre!

Growing up grounded

There are many things we cannot hoard or cling to.  Time stands as the queen of human progress and growth.      Missed opportunities are not guaranteed to return and a planted seed needs a specific set of conditions.   I think the time has come to unmask a cruel lie about man’s original condition because the idea that death, development and its byproducts were absent in Eden requires us to discard the facts of genuine progress built into God’s creation. Let us agree that it is rare to find a spiritual regime grounded in the realities of sky, land and sea. The revolutions of the earth are a mighty piece of evidence that there is no recapturing of the past, no return to youth, and apart from denying ourselves, there is no grounding in our youthful history that meets today’s challenges, neither for rooting or for a fearless and secure residence.

Wearing masks to deceive; first things, death and procreation

When I first read the saying that death was not in sight anywhere in Eden it seemed to align with the idea that man’s loss of his life through disobedience was the first sighting. I think the reference was to no dead leaves. It sounded beautiful – deathless plants, flowers, and humans – but it is not God’s world. Death is typically preceded by debility and malfunction but not in the case of plants and animals, man included. We do have the evidence that plants have limits: they do not migrate and they expand up and out only so far. So we can make the argument that original sin is disobedience and different from the failure that all humans face, unbelief, but personal sin as necessary for God’s design is merely an attempt to bypass faith in the Son of God as the remedy for the human condition.

The rush to believe first things are tops

The list of lies that people have clung to is out in the open. The human journey from Eden to desert, the increase of violence, the flood judgment, the wilderness catastrophe and the years of exile and rebellion do not square with covenant faithfulness.

Procreation is normal but not monolithic

God made reproductive systems to be the reflection of his creative power. Miracle babies are a special human divine arrangement and God’s procreative power is a unique thing between Himself and His Son. Men and woman can choose a single life and enjoy God’s approval. “Multiply and replenish the earth” bites the dust too.

These are not static populations

19) There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20) Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21) God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1 (NASB)

We have to recognize that the curse following man’s rebellion has no effect on animal populations. Without death a full earth bulges at the seams.

All the created beings procreate

God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

Genesis 1

The purpose for seed, eggs and semen is quite clear. Had procreation not been an original design it might have been curtailed in the decree. After filling up the space they occupy there are two avenues of relief. The creatures either migrate or they die. Space on the planet is not infinite and there are places where trees , animals and people will not survive.

You judge. You decide. You delay. You strike. You grow. You wither.

No death in Eden faces the jury that recognizes that (a) the garden needs tending (b) animals and trees that do not change and (c) . It is ultimately an idolatrous venture. It is an idea cooked up to mislead people about the man’s destiny and the path to full human potential.

Earth’s people occupying every square centimetre

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1

Every rich and burdened punk ass evangelical conservative is going to insist on pulling out his transcript to prove how profoundly he has been the loyal, obedient and patriotic son, how perfect his food is, and how miraculous his daily bread and forgiveness are, but that juvenile view of the world is not getting off the bench in this quarter. Even the young ruler who tried to attach eternal life to the Law he had observed all his life would have to admit that he had not grown up grounded at all. The writers of the New Testament summed up the matter conclusively for us. With one voice they proclaimed and hazarded their lives for the maturing of Israel’s faith in Yeshua of Nazareth, and the simple and careless can make the loudest noises for their sandy foundations, old or new.

The choice between maturity and puberty

  • Christ’s words, the grounding for all challenges (Matthew 7:25, Luke 6:48)
  • Divine Love, the terra firma of God’s fulness (Eph. 3:17)
  • Faith in the gospel, the path of the grounded (Col. 1:23)
  • Earth, the ground that will we rolled up like a scroll and put away (Heb. 1:10)
  • The call of a gracious God, the assurance of settled persons 1 Peter 5:10

Growing means nothing to them, and being grounded for them means back to childish things. Growing for them is not up towards the infinite God (or even towards the stature of stellar heroes, matriarchs and patriarchs), but it is a fearful uncertainty about what stands and what falls.

Digital age and virtual jitters

People have wanted to be more like machines than we would like to admit.  Our bodies,  invented by no known human or extraterrestrial, have their way of resisting assaults and repairing breaches,  and we have not been as willing as Eve and Adam were to ingest remedies.  Applying “oil and wine” seemed just fine until someone discovered the enhanced effects of potions and pills.  Today, in the age of full-fledged pharmaceutical abuse and use, it is highly questionable how eating the fruit of the knowing good and evil tree can be worse than being tracked by implanted microchips.

They thought they had a solution to a non-existent problem; nudity when dressed

What do people have to hide?  The technologically empowered companies and experts know way more about us than we were, as a people, willing to disclose a few decades ago.   We give them and their typically unknown partners  information they, acting badly or not,  can use to help or hurt us.  Access to the phone’s location, to its microphone, camera and contact list come from a set of invitations into sacred domains.

When all else fails brink bleach.  (A presidential recommendation in 2020)

The last time you let 24 hours slip by without using the web you demonstrated your freedom

Repetition and memory: devilish twins

The video posted below has a carefully planned (a) opening line (b)  strategic repetition and (b) no recommendation except non-cooperation.  What one is likely to remember is what was repeated.  What one is likely to believe is what one remembers.  What are you likely to trust: stuff you remember, stuff you choose, or stuff suggested by repetition, or stuff you have followed robotically?

Fear of digital: the end or the beginning?

A pig in a poke or good news

  1. Financial systems
  2. Vaccine tracking
  3. Control lost/given
  4. Freedom treasured
  • Being tracked by a friend is good
  • Injecting material to save life is good
  • A trade blackout is to be expected when one is part of the system (buying and selling)
  • Choosing who or what to worship takes is a personal choice

The mark of the beast is neither the insertion of a chip nor the acceptance of a vaccine nor giving permission to track to government or another entity.

Imagine the hundreds of thousands of people gathering up virtually today who swore that they hated the digital world or were computer illiterate. Without absolute user control of the storage or discarding of the record of a virtual meeting the accountability required for corporate entities disappears. We are justified in being concerned about the quality and security of virtual reality and our jitters have only just begun, against the loss of interactivity, intimacy, and genuine fellowship which, as we learn from Christ includes the whole person, not a virtual person.

Africans must make waves

Even if the slave traders tried to convince the Africans they had captured or bought that “things would get bettter at the end of the voyage across the Atlantic” the handcuffs and ankle restraints spelled “prison”.  The difference between being westbound on the ocean and being free on the African continent must have dawned on the human cargo as much as it might have on the crews of the ships.  As surely as the ships made waves plowing westward the minds of the Africans created waves of resistance, and resulted in protest on board the ships and when they landed.  I know there are different lines of thought about submitting to circumstances in which humans find themselves.  West Coast Africans, like people everywhere, had been touched by the common grace of God and they were not ignorant of organized religion outside their native ways and philosophies.  There are forces who, despite their own national experience, dare to think that descendants of Africans in the diaspora should not make waves.   Here is the case for why they must  doggedly, like humanity’s ideal specimens,  make waves.

Get in good trouble,  necessary trouble, help redeem the soul of America.

Hon. John Lewis, US Representative

Governments and churches are continually “getting there”, they make mistakes and we forgive them. We are in the juncture of loving with a knee in our necks. It is time to tell Zion that her warfare is over. At the current rate of risks to which Africans are exposed through the application of policy there will be no voice to tell Zion the good news. Doing better may not be an overnight affair but it calls for a straight reckoning of the common expectations. Politics and church are essentially hubs of division. The assemblies of Christ are not divided, and there really is no brand name church. What politics does is quite clearly on a disturbing track.

Those who lead us must be informed

… wise behaviour in righteousness, justice and equity;

Proverbs 1:3

Better is neither a hidden set of data nor the promise of evidence. Getting into good trouble is known to be the way Christ got to the Cross, so let it stand as the better part of our wise behaviour. However, even with evidence of what can happen when a nation disfigures the triad of righteousness, justice and equity, many leading nations are slow to step up and do better. What are the chances?

Worse, not better

“Now her sister Oholibah saw this, yet she was more corrupt in her lust than she, and her harlotries were more than the harlotries of her sister.

Ezekiel 23:11

Who has heard of a prostitute paying her “clients”?

The United States and sister United Kingdom?

Thus you are different from those women in your harlotries, in that no one plays the harlot as you do, because you give money and no money is given you; thus you are different.”

Ezekiel 16:34

Only two nations have been given dominion ever large portions of earth in modern times as were the great cosmocrats of the ancient world; Great Britain and the United States. Huge blessings did not compell a deep commitment to the great triad of righteousness, justice and equity. The little island exported its vision to the continents.

Unprecedented whoredom

They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women. Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers.

Ezekiel 16:41

Arson and destructive decrees are part of the price paid when there seems to be no end to the shameful practices the nation is guilty of.

It takes more than a tap on the shoulder to correct the ways of this kind of entrenched addicted mindset.

The African slave trade was a practice without biblical foundations.   Servants in the Bible had extensive rights and the regularized opportunities to return to free lives.  Neither Israel nor Judah had a devastating war to decide whether men had the right to be free as the Law of God and the grace of God provided.  After Israel’s treachery and unprecedented propaganda had been exposed and the nation chastised at the hands of Assyria Judah took Israel’s sins to profoundly disgusting levels.

No waveless African

We stand as witnesses, in our dispersion in any nation, to the treachery of elected officials when they insist that African peoples must bend their knees to the church and state model of government. The lies about Yeshua, the rejection of the apostolic doctrines, and attempt to redo the 1776 revolution are part of the ocean we yet have to cross. Waves are inevitable and our bondage to Christ is inconsistent with our obsession with the intellectual proposals of the evangelical plantation. Africans must make waves because their lives and hearts are enmeshed with the oppression of a segregationist, “great like yesterday” system.

Banish the darkness where you can

President Biden’s first day in office shows immediately that lies and dogwhistles are not in the nation’s interest. Christian radio begins a new campaign to radicalize people over the question of abortion, a key issue in the election of the 45th president. Then came the resignation of the Canadian Governor-general Since 1955 the American church has spoken in whispers, if at all, about the security of people who reject white nationalism. There is not much wiggle room left for silence on the shameful rise of racism and ignorance about justice. Our times are divided into nights and days and when we do not know the difference we cannot be expected to operate optimally in either.

If your expertise is keeping garbage you should not expect anyone to invite you to handle their garbage or their groceries. When you are not walking on the sidewalk and a horn sounds behind you take a great risk by not looking behind you. If you want your days to be dark and nights to be bright, or are often upset at the difference you are in deep trouble.

What president? The question arises a lot, along with What lawyer? What genius?

Mountain climbing is not only an extreme kind of enterprise. It pictures the journey of human life. The dangerous trip of human seed to the wall of the ovary against tremendous odds is a lesson in human fortunes. The history of Sarah and Abraham’s love and family is a lesson of extreme depths and heights. If a sperm cell has an emotional experience it must include both fear/anxiety and profound confidence. Keeping garbage, hanging around darkened locations, and rejecting change are official ways of broadcasting one’s character. Banishing the darkness does not however mean we pretend that we are sources of light.

The McConnell Crumb

The hearing challenge is still with us.  Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden, but their desire to welcome him had changed.  They hid.  Right after hearing Christ say”Come to me and rest” most believers are programmed to run to someone else; Moses, the local or international leader, or a star figure sporting a fluffy gem, ultimately settling for a mere crumb of the fellowship needed. Hiding, burying one’s head, and whataboutism are all crumbs from the bread of reality.  McConnell’s declaration about 45’s as responsible for the January 6th seditious assault on Capitol Hill is a crumb and an affirmation of his failure to lead when the interests of the American people are at stake.

The bread in the oven again

More downhill skiing seems to have kicked into a frenzy again. January 21 saw Andrew Wommack on television and Boron on WDCX radio inciting the evangelical mob about the evils of abortion.  Not a word came out of these chickens when another Black man dies at the hands of public officials. Not a word has come from the White versions of Christianity.  It is as if their conferences concluded to (a) stop proclaiming the biblical gospel, (b) ignore what they were seeing, and (c) serve the political beast that gives them prestige. They have even put their endless lists of how to live the Christian life on hold.

The crumb

Many of our problems today stem from blurring the lines between domains, the most prominent being the private and public domains.  In politics the whole world knows that there is a private conversation that the politicisns have no intention of making public – a conversation which they also fail to convert into credible rhetoric. The public has ltttle to make use of from hearing that private chat.

In theology the knowledge that the messenger brings to the public comes from a private conversation with the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts in the light of the Crucified Son of God. That is where living bread comes from. God dies not dictate any concept that does not appear in Scripture. The conviction and conclusions that come in the private encounter with the text are not seen in public. Much of it is of no practical use to the typical audience, unless that audience has agreed to learn how to do what the pastor-teacher does. You can tell when the presentation is crumby when the features are “the Greek word is…”,  biographical and historical data, and not the meaning of the firsthand data. When the insights into the private conversation are not exegesis of the firsthand data they are mere crumby fillers.

Discrimination is obvious and cherished all around the world.  The United States does not need a lawsuit or a congressional commission to find a reason to rise above or tag India’s cast system, Islamic malice towards Jews and Christians, Christian pseudo-love towards the unsaved, Canadian genocidal racism or its own black and white world.  Discrimination is married to cowardice, fear and ignorance.

Defending the constitution must include caring tfor he people one represents. Roadblock to getting funds to the american people sinks boats.

The church has been distracted by fly- by-night and third hand leaders, who feed themselves and their flocks a version of the gospel that is watered down with fearful, hateful, half-cocked American elitist and imperialist aspirations, and Jewish myths about God’s nature and plan for humanity.  We cannot think that God taped the mouths of American preachers and political leaders when they tried to address the injustices in society.  They did not even try.

McConnell is two weeks late in raising his voice against the 45th president’s role in the insurrection on January 6th.

McConnell is the kind of leader who is caught between his constituents and the constitution.  He apparently did not know what impartial justice looks like when faced with the crimes of the 45th president in the first impeachment trial. We have no reason to say he does today as another impeachment trial approaches.  Was he illiterate or merely perverse and protective of his party’s majority?  His seemingly bold crumb – assigning blame for the January 6th failed insurerection to 45 – shows his leadership is an illusion. Crumby leader, crumby soundbyte!

Send in the troops and clowns


Is sending in troops and thugs an answer to the mass of humanity’s rising up to say no more to suffering under  thinly disguised fascism, to dying because of racial supremacy greatness, to burning our consciences with religious zeal,  and to honoring the dishonorable as patriots?

The success of any movement depends on the people taking a hard cold look at the leader’s accountability at the top. Incompetence tolerated leads to disorientation. Not even the high priest in Israel was immune to folly. The prophets were often just shallow pools with no fish, and the kings were the true experts at dithering. These faces of authority, ugly and sinister, are on the screen right now in the melee of our 21st century quest to be diligent and vigilant.

Patriotism is no basis for establishing identity. Ethnic, tribal, national, or linguistic values do not count towards the resources we bring to bear on our human fellowship. Who cares where you were born? You do of course. There is always our mother’s connection to the land as a pure emotional and spiritual home. The person who takes interest in your birthplace had better be kept under the scope, micro or tele.

Patriotism is also all of those things that define people who live together, whether for decades or centuriesm Those activities they pursue, the goals they set, and the vigilance each of those people exhibit in their time frames constitute an important patriotism; an unspoken but lived patriotism. The sons of Israel lived in Egypt for four centuries, all the while patriotic to Abraham and his dream. The state used birth control – infanticide – and deadly violence against them. Is it not a fabulous? Pharaoh used his military against civilians and failed. Even more fabulous is the narrative of the kingdom of Judah exiled in Persia (the last days of the Babylonian exile) where the state, manipulated by one Jew-hater, used violence against the exiles, and authorized Jews to assault and plunder.

There is no reason for us to tolerate one more day under the threat of violence to civilians by a head of state.

And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, [even] upon the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and [to take] the spoil of them for a prey.

Esther 3:13

Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that [is], the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth [day] thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which [are] from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. Esth. 8:9,
And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed [it] with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, [and] riders on mules, camels, [and] young dromedaries: Esth. 8:10,
Wherein the king granted the Jews which [were] in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, [both] little ones and women, and [to take] the spoil of them for a prey, Esth. 8:11,
Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, [namely], upon the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which [is] the month Adar. Esth. 8:12,

Patriotism notwithstanding

How much we love our hometown!

And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. ,

Matthew 11:23