Triggered by Syrian facts

That God was gracious to one Syrian was the cause of anger in a synagogue in New Testament times.  Behind the anger lay jealousy and misplaced xenophobia.  The Syrian ( Aramaean, ארמי, Arami ) and the Israelite are kin. The Israeli-Syrian conflict of our times is not merely a continuation of an ancient family feud. The anger in the synagogue showed how the critical facts of solidarity with family can become inconsequential.

Luke 4:27-28

27) And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian. 28) And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath…

Yeshua speaking in a synagogue

Jacob’s ancestral home

Syria is Jacob’s ancestral home.  That is where Abraham sent his CEO to get a wife for Isaac. It was in Syria, at his uncle’s, where Jacob hid from his brother’s anger and started a family (with two of his cousins) .

At the time of Israel’s preparation to enter Canaan God prescribed the content of the future celebration of history. It included a meaningful mention of the Aramaean roots of the nation.

Deuteronomy 26:5

You shall answer and say before the Lord your God, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation.

Let us not cheer any attempt to separate families or treat people as less than ourselves because they are different. It comes home in the gathering of witnesses from every human family (Psalm 22:27-28). After all, diversity began with Adam and Eve, and that fact is not a trigger for anger or for a murderous mob to attack a speaker of truth.

Conservative decoration expired

The people calling themselves conservative, orthodox, or fundamental are likely to be on the fringes of what they are espousing.   Truly orthodox people with original ideas are prone to be afraid of what follows.  They are primarily good at protecting practical life. They are not expected to even be in tune with authentic thought patterns and are more avid users of slogans and cliches than being informed about the weightier matters of their interests. Since the conservative tools for securing society have to be locked in on yesterday – ancestral thought and practice – the present generation’s conservative leaning comes from being coerced and deluded because when the needs of the human psyche are at stake the conservative decoration is like expired food and a rusted and corroded medal.

The gold is dimmed and all that is left of national greatness and empire is cheap tin.

Parents who think that they have discharged their duty by imposing their fears and beliefs as lifelong standards on their children as if the exclusive body of lore and practice was not at one time a new thing are near the top of the list of delusional people. 

An era is not an alley

When the patriarch dies a new era can truly come into being.   Eras can be faked in many countries when a new a leader gets elected every four or five years.  The claim that all the policy changes in a 4 or 8 year period transforms any society is highly unlikely and deceitful. For the record, apart ftom being a specific time marker for the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob conservative is another name for male-domination, backward, monolithic, counterproductive, and regressive civic arrangements. Blind arrogance is the better conclusion.

Maybe small government works for snall countries

The deadly increase of dishonourable behaviour from children who were never set on a path of knowledge and discretion is telling.  The religious conservative is at best a person at the top of his or her game, knowing and doing the things required of the religion.  Such a person is also capable of transmitting the vision and substance to one’s peers or next generation.  His or her dread of the future persists even when it is clear that their own children’s futures are in limbo.

Why we should not listen to another conservative

The conservative politician or pastor may have a benign personal profile and academic achievement, but they almost never grasp the dynamic relationship between the excellent things of the past and the universally expected, rational and sustainable lifestyles in a mature now. They are perpetually throwing up barriers to progress and enlightenment for their own personal benefi. 

Today scares the old fashioned and conservative

They reject knowledge that they cannot recite like robots. For example, when faced with the original languages of the Bible conservatives choose English grammar and the science of the human fetus, and reject the evidence of a polluted and finite planet.

The conservative Christian is likely to be an extremist, a narrow-minded and robotic talking head, a person claiming to be interested only in the things that adorned the earliest manifestation of his faith.  This is a dead end distraction because the road for the majority of his peers seems to begin and end with the protestant reformation or with a local and contemporary development, such as an election, a visionary experience, or the increase of knowledge.

A political conservative is likely to be  a person with little awareness of what he is trying to conserve or protect and may also be nothing more than a member of a party that says it follows the past.  The smaller government demand of American conservatives is bewildering.  They would rather see big business thrive than to invest in people’s pursuit of liberty and happiness. They choose violent repression of civil rights over building the legal patterns of cooperation and diversity.  They want to keep their grip on the guntoting bigoted past, admitting none of the nation’s failures.  There are no depths to which the conservative has not already sunk.  They cannot see the wall much less the handwriting on it.  The label “party of Lincoln” used to identify the GOP means as much as “adult children”.  The light has gone out.  Time has run out.

Decoration expired

 Over against the promise of  America’s legislative brilliance and her historic generosity to the poor and dreamers of the world why else would God expose the poverty of character in the political process and in abuse of her own citizens whose skins are not pink if not to say as he said of Jerusalem’s house, “desolate”.

Moving on without the truth

A host of lying segregationist religious and political figures want to move past the despicable incitement of violent overthrow of the United States government. Since 2016 the crimes of the 45th president only became more acceptable to the Republican party and to a dangerous number of people who are willing to believe, repeat and do anything that comes from a source they think is patriotic. The latest voice trying to stop the application of law and justice to the unspeakable abominations of the 45th president is the former ambassador Haley. Give the former president “a break” she begs. Oh yeah, turn 50 blind eyes in the Senate to the truth, turn the millions of deaf ears on Christian radio to ministerial neglect of the gospel, and turn off your mouth if you are .99 notches below an eyewitness to the legacy of Yeshua of Nazareth.

Rubio calls impeaching the former president “stupid”. It is never late to pursue justice and stupid as a label comes in packages of two with self-adhesive versions. Him and Ted Cruz stand out as ambitious candidates for thoughtless and at least deliberately forgetful, and rightfully credibility-free.

Meanwhile on the dark web people I thought were serious about research and righteousness are stumbling all over themselves trying to deny that they are deep down the shameful political pit pushing the delusional evangelical playbook. The leaders on the dark web are our pastors and their lackeys and that playbook belongs to people like Haley, Rubio, and Cruz, all powerbrokers lost in a cloud of their own flatulence.

Where is the hallel?

May I boast a little? Why not? Professor X can testify that he got a meager education and that was sufficient for reading the Bible.  Prayer warrior Y for Christ can boast about having the Spirit but cannot competently pray without sounding like a prophet of Baal. The fearful boast that Christ’s sacrifice makes the medical profession unnecessary, but they have not given up their health cards, put their dental and physiotherapy activities on pause.  It is smallness of mind that leads people to think that God will discard the documentation of his excellence throughout all of humanity’s journey.  Boasting and bragging has gone to the dogs, all the way to saying what is presumed to be a magical word – hallelujah – without actually saying what is praiseworthy.

I glory

Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little.

2 Corinthians 11:16

When Paul found himself repeatedly inhaling empty Jewish boasting and national pride he did not look far for a synonym for his own boasting and praising. He passed over the usual praise epaineo, glory (Hebrew kabod) bless barak and settled for boast (kauchomai).

People boasting about things
For the wicked boasts (Greek paineo, Hebrew halal) of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.

Psalm 10:3

People boasting about God and the law

if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, 17) and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, 18)

Romans 2:17-18

Do please say what God has DONE

Saying hallelujah a million times without addressing the Supreme Being or without declaring (a) what is excellent about HIM or (b) what excellent thing[s] he does is rubbish.

Let the hallel proclaim what is OBVIOUS

Insane people extol the small as GREAT

Halal is used for boasting, not only regarding others (Gen 12:5).  We are sure that Pharaoh’s princes praising Sarah said something about the lady. It is hightly unlikely that the men used the word halal in any of its forms.

Hallelujah is not a magical word. It has meaning. It is not like “amen” which signals agreement or wish. Amen comes from aman (אמן), he verified. When we say amen we are saying “I agree” and “Let it be so”. On the other hand hallelujah is a command, “y’all praise Yah”. The appropriate response to hallelujah is to be directed to Yahweh, not a mere repetition of the command. “Yah, you are more precious than silver”, “Oh God, your love lifted me” are examples of praise directed to God.

Boasting is naturally personal.  Boasting about another person can leave us flat on our faces. The cross is most personal in its genius and genesis and its effect on human conditions, is most admirable. This is why we find Paul mainlining it.

Mainline boasting

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14

“If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness” is a stern rebuke to unhinged boasting about law, obedience, healing, miraculous deliverances, and visionary experiences.

A hallel for disability

If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. [Since it behooves me…I will]

2 Corinthians 11:30

Hallels we can use

Addressing God:  Yahweh, halaltika (I thank/I praise you) for your abc.  Addressing a loved one: HoneyI appreciate… A hallel cannot be empty. A

A kiss is a hallel. Carry his photo in your purse. Pharoah’s officials might have said something like “Your majesty, we keep seeing a woman with the most magical eyes and lips like juicy grapes.  Your majesty, we have never seen womanhood like hers! We found out that she is also the experienced manager of a very large household”. Simply saying the word hallelujah is hollow, and hollow does not become the God whose name is excellent everywhere. Surely we can find tons to say in praise of Yeshua’s excellent greatness. That is where the hallel lives.

Jerky feathery visionary wheels

It is often the intention of a writer to motivate the reader to put himself or herself into the narrative. At the end of the day Christ himself and faithful men like Moses and Paul are limited role models for far too many people who say they have become disciples.

Vision #1

As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 1:10

Even though the older brother in the Lost Son parable is obedient and not lost nobody wants to walk in his shoes.

The entities in Ezekiel’s visions (or John’s, Ezekiel 1:10ff, 10:13ff) present a motion imperative. They move straight ahead, they rise above the earth. Their motions and appearance are the basic challenge. What to make of the second vision of the “wheels” takes the challenge into new territory.

The cherub replaces the bull

The next time Ezekiel sees the wheels one of faces is new.

And each one had four faces. The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:14

There is only our likeness to angels (officers of the heavenly court) after the end of the age, but in this age angels are superior to humans in their nature and association with God’s palaces and inferior to humans as servants tasked with assisting humans. We recognize the human as failure prone and totally ours, but the king of the jungle, the bull and the eagle shut us out.  If face is a way of speaking about appearance and function these creatures are the most representative of the extent of diversity and integration and we are a long way from wanting to emulate these straight-walking and amazingly mobile beings.

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.