Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Why behind the What: Sexuality and the Revelation of Creation

Every generation presents rival ideas to the truths of Scripture, and the truth of Scripture must be clarified and re-clarified against the rival ideas in each age. The superficial understanding that was sufficient in a prior age will no longer do. Preaching needs to speak to the rival ideas of the present age, informed by a deeper understanding of things that were always revealed in Scripture but not always stated in Scriptural bold print.
We live in an age where the church is beset from both outside and from inside, with powerful, rival ideas about gender and sexuality. These rival ideas of gender and sexuality are part of an even broader set of beliefs. As these ideas enter the church, they are challenging our ability to trust the What that is written in Scripture by sowing doubt into the Why. I believe the Why of sex and gender boundaries is revealed in Scripture, even if it is not always stated in the same bold print as the What.
Laying the foundation for the Why requires taking a closer, deeper look at the revelation of Creation. The revelation of creation as articulated in Romans 1 is based on this premise: everything that God has made was designed to impress his character upon us, and we were designed to be impressed upon by what has made to comprehend the qualities of the invisible God. When the Psalms 19 talks of the heavens declaring the glory of God, this is only to highlight one aspect of creation fulfilling this role in our lives, not by any means to exclude all the rest of Creation from doing so.
Our own making as part of the Revelation of Creation is special in two keys ways: 1) our making was specifically made in God’s Image unlike any other thing that was made, and 2) we experience our making from the inside-out, whereas we experience everything else in creation from the outside-in. If the heavens, being far away and not specifically made in God's image, have things to teach us about God, how more so does our own making, which was specifically made in God's image and that we experience from the inside out?
Sexuality is the domain where we experience our making in a uniquely powerful way, where our differences between male and female and are intended to impress upon us special aspects of the character of God. Sexuality is where we experience those aspects of God's character which are more uniquely and completely represent in women compared to men, and in men compared to women. Though the act of sex is part of sexuality, it is not necessary to be in a sexual relationship for us to experience the instructive power our sexuality to reflect God's image and impress upon us aspects of God's character.
God, being above sexuality, is not made in sexuality’s image, though human sexuality is made to reflect certain aspects of God’s image. Pagan religions, like the ancient Egyptians, saw sexuality as a fundamental aspect of reality, of fertility, death and rebirth that was represented in both the gods and in human flesh, and so they conceived of their god’s as being made in the image of sexuality.
Sexuality is a quality of human creation that functions to reflect God’s image, though God himself, being divine, is above sexuality. In the similar manner, if I were to make a clay statue in the image of the person, I would need to do certain things to the clay (like sculpting it and baking it) that are not appropriate for the person. The clay would then have a limited, specific way that it would convey information about the person it was representing. So it is, in a roughly similar fashion, that sexuality is a quality of human existence that God has created for a special purpose to reflect certain aspects of God’s character, but it is not something that directly correlates to a quality of God.
The boundaries on sexuality, encompassing sexual and gender behavior in Scripture are put there so that the revelation of Creation expressed through the sexual aspect of our making functions as it was intended to properly reflect and illumine the nature of God and how we relate to him as his children. The power of sexuality is such that it is either powerfully involved in reflecting God's image for our benefit or it is powerfully diverting us into sexual idolatry.
Sexual immorality is the result of sexual idolatry caused by sexual confusion, where sexual energy is not operating in it's God-ordained way.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

An Open Letter To Lauren Jauregui

This is an open letter to Lauren Jauregui in response to her recent open letter:

This is an open letter written back to you, Lauren Jauregui, as an American and as a Christian who voted for Trump.  

It’s true that Trump is not qualified to give a sermon in church.  There are many unfortunate things he has said, and alarming character traits, and he was not the first choice of many who were going to vote for a conservative candidate for president.  But it’s not true that voting for Trump means that those who voted for him approve everything he stands for, and everything he has said and done and allegedly done.  As many have said, it was a choice for many between the lesser of two evils and the greater among competing goods.  

Your letter demonstrates no respect for those nuances in differing opinions, between those who reluctantly voted for Trump and those who think he is an American savior.  By doing so, you have left no room for dialogue of any kind or consideration of those nuances.

Those who think like you have already taken over many of our universities and created an environment where dissent is suppressed, and where there is no true exchange of ideas. The more those who think like you are allowed into power the more they will continue to impose a leftist caliphate and silence dissent and criminalize thought. 

Hillary was poor candidate who was propped up by the power of political-correctness, and so the power of political-correctness took a dent when Hillary was voted down.  As an American, I’m glad this election has put a speed bump in the way of the march forward of an increasingly weaponized political-correctness that attempts to squash any dissent.

Now let me deal with your letter as a Christian.  You believe that since Trump does not respect political-correctness, a Christian who voted for Trump is a hypocrite because they are taking a stand against what it means to be “Christ-like”, since to be politically correct is to be Christ-like. 

Even as I think that political-correctness is abhorrent, I recognize that political correctness can challenge the church to acknowledge those on the margins, and challenge the church to be mindful of the tone and manner that it is communicating to them.  But in no way does political correctness have anything to do with the Gospel or the teachings of Jesus Christ. Political correctness uses the force of social taboos to convert behaviors into being socially and morally acceptable that were heretofore considered to be morally deviant.  

Christ’s views on sexuality are clear, as are those in the Old Testament Scriptures, which Jesus Christ affirmed, and those written down by the men he chose as his Apostles who wrote the New Testament Scripture.  Scripture as a whole is unambiguous in its condemnation of sexual desire and sexual interaction among people of the same sex. It is also unambiguous in its condemnation of human jealousy and a host of other things.   The Gospel must be bad news before it is good news, and until anyone recognizes the wretchedness of their current condition and the power of Christ to enter it, they will never comprehend the Gospel. 

In regard to the challenge that political correctness presents to the church, Jesus teaches us to worship in Spirit and Truth.  We are to speak in Truth, as clarified in Scripture, without compromise, and we are to speak in Spirit, guided by the Spirit as to the timing, the words and the manner of our speaking.  That is what it means to be Christ-like, as reflected in Christ’ words and actions.

Friday, November 18, 2016

An Analysis of Gender, Sex and Deuteronomy 22:5 Part 2

I want to add a thought to the prior post, based on a question I was challenging myself with: Does a man does cease to be a man just because he is effeminate and/or because he is operating with the persona of a woman? 

To explore this we must define the difference between a person’s being and their persona.  A person’s being does not change despite whether their persona changes.  Persona, on the other hand, is that aspect of personhood that finds its expression in the exercise of dominion, and within the context of a particular type of dominion.  A person’s persona changes if they change the nature of their dominion, even if their being remains the same. A person’s personality is the product of both their being and their persona.

If one were to ask whether the man known as Saul was also Paul, the answer would be yes and no. Saul and Paul were indeed the same person, but different personas. Saul was only Paul in the sense that Saul had the potential to become Paul, with the persona of Paul being buried in person of Saul as a seed that had not yet germinated, while Saul was still a Christian-condemning Sadducee.  “Paul” is the person that operated with the persona of Paul in the dominion of being Apostle, in contra to the persona of Saul.

Gender is the basic God-ordained male persona as man, and the basic God-ordained female persona as woman, that was intended to be expressed in the context of different but over-lapping spheres of dominion to properly reflect God’s image.  From this there are infinite specific minor God-ordained variations among each individual man's and woman’s personality, being the product of both their person and their persona.

As a man, you are less of a man when you don’t operate in the God-ordained dominion designed for men, because by failing to do so, you cannot fully realize your God-ordained man persona, even if your being remains that of a man. The same goes for women. 

Wearing gender specific clothing is one part of assuming the persona of your gender and affirming the sphere of dominion appropriate for your gender.  Deuteronomy 22:5 teaches that you are accountable to operate in the gender persona that is suitable for your sex, whether male or female.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

An Analysis of Gender, Sex and Deuteronomy 22:5

The “what” in terms of what Scripture says about sex and gender boundaries between men and women are clear. Egalitarianism, aka Christian Feminism, is fundamentally an attack on the “why”. It is by introducing doubt into the church over the “why” that Egalitarians try to advance doubt over the “what”. As a friend of mine stated it well to me recently, Complimentarianism is the Gospel clarified against Egalitarianism/Feminism. While it is important to clarify the “what” of Scripture in regard to sex and gender boundaries, it is also important to clarify the “why” by clarifying how they are both something that is of part the Gospel and something that uniquely expresses the Gospel.
To begin to do this, it is important to understand the relationship between God's Image, the dominion of Man on the earth, God-created sexes of male and female, and the God-ordained genders of man and woman, and human culture. We know from Romans 1:20 that Creation has the purpose of showing the Maker through what was made. The creation of Man as male and female, having been specifically made in God’s Image, unlike any other thing that was made, has a special purpose to instruct us about the Maker. It is not God who is the direct beneficiary of having his Image revealed in Man, but us who are the bearers of God’s Image to better understand God through perceiving the spiritual significance of what God that has built into our making, so that we may relate to God as his children. The spiritual significance of our making as image bearers of God is intended to be illumined for us as we operate within Creation and in relationship to each other and to God.
In Genesis 1, God created man in His image male and female he created them to take dominion over the earth. So there is an aspect of having God’s Image that comes by virtue of being human, whether male or female, and there is an aspect of bearing God’s image that is specifically male and not female, and that is female and not male. As taking dominion flows from bearing God’s Image, so too is there an aspect of taking dominion that is human—whether male or female-- and an aspect of taking dominion that is male and not female, and an aspect of taking dominion that is female and not male.
In Genesis 2, the relationship between what God directly creates, and what God ordains as an out flow of the design from what is created can be seen as Adam names the animals. God did not specifically create the names of the animals nor did he force Adam to do so, but he created Adam to be able to produce language and to use words to relate to Creation. As God spoke Creation into existence, Adam spoke the animals into their names. So in Adam naming the animals, there is first expression of human dominion over the earth in the form of man-created language and culture, which expresses God’s image.
The relationship between what God has created and what God has ordained in the realm of sexuality is this: the male and female sexes are God-created as the basic imprint of human male and female physical and emotional wiring. Meanwhile, the genders of man and woman are God-ordained sexual identities that are designed as an out flow from the God-created sexes to be expressed in distinct yet overlapping spheres of dominion. The genders of man and woman are somewhat subject to human will, unlike the sexes of male and female which are not.
Adam naming the animals prior to Eve arriving on the scene is the beginning of a God-ordained norm of men having a unique form exercise of dominion vis a vis women. So the naming of the animals was not only the first expression of human language and culture, but also the first expression of gender, of man-ness as unique from woman-ness.
Both the God-created sexes of male and female and the God-ordained genders of man and woman are integral in expressing God’s Image. It is in operating in distinct but over-lapping spheres of dominion that men and women express the Image of God for the benefit of each other’s understanding of God and what it means to be a child of God made in His Image.
You cannot choose your God-created sex, but you can choose not to operate in your God-ordained gender, though by doing so you would be violating your design, and the exercise of your dominion would fail to reflect God’s Image. As we are corrupted by sin, our dominion is corrupted and not fully able to achieve the purpose of reflecting God’s Image. To correct this, Scripture contains rules and guidelines to guide our will away from sin into following the God-ordained genders of man and woman as they were intended to work with the God-created sexes, male and female.
Even to the extent that certain aspects of gender are expressed with some cultural variations, they are nonetheless God-ordained. This is why Deuteronomy 22:5 says "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this." It did not stop being detestable in the New Covenant any more than any other explicitly sexually prohibited behavior, nor was it only detestable for men and women to cross dress according to the dress that distinguished gender in ancient Israel.
Cross-dressing, for any purpose other than to be comedic and ridiculous, is detestable because superimposes the gender of man over the sex of being female and the gender of woman over the sex of being male. Because it puts what is God-ordained into dissonance with what is God-created, cross-dressing, as with other sexual behaviors prohibited in Scripture, diverts sexual energy away from reflecting God’s image and toward idolatry.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Business Aphorism

Excellent customer service is the product of rising to both the technical challenge and the human challenge that lies within every task, obstacle and difficulty.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Leadership vs Rulership

You are a leader when people willingly follow you because they respect you and are inspired by you.  You are a ruler when you create and/or enforce rules.  In a position of authority, your rulership should always follow your leadership.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Mallet Rule

There is a very basic moral principle in life when dealing with grievances with others – the Mallet Rule.  The Mallet Rule says that for every grievance that you have with another there is a proverbial toolbox at your disposal with mallets ranging from very small all the way up through hammers to a large sledge hammer.

Whenever you have a concern with another, you have a moral obligation to use the smallest mallet needed to get results, using the most polite, discreet and considerate means possible to effectively address your grievance.  After having done this, if the problem is not corrected, you should escalate to a larger mallet but only one just large enough needed to bring attention to the problem, and so on until you find the right size mallet needed for the job.  The Mallet Rule says that it is unethical to ever use a larger mallet than what is needed, to cause potential damage to relationships and reputations when it is out of proportion to the force needed to resolve the problem. 

The Mallet Rule is an extension of the Golden Rule: do not do unto others what you would not want done to you.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Declaration and the Constitution

A proper understanding of both the values and value of the United States of America rests on the understanding that the Declaration of Independence is the founding document equal in authority to the Constitution and should be considered part of the Constitution's preamble, and should be used to interpret the Constitution as the Constitution should be used to interpret the Declaration.

As the Declaration declared the Man's authority to dissolve his bonds with Government (King George III), the Constitution declared the establishment of Government by We The People by that same authority.  As the Declaration declared our, the People's, rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, the Constitution clarified those rights in the Bill of Rights.  As the Declaration declared a right to Liberty, and as the Constitution was established for the Common Good, a proper definition of Liberty that honor's both the Declaration and Constitution is this: License to exercise our duty to the Common Good.  

The common theme between both these documents is that authority is not granted on a whim but comes from a source with the authority to grant authority.   Authority to give power to the Government comes from the People, and the People's authority comes from the Creator.  Man does not have the authority to grant himself this power any more than Government has the authority to grant itself power.

Nature/Creation cannot itself experience happiness and is therefore not qualified to establish happiness as an end of itself or to grant such a right to Man.  Only a Creator who operated in a universe where Happiness was a pre-existent component of the fabric of reality -- who conceived Man first and foremost for His own Happiness who then created Man as a being in flesh to instantiate Happiness -- would have the authority to endow man with the Moral Patent of the Declaration: the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Man's own Happiness.  Only such Creator would have the authority to grant the Moral Patent to Man such that Man would have the authority to grant or remove power from Government.

All laws are based in one or another moral universe that is governed by one or another moral authority. Since this Creator is a self-evident truth of the Declaration, laws whose moral authority can be traced back to this Creator are not are not "laws made with respect to Religion", which by definition is that based on Faith and not which is self-evident.   The Creator --as defined and revealed in the Declaration --is the moral authority and the Creator's moral universe -- as defined and revealed in the Declaration--- is the moral universe by which laws should be judged as being Constitutional.

Hermeutical Arcanism

Hermeutical Arcanism: Relying on arcane details of the ancient world-- including connotations of words in their original language and and/or on ancient cultural realities and practices not specifically mentioned and/or elaborated on in Scripture --to interpret the meaning of Scripture, in contra to using the Bible as it has been translated into a non-original language, to arrive at a theology that depends on an understanding of Scripture that is not available to the reader of a translated Bible.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Aphorism based on Proverbs 17:21

Clarity comes from the wise, not from the merely educated.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Couple More Aphorisms

Being a problem preempter is superior to being a problem solver

It is not true that the effort being creative in one area of your life will detract from being creative in another area.  Creativity is not a zero-sum game.  The more things you are creative in, the more creative you will be in those things.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cultural Marxism and the Worship of Gaia

Primalism is the belief that nature is the ultimate truth and that our primal desires were designed by nature as good and should be allowed to operate as un-impeded as possible. What a different moral system calls a “base” desire --as a desire that comes from a corrupt nature needing redemption and inferior to other higher desires-- is considered a “primal” desire, and therefore more original and more authentic to our true, natural selves.

Cultural Marxism (CM) is a form of Primalism that seeks to advance the expression of our primal nature not by trying to “return to nature” to live as stone-age people but as modern, urban people. Cultural Marxists believe that the wisdom of primal nature is the “will to life” and also the “will to progress”, the Gaia force of nature expressed in collective human id that drives the progress of history toward ever greater cultural and technological advancement. Progress requires a continuous cultural revolution whereby an ever increasing variety of people’s expressions of primal desire are allowed to co-exist with other expressions of primal desire in society. Any power that any group or person that has over another is a recipe for corruption and must be aggressively managed so that primal desires can co-exist with minimal damage. Cultural groups that traditionally had more power in history need to continually cede power to less traditionally powerful groups. By showing "moral deference" to the less powerful groups the traditionally more power group shows "moral deference" to the over-arching trend of history.

A non-CM moral system would say that there are moral absolutes that transcend history. A Cultural Marxist might acknowledge that those ideas had had some limited value for the time when they existed, but that they must be put aside for a more enlightened moral fluidity for the current and future age. Cultural Marxists see our time as the "end of history" as the end of human conflict caused by pre-CM ideas that dominated humanity. CM Enlightened individuals are those who show moral deference to Gaia by continually crowd-sourcing their moral thought to a fluid collective.

The CM collective goes by many different names: the “cool”, the “times”, the “emerging concensus”. When a Cultural Marxist says “who’s to say” they are saying that no individual is wise-enough to assert a claim to having a personal rational or moral thought that is contrary to the fluid collective’s discernment of the wisdom of Gaia and the direction that Gaia is headed in any given cultural era of time. A certain degree of personal mental softness and uncertainty is encouraged for each person to cultivate so that they are morally soft and supple enough to follow the collective. / Political Correctness is the social and linguistic expression of CM. Leftism is the legal and political expression of CM. Post-Modernism is the epistemology of CM, the philosophical instrument to undermine truth claims of other belief systems.

There are those in the judiciary of our day and age who believe that by making judicial decisions according to this CM view of the world, they are ensuring that they are landing on the right side of history. Far enough in the future they will be remembered as those who made “laws with respect to religion”, a religion that was not understood as a religion in 2016, but understood by a future generation who will be able to look back on CM with a wise and knowing sadness on the fashionable foolishness taken seriously that it once was.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Aphorism of the Day 03-02-16

The profundity of the essential difference between men and women is proportional to the intensity of sexual attraction.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Aphorism of the day

Having clarity of thought is the child of having depth of thought

The Gospel and it's Competitors

Jesus clarified the gospel against the Pharisees and the Anti-Roman agitators of his day.  Paul clarified the gospel against the Judaizers in the church.  The Protestant Reformers clarified the gospel against the Catholic Church of the 15th century.

The gospel must be clarified against the unique competitor idea that arises in each generation to compete with it.  If you teach and preach the gospel only as it was clarified against a competing idea of a past generation, your preaching will be sufficient to save but not be fully effective to disciple.

Friday, February 26, 2016


As a culture moves forward in time it simultaneously moves both forward and backward in moral progress.  It is foolish to pine for a more morally pure past. So too is it foolish to believe that the passage of time has accrued only moral progress. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Theology on the Genesis of Knowledge

When God made Man in His Image, He, being beyond space and time, did not give Man His full omniscience, but He did give Man, a being in space and time, a partial endowment of His omniscience – that of omniscient pre-knowledge, such that when Man saw something he had never seen before, a part of him could nonetheless recognize it and have the authority to name it.   Having been so endowed, Man would be driven to consummate his pre-knowledge with full knowledge, and find delight each time a new piece of full knowledge was brought into perceivable space and time.  Earth would be the stage for this process, and it was Man’s endowment of pre-knowledge and the built-in drive to consummate it with full knowledge that would be the driving engine for Man to take dominion over the earth.  By doing so, Man would delight in and better know the Creator as the Author of all that there was to know. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

More Aphorisms

-- We are designed to find joy in the perception of order and in the pursuit of order.

-- Both the artist and the scientist are engaged in a journey of discovery. The only difference between them is the type of laboratory the operate in.

-- Behind every law is a moral idea, and behind every moral idea is a moral universe.

-- A mediocre teacher presents facts. A great teacher imparts joy.

--To be stated and restated and restated in slightly different words each time in perpetuity ... is the rhythm of truth breathing.

-- To be ethical in your fame is to give back something of value to the culture worthy of the attention that you are taking from it. To be unethical in your fame is to take attention from the culture out of proportion to the value you add to it.  Example of ethical fame: Capt. Sully Sullenberger after US Airways flight 1549 miracle on the Hudson.  Example of unethical fame: Kim Kardashian.

-- In romantic relationships, the physical intimacy should be in proportion to the commitment, knowing that marriage is the ultimate commitment, and sex is the ultimate physical act.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Aphorisms 2011 to 2015

Here is a collection aphorisms that I have posted on Facebook spanning 2011 to 2015:

·      -- Masculinity is like fire:  submitted to God it can be an instrument of light, protection, provision and warmth.  It is dangerous if it rages uncontrolled and but is also dangerous if it is quenched.

·      -- It is not necessarily a good thing that someone is "standing up" for what they believe.  Standing up for what you believe is like entering the boxing ring.  If you are trained and prepared you stand the chance of representing yourself and your cause well.  If you are not, you risk damaging yourself and your cause.

·      -- Accept the world you are in, but not the world as it is.

·      -- To fear the Lord is the alpha of wisdom.  To enjoy the Lord is the omega of wisdom.

·      -- Arrogance is to assume that what you don’t see isn’t there. Humility is to assume there is more there than what you see.

·       -- Leadership is the ability to help others connect the small picture with the big picture.

·       -- Attention to detail is love.

·       -- Empathy is the soul of wisdom.

·        -- "Cutting the rock with water" is the act of applying continual, 
         persistent low impact pressure to solve a hard problem, wearing it 
         down until it cracks and breaks.

·        -- Solving a problem with art is superior to solving it with force.

·         -- A wise man is slow to offer advice on how to run the place when he's newly arrived.

·          --   A person who has “class” has it as a byproduct of being excellent in the right things, of  having the right character. A person who is pre-occupied with “having class” only succeeds in being a snob.