Friday, March 22, 2019

Aphorisms on Leadership and Lowly Tasks

You cannot lead with poor attitude. The attitude which you do a lowliest task marks your character.  If your attitude is poor doing a lowly task you will never be qualified to do a leaderly task.

A lowly task, even sweeping with a broom, can be done elegantly and excellently.

A leaderly worker performs his tasks in a leaderly way, with a marked level of diligence, elegance and excellence that serves his master and models excellence to his fellow works.

Friday, June 09, 2017

12 Ways to Debate Like a Trained Boxer and Triumph in the Ring

1. A trained boxer puts in the time and the focus to become skilled at his craft:   As someone who wants to enter the ring of debate you will need all the focus, and training time that a trained boxer requires to be effective.

2. A trained boxer knows his skill level and weight class:  It’s not necessarily a good thing to always stand up for what you believe.  You can damage reputation and your cause if you get onto a stage that you’re not ready for. You need to test your debate skills in an arena appropriate for your skill level, and know when you are ready for a larger stage and when to go back into the dojo.  

3. A trained boxer has a good sparring partner and a good trainer:   As someone who aspires to be effective debating, you will need a qualified person to bounce ideas off of who can give you constructive criticism, different perspectives, play devil’s advocate, and role play. You will also need mentors who can help you consider points of view that you did not consider and who can help you hone your focus.

4. A trained boxer studies current champions and those champions who came before:  You will need to read and keep yourself informed and study those past and present who are engaged in the same or similar debates.

5. A trained boxer studies his opponent:   You will need to become a careful student of those you are debating against, what their mindset is, what deeper questions are they trying to answer, what historical events led to their way of thinking, what they get right in their thinking and what they get wrong and why.

6. A trained boxer knows how to connect punches from many different angles:  You will need to understand what you are debating from the perspective of many different topics, being knowledgeable on those topics.

7. A trained boxer does not get distracted from executing his fight strategy in the ring:  You will need to know how to avoid red herrings, misdirects and tangents and be able to refocus the debate back to the point you are trying to make.  The more successfully you can do this, the more power your point will have.

8. A trained boxer never trades slop for slop:  You should never stoop to the level of a lesser opponent in a debate by trading sarcasm, name calling, ad hominem attacks, making assumptions about your opponent, etc…  Your power comes from executing logic correctly the same way that a trained boxer executes punches with good boxing form.  
Like a trained boxer, you should trust in your training and remain above reproach in the ring of debate. 

9. A trained boxer never lets negative emotions get the best of him in the ring:  Your ability to succeed in a debate will take emotional toughness and mental toughness that comes from always taking the right risks, and always avoiding the wrong risks.

10. A trained boxer knows how to use his opponent’s movements to his advantage:   You will need to be able to take the things your opponent says and use it to your advantage.  It is far more powerful when you can accurately describe what your opponent believes, based on what they have said, than saying something negative by making sloppy generalities.
Precisely exposing a contradiction in your opponents position, based on your opponents own words, will do the work of sarcasm without you having to stoop to being "snarky" to make your point.  

11. A trained boxer is prepared to go all 12 rounds: you won’t win a serious debate in a single “haymaker" statement.  Your effectiveness in a debate will take a demonstration of skill, persistence, determination and patience.  In a debate your goal is not to convince your opponent so much as it is to sway those on the sidelines who are watching, and embolden and encourage those who believe as you do but may not have the words or the courage to debate. As for your opponent, your goal is to wear out his arguments.  He will know that you are a worthy opponent.

12. A trained boxer does not win every match: You must care enough about your long term success in arguing for what you believe to lose a debate sometimes.  It’s your opportunity to grow and not allow a fear of failure to keep your from your ultimate goal of being able to influence others toward what you believe.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A Similarity Between Sexuality and Language

There are those who believe that traditional cultural expressions of sexuality are mere “social conventions”, as if these social conventions should be sloughed off by enlightened people.
Sexuality and traditional sexual social conventions have a similarity to language. Language begins in pure physiology with vocal chords, tongue, etc…, and ends in pure convention, with accents, slang, etc… Spanning the first part of the gap between physiology and culture is the basic human need to communicate with language, and the basic logic of language (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc...), and the human brain that is designed to link biology, logic, emotion and expression.
Spanning the second part of the gap, various languages and cultures organize the basic logic of language into different conventions of grammar, sounds and words. While languages are conventions in the way they organize the basic logic of language, they are not fungible any more than a motorist in the U.S can decide to drive on the left side of the road. Having all of these non-fungible things supporting it, language then has its more fungible social conventions of slang, accents, colloquialisms, evolving words, etc...
Sexuality also spans a bridge from pure biology to pure social convention, with a host of non-fungible aspects in between. Those who believe they are promoting “freedom” by removing sexual social conventions, do not respect this, which leads to the emotional and social equivalents of car crashes and train wrecks.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

What's in a Word? The Long-Game Of the Sexual Left

Much of the Church has yet to fully comprehend Leftism as movement that is equal parts political, social, ideological, and spiritual. Each one of these four facets of Leftism compliments and reinforces the other three facets of Leftism.

Generally speaking, the Church is either under the influence of Leftist thinking, OR it understands the social and political symptoms of Leftism: sexual immorality, porn, divorce, abortion, the erosion of freedom to live openly as a Christian, etc... but not Leftism itself, as the unique evil in our age that is driving and encouraging those sins.

The Church understands the Biblical language of spiritual battle, but does not fully understand how Leftism has taken people's minds captive, as the spiritual battle of our time on the macro level, as the ideology that lies at the root of the existential crisis driving people into sexual immorality, as the defective moral compass directing people into spiritual death in the name of being politically correct.

The Church understands traditional Christian doctrine, which was provided to us by those who clarified it against the heresies of the past, but the church does not understand how to clarify the Gospel against the modern rival to the truth of Scripture that is Leftism, and the worship of Nature that is behind Leftism.

The Church has a lot to learn from those like Dennis Prager and other secular thinkers who have stared hard into the Left to understand, classify and categorize its dangers, particularly in the realm of the social, political and ideological. The Church also has a lot to offer those in the world who take Leftism seriously, by explaining how the Kingdom of God offers the only real, durable answer to Leftism, as the only thing that addresses every facet of Leftism including the spiritual facet. The Church will only be effective in ministering to people out of their Leftism when it first identifies Leftism as the reigning counterfeit idea of the age, and carefully clarifies the Kingdom of God against Leftism.

The essential fallacy of Leftist Christianity is this: because Jesus cared for the poor and was mindful of the outcast and downtrodden, any idea that is promoted in the name of helping the poor, downtrodden and outcast is what it means to be like Jesus, and to be Christian.
Jesus mission was to reconcile each individual with the Father, to call the individual to repent of sin and to enable his/her regeneration and sanctification. It was the context of personal repentance and reconciliation with the Father, and in the context of having utmost respect of the Law and the whole of Scriptures teaching, that Jesus modeled how we are to care to for the poor, in all of the ways that people can be poor, economically, spiritually, socially, etc...

By stripping away the repentance out of sin into reconciliation with the Father, and by extension, the whole counsel of Scripture, the Leftist prescription for one to be "Christ-Like" is to affirm someone in a state of gender unholiness, never calling them into repentance, since to promote the the Biblical idea of gender holiness with the intent of calling people to repentance is merely to promote stigma towards those on the margins, keeping them marginalized.

Words are such that they have whole ideas, philosophies and worldviews baked into them. A word itself is like a thesis encoded into letters, such that you must understand the idea to fully understand the meaning of the word, and uttering the word reinforces the idea that word exists to express.

The thesis that is "baked" into the terms "man" and "woman"/"men" and "women” is the Biblical binary of the God-created sexes of human male/female operating in the God-ordained genders of man/woman.  The idea encoded into the terms "man" and "woman" is that there is a universality to human sexuality: that men and women express a whole greater than the sum of their parts and that the differences between men and woman are durable and predictable across time, space and culture.  

The substance of the uniqueness expressed by the terms “man” and “woman” to convey the uniqueness that one has vis a vis the other is a trifecta, a "three legged table" of purpose, design and role: men and women have, respectively, a unique purpose, and from there a unique design to express that purpose, and from there a perogative for unique space in the culture to express that purpose according to their design.  Remove any part of that trifecta and there is no reason for the other two aspects of the trifecta of purpose, design and role to have meaning.

While a Leftist may allow the terms men and women for the sake of convenience, from an ontological standpoint, the Left does not believe that men and women actually exist in the full meaning of these terms, rather only biological human males, females, and hermaphrodites having different bodies, chromosomes and genitalia. Any favored expression of sexual differences above biology is merely the imposition of a cultural artifice that gives one form of sexual expression the false dominance of normalcy over other forms of sexual expression, giving one set of biologically different human creatures the power to oppress another set of biologically different human creatures.  

So that is why the Left is not simply interested adding "lesbian", "gay", "bi-sexual", "trans-gendered" ... to the already existing terms “men” and “women”, but in coming with their own alternative terms to codify their diametrically opposed view of the world in regard to gender and sexuality, a worldview that rejects the binary of sexuality into man and woman. 

One of their terms, “hetero-normal” is intended to convey the idea that being a “man” is merely a normative lifestyle choice for the biological human male to conform to among other lifestyles. Complimenting “hetero-normal” is “cis” as the term to describe someone who identifies the sex they were born with.  So a man is no longer merely a “man” but a “male cis hetero-normal”.   And then you have the movement to promote "ze" instead of "he" and "she". 

The long-game of this Leftist word play is to enable the sexual "individualist" to come out from under sexual "conformity" imposed by the terms "man" and "woman", and to remove the stigma for those who do not feel/believe that they are either a man or a woman.  In reality, these "alternative" terms are not so much in the business of removing stigma, but re-distributing it in favor of Leftism.  These terms serve a social engineering effort to remove social stigma from those who do not feel that they are either fully man or woman and place stigma on those who value the terms man or woman enough to require the cultural space needed for these terms to have meaning.

There is no room in the long run for both a Leftist concept and a Biblical concept of sexuality and gender to co-exist and co-habitate.  We will either operate under the conformity to the ideas of "man" and "woman" or the alternative conformity of sexuality and gender splintered to a host of non-binary terms. 

Either the Left is promoting freedom and justice, liberating people into what is truly natural, or it is keeping people from being redeemed into what C.S. Lewis would describe as the "arch-natural", what is truly natural as God designed us to be. 

People do not set out to be evil, but rather walk backwards into being evil, often because they believe that they are doing the right thing, passionately.  As one who affirms Scripture, I assert that the Left is engaged in evil, promoting sexual confusion by believing that it is promoting justice.  

Monday, January 02, 2017

Confronting the Feminizers

It is said that Thomas Jefferson had a Bible where he simply blotted out the passages that he didn’t believe. In his case, being a Deist of the Enlightenment, he had a problem with the miracles of Jesus but otherwise believed that he agreed with Jesus’ teachings. If you have a Bible where you have blotted out passages that you don’t believe, and make no bones of having done so, you are an honest doubter of those passages you don’t believe.

The Bible makes claims on our sexual behavior, on our physical behavior and heart behavior in regard to sexual interaction. Connected to that, the Bible makes claims on our gender, what it means to be a husband and wife, what a man represents vs what a woman represents in relation to God, and authority within the Church.

The Feminizers reject those gender passages and thus operate with a partially blotted out Bible. The problem is that they don’t admit it, and so their doubt in those passages is dishonest, cloaked in pseudo-Scripture and context abuse to make it superficially seem like they care about the whole of Scripture when they actually believe in it selectively.

Either there is wisdom in the Scriptures that clarify gender and gender role behavior or there is not. Through God’s guidance, the Church needs to clarify the wisdom of the passages against the challenge of the Feminizers.  

The issue of gender is the gateway to the rest of leftism entering the church. The church either confronts gender correctly or it caves on gender, and then later caves to the rest of sexual leftism.

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.