Tag Archives: Christianity

A Quick Response

Continuing our genocide conversation, Malcolm points to a women who divorced her husband after ‘signs from the Lord’. My (hopefully final) response is short and twofold:

a) Is she a prophet through whom divine revelation flows?

b) Where in that mess of self-justification does God directly and undeniably command her to divorce?

All I read looking through the link is someone selfishly deciding to do something, then looking for every possible excuse to not feel guilty.

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Maybe I have not been communicating as effectively as possible. While a specific divine command may override more general commands for the specified action/time/event, this is not some lightly taken thing.

In the Bible these overriding commands occurred when God spoke directly to and through His prophets while shaping the God-chosen nation the of Israel. Anybody receiving and transmitting a divine command from the Lord is a prophet and being a prophet is not something taken lightly. It is a major, nation-shaping event and any proclaimed prophet has tests to pass for which the penalty for failure is death (and likely damnation).

Breaking God’s law under God’s command is not something done lightly. There is no, ‘I was praying and saw a whisp of smoke, then my preacher spoke on something vaguely related’ to it. It is ‘God spoke directly to me clearly and unmistakeably and called me to Himself through miracles, angels, and visions.’

In the Bible, the prophets were clearly and unmistakeably called by God. They were generally hesitant to obey God and had fairly miserable lives. Those they prophesied to/for/against generally did not like what they had to say (hence, Saul disobeying Samuel) and usually responded grudgingly, at best. So, when I write of following a revealed divine command, it is no small thing I speak of. It is a divine revelation of Biblical proportions that you will likely detest and will shatter your life and the lives of those around you.

A prophecy isn’t needed to call people to do what they want or would have done anyway. Anybody using a divine command to justify something they wanted to do already is engaging in delusional self-justification and anybody desiring divine revelation for themselves strikes me as foolish.

When I talk of a divine command it is something on a fundamentally different order than the everyday Christian interactions with God such as praying over which job to take, learning something revealing from a sermon, the small coincidences of life chalked up to God’s grace, ‘small morsels from God’, or feeling God uplifted you through worship.

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Finally, on the topic of divorce and divine command, we can look to Ezra.

While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done according to the Law. Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.” Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath that they would do as had been said. So they took the oath.

Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night, neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles. And a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, and that if anyone did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles.

Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said. But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. Let our officials stand for the whole assembly. Let all in our cities who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every city, until the fierce wrath of our God over this matter is turned away from us.” Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them.

Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men, heads of fathers’ houses, according to their fathers’ houses, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter; and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.

(Ezra 10:1-17 ESV)

Responses to Genocidal Mercy

I wrote on the Israelite genocides a couple posts ago and am going to respond to a few of the response here.

First, Zippy responded, to others and possibly me, in two posts, here and here.

When the Bible tells us that Samuel said “Thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts”, it is entirely possible that it is giving a literal account of words actually spoken by the actual prophet Samuel. I rather expect that it is; although that is not the only possible interpretation, and inerrancy only really guarantees that true and accurate interpretations exist, it doesn’t guarantee that I have it right.

But Samuel saying those words as a formal preliminary to issuing commands doesn’t necessarily imply what folks think it implies. We know that, as Popes do now, prophets had authority from God. But the fact that Papal authority comes from God doesn’t imply that every word and deed of every Pope is tantamount to a literal act of God. In reality Papal infallibility is something very rarely invoked, and the use of a formal introduction for the words of a Prophet doesn’t convert those words into a set of axiomatic syllogisms from which a positivist theory of everything can be constructed. Samuel’s formalism could conceivably mean that God actually spoke those words from a burning bush; but in the full context of the OT that seems less than likely. At best we can say that we don’t really know whether the formalism “thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts” is a formality – like the wearing of a crown – when the prophet gives orders.

This is intellectually untenable.

To argue that a prophet of the Lord when saying he is proclaiming the will of the Lord is not proclaiming the will of the Lord, ruins any ability to take anything from the Bible. If we can not trust a God-anointed prophet of the Lord to be proclaiming the will of the Lord while saying he is proclaiming the will of the Lord, how can we trust the words of any of the other prophets or teachers? Why would we give heed to Isaiah? Why would the words of John the Baptist be trustworthy? Why would we trust the revelations of John? For that matter, why would we trust the words of Jesus? (Not to mention, for the Catholics, why would we trust Peter or those who claim to be the successors of Peter?)

It is also not just Samuel’s introduction, but Samuel’s pronouncement of judgment on Saul where he also directly claims to speak for the Lord. Saul accepts Samuel’s judgment as being from the Lord, and, as far as I know, no one in the Bible argues that this judgment was ever outside the Lord’s will. Given that Samuel’s appointing of David as king, and, ultimately, the birth of Christ through the lineage of David hinge on this event, it is hard to argue God wasn’t behind this.

And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. And the LORD sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. (1 Samuel 15:17-20 ESV)

To add to this, without accepting Samuel’s words, we have no reason for why God rejected Saul. David’s crowning and 1&2 Samuel lose their meaning and coherency if this event does not take place as written.

What is being pitted against each other is some folks’ personal interpretations of the OT against the intrinsic immorality of murder.

What is being pitted against each other is Zippy’s personal interpretation of natural law against the direct words of the God-ordained prophet of the Lord on a mission from the Lord directly commanding the people of the Lord as the voice of the Lord to destroy the Amalekites. Then the prophet of the Lord stripping Saul of His kingship over the people of the Lord in the Lord’s name for disobeying the Lord’s commandments.

There are 5 ways this event could be interpreted: God commanded the destruction of the Amalekites, God lied to Samuel, Samuel lied to Israel, some other spiritual force deceived an anointed prophet of the Lord and the writer of a book of the Bible in such a way that influenced that entirety of the Christian story and the prophet was never corrected, or the Bible is lying to us (or being metaphorical, which in the case of a book purporting to be history recounting a historical event would be functionally equivalent to a lie).

The second is blasphemy, the third renders the words of the Biblical prophets meaningless, the fourth renders God ineffectual, and the fifth essentially makes the Bible impossible to decipher. Any but the first would make any attempts at understanding Christian natural law impossible.

If you read the Bible and come to the conclusion that a bedrock Christian doctrine such as the absolute prohibition of murder under the natural law is wrong, this doesn’t demonstrate a problem with bedrock Christian doctrine.

The claim is not that murder is okay. The claim is (or in fairness, if this was a criticism of someone else, my claim is) and was specifically ‘Murder is unlawful killing and God’s law is the highest law. If God orders a killing, it is by definition lawful, and is therefore, by definition, not murder.’

God ordered the genocide of the Amalekites, therefore it was not murder. It  has not demonstrated that this was murder; the argument ‘murder is wrong’ misses the point entirely.

In the comments Zippy states the following:

I am equally intolerant of an approach that is unwilling to start with what we actually know – e.g. that slaughtering infants is intrinsically immoral, always wrong, and therefore not something God would ever command – and work the problem from there.

Zippy should prove, not assert, not simply repeat ‘natural law’, but show logically and scripturally that 1) God would never command the slaughtering of infants (despite His prophets specifically commanding the slaughter of infants in His name) and 2) the slaughter of infants is wrong even if God does command it.

The only way to know apodictically that God is ordering it is if you are God. Otherwise it is always possible that you are deceived: that you are wrong. So we can’t escape from comparing how likely it is that we are deceived that murder is always wrong versus how likely it is that it is actually God telling us to do it.

We might not be able to know for certain and no matter what we think we might, but we can and shold reason out the most likely answer. If we follow through on Zippy’s argument how can we know God orders anything? We aren’t God. We can’t know anything of His will apodictically. In that case and what Zippy’s position implies in the context of this debate why even bother trying to ascertain God’s will on any issue? We’ll never know apodictically and it will always be possible we’re deceived.

We can’t escape from comparing how likely is is that Samuel as recorded in the word of the Lord, speaking as a prophet of the Lord in the name of the Lord to the Lord’s people who accepted his words as being from the Lord was deceived or deceiving versus how likely it is that Zippy’s interpretation of the natural law is wrong?

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malcolmthecynic asked:

Something claiming to be the voice of God commands you to kill children.
Do you obey, or are you convinced this was the voice of Satan, and refuse?

I would test the spirits:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6 ESV)

If after a period of prayer, fasting, consultation with trusted Christian leaders, and testing the spirits I understood the spirits were those of the Lord I would obey. Depending on the ‘level of wrongness’ (for lack of a better term springing to mind), this period would be longer and more intense. I might also try to bargain with God as per Abraham.

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Anonymous Coward stated:

This is the same argument that the Muslims make: we cannot put man’s law above God’s law, and man has no right to judge God. Anything Mohammed did is good by definition.

So clearly your argument is wrong, because it defends and promotes the great evil of Islam.

The Muslims are wrong in that their god is not God and Muhammed is not God’s prophet.

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Aeroguy stated:

I’m not sure you guys really appreciate the full implications of Euthyphro’s dilemma. Defining god as good either denies god agency, the ability to choose, or it makes good relative, not absolute. I didn’t take you for a moral relativist. God could have never sent the angel to stop Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and it would have been equally good as sending the angel. If right and wrong are absolute and not apart from god then he has no will of his own. The temptations of Jesus would be meaningless since he never had the capacity to sin in the first place.

Bottom line, you can’t use god to justify something. Either justice stands on its own or is rendered meaningless.

You seem to mistakenly think you can separate justice and God. God is just. He is the yardstick by which justice is measured; morality is relative to God. I am unsure how would that render justice meaningless.

Genocidal Mercy

Cane noticed some writing on the Israelite genocides in the Old Testament and gave a solid response (read it). I’m going to write on the topic as well. This post will also tie in with my earlier post, The Holocaust: God Loves the Jews.

First, we must remember that God is good and God is good. Good is defined in relation to God, He is the absolute measure of good apart from which good becomes meaningless, so whatever God does or orders is good.

To try and judge God or His works is arrogance, nothing more. To try to hold judgment over His commands is error. To try to explain away, minimize, or apologize for His works and His orders is to attack God’s righteousness. To think that God’s commands present a problem is not a problem of God, but rather a deficiency in your own understanding and own morality.

How dare Christians take their modern liberal morality and try to impute it on God, then wonder why God falls short in their judgment. This is moral pride, nothing more. Christians who do need to read more Job:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7 ESV)

The question is not ‘why did God command this evil?’ That question assumes that man has the right to judge God’s work as evil. The right question is ‘what can we learn about God’s goodness from this command?’

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Second, to think the genocide at the behest of God is murder is a grave misunderstanding of the law. Murder is unlawful killing and God’s law is the highest law. If God orders a killing, it is by definition lawful, and is therefore, by definition, not murder.

To even think it theoretically possible that God can order murder is to put human law above God’s law and to assume that humans have the right to judge God. That is sinful pride.

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:20-24 ESV)

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Finally, the good of the genocide of the Canaanites is easy to see if one looks to the eternal rather than the temporal.

The iniquity of the Canaanites had come to completion, they had given themselves fully to Moloch, the dark god of the Ammonites. As a race the Canaanites had damned themselves through their offerings of their children to the fire. The sons of the Canaanites, at least those who were not themselves sacrificed, would follow in the sins of their fathers and damn themselves. To kill them in the name of Yahweh, before they could reach the age of reason and damn themselves, saved them from both the fires of Moloch and the fires of hell.

Death was the greatest mercy those children could receive for it would keep them from eternal damnation.

On top, of this, leaving the Canaanites and Ammonites alive would have led to their bringing the rebellious Israelites into the worship of Moloch, damning the Israelites alongside them. Even as it was the Israelites occasionally fell to Moloch. How much worse would it have been had the Lord not ordered their destruction.

They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jeremiah 32:35 ESV)

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To conclude, to ask the question concerning the slaughter of the Canaanites in the manner the question is usually asked is both sinful pride and too focused on the temporal. It is putting one’s own morality, one’s own understanding, and one’s own law above God, His understanding, His morality, and His law. Instead of judging God by their limited, temporal standards, Christians should focus on learning of the eternal good from God and His commands.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
(Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV)

More on Courtship

A lot of people commented on my courtship experience. I can’t respond to everything, but here’s some things I’d like to point out.

First, I hold to the courtship model and believe it is the correct path. It is morally right and proper for civilization, and, if done properly, should be good for marriages. Chad wrote well on it in the comments:

Courtship is a tool from Christendom in which the families were involved so that emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, commitment, and logical “do these two people work together” proceeded along side each other in practical steps towards marriage and creation of a family. It openly acknowledged that emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy, and that physical intimacy going too quickly can lead to a lack of commitment on either party’s part as well as delude those sexually lusting after each other that they’d work well when they become one flesh.

Even in it’s hayday, courtship was something that was a…. tenuous thing, at times. For humans have always been lustful, prideful, and rebellious; and unmarried youth are more so than any other. Hence where courtship was ignored, shotgun weddings were enforced.

That, also, is not to say that the system was abused by poor intentions of parents getting greedy or losing sight of the overall good of their child by focusing too much on any individual trait (beauty, lust, status, wealth, etc) rather than overall health of the child and, in particular, whether the person they were joining flesh with would help them achieve salvation and sainthood.

These days, courtship works where people acknowledge what it is – a system in place in which emotional intimacy and physical intimacy do not outpace commitment and logic. It does not, and SHOULD NOT, have the same form as old school courtship as our current societal failings have led to different expressions of individual failings. It should acknowledge that courtship is not engagement, nor is getting to know someone a little before asking to court them a bad thing. Most traditional families want to know the individuals before courtship is pursued, and when that is not possible, or they’re not as traditional, a few ‘casual dates’ for coffee or to a public activity is usually accepted. Meeting the father a first time is not unheard of, but I haven’t encountered a grilling such as FN as of yet.

The whole system is supposed to take two fallen human beings and place them together in a way to support each other through love; not topple into a fallen state of sin, nor make princesses/saints out of fallen women, nor kick a Brother in Christ out to the curb with nothing but his coat and tattered remains of dignity and respect.

Any courtship that doesn’t align with reality is not courtship, but a twisted perversion of delusional ‘love’ which is lacking in all that makes love beautiful.

As did Cail:

The main difference between courtship and dating is that when you ask to court a girl, you’re declaring up front that if things go well, you’ll be proposing in the near future, and if things get to a point where one of you decides marriage isn’t in the cards, you break it off. It’s dating for the stated purpose of discerning marriage. All this other stuff about questionnaires and hyper-chastity is just extra weirdness that people are trying to call courtship because it makes it sound traditional and churchy.

I wholeheartedly support the involvement of family in the creation and development of relationships and marriages and the right of parents to veto a daughter’s relationship choices. The lack of family involvement in marriage leads to the screwed up sexual and

That modern ills and individual flaws are a part of modern courtship does not invalidate the model. No system is perfect.

My story is not a criticism of courtship as a system, it is a criticism of the incorrect application of the system.

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Second, I submitted to the father because he had the right to my submission in regards to courting his daughter. A father has the right, the duty, to screen his daughter’s suitors. He also has the right to put whatever conditions he deems necessary on his daughter’s suitor and end the relationship if he desires. I believe in this case the father went about that screening in an incorrect way, but even if he was wrong it was fully within his rights to make the wrong decision.

If you do not accept a father’s right to do this, you are not a friend of patriarchy, you are the ally of the modern sexual marketplace and an enemy of civilization.

On the other hand, I know I should have been more forceful in my interactions with the parents. I was caught off guard: this was not a social situation for which I was prepared or had developed a system. I think prariepolyguy had the right idea:

Your goal with that kind of thing is to establish peerage, that’s why I say answer questions and pose counter-questions. He can’t simply banish you for being disrespectful because you aren’t being, but you don’t just sit and submit to his whim like a pussy and don’t lose face with the girl…

I also would have asked for it to be private, between me and the father. As Barnabas said:

It strikes me that the problem isn’t so much the grilling, its that the daughter is present. This should be a conversation between men with daughter and mom not present. Best approach if faced with such a situation would be to demand a private discussion.

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Third, as her husband I would have taken over the leadership role from her father, but that transfer of leadership does not occur until the wedding, or at the very least the engagement. It is simply wrong to think that I have any headship over a woman to whom I am not married.

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Fourth, for those of you saying I should have not have submitted to the father, but instead taken the girl against the father’s wishes, you are wrong. If she was the kind of girl who would disobey her father and abandon her family for a man she had known for only a month, she is not the kind of girl I would want to marry. The woman who will rebel against and abandon her father under the influence of passion is the same woman who will rebel against and leave her husband under the influence of passion. Once the father had denied the relationship, the only way we could have had a relationship is if she was the type of girl I would not want to have a relationship with.

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Fifth, I’ve had more reasonable experiences with asking the father’s permission for courtship. The other couple times I’ve done it the families were warm and inviting, we got to know each other casually over dinner, and they extended permission without much hassle. My courtship experiences as far as families go have generally positive experiences; this time was the exception.

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Sixth, I know I should stop it with the porn. Every now and again I try. When I do, I may abstain for anywhere from a week or two to three or four months, but I always come back to it. It is my besetting sin.

Courtship and Young Men

A commenter at Donal’s asks: if there are so many desperate tradcon young women, why aren’t the tradcon young men courting them?

As a young man who could accurately be called a tradcon, I am going to tell a personal story from this winter which might illuminate.

I was on a Christian dating site, and sent a short message to a girl, she responded. After a few messages back and forth I invited her for coffee, she accepted and we met. Over the next month we went for coffee a few more times and I had her over for dinner and cooked her some Yakisoba. She was a sweet girl with good values, feminine, and joyful; somewhat plain, but attractive enough. I was the first man she had ever gone out with and she was taken with me and I was growing rather fond of her.

One night, I visited her church for the Christmas play service where she was playing Mary. After we went for coffee, chaperoned by one of her friends. We talked for an hour or two, at one point the topic of why she was on a dating site came up. She said it was because there were no men at her church. This confused me (well, it would have had I not been a reader of the manosphere), because I was sure I saw at least 3 or 4 unattached men at the Christmas service (not to mention she had previously told me stories of her interactions with one of her male friends at the church, from which, even never having met him, I could tell he liked her). So, I told her, ‘what do you mean, I saw a bunch of single men at your church.’ Her and her friend both had the same reaction: ‘yeah, but ewww.’

I did not press the point further, although I was happy I was no longer in the ‘ewww’ category as I had been years before.

My family celebrates on Christmas Eve, so we went to my parent’s house to meet my family, have Christmas dinner, go to our Christmas Eve service, and such. We had an enjoyable time, the atmosphere was relaxed and festive, my parents went out of the way to make her feel welcome, and they all took a great liking to her. Things went well.

The next day we went to her parent’s for Christmas. It was not to be their Christmas celebration for that was a major family get-together that was to take place at a different time, so it was just a basic supper. We drove out to their farm together. We walked in and I was sort of ignored (her parents, three of her brothers, and two of their wives were there; the girl was the only daughter with 5 brothers). I didn’t really know what to do, I had expected them to at least say greet me at the door, or say hi, or something. So, I said ‘hi’, put my gift on the table and sat down on a couch. I was then ignored for about 20 minutes. As regular readers may know, I’m not that good in social situations; Only twice before had I asked permission of a girl’s father and I’ve never been in a situation where I was in someone else’s home and been ignored, so I was out of my depth and experience and didn’t start a conversation with anyone but the girl. After a while, the father got to opening my gift, made a few jokes, then went back to ignoring me. One of the brothers did show me and the girl a cattle pen he had made, but other than that nothing. After another while, we all ate; nobody really talked to me and I didn’t really say much.

After supper, the parents seemed to notice my existence, and asked about me and the girl. I told them that we had gotten to know each other a bit, I was fond of her, and I would like their permission to court her. They then presented me with a list of dozens of questions (I’m not sure if this is the exact list, but if it isn’t it’s close enough for government work), saying me and the girl should go over them. I said we would. The parents then proceeded to grill me with questions straight off the page for the next hour or two.

I answered fully honestly. I am a mostly responsible, decent young man, but I am not perfect and have my failings. So most of the questions on employment, finances, home life, responsibility, church life, etc. I answered fine. Out of the many questions asked though , the parents got stuck on three major questions: alcohol, physical contact, and Bible reading.

I drink responsibly on occasion, but they were absolutely against any imbibement at all and they hammered on that point over and over, even though I said, if it was necessary I stop drinking while courting her I would (leaving it unsaid but implied that we would decide the alcohol question in the long-term as a couple; the girl herself didn’t drink but didn’t have problems with moderate alcohol consumption).

They asked about physical contact, I told them her and I had already discussed and agreed upon limits for physical contact previously (and they were strict limits) and although her desired limits were stricter than mine I would respect hers. Despite this they still did not like that my limits were not as strict as hers (for one example of the differences, I thought the engagement would be a good time for a first kiss, she wanted to wait until marriage); they then spoke approvingly of a young couple they knew that had worn boxes (actual, literal cardboard boxes) whenever they were alone together so they would not be tempted by physical contact.

The last was Bible reading. I answered that I don’t read daily; I tend to read sporadically but in-depth when there’s a topic I want to look into, but that I would take my duties as a leader of the family seriously and lead both my wife and children in regular Biblical study. That was not good enough for them, so I said I would start reading daily (and I did read daily for the next four months or so, even after the relationship ended).

A fourth area of concern was when they asked me what my greatest struggles in the faith were (this was after the Bible question): I said, ‘well, I guess I should read my Bible more and like most young men I struggle with lust.’ They then asked me about pornography, so I admitted in front of a dozen strangers that I do struggle with watching porn, but hadn’t watched in the last few weeks and was trying to stop (I stopped watching after our second date and continued to abstain for a few months after all this). Oddly, this didn’t seem to be that big deal to the parents, it was barely mentioned after that except for a joke (the alcohol question was far and away the big one, followed by the Bible one), but I mention it as this was the one that seemed to matter most to the girl.

After the grilling, the parents conclude that while they have concerns but aren’t going to kick me away. They get my e-mail and say they’ll keep in contact with me.

After we’re done, I drove home with the girl (and her friend who chaperoned us there and back on the 2-hour drive); we spend the first half hour in silence, then we talk, she was disturbed by the porn thing, so we talked about that, and she concludes she wants time for us both to think and pray, so she wanted a break for two weeks (when we were never even officially dating). So we had no contact for two weeks.

The parents e-mail me a couple days later and we go back and forth a bit as we discuss my readings of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs; things seem fine. A week or so later, I get a 2-page, heartfelt handwritten letter where she says we can no longer court (from the letter it sounds like its her idea), so I assume we’re done. I don’t respond as I agreed to no contact for two weeks andI didn’t have time to write a letter back. Then on the exact day the two weeks are over she texts me. We meet for coffee and talk. She offers to be friends; I say no, it’s either a relationship or we part ways. She thinks, and decides on a relationship; we then spend a happy evening walking outside in the January chill. We’re back together; we make plans to meet on Sunday.

On Friday I get an e-mail from her parents saying we can’t see each other anymore. I get a text from her a little while later; we text a bit over it. She says she’s going to obey her parents, and I encourage her to do so. We say goodbye. I respond to the parents asking if there’s any way I can earn their trust; I do not get a response. Me and the girl have not contacted each other since.

****

Maybe this is where the tradcon young men are: stuck between ‘ewww’ and and the impossibly high standards of parents. How many young men could possible be able to give the positive, hoped-for answers when surprised with a grilling on five dozen questions? (Oddly, had I simply lied or stretched the truth, we’d probably be courting).

Of those very few who could possibly meet those requirements, how many will not be ‘ewww’?

I would guess there is probably a huge positive correlation between being able to meet those dozens of parental standards and being an ‘ewww’ guy.

If parents and young women make it impossible for young men to live up to your courtship standards, how can they possibly complain about being unable to find young men.

****

This brings us to the next part, Moose Norsemen finds someone (Thomas) arguing why courtship is fundamentally flawed. I agree with Moose and I agree with courtship, but Thomas does make some good points.

The courtship movement eliminated dating and replaced it with nothing.

Or, put another way, they replaced dating with engagement. The only tangible difference between an engagement and a courtship is the ring and the date.

The goal of courtship is not to prevent marriage, it is to promote marriage by helping find suitable mates for men and women. Right now, it seems from what I’ve read around the web, that it is often used to destroy relationships rather than to create marriages.

A father should find a good man for his daughter, but how can he expect to when the first thing that happens when a young man comes a-calling is to grill him about every aspect of his life and boot him away if he doesn’t answer all 50 questions correctly?

How can a young man possibly think the risk and unpleasantness of that kind of grilling and the huge expectations of courtship is worth it for a girl he barely knows?

If I hadn’t gone on a number of dates and already developed a fondness for her in the month before meeting her parents, I would not have thought it worth it to go through that. What kind of men would willingly deal with that kind of ritual humilation before even spending any alone time with a girl? (The answer: The kind of man women go ‘ewww’ over).

You rarely hear of fathers trying to find and introduce good young men to their daughters; from the impressions I get, fathers seem to act primarily as a negative filter in courtship rather than a positive one.

There is no perfect young man, so if any flawed young man is rejected, who could there possibly be available to date young tradcon women?

****

So, if we want a better courtship, one that isn’t broken, what we need is one devoted to creating marriages, not siphoning out young men.

Parents should act as a positive force for marriage. Instead of simply screening out young men, they should be actively looking and screening in young men for their daughters. Introduce young men you approve of to your daughters (and vice versa). Meet with other families in shared family events to get young people together.

Courtship should be more relaxed. Courtship is not engagement and it should not be treated as such. It should, at first, be somewhat casual (with the long-term goal in mind) so the young couple can get to know each other. Young people in group activities, young men attending relaxed family events with the girl’s family, a few outings to public places, etc. Let them get to know each other before dumping all kinds of expectations on it. Expectations and seriousness should escalate over time.

Questions like those above should be gone over, but over time. Instead of playing bad cop on the first meeting, get to know him and learn these things over time by spending time with the young man.

It should be recognized that young men aren’t perfect. Instead of a father rejecting a generally good, but flawed young man his daughter fancies, he should work with the young man to help him better himself. (If the young man refuses to try to better himself, that is another story).

Courtship is not about keeping young men away from young women, it is about actively trying to create godly marriages.

****

In my particular case, it’s possible that the problem is me, as a commenter at Moose’s stated:

If it were me getting shot down by a bunch of dads as viable husband material for their daughters, I’d be asking WHY. I wouldn’t assume it was a problem with them first: I’d assume it was a problem with me.

I know I could be a better man in many ways, but I’ve only ever been shot down by that one father before, and most of the older adult males in my church and life seem to respect me and think well of me, enough so that I at their behest I have led the young adult small group in the past and, again at their request, am entering a leadership residency in my church. But I thought I should mention this as it might seem an explanation.

****

Because I’m sharing, here’s one more small story from university when I was just starting to work my way out of omega. I was part of a small group at my university Christian group. In this particular study there was me and one other guy and three young women. These young women were all in the 7-9 range. One I had asked out a year-and-half before and been rejected (she was the first girl I ever asked out), another I had asked out a few months before and been rejected, and the third had just broken up with her boyfriend a couple months before and we had been getting close to each other (we ended up dating later that year).

The topic of the sermon we were watching was dating, so we were talking about this. At one point, one of the young women said dating was hard because there were no good men. The other two agreed with her. I was shocked, so didn’t respond but I should have. I had personally asked out two of them and was very obvious in my intentions to the third.

All of these girls were very attractive, good girls and could have had any man they wanted. The one I knew the best had many male friends, I knew at least 3 or 4 guys (who were good men, if a bit socially awkward) who had either asked her out or were so obvious about liking her even someone as socially oblivious as I could tell. One had just gotten out of a year-long relationship, her third relationship in 3 or so years. The final one was one of the most beautiful women I had ever met and would occasionally tell stories of guys who had gone out of the way to compliment her.

I was an ‘ewww’ man at the time (but improving), so I didn’t count. I guess those other men didn’t count either.

These two stories are why I don’t believe women when they say they can’t find a good man or there are not good men. I have seen women who could have almost any man they want, who had numerous suitors (who were good men), , who had good male friends who obviously wanted them, who had been asked out by me specifically say there were no good men, when it was simply untrue. Unless a woman lives in a village of 50 people in the middle of nowhere, there probably are good men, the women’s probably just not counting them.

Oh, and just as a last little bit, two of those three women are married. The most attractive one is not; she’s 29 this year and, as far as I know, is still single.

****

So, for tradcon young women and their families, maybe it’s not that there are not good men, maybe it’s that men are stuck between ‘ewww’ and impossible standards.

Instead of young women and their families holding out for a suitor who is both super-attractive and able to meet a parent-approved 50-point bullet list, and rejecting any suitor who is not perfect, maybe give them a chance.

Parents, instead of rejecting that young man your daughter fancies, work with him* to help him improve himself. If she doesn’t have a suitor, work to help introduce her to good men. Be a positive force for marriage rather than a negative force.

Young women, instead of rejecting or ignoring those men you don’t see, make yourself available and say yes when you are asked out even if he is kind of awkward.* The worst that can happen is a few hours of unpleasantness and maybe you’ll be able to work with him to improve those awkward things that aren’t quite attractive.

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* Obviously, I am not talking about unrepentant degenerates, those unwilling to try and better themselves, and the like here, just the normally flawed.

Cyclical History

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever…
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun…
There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1 ESV, Selected)

History is cyclical. There is nothing new under the sun.

Civilization is in constant war with chaos. Chaos eventually, inevitably, triumphs. The civilizational cycle of growth and death never ends.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Everything man creates turns to ashes, there is no relief from the curse of Adam.

Man endures until he can’t; death his only relief. His children then endure until they can’t.

Moth and rust destroy; thieves break in and steal. All go to the grave.

Everything man builds collapses; every institution man creates falls.

Every institution but one:

The Catholic Church has yet to fall. It has been corrupted, it has been split, it has been broken, but it has always endured.

This is the light in the darkness man constantly wars against.

There is no hope, there is no relief, there is no victory, but one.

The cycle was broken once: a bloody body upon an instrument of torture, an empty pit of death.

A fire descended, a burning illumination among the horrifying darkness.

The cycle of death and entropy never ceases, but that small fire promises hope that it will.

There is a final escape from the entropic cycle for those who have the eyes to see.

For those that keep their eyes closed, the chaos will follow them beyond the grave.

***

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
(Revelation 21:3-4,8 ESV)

Inflation: An Abomination unto the Lord

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
but a just weight is his delight.(Proverbs 11:1 ESV)

In ancient times, exchange was done through precious metals. You’d have a standard weight against which you would measure these metals for trade purposes. Using a heavier than standard weight when purchasing or a lighter weight when selling would allow you to dishonestly cheat a man out of his wealth, making yourself an extra profit.

These days, we will occasionally discuss usury (student loan debt slavery is a common topic in our sphere), but honest weights and measures are talked of less. What’s there to talk about? We no longer use precious metals for exchange,* so what measures are there to be dishonest about?

Unlike our ancestors, where dishonest weights were the domain of dishonest merchants and criminals, our dishonest weights are a fundamental part of our economic system. We have far surpassed the sin of previous generations in this regards and have made it an ideological mission to rob honest men of wealth through dishonest weights, yet almost no one in the Church speaks against this sinful robbery, this abomination to the Lord.

You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.(Deuteronomy 25:13-16 ESV)

To explain how our system uses dishonest weights and measures, I must first explain the banking system, as the system is designed to make this theft as hard to detect as possible.

Since the end of the Bretton Woods system, the US and most other nations have had a floating exchange rate** where the value of money is determined by foreign exchange markets (forex). Supply and demand on forex can be complex, but, for our purposes, what we need to know is that, generally, as the supply of a particular currency increases (relative to the goods and services the economy it backs produces) the value of the currency decreases. This causes the nominal prices of goods to rise and is called inflation. Likewise, as the supply of a particular currency decreases (relative to the goods and services the economy it backs produces), the value of the currency increases. This causes the nominal prices of goods to fall and is called deflation.

Most countries have a central bank which controls the money supply. In the US, this central bank is called the Federal Reserve. It is supposedly not “owned”, but the private banks which are members of the reserve system each own stock in the Federal Reserve and the Fed is required them to pay a 6% return annually, despite it being “non-profit”.

This is not relevant to my current point, but I I want To make sure you didn’t miss this, so I’ll highlight it again: the Federal Reserve, the quasi-public institution responible for the US’ money-supply, is “not-owned” by private banks and is required, by law, to pay these private banks a 6% (“non-profit”) return each year.

Continuing on, in fractional reserve banking systems, used by every country on earth, the banks get money in two ways: the first by borrowing from the central bank or from deposits. The banks make profit by loaning this money out to others and charging interest greater than the interest they pay the central bank or depositers.

Your normal individual or business deposits money into a bank, at which point the money become the bank’s property, while the depositer receives a deposit account. (Yes, this means you do not actually own the money you have deposited with the bank; the money is actually considered a loan to the bank; a loan which you pay fees to the bank to give them). The bank is only required to keep a fraction of the deposit (loan) in reserve; the majority of the deposit (loan) the bank lends to others at a higher interest rate than the depositer charges the bank.

Despite the deposit being more akin to a loan than a trust, the deposit is still considered money. So the bank’s loan to a customer becomes new money created out of nothing. So, this new loan adds new money to the money supply.

Also, the bank can borrow from the central bank. When it does so, the central bank simply creates new money to lend to the banks, increasing the money supply. The case of the US is unique, in that while the Fed makes the loans, the Treasury actually creates new currency. The bank then lends the money it borrowed from the central bank for a low interest rate to others for a higher interest rate (typically 3% points higher).

Just so you don’t miss this part, I’ll highlight it again: the banks borrow off the Fed and the Treasury (ie. off of you) and then charges you 3% extra interest to loan it back to you. Do you realize yet why banks have such ridiculously high profits? And we aren’t even to the outright thievery yet.

These two ways are how a fractional banking system creates new money.

Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 20:10 ESV)

I need to point out one more fact: money that has been inflated is worth less than money that hasn’t. That is tautological, so I won’t go into it further, but it is essential to understanding.

The banks rob normal people through dishonest weights and measures in two ways, both lending and borrowing.

First, lending.

When the Treasury creates money and the Feds loan it out, the banks get it first. Individuals and businesses don’t borrow from the Fed, only banks and the government do. When the banks create money using fractional reserve banking, they obviously get the money first.

What this means is that the banks get the (less valuable) inflated currency to loan out into an economy with nominal prices based on (more valuable) non-inflated money. They are loaning out less valuable currency as if it were more valuable. They are loaning you a shaved gold coin as if it were a non-shaved coin.

Because the banks and the government always get the inflated money first and loan it as if it were non-inflated money, they always reap the value difference between inflation and non-inflation as pure profit.

Second, borrowing.

When the bank borrows money from depositers, (ie. when you make a bank deposit), the depositers are lending them non-inflated money. When the depositers withdraw their loan to the bank (ie. you use your debit card or an ATM), they are spending inflated money. The bank gets the difference between the non-inflated and inflated money as pure profit. They are taking gold coins from you and returning them to you shaved.

Given that the interest rates on even “high interest” savings accounts are usually less than inflation rates (0.87% < 2%) most depositers are literally paying the banks to hold their money (and that’s not even including account fees).

Every investment anybody makes is losing money this way. Investors invest in non-inflated money and receive returns in inflated money, and all the excess value siphoned off through inflation is pure, staight profit for the banks and the government.

You could accurately replace ‘inflation’ with ‘money the government and banks steal from me and everybody else’. A 2.5% inflation rate means the government and banks collectively and literally stole 2.5% of all the wealth in the country.

These dishonest weights and measures, this theft, this abomination is not only built into our economy, it is the very basis of our economic system.

****

You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19:35-36 ESV)

In mainstream economics, slow, “stable” inflation (usually in the 1-4% range) is considered desirable, a necessary evil. Keynesians such as Krugman place particular emphasis on maintaining “moderate” levels of inflation (because 1% just isn’t enough).

Here Krugman argues that the average person saving money because it is profitable to do so is wrong, it is a “liquidity trap”. He purposefully and knowningly advocates increasing inflation so more of your wealth is stolen so you will go spend it instead of being robbed.

To the keynesian, this theft is is good, it is praiseworthy. Keynesians are decidedly and purposefully ideologically evil; they know these weights and measures are dishonest and are used to rob you and the average man so that the banks can make a greater profit. They know this, yet they advocate this dishonesty and even mild dishonesty is not enough, they want more.

Is it any wonder keynesians became dominant when their ideology just happens to enrich the banks and government at the expense of the common man.

****

If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. (Ezekiel 18:10-13 ESV)

Know this, the socialist fractional reserve, central bank economic system we have is evil. It is detestable, an abomination. It robs the poor to enrich the bankers and the government.

Those lackeys of the banks and government know this and yet they rob you anyway.

Every Christian, every man of any morality, should be fighting the banks, the Fed, the government, and the keynesians. They are evil, they are thieves, and they purposefully robbing and oppressing the average man.

Eventually, hopefully, there inequities will come to light and justice can be enacted.

****

* I am not going to get into the problems of fiat currency here, it is related, but not what I am going to focus on.

** While I leans towards the gold standard, a floating exchange rate on a free market is not, in itself, a dishonest measure. I would support a free, open-market of currency, where any individual or organization could adopt or offer their own competitive form of exchange. Also, even though I would be against it, I do not think a reserve currency monopoly where currency levels are kept stable and new currency released at a set, predefined rate would be dishonest.