Monday, September 24, 2018

Jordan Peterson on Nuclear Family

Jordan Peterson reports the right of children to be born into families with both a mother and father.  Fathers like male rats engage the children in rough-and-tumble play which is critical in brain development the absence of which can lead to increased ADHD.

We have been losing the battle on defending traditional marriage and families. I think if we can’t define marriage or articulate the benefits, we will continue to do poorly.  We also are confused about the role and boundaries of religion, and government.

1. The business of pure religion is providing individual welfare services and promoting individual virtue.  (James 1:27). 

2. The jurisdiction of religion covers the prevention, discipline and rehabilitation of self-harm behavior and vice. Other private specialized professional organizations can be created to treat extreme cases. 

3. Religion uses the institution of the family and family organization to promote virtue and provide individual welfare. 

4. Historically, religion used re-marriage, polygamy and adoption to care for the needs of the widow and the fatherless.

5.  The human brain is designed to chemically reward productive, goal-directed behavior. Stimulating chemical reward centers via non-productive, artificial, chemical, or by illicit sexual promiscuity constitutes vice and self-harm.

6. Recreational, non-medicinal use of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other substances for their psychoactive affects exploits the brain’s reward centers and constitutes vice and self-harm.

7. Eating a limited amount of simple sugar is beneficial because your body almost entirely runs on sugar.  Sugar is the fuel of the body.  Food is a combination of sugar, protein, fat, fiber.  However, your cells operate almost 100% on sugar (except starvation conditions) and converts protein and fat into sugar when used as fuel.  Eating a balanced diet involves eating a diet that is composed of a balance of sugars in the form of sugars (primarily complex carbohydrates =starch), protein, fat, and fiber. 

8. Marriage is ordained for the proper and  accepted expression of human sexuality for the purposes of unifying the marriage bond, biological procreation, and nurture of biological and adopted children. 

9. Children have the absolute unalienable right to receive a full genetic inheritance from a human male and human female. 

10. Children have the right to be raised in a family with the nurture of both a human male and female where human maleness and femaleness behavior and characteristics are modeled. 

11. Children have the right to be raised in a traditional family by a mother and father who are married and who exhibit and model the commitment, love, self-sacrifice, service, unselfishness for one another and the children. 

12. The jurisdiction of the State applies to individuals who perpetrate a harm on others. 

13. The State should never make a law with regard to a belief.  Laws should not promote, nor punish nor restrict belief, nor promote, punish, restrict one belief over another nor limit or promote its expression or transmission. Atheism, Humanism, Scientism, Statism constitute belief as much as Theism.  The State should not make laws to equalize or regulate belief.  Exposure to others beliefs does not constitue harm. Persons in government can openly share and promote, discourage belief without creating legislating their belief.  

14. The State can punish lies (knowing falsifications and omissions with intension to deceive), slander, libel, and speech that is intented to promote or incite violence and/or physical harm to others. 

15. The State protects individual rights of life, liberty, property, as well as providing for the general welfare (roads, bridges, rail, mail, monetary system), and national defense. 

16. Consenting adults who wish to create a same-gender union are 

17. Laws can promote the traditional family without necessarily criminalizing their violation. 

18. Individuals may grow and consume their own tabbacco or cannabis or brew their own beer for personal consumption which constitutes self-harm, but the sale and distribution of recreational psychoactive substances constitutes a harm on the addicted consumer and is therefore prohibited and punishable under that law.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

D’Souza on Christianity

Dinesh D’Souza makes some great points about the agenda and attacks of atheists on our children and society.  However, I think he missed the point on Christianity and Islam coexisting.  In addition to being strong, the West needs to be moral and virtuous.  Dinesh has made the case that our immoral pop culture is a major recruitment tool for extremists.  (I have buddies that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and gave told me exactly the same thing) Being strong is important vs. an evil minority.  But being good will win over the decent majority.  If we are good, then good people will  not need to look elsewhere for institutions that uphold goodness. We need to be the shinning city on the hill. 

By the way, having listened to Imran Hosein, his major beef with the West comes down to Hollywood and Wallsteet (Fiat money and corrupt banking). 

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Calvin on Predestination

“Angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it can not be either increased or diminished.” (The Westminster Confession of Faith” in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, 3 vols., 6th ed., Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker House Books, 1931, 3:608.)

John Calvin explains: “Let no one think that those [who] fall away...were of the predestined, called according to the purpose and truly sons of the promise. For those who appear to live piously may be called sons of God; but since they will eventually live impiously and die in that impiety, God does not call them sons in His foreknowledge. There are sons of God who do not yet appear so to us, but now do so to God; and there are those who, on account of some arrogated or temporal grace, are called so by us, but are not so to God.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.66, emphasis mine)

Calvin adds: “Yet sometimes he also causes those whom he illumines only for a time to partake of it; then he justly forsakes them on account of their ungratefulness and strikes them with even greater blindness.” (Institutes of Christian Religion, 3.24.8, emphasis mine)

I thought the whole point of predestination was faith manifest by ones assurance and confidence of salvation. But, if God confers only a temporal grace for some, or confers His election conditioned upon gratefulness for others; than how can there be any assurance of which type of election a person has been gifted?

Also, can we confidently tell the prospective convert that God loves them?  How can we know which type of election God has pre- determined for them?

On the flip side of predestination, the Bible  teaches that God was ultimately responsible for nailing Christ to the Cross even more than wicked men.  Isaiah even says that it pleased God to sacrifice His Son. However, here is where intent makes all the difference. God determined Christ to be crucified out of righteous, love, and good intent while wicked men crucified Christ with evil intent. 

Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

God actively incentivizes righteousness but passively allows wickedness. On Earth we participate in the work of God for good or evil. And we will each be judged based on the thoughts and intents of our heart.  God’s love is manifest in the giving of the life of His Son.  Even the wicked glorify God in the demonstration of their misery apart from Him. 

I think, “God doesn’t owe us anything” is an unsatisfactory argument for predestination.  The truth is that God is no respecter of persons, He really does deeply desire to save all men without coercion, and really does consider the worth of each and every soul to be great.   The Wesleyans argue that by God’s nature of love, He created the world filled with thinking and feeling beings and, as our Father, has the obligation to care for each of his creations. 

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith stated emphatically that “no person is ever predestined to salvation or damnation. Every person has free agency.” Similarly, the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob taught that “one being is as precious in [God’s] sight as the other.” (Jacob 2:21.)

The problem with the idea of predestination, as C. H. Dodd put it, is that it “sets the ground of a man’s hope of salvation entirely outside himself.” Elder James E. Talmage also denounced the concept of predestination, saying that it makes us merely “automatons,” acting out a predetermined destiny decreed by God. (Eldon R. Taylor, Ensign, Dec. 1990)

Friday, September 07, 2018

Luther on Predestination pleases me to take from this passage the opportunity to discuss doubt, God, and the will of God; for I hear that here and there among the nobles and persons of importance vicious statements are being spread abroad concerning predestination or God’s foreknowledge. For this is what they say: “If I am predestined, I shall be saved, whether I do good or evil. If I am not predestined, I shall be condemned regardless of my works.” I would be glad to debate in detail against these wicked statements if the uncertain state of my health made it possible for me to do so. For if the statements are true, as they, of course, think, then the incarnation of the Son of God, His suffering and resurrection, and all that He did for the salvation of the world are done away with completely. What will the prophets and all Holy Scripture help? What will the sacraments help? Therefore let us reject all this and tread it underfoot.

From the American Edition of Luther’s Works 5:43-50; commenting on Genesis 29:9.

Luther, Calvin and many protestant evangelicals are concerned with the “certainty of salvation” and making our “calling and election” sure. Luther clarifies that the believer becomes certain of their salvation and rewards in heaven through their willingness to receive Christ and continuance in the sacraments and commandments of God and not in spite of them.  If the love of Christ is in us, we will continually strive to obey Him, repent, behave virtuously, improve, love and serve our neighbors.

I would add, that it is not our unwavering positive attitude towards the certainty of salvation alone, that is the manifestation of faith.  Instead, our faith is manifest by our consistent, unremitting desire to approach the perfection of Christ.  This desire will be manifest in our continued strivings, and steady progression towards sactification.  The provess of sanctification will involve a complex mix of anxiety and confidences as the Holy Spirit within us continues to provide assurances when we do right, but also convict us when we do not. 

Luther’s confidence doctrine is in reaction to the notion of “Catholic guilt”. While not an official Catholic doctrine, some Catholics talk about their anxiety of not measuring up to the perfection of God as the sign of their faith. sometimes disattatched from effort. Again, like Catholic guilt, predestination tends to likewise disattatch itself from behavior.  Knowing Satan tempts man from one extreme to the other, in reality, Jeses taught that its not our confidences nor our anxieties alone that are a manifestation of faith, but our moral behavior and love towards others. 

John 13: 34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

“Once saved, always saved” is not a true statement precisely because no one could commit the unpardonable sin by denying the Holy Ghost unless they had first received it and then later turned altogether away from it. 

In the end, when we are fully converted to Christ, we will seek after every gift, receive every ordinance and sacrament,  and live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Scarcity and Tribalism

“when you believe resources are scarce you begin to look at others as rivals in competition for those resources.” —Jon Stewart, “the Shop”

D&C 104:17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

18 Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

We live in an inequitable capitalist society based on supply and demand or scarcity. God knows that even in a fare free-enterprise economy, that certain people will be born with greater opportunity and talent than others. However, the key to living with “all things common” (NOT in common) is to explore and put into practice practices that provide greater equality of opportunity and incentivize the free-will giving of those blessed with abundance to those in need. 

However, we see individuals in the world amassing more and more wealth that not only exceeds what they need, but exceeds what they could even want.  Despite the consumer guilt the media directs towards working people, consider the millions of acres of farm land used to produce coffee, tea, hops, tobacco, opium, etc that provide little nutrient or medicinal value but are grown more for recreational use. 

The US is blessed with abundant natural resources.  We shouldn’t need to exploit the 3rd-world for their resources and cheap labor.  We don't need our mega-capitalists creating “banana republics” by buying up land in Bolivia for quinoa, or land in Malaysia for red palm oil.  Middle men love to buy low from poor producing nations and sell high to rich consumer nations. 

Most don’t realize the US has no national rail system.  Consequently it cost more to ship goods across country than to import from ovetseas.  1. The US needs to create a national rail system. 2. We need to drill our own oil in ANWR, 3. We need to mine our own rare-earth minerals in Limhi Pass, Idaho, 4. We need to better produce and consume locally.  5. Use automation instead of slavery, 6. Instead of building and controlling our own production facilities overseas, patent-holders could license technology to developing nations allowing them to build their own independent production and manufacturing for their own people.