Something For Nothing – A Love Gift

Again, another Ballista74 post…

I encountered one of those tables out and about with a woman selling something to raise money for charity. I got to talking to her and found out the charity. Eventually, I heard that prompting: “Give her something.” I kind of stalled a bit and got my wallet out. I finally pulled a bill out and handed it to her. “What do you want?” she responded. I said I just wanted to donate the money. After a fair amount of resistance, she finally took it with a smile on her face.

But how are most of us? Something I see in all the charity appeals I see is that something is always connected to it. Give $50 and receive a tote bag! $100 nets you that and some concert tickets! And $500 will get you backstage! And most 501c3 organizations (like most churches) have the enticement dangling out there that you can deduct it on your taxes.

This woman literally expected to have to give *something* in return. Something I found interesting in hearing (and I would love to find an article talking about this), is that most of these organizations have found that they have to do this in order to get anyone to consider giving to them. Not surprisingly, this is how the world works. The reciprocity of works. I wrote about it here, but the concept seems to go into everything we are in the flesh.

It even goes into the gift of Jesus. This is the major contrast between real Christianity and other religions. The other religions require a work or payment or measuring up in order to attain salvation, but with Christ, the debt has already been paid!

Such a different thing than what we are used to! Unfortunately, so many have trouble with that. It takes faith to believe that. Unfortunately, many have lined up their checklists and turned salvation into a list of works. Got to pay Jesus back for what He did for you, right?

But He expects much different – simply a recognition of the gift He has given – in other words, that His grace have effect. He tells us things like this:

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Then in an ever poignant way, He gives this parable:

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:23-35)

The issue of the Christian walk always seems to be to show appreciation of this gift that He has given. Which leads back to this woman selling things for charity. It was a total God thing and a blessing for me to be able to do it, and see the look on her face and how she reacted. I don’t know if there was a seed to plant, but I was blessed and had a joy about doing it. I didn’t feel like I had to give her the money. In other words, I wasn’t obligated to, I wanted to…

There’s a lot of damaging teachings out there about giving, but the one we are given in the New Testament as Christians is this:

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

It is the same principle as farming: You get back what you put out. We can’t outgive God, and even giving takes a faith that He will be there in grace to provide our needs. Giving is a way we show God’s love. Freely receiving grace is another, for we can easily stop the blessings God has in store for others in this way.

I don’t know whether this was a moment for this woman to praise God or it was a seed that was planted and watered, since this peculiar man came along and didn’t want anything in return for his money, but to God definitely be the glory!
If you need an outlet of consideration for giving, by all means see this. Be the blessing…

Your Elders Are People, Too.

To explain the password protected posts, I used content from one of Donal Graeme’s protected posts, so I wanted to be sure to respect his reasons behind making his password protected. I have my own reasons, too, given some of the things I needed to say, that I didn’t want those out in the wider public (yet). So, I announced the password in his protected post, as I trust the crowd that was participating there. If you aren’t participating over there, please don’t feel slighted, as I will likely post the non-personal content publicly soon.

Meanwhile another Ballista74 post…

One thing that struck me as I attended my great uncle’s funeral is how they were talking about him. Such admiration! All these things he did. Clock making and repair, traveling and collecting bricks. So many other things. Such an interesting person!

Yet here I am as a family member who saw him at gatherings all the time, talked to him all the time, yet I never knew any of this! Same goes for my mother, as I finally went through all her pictures, and saw glimpses of the person she was. Of course, I grew up with her, and saw her do a number of things. She had her own problems and closed herself off, but I saw this different person staring back at me. And all the people I knew that she went to school with!

I don’t know if anyone else’s family is like this, or if am just a product of what my whole family is, but people just didn’t talk much. I don’t think my parents made much of an effort, because…they’re parents. Maybe the function of those roles clouded out their personal identities in dealing with me? I’m sure that extends to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and every one else who would have known you as a child.

Granted, there’s a perception of persons going the other way when it comes to kids, and I know that probably works that way with most. Now I know the movement is out there where the parents are wanting to be their kids’ friends and I know the damage that has caused with so many being feral, but if I had to judge the thoughts of my parent’s generation, it seems people have swung to polar opposites on the scale.

Moderation is spoken of in Scripture much in different terms.

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. (Titus 2:2)
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (1 Corinthians 9:25)
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18)

As many would take it beyond limits, lack of moderation in things either puts you into sin if you take too much, or takes you out of the blessings of God’s good things if you cut yourself off from them entirely. That has been done with the fruit of the vine, and with sex and marriage within the church, but it’s been done with many other things like this matter.

One of the things I wanted to be sure to do from that point on when I was at this funeral of a family member, who might as well have been a stranger, was get to know my great aunt (his wife) and who she is as a person. I speak of bouncing off the walls and praising God, and that was another good moment in a great day, the same one as the truck. She’s a pretty cool lady that’s had an interesting life. She’s talked much about family members that’s been long passed from this earth, and things they’ve done. Stories of things she did during the war, when she was closer to my age than hers. Meeting her adopted kids and their families. Hey, I lived in the first house she ever lived in with her husband, imagine that! And her given name was her aunt’s name and my given name was her uncle’s…wow… All things I never would have known, if I haven’t had the chance to get to know her as a person.

And that leads me to the day of the truck. That afternoon, I got to spend a couple of hours talking with her, and a few of her friends that had dropped by. Total blessing, happy to do it. Next day, got to help her out by taking her somewhere and spend more time with her. Think I was even singing in the car. Smiling most of the time, mind on Him and His blessings. When my mother would help out with her or before calling her, always grumbling, always complaining. Again, it is how we choose to see things.

One of the things I pontificate on the most about the nature of the Church as defined in Scripture is how much it is tied to PEOPLE and PEOPLE GETTING TOGETHER. In a lot of ways, the biggest blessings the Lord leaves for us on this earth is each other. It seems that is His plan and always has been His plan – it does seem to be no coincidence that familial terms are abound in Scripture to describe the Church.

If you are looking for the Lord to bless you, be the blessing to others, and allow others to bless you. Then see the riches pour in.

I Locked My Keys In My Truck…And It Was A Blessed Day!

I hesitate to share too much about me, because I wanted to keep this blog about God and not about me. But I guess things are evolving…

I locked my keys in my truck somewhere…got out shut the door and took three steps, and realized what I did when I returned, the door wouldn’t open and the keys where there staring at me. Now the big question in life is never what happens to us, it’s how we respond to it in our actions that counts. It’s never anyone else that is to blame for what we do about something, it always falls on us. We can choose to wallow in despair, react in fear, anger or self-loathing, or we can choose to realize we have power within us and act affirmatively.

So, I evaluated my options and started walking for home. It’s a good day, a little cold, but nothing wrong with that. Put aside your fears, put aside your attitude, and just do it. I walked for exercise a lot previously, so the idea was there that I could do it.

In walking/jogging and later bicycling, I’ve always found it a great thing to do both physically and spiritually. A test of faith, a time for the Lord to have me to Himself, a feeling of accomplishment, especially the times I’ve spent all day riding for distance. It’s carried me through a lot of the trials I’ve gone through in my life the last few years. Always goals to meet, but never about the miles or time. “Lord, get me here, get me back.” Some days, it’s hard to do that physically for where my health is. Other days, it’s “I want to go some more!” Some pains, some trials, but it’s always the mindset and what you choose to look at:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

I can think on the fact I have my keys in my car, all the inconvenience, all the trouble that will cause. Worry about what it will take to get it. Or I can look to the positive and find a way to deal with it.

It’s a great day to walk, even if it’s cold, so I started out. I prayed to the Lord for protection, and to carry me through and back as I started out. It’s a great day, so I started singing. I don’t know very many songs by heart and even just fewer phrases, especially since so much of the songs now are “Jesus Are My Boyfriend” type songs. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) So, just some random phrases in my mind. “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” “Hallelujah” over and over. I’m sure something else in there too. Saying a few phrases, “how wonderful you are.” The whole way.

Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. (Psalm 135:3)

About half way through, the thought of Paul and Silas singing praises after being beat and put into prison came to mind. How much less this thing I was going through than that, and yet they found it in their hearts to not be downcast, but to sing praises? How much less most of us go through, yet can’t find positivity and joy in anything?

I got back to my place, smiling and bouncing off the walls and praising the Lord in my heart. 1.5 miles, doesn’t sound much to those that are more fit than I, but the Lord carried me through it. I asked the neighbor to borrow the key to my place and got my spare truck key and the bike. We’ll see how fit I am after not doing it regularly for winter. Up the first hill, feel good, not winded. Hallelujah! Covered the distance pretty quickly, thinking how wonderful it is to be able to do such a thing. Got back to my truck, unlocked it, put the bike in back of it. Still feel pretty good, not tired, not winded. Did my business and returned. Still smiling, praising the Lord.

What was that problem I just had, I just had a wonderful blessed time! So much of what we do and choose to not do is directed by our minds. The mind directs the body, it’s not what happens to us, it’s where we go with it. Do we complain? Do we grumble? Do we blame others, or compare ourselves to others? Do we look to others to solve our problems?

I often think of the day when I’m faced with the Lord and He looks over my life. He points over to this pile of blessings and says “I wanted to give all of this to you out of my love…but your heart wasn’t right in faith to take them from My hand.” The Lord wants to give us so much out of His love…but only if we’re willing to take it. There’s no time for anything else if we learn to value each of our days.

I stepped out in faith…and You, O Lord gave me this victory. You are so wonderful and gracious to me.

Traditional Marriage and Sex Roles in 1954 Look Like Feminist Marriage and Sex Roles Today

Note, this was made in 1954. As with anything, if it resonates, it has truth in it.

For those that don’t know, standards and practices in 1954 were such that they couldn’t come right out and say a number of things. The sailor outfits on her previous suitors say they pump-and-dumped her, and her “brothers” really were her bastard kids.

Daisy was a slutty single mother!

The Dun & Bradstreet book was the mother looking up Donald’s net worth. Provider Tool Uber Alles!

The delusion that the 1950’s were this nirvana of perfect Biblical marriage keeps a lot of tradcon feminists from seeing the truth: Marriage 2.0 has existed for a very long time, the idea of “Biblical God-given marriage” has been non-existent for a very long time, and feminist marriage existed long before the name Betty Friedan was ever known.

Isn’t it amazing how similar the narrative is in the manosphere today regarding marriage, as it is in this piece made back in 1954?

The Nature of Genuine Manhood: Every Christian’s Battle

The latest posts (1, 2, 3) have been dealing with the base definition of manhood. In picking up on the two main points, I observed that lapses of these things have been a perennial problem to the point we find it again and again in Scripture.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

This admonition is given for a very good reason: A person that stands and knows who they are and whose they are will win out against the devil’s schemes, always. The victory is already assured in Christ, so the only way the devil can pull defeat out of the jaws of victory is to draw people away by the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Again, these are very simple things, but always a battle to uphold. Unfortunately, the church has lost sight of this – we’ve gone from “Onward Christian Soldiers” to “Jesus, I’m So In Love With You”. No wonder the church is in such a mess, when its soldiers lay down the battle implements in battle!

A visual representation of 1 Corinthians 11:3
A visual representation of 1 Corinthians 11:3

Know Whose You Are
The first sin we’re presented with in Scripture committed by a man is a matter of him not recognizing “whose” he is. As Adam was told:

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (Genesis 3:17)

Countless problems have occurred throughout Scripture due to men leaving God and following after other men, and after women. The sin of Adam is this: He served his wife, instead of serving God.

We’re given 1 Corinthians 11:3 as a hierarchy. Once a man starts taking another man as head, or a woman instead of Christ, he sins. He forgets “whose” he is. The admonition is given again and again (Ephesians 6:10), like to Joshua before entering the Promised Land (Joshua 1:9). The battle is won with the Lord at the head. The battle is lost with a man at the head or a woman. No wonder the battle is going poorly! Standing without the Lord is just like charging into the guns. Lots of flash, lots of thunder, all for not. This is the church today.

Know Who You Are
Not being strong in the Lord leads to weakness and defeat. Knowing who you are involves holding onto faith, strength, and courage in the Lord. We see this time and time again with the Israelites as they came up out of Egypt. The story repeats itself all ten times they were an affront to the Lord: In their minds, they were back in Egypt in their chains, instead of free indeed with the Lord. To look at the last incident, there were twelve selected to go out and spy the land (Numbers 13). There were two very different reports, the one from Caleb:

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. (Numbers 13:30)

Notice the strength there. Let’s not wait, let’s do it now, we are well able to do it! Contrast that with the other report;

But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:31-33)

“They’re stronger than we are.” Read “we’re weak” there. “The land eats up its inhabitants.” Read “if the people won’t get us the land will”. “All the men there are big.” We’re puny. We’re “grasshoppers”. Bugs they’re just going to squash.

Notice the difference in tone? Negativity before the Lord isn’t good. Unfortunately, you really have to watch company you keep in the face of these things, and really put on the full armor of God in guarding your heart. As we see, the negativity sweeps throughout the camp:

And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. (Numbers 14:1-4)

They’re swayed away from the Lord by their weakness, and are ready to return to slavery in Egypt! Joshua and Caleb couldn’t even sway them, no matter that the Lord plainly gave it to them! This is indeed the quality of a perpetually weak person: Bitterness. Better in their minds to wallow in their weakness and they won’t hear of anything different and will even defend their weakness! These are not men.

This repeats itself again and again in Scripture as well. Looking to the battle of David and Goliath, this was said of the armies of Israel:

When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. (1 Samuel 17:11)
And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. (1 Samuel 17:24)

Imagine that, the entire army of Israel dismayed, afraid, and fleeing from one man! Also, note all the discouragement fed David by the others, including the Philistine. But what is it that makes David different from Goliath, and once more what makes Goliath different from the rest of the army of Israel?

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

Suffice it to say, when you don’t have the confidence in yourself to go out and fight, the battle is already lost. Note you can pray and pray for something all day, and the Lord will give it to you. But one thing lost in this modern church is this: The Lord never out and out gives you anything. You have to have the faith to take it. Goliath didn’t fall over for David, the Israelites didn’t just march in and claim the land. They had to take it.

Again, these things aren’t something that can be taught like carpentry or auto repair. These things aren’t things that you do, they are things that you be. You can’t teach these things, you just have to get it.

Don’t Kiss Ass. Kick Ass Instead.

Those may remember that I referred to something banal when it came to ideas. That thing is Red Pill movie reviews. There’s a few of them I’ve run across in going through movies, but one that was too good to pass up as an illustration in describing this issue of “just being a man”. In 1986, a movie called Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released. In going through that one, a Red Pill passage came about, one that’s so concentrated that it’s like being hit by a bag of door knobs:

Cameron’s never been in love. At least no one’s ever been in love with him. He’s gonna marry the first girl he lays. And she’s gonna treat him like [bleep] because he’s gonna kiss her ass for giving him what he’s built-up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existance. She won’t respect him because you can’t respect someone who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work.
-Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

In studying the character and development of Cameron Frye (that’s Ferris’ friend that goes along with him and his girlfriend), it presents a good example of the so-called Christian Nice Guy, if you replace “first girl he lays” with “first girl that shows interest in him for marriage”. Ferris even uses the phrase “be a man” towards him, so it’s obvious what the author intended.

While there are a couple of other points that have been dealt with recently about “being a man”, the main points of interest:

Know Who You Are
This point involves correctly knowing who you are. In the most general sense, it involves loving yourself, and not debasing/hating yourself. There is nothing wrong with this Scripturally as the second Great Commandment is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This is correctly noted as self-respect. The overarching thing is to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

For the Christian, there is nothing prideful in defining yourself in God’s light and ways. In fact, one measure of faith is whether a man believes what God tells them of themselves. “We are free indeed” (John 8:36) “We are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14), among numerous other things. Even in light of God, He didn’t make garbage. You are worthy enough that He gave Jesus for your salvation. You are worthy of His grace. You are worthy of His mercy.

But there are those that will try to tear others down. Self-doubt will do that. Others will do that. Parents and other people that will put themselves in places of authority will do that. The Enemy will do that. Those things will try to put other labels on you. “Weak.” “Evil.” “Victim.” “Potential rapist.” “Bitter.” “Angry.” “Helpless.” And a number of other things. They’re trying to get you to believe these things. They’re trying to get you to compromise these things, by being “nice” and “tolerant”. This is where guarding your heart becomes important, along with strength and courageousness. Remember, no one can tear you down in this way without your consent. There is nothing new under the sun with this.

Worry about what others think of you will tear this down too. Part of self-respect and loving yourself is standing up for yourself. The last thing any of these agents want is to have men being their own men, determining their own values, and their own destiny. They want dependency. They want you to care what they think. This pattern will persist to the point that it is in yourself, if you keep it going. You have to stand up for yourself. If you don’t define who you are for yourself, others will. Where Cameron finally realizes this:

Seventeen years and I’ve never taken a stand. Now, I’m gonna do it. I’m taking a stand against my father, against my family, against myself, against my past, my present and my future. I will not sit idly by as events that affect me unfold to change the course of my life. I will take a stand and I will defend it. When my father comes home tonight, he’s finally going to have to deal with me. Good or bad, I’m taking a stand. – Cameron

To move to our example from the movie, “no one’s ever been in love with him”. How is that? He’s so worried and afraid of what others will think of him and his choices (one moment is described as “wimpishness”) that he doesn’t let himself be known. There’s nothing that a woman can see that she can fall in love with. In the movie, Ferris describes Cameron as being “wound tight”. In the latest effort of defining “Christian masculinity”, this is perhaps the most illuminating thing they’ve come up with. (See also, also this) It’s a good rule that people will see you based on how you define yourself to them. If you are confident, you will come off well, if you are ashamed, then the result will be much different.

Ironically, the best advice I’ve ever gotten for my public speaking appearances is along these lines. Don’t worry about what others think of you. In fact, make the biggest fool out of yourself as you can (within societal norms). It’s counter-intuitive to those who have their minds set on impressing people, but you really have to not care and not worry what others think of you. (Ironically, the movie intends Cameron and Ferris to be polar opposites. Ferris is the one that does stuff and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. But there are many more men out there literally like Cameron)

Know who you are and be confident in it. If people are going to judge you (and they will), let it be for who you really are. Be open and honest with others and with yourself. If you don’t like something you can change, by all means do it. Not for a woman, not for others, for you.

Related: In Defense of Values and Control of SelfYour Legacy

Know Whose You Are
This has been discussed much on the blog previously, but is pretty simply defined. One will naturally focus their life into a specific place, thing, or person. This is discussed at length in Your Legacy. One can put their focus on a number of things, but for the Christian, there is only one right answer to this question: Christ.

As Mr. Tippin sings about, this is about being “your own man, not a puppet on a string”. Or another way to say this, who do you answer to? The problem with the average man in general is that they accepted the framing of the feminists in that their purpose or mission is a woman. In looking at our example, he is like most weak-willed men: He accepted the definition of others which states that his lot in life is to find a woman that approves of him enough to marry. Moreover, since he is weak-willed and conditioned well in basing his worth in the approval of others, he will kiss her ass. No one (man or woman) will respect anyone that kisses their ass.

Concentration on a man’s mission (“Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecc 12:13) is what is important. As with anything, there are those that set out to change it, and to success because a man doesn’t have the fortitude to know who he should serve. A man serves Christ, not a woman or a woman’s tingles. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. A man can not serve both God and a woman. A man can not serve both God and a woman’s tingles.

Related: You Are What You FollowYou Serve What You Follow (Part 1)You Serve What You Follow (Part 2)
These things are just like true Christianity, in the sense that it can not be taught. All you can do is be these things, as all you can do is nosce te ipsum. Simple to be, but hard to master. There’s a difference between doing something and being something.

These themes come out again and again through the Scriptures, to the point that it seems that any lapse of faith seems to be a violation of one of these two points. Next, I’ll go through some of those.

“Just Get It” Really Is The Answer

One of the things that’s fascinated me is the new attempt to define “Christian masculinity” by a number of others, which has turned out much like the old ones – an attempt to adapt PUA Gamey Game into Christian ideals, when none such thing exists. They’ve been interesting reading in terms of their attempts to define Godly virtue, some very good, some into the heresy territory. However, as any false ideology holds water because it holds some degree of truth to it as any good lie does, trying to adapt or consider chasing of the flesh as something that is God-honoring doesn’t serve God (Point #4 in the camp along with GBFM). As it is written:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)

It’s disappointing how so many claim to worship Christ, but either worship and supplicate to women directly or worship and supplicate to their tingles. Inevitably, you get feminism when you define what a man is in terms of his utility or value to women, no matter what frame you use. Then, they all can not agree on a definition of Game, so this is a good sign that there is trouble. Since they can not agree on a definition of Game, they must say that it can not be discussed.

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

One of the things that came out of the first debate on game in the blog’s history in my mind is this:

“Why are people blowing it so much out of proportion?”

I really didn’t have much to say then, other than pointing out something base about a person’s values and a person’s legacy, simply because I find Marcus Aurelius to be right.

When you look at it, there really is no need to multiply words as many are apt to do, no need to “learn masculinity” as it’s some kind of skill akin to plumbing, carpentry, or auto repair.

As you can gather from the two posts I linked to from this blog, the issue isn’t learning to be what you were born to be, just be what God made you to be. A dog has no choice but to be a dog to the glory of God, and do dog things. A bird has no choice but to be a bird to the glory of God, and do bird things. If you are a man, do not define, do not grouse about learning something artificial, just be a man. Men, however, have the choice to sin against God, which means being something other than what he was innately written to be. Unfortunately, with the influence of others (especially women), men are drawn away from what they were meant to be into something they weren’t. Instead of being a man, you become something different. So, the issue becomes repenting and restoring what was lost, not learning an artificial construct.

The answer for being a man is just to be a man – to “just get it”. The next post or three will discuss what “it” is.

In Search of Godly Virtue: Negative Polarity

I’ll admit everything that has gone on in my life the last few months has kept me busy enough that I haven’t been able to post at times. There’s also my perceptions of what is blog-worthy and what isn’t, which honestly enough is colored by what I’m about to write about. But there’s another thing that’s kept me from posting, as well.

In thinking on what this blog is about, it always comes back to one thing, something that probably keeps me from a good about page, since it’s so simply expressed:

Godly Virtue.

That idea, most noticeably voiced through the Scripture quoted in the by-line, along with the name of the blog, is something that’s urged me in my walk with Christ and my ministry efforts up to this time. It seems for some reason that I have a certain uneasiness and sometimes even an anger when I witness such things in my own life and around me. Then I pray and God grants me wisdom regarding why the uneasiness and anger exists.

I’ll admit, too, that I had a big scathing post in mind with the title “In Search of Godly Virtue” hitting most of the blogs that I read for one reason or another. Something not Christian from a “Christian blog”. Posts that are feminist-leaning from supposedly anti-feminist manosphere blogs. Posts that are both anti and pro an issue. The general avocation of Game that gets more and more grating on me from a Christian standpoint. I know from the Spirit and my prior sin that saying too much the times I get angry really isn’t productive for a number of reasons, most notably it can tend to temptation to words that are counterproductive. As it is written, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” (Ephesians 4:26).

Of course, the big danger is bitterness, and more over a lack of love, which leads to a lack of recognition of mercy and grace. As it is written:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)

I find it interesting that the KJV uses the word “charity” there as a translation for the Greek word “agape”, as it perhaps encompasses the matter much better than simply using the word “love” as most modern translations do. Language is lost on the word as we confine it to terms of physical giving today, but if we dig into the definitions, we can find that charity and bitterness are opposites (we can also use the words “kindness” and “animosity” there). Quoting Webster’s Dictionary of 1828:

Charity (n): Candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The highest exercise of charity, is charity towards the uncharitable.

bitterness (n): . In a figurative sense, extreme enmity, grudge, hatred; or rather an excessive degree or implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger. Eph 4.

People can have this tendency to be positive and see the good in people, or see the negative and evil in people. I observe continually in my writing about Churchianity that people can swing so far to looking for good in themselves that they cease to see the evil out there that the Lord very much wants us to repent of in life and stand against. This almost always occurs in the person of the Personal Jesus. Be mindful of 1 Corinthians 13:6 – “[Charity] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” Love without God’s truth is no love at all – this is missed by many who run to this Scripture.

However, I find in myself a certain pessimism that seems to pervade everything, seeing the bad in all things and all people to the point that the good is very hard to see. I’m very hard on myself, to the point that it can be hard for me to see good in me or good in the things I’ve done, to the point that I’ve offended people who have tried to compliment me. It tends to lead to a certain drive for perfection, where I’ve probably passed on writing many things that would be received well. Of course, I know I probably beat myself up for things that are acceptable and good.

One thing I’ve witnessed over the last two weeks in person in my Bible studies is the same thing I’ve witnessed in myself in this blog and in myself, which lead me to rebuke it with some anger (albeit quite correctly, given the peace in my conscience and the Spirit giving me all of this). It seems I can observe as well that like seems to attract like in these regard, and in that sense I’ll probably have to seriously pray about the company I keep, for it is written “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”. It seems people are whatever way they are for the people growing up around them or how their circumstances shape them in the absence of willful resistance. That willful resistance seems necessary, as it is written:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Most of this is stream of consciousness, and not as well thought out as I would like, but I pray that I can learn to accept less than perfect. I’m not perfect, and no one else is perfect, for only one Person has walked the earth that was perfect, for we are told that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). We continue and get by with the grace and mercy of Christ alone, and we are told to recognize those things. For:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2)

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

It is good to be mindful of these things when dealing with other people. What angered me more about this person was the lack of mercy expressed in the standards they described. All I could say at the time before the Lord is “may his exact words be used against him.”

I am thankful that the Lord has graced me by working on my heart in this matter. I praise Him for His goodness in helping me to be thankful for what I do have. The Lord’s grace and mercy abounds, though. I can tell myself a lot of times now to remember that the Lord is long-suffering, and it turns into a praise. Praise be that He is so much more long-suffering and merciful than me! And I definitely pray that He may teach me to be able to see the good things in people, that He encourages me with the good He has put in me, and that I may not lose sight of the truth. While there is no love without truth, the truth is useless if it is in hate, especially if it is without recognition of the failings of self.

While there’s some confession, some prayer, some teaching, a hodge-podge of things, and more personal than I really intended this blog to be, I was prompted to post it in the sense that there are people that have swung too far in both directions regarding their polarity. I pray it be edifying and convicting (if need be), as I pray all of the things written on this blog have been, albeit as imperfect as it is. I hope that I may be able to continue the journey of seeking Godly virtue on this blog soon, and thanks for all the comments, and well-wishes that have been offered.