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The visible church is...apostate

Certainly when we take the world as a whole, we are obliged to see that the foundations of liberty and honesty are being destroyed, and the slow achievements of centuries are being thrown recklessly away.

In such a time of kaleidoscopic changes, is there anything that remains unchanged? When so many things have proved to be untrustworthy, is there anything that we can trust?

One point, at least, is clear – we cannot trust the church. The visible church, the church as it now actually exists upon this earth, has fallen too often into error and sin.

No, we cannot appeal from the world to the church.

Well, then, is there anything at all to which we can appeal? Is there anything at all that remains constant when so many things change?

I have a very definite answer to give to that question. It is contained in a verse taken from the prophecy of Isaiah [40:8]: “The grass withers, the flower fades: but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” There are many things that change, but there is one thing that does not change. It is the Word of the living and true God. The world is in decadence, the visible church is to a considerable extent apostate; but when God speaks we can trust Him, and His Word stands forever sure. - Gresham Machen, The Christian View of Man (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, [1937] 1984), 13-14.

This quote from Machen reminds me how asinine Christians are who say you have to belong to a local church. As if they are standing on some higher moral ground. Their churches stink. Uniformly. But they say: "Oh, but not all of us visible churches stink! Some of us are confessional and operate in a robust orthodox manner!" Yes, usually with the only two little debits that you hate the biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty in regeneration (and regeneration itself) and you hate a God-preserved, received Bible. Basically, you hate the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Those two little tiny things.

And you're all scared to death of the world and the world's opinion. Especially those of you who think and profess that you don't.

Meanwhile Christ's soldiers are on the street. Solo on the battlefield like Grail knights. Getting mocked from every direction including your direction, the direction of the visible church.

"Well, why don't you, if you are so on-the-mark and courageous, come and join us and make us stronger?"

You don't want real Christians in your communion. You demand to pull everything down to your level, and you police your environment. You want obsequious churchians willing to be led by seminary-stunted 'scholars' who have been taught that they are 'mediators' of 'means of grace'; both lies from the Devil himself. Attaching the phrase 'means of grace' to ritual 'sacraments' is as unbiblical as blood drinking. It's the old Romanist priest craft come back alive.

Christians are prophets, priests, and kings. Where do you see kings gathered together? On the battlefield. That's the only place.

What makes Christians? The word of God. Nothing else. Not your academic constructed 'bibles', the real thing. The thing you hate the most. The Traditional, *received* text. The text you have to *look up to.* The text you have to humble yourself to. The text that doesn't need you more than you need it.

That real word of God is where regeneration happens when it happens. Regeneration, the main thing. With it, you're in a new world. Without it, you're in the same old world, no better than dumb atheists.


Where anger has no point

I've been reading The King in His Beauty by Thomas R. Schreiner, and it is scattershot, but it keeps pulling me back in. Here is a quote from the chapter on Psalms that I found very interesting:

* * * * * * *

As Gerald Wilson points out, even in the shape of the Psalter there is a movement from lament to praise, so that laments are more common in the first part of the Psalter, and praise concludes it. “Praise,” Wilson says, “constitutes another reality in which the presence of God has become so real that anger has no point, pain has no hold, and death lacks all power to sting.”

Schreiner, Thomas R. (2013-07-15). King in His Beauty, The: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (p. 250). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

* * * * * * *

I think that language is unusual. "Praise constitutes another reality." Then this: "...in which the presence of God has become so real that *anger has no point*..."

That's what I was getting at with resentment. I was saying it this way: "What is the goal of our resentment? To what end?" Concluding that the only end is the ludicrous end of burning down the world, which is hell itself.

Where anger has no point. That's a state of being. A level of being to be reached.


On books...

Books are an interesting thing after you have developed past a certain stage. Before that certain stage you never question the value of reading a book. Any book. After that certain stage, you question everything about reading any book, except maybe the Bible.

That's all I have to say.

Alright... You think of time (as if you don't waste most of your time anyway). You think of different levels of influence, is a book a mere surfacy knowledge book, a secondary work, or does it contain deep language and influence and understanding that you will take with you in your essential being beyond the veil, and that will be beneficial to you there?

People in the past also just read books to be entertained, but we have numerous more ways to divert our attention and be entertained without having to read a book. Television, internet, music, podcasts, movies, games, etc... So we're a little different from people in the past there.

That's all I have to say.

Alright... There are a handful of books worth reading if your criteria is the most severe. You need to be aware of them, list them, and recognize that your days are numbered, so read them.


Spiritual warfare post - Bum's Rush and a type of Gaslighting

If you are a child of God and in the world - truly a child of God - here are two things the world will do to you.

One is what I call the bum's rush. This occurs because mirroring our reality here in the flesh is a spiritual reality where you are in the midst of spiritual children of the Devil, and they know you have crossed the divide and become a child of God. So, naive to this, and generally good-natured still to your old contacts and family and acquaintances and general mix of people you would normally be around you start getting the bum's rush from them. They have no time for you. They are involved in 'real things', you are not. That type of thing. This happens by degree and differs in different context, but it just highlights the fact that you are no longer one of them. They are acting unconsciously from the Devil's spirit in them. Your naivete regarding why such treatment is happening is understandable, but it needs to be transcended eventually. You need to start seeing the battlefield and where you stand.

The other thing is a type of gaslighting where people will act like you're weird or being bizarre *no matter what you do or say.* Even if you are totally silent and minding your own business. And they'll *set you up.* Like, they'll start a conversation with you, and the moment you respond, they will act like they have no time for you. That type of setting up of you. Or for instance they'll ask you to do a favor for them, then when you've done it and you casually mention to them it's done (or whatever) they look at you like why are you bothering them. This can be very disconcerting when you don't know what is going on. When you don't see the spiritual battlefield you are on. Examples and variations of this type of gaslighting are very numerous. It can get very involved and difficult to deal with.

You have to see that this behavior is mechanical and unconscious by people in the world. Yet people who operate from the spirit of the Devil - even unconsciously and mechanically - can seem very smart and clever and *get the better of you* easily and often. (An example along those lines is if you've ever known a drug addict they are commonly the most ignorant and, really, dumb human beings on the planet, yet when it comes to getting what they want, using tactics and strategies, and long-term strategies even, they can be diabolically genius-level.)

As real Christians at first we are naked on the spiritual battlefield. We are pretty naive. And we may not even have the real or full armor of God yet. But we have to wake up and take up our weapons and know where we are and what we're up against.


A memory

A memory just now of a blind child in a classical music room of a record store, a child full of joy, running and touching things, just giving off a playful joy, and remembering how the child broke my heart at the time, seeing him, that memory just now convicted me in what I called in prayer to God just now my accumulated self-centeredness and miasma of self-obsessed internal whining and complaining, and some of it not so internal, and realizing how much I have and have been given by God, and how valuable life itself is, and having this universe, the natural world, everything, and I repented of it and asked forgiveness. This is not vain, dramatic self-accusing, it is a real acknowledgement of self-centeredness and complaining that I (or anyone) can get into to where it becomes miasma-like and deeply unself-aware and not God-glorifying.

Loving our enemies is a matter of self-interest

If we're to love our enemies now, but to hate our enemies at the consummation, then the love we have for them now is obviously pure self-interest on our part.

Which is what the New Testament teaches. If we hate our enemies (now, in this era before the consummation) they win, the devil wins, the world wins. We become a part of them. If we love our enemies we build our being and become conformed to the image of the Son.

But it's a tactical love done in self-interest because at the consummation we would be in rebellion to God Himself if we loved His and our enemies.

If someone wants to posit that the love can be more than self-interest due to the fact that we can't know who in the end will no longer be in rebellion to God then fine; but even if we can't know, the act of loving our enemies is still an act of self-interest in the context of it happening in real time. Because in real time they are real enemies. If down the line they are quickened by the Spirit then so be it.


The only indoctrination that sticks

Indoctrination is not education.

You can't indoctrinate children into becoming Christians, for instance. (Not even getting into the necessary role of the Holy Spirit.)

And here's the big advantage for the world and the devil (they seem to have all the advantages in this era): The only indoctrination that ever seems to stick with young people is indoctrination into lies, decadence, tyranny, and the general program of the devil in this world.

Any other indoctrination young people will rebel against.

A sound psychology

Here is an interesting quote from somebody named James T. O'Brien, who is known for his reading wide and deep in the Puritans and his enthusiasm for them and for teaching about them:

Panelist: "Hey, Jim, since we're on this track, talk to us about the affections..."

James T. O'Brien: "The great thing that the Puritans bring to us, and we desperately need in contemporary Reformed theology in my opinion, is a sound psychology. I don't mean by that something like, uh, you know our modern psychologists, but the old meaning of psychology which is an analysis of how the soul functions, how the mind functions."

He said this on a 2009 podcast of the ReformedForum. It's about two-thirds of the way into the program.

It caught my attention because my experience with Christians and Christianity once I became regenerate from hearing the Bible from a television preacher in Arkansas (with unique doctrine, but he knew how to hook fish, so to speak), and then reading the Bible complete several times on my own, then finally coming around to desiring to know orthodox, on-the-mark biblical doctrine is Christian leaders and educators are really almost hallucinogenically shallow and also often asinine. That includes the academically oriented ones, it should go without saying, and not just the academically oriented liberal ones.

If you come to the faith with a complete development with higher influences, a rare development, including dark areas, occult and so on, things that make the shallow Christian leaders grin and think they know what you're talking about when they don't know their ass from their elbow on such subject matter, let alone great literature or ancient history or issues of liberty and tyranny or really anything else that doesn't involve an abiding fear of the world and the world's opinion, along with a glass-eyed lack of self-awareness of their own nature, and usually a secret mocking of the supernatural including any notion of a 'devil'...etc...I'll stop there... I.e. if you come to the faith not as the usual Christian type you instantly see the shallowness of the entire enterprise, and one of the elements of that shallowness is a total lack of understanding and awareness of their own nature, human nature, their fallen nature. There is also a lack of being broken by the world. Maybe the drunks and addicts have had that, but they generally are not students in their drunken and addicted years, it goes without saying; and they probably aren't even broken as well. Being a truly beaten down by the world individual who has a full development with higher influences and a balanced development of being in general is rare. So why am I even writing on a public blog...

Anyway, from my perspective I could see instantly that it was Calvinism and Reformed Theology that got at the truth of the Bible, and that the Puritans got the closest to the practical level of the faith. Not all the way there, but closest by far.

What they didn't reach is what James T. O'Brien is referencing in the quote above: a sound psychology. The old meaning of psychology. The only place that is currently available is in a source the average Christian couldn't handle let alone value. And me even mentioning the source will make the monkeys erupt in chorus in the trees (there's a reason you're not supposed to talk out of school, or, em, throw pearls before swine)...

You'll find that sound psychology, and old meaning of psychology in a book titled The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution and a bigger volume titled The Fourth Way. Both with Ouspensky's name on them, but they aren't his ideas, he's just teaching them. You'll of course find a host of lesser sources using the same language and ideas but this is where discernment comes into play. If you have it use it.

Be careful though: sound psychology...psychology that is the old meaning of psychology is not for everybody. It's available to anybody, but not for everybody. What usually happens is people read something like this and go to the source and mock it like atheists mock the Bible after reading it. It's not for everybody. But if you sense you need to have understanding of sound psychology (which is more than intellectual) then it's there.

I end with what I tell everybody lately: you don't want to be the most awake person in hell. Without the righteousness of Christ as the ground of your justification and sanctification you have nothing. Yet let's not let that fact scare people away from getting real understanding of themselves and the world around them. The shallowness in Christian environments from the podium to the back of the room stinks. It's pathetic. No soldier in the army of Christ can function at any effective level under the weight of such shallowness.


The Bible and biblical doctrine is powerful in the context of real life

The Bible and biblical doctrine is so powerful and so meaningful and so relevant, but you *have* to see it in context, in something attached to real life. And you have to recite it to yourself.

It is endlessly practical and powerful and deep.

I was reading the chapter on Adoption in A Puritan Theology the other day. It doesn't hit you when you just read about such a topic of systematic theology. You have to meditate on it. You have to see it practically.

Being adopted into God's family is a rather big thing. With big implications.

Mock me or gainsay me if you will, but listen to this inner dialogue which is all real and based on real events:

Me talking to my oldest sister: "I was talking to [my older brother] D. about my [other] brother S. and D. said, 'S. is my friend!' OK, so I can't talk about S. who did a criminal lunatic act against me to D. without D. saying, 'S. is my friend!' See, I'm no longer in this family. I'm in God's family now. I've been adopted by God. And the reason you all got slammed is because God protects His children. Vengeance is mine, I shall repay, God says. In other words, God is saying to His children, don't *you* make any moves on anyone, let *Me* take care of it. And that's what you're dealing with."

Cancer, blam - stroke, blam - broken back, blam --- all to the main players in the event. I started getting phone calls: "We love you, C." I'm thinking, "Oh, my, they think I'm doing voodoo on them." So I made it a point to say to them: "I hope I don't get slammed by something." In other words, I'm not such a failed New Age Student that I think I can make people burst into flame by looking at them. What happens happens, and it can happen to any of us. I actually did nothing but pray for all of them. I prayed that God would send the Holy Spirit into their heart. Prayers can be answered in unusual ways. I'm not saying my prayers were answered, that is up to God, in His will. But I only prayed for them to get understanding and ability to see the truth of God and His word.

But the fact was: I had been adopted into God's family, and their transgressions were transgressions against a child of God. And God protects His children. Not in ways that would necessarily seem consistent from our limited understanding, i.e. He could have taken me up to be with Him as a way to deal with it. See it for what it is. Take it or leave it.

[I should really mention what the transgressions were for the context. I was accused of child molestation by a sibling who was a from-hell drug addict because I stood in the way of said sibling turning our parents house into a crack den. I had to go through a prolonged process with law enforcement and social services before being exonerated from the charge. Awful, awful false witness. Second, I was charged falsely with attempted murder by another sibling who was going bankrupt and I stood in his way, his scheme, to sell his parents house and keep all the money before any will would kick in. He accused me of attempting to murder my father. As lunatic a charge as it gets, but, again, I had to go through the exoneration process because law enforcement has no clue what is going on when somebody makes such a charge. My other brother was also a part of that accusation against me. This is all persecution from the world that happens to a true Christian. I handled it all very well. I would take long walks in the midst of it all simply praying to God. As a spiritual warrior I was as in shape as I'll ever probably be in my life. Meanwhile I was taking care of two dying parents 24/7 - no other sibling wanting anything to do with that. One of the ironies is the two brothers in question both belong to the same Unity/Universalist church that tells them they are good and holy and 'of the light.' They are big on Islam and any other faith other than Christianity of course. Also, truth be told, my knowledge and development with Fourth Way ideas, practices, and goals helped me immensely during the whole travail. But when you have understanding and ability to separate wheat from chaff it is esoteric - i.e. practical level - Christianity. And, yes, it was a travail. YOU get accused of child molestation and attempted murder in quick succession WHILE taking care of two dying elderly parents with all the STRESS that is involved with (some of you know)...quite a travail. No resentment from me at the time though. I just had to play it right, i.e. not kill anybody, things like that...]


Irony of our era

Our era seems very shallow while ironically I think we in this era see things from a higher perspective due to pervasive media.

I was reading a beginning of a chapter of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and thought, half jokingly, big deal, you were on a train going from one province in Spain to another, in a war, OK. But in *his* era somebody reads that, and its romantic and adventurous and meaningful (world history happening), and they dream of escaping their small hometown or their boring city surroundings and being someone all the people in their hometown will talk of. Maybe they'll write a book.

Our era, on the other hand, is thinking seen enough dopes firing off rounds in a dusty environment on the internet. No thanks. World history? Making rent next month in this economy is enough world history for me. Hemingway wrote books about such adventures and they are shallow, vain, and embarrassing as hell at this point. What is war when nuclear weapons are the real gods of the battlefield now? I can see the devil and his spiritual progeny unleashed and unbounded on LiveLeak.com any time.

We have the great overview after having lived after the 20th century with all it's epic horror recorded by media, and now everything around the world recorded 20 times over by personal media, the most violent acts possible, biggest natural tragedies, etc., etc. In Orwell's time people were stuck in the parts and not able to see the whole.

The real adventure now, the only one left, is spiritual development. Real spiritual development. There are real limits there to provoke and extend. Real practical knowledge to find.


Somebody please introduce the White Horse Inn and Michael Horton to John Owen

How many brain cells can one lose listening to a churchian podcast? Seemingly many, very many. Just listened to the latest podcast called the White Horse Inn with boy wonder theologian Michael Horton, and they did do something interesting, amidst the straw men and the fake hand wringing as they basically find their 836th way to snicker: "Evangelicals and Americans are really stupid and stuff." The interesting thing they did was to come fully out of the closet on regeneration (check about the 19:45 mark of the podcast). They dislike it. They dislike the notion of it. They don't believe in it. They even went so far as to theologically 'Godwin' their argument by invoking the term 'Gnostic' and applying it to anyone who 'thinks' they have experienced anything subjective along the lines of what the Bible calls being born again. Now they are fully out of the closet on that. (In political discussion you Godwin your argument when you invoke the name Hitler. In theological discussion I put forth that you similarly 'Godwin' your argument when you invoke the term Gnostic.)

Two further things here...

I need to give my usual disclaimer that I realize it's not very practical to come down on Christians who have it about 98% right in their doctrine. I know that. I should probably just leave them alone. But they do insist on being teachers and leaders of Christians, and their faults are rather foundational (anger towards any notion of regeneration qualifies as a foundational fault).

And the second thing here, this needs-to-be-more-well-known quote from John Owen on this very subject of the hatred of the doctrine of regeneration, the notion of it, the reality of it:

"As among all the doctrines of the gospel, there is none opposed with more violence and subtlety than that concerning our regeneration by the immediate, powerful, effectual operation of the Holy Spirit of grace; so there is not scarce anything more despised or scorned by many in the world than that any should profess that there hath been such a work of God upon themselves, or on any occasion declare aught of the way and manner whereby it was wrought. The very mentioning hereof is grown a derision among some that call themselves Christians; and to plead an interest or concern in this grace is to forfeit all a man's reputation with many who would be thought wise, and boast themselves to be rational. Neither is this a practice taken up of late, in these declining times of the world, but seems to have been started and followed from the days of old, -- possibly from the beginning; yea, the enmity of Cain against Abel was but a branch of this proud and perverse inclination." - John Owen, A Discourse Concerning The Holy Spirit


Resentment vs. gratitude - hell vs. the Royal attitude

The more it really sinks in with me, the more I apply it to events taking place, the more I see the foundational, central place of resentment vs. gratitude in everything including Christianity and development of being.

Gratitude gets lost as a central Christian teaching. Gratitude is the ruling attitude (or should be) in a Christian once they have seen their guilt and seen how grace deals with their guilt. After that it is all gratitude.

Gratitude in a Kingdom of God sense is the great reigning attitude. The Royal attitude. Gratitude for everything, all the time, no matter what. It is the laughter of the gods. The attitude of heroes who stand on high mountains. Guilt, grace, gratitude (the structure of the Heidelberg Catechism).

"To what end your resentment?" A good question for all protestors and moralists and self-righteous, and holier-than-thou, and outraged, and harmed, and 'disrespected', and us, and everyone. "What is the goal of resentment?" Burning down the world? Great. The only goal of resentment is hell itself.

Most all negative emotion has to do with resentment. Because most all negative emotion one way or another is directed at human beings, perceived big events in your life and small. If you hit your head on a cupboard door you lash out at the 'idiot' who built the cupboard door. Everything gets drawn down to resentment towards humans one way or another.

This is all obvious, but people generally don't think in terms of negative and positive emotions. Thus if you say to someone something like: "Resentment isn't a noble emotion" they are likely to look at you like they've heard something very new to them. It's never occurred to them to think in terms of noble and ignoble emotions. And we certainly aren't taught it anywhere. In fact we are only reinforced with the lie that resentment is noble from television and movies and everything else. "Yeah! That actor is shouting and outraged and resentful... He's a hero!"

Because in hell there are cool people with a lot of pride and outrage and who strike poses and point to 'other people' as the enemy of 'us' who need to be killed. The great circle of tortured turning into torturer and back to tortured that is hell fueled by resentment.

But gratitude for everything...? That is different. That is difficult. Especially when thinking of children. Should they have gratitude for parents who mistreat them? If they survive their childhood and awaken then yes. Honor your parents, don't worship or idolize your parents, but honor them. They're not perfect, neither are you. As an adult, though, it should be a little bit easier to see that everything that happens to you is your fault, basically, because you know by that time that you attract most of it, or all of it, one way or another. You just simply have to see that everything that happens to you you are responsible for. If you have to see that in higher aspects of time then so be it. Anything else is hell.

This requires *new thinking*, another aspect of Christianity that flies under the radar. Gratitude for everything all the time requires new thinking. Gratitude is a Kingdom of God aspect of being. Resentment - and its infinity of justifications - only leads to hell.


They hate the name of God, Jehovah

The Devil has many victories in this era between the two comings of Christ. One big victory the Devil has celebrated recently is the changing of God's name for English speaking peoples (and probably in other languages as far as I know) from Jehovah to the silly-sounding yahweh. Modern scholars justify this change on a purely speculative theory that has never been proven but is just sort of a whim of modern scholarship. Kind of, "Hey, let's do this!" But of course it's also really more sinister than that.

In the political realm when the children of the Devil want to do away with something they've developed a saying: When you want to get rid of something it's more effective to replace it.

I.e. instead of getting rid of the name of God altogether (which is their desire) they replace the name of God.

Anytime I read or hear a theologian or church leader say 'yahweh' instead of Jehovah I at first shudder but then marvel at the ease the Devil and his children have in turning the minds of weak and wicked self-identified Christians any which way they so desire. Whatever the Devil puts in their mouth they swallow.

Lately the useful idiots of the Devil have been associating any Christian who says Jehovah with the cult Jehovah's Witnesses. They seem to get a special pleasure out of this bit of smearing dishonesty. I think they get such pleasure because they know unconsciously that they have been a dupe of the Devil and that Christians exist who are not such willing and easy dupes of the Devil and this obviously makes them angry.

For some extra disgust look at this Wikipedia page on Yahweh (Canaanite deity).

When you're able to discern this abomination it's like learning a child molester has been babysitting your children. The Devil has been able to get that close to the actual word of God and to change it at such a foundational and meaningful place.

This is why God has seen to it we have his word pure and whole in the Authorized - King James - Version. When you hold the AV in your hand you know you have all of God's word available to you, undefiled by the spirit of Satan that is the spirit of these end times - these times between the two comings of Christ.


Where Federal Vision leads: either Rome, or off the deep end

[Oh, I was just going to delete this, but apparently a guy named James Jordan showed up at Greenbaggins blog and the blog owner over there Lane Keister announced that it was the James Jordan of Federal Vision fame - or implied it because if it was just some other James Jordan he would have said so to clear up confusion - so...this post is apparently meaningless. I'll keep it up though because it might appear on a search for James Jordan in cache form or something and people might get the wrong idea, so I will just put this correction at the beginning here. Done.]

James Jordan, one of the founding fathers of the bad doctrine known as Federal Vision, seems to have now gone fully off the deep end. On his new blog (here's an example) -


he refers to the apostle Paul as a "little Gnostic heretic" who hasn't even "thought through" various "aspects of his analog[ies]", such as the Potter's Vessel. He concludes: "It's time we stop taking Paul very seriously."

James Jordan is giving us a clear choice: James Jordan, or the apostle Paul. A shadowy internet guy associated with Doug Wilson and Federal Vision (Doug Wilson, whose eyes keep getting more saucer-like, have you noticed?), or an apostle of God Himself who authored by inspiration of the Holy Spirit much of the New Testament canon.

Unless James Jordan has grown gigantic antlers out of the sides of his head (my chosen sign that someone has been given more understanding of biblical doctrine than the Holy Spirit and the apostle Paul) then I'm going to stay with the apostle Paul.