Friday, August 31, 2007

I Still Believe- The Call

I wish I could have found a better version of this tune. But... the lyrics are just awesome. this was one of my all time favorite bands. Mr. Been is an Okie like me...a nice bonus.


I been in a cave
For forty days
Only a spark
To light my way
I wanna give out
I wanna give in
This is our crime
This is our sin

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And the grief
Through the lies
Through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars
Oh, I still believe

Flat on my back
Out at sea
Hopin’ these waves
Don’t cover me
I’m turned and tossed
Upon the waves
When the darkness comes
I feel the grave

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the cold
And the heat
Through the pain
And through the tears
Through the crowds
And through the cheers
Oh, I still believe

I’ll march this road
I’ll climb this hill
Down on my knees if I have to
I’ll take my place
Up on this stage
I’ll wait ’til the end of time
For you like everybody else
I’m out on my own
Walkin’ the streets
Look at the faces
That I meet
I feel like I like I want to go home
What do I feel
What do I know

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the shame
And through the grief
Through the heartache
Through the fears
Through the waiting
Through the years

For people like us
In places like this
We need all the hope
That we can get
Oh, I still believe
I Still Believe

A Violated Covenant- from "For This Land" by Vine DeLoria ,Jr.

cut and paste this link for more info:

On The Case of The American Indian In World History from: "For This Land" by Vine DeLoria Jr. The essay was written some time in the sixties the Book itself is a year or two old. A reviewer of this book wrote,
"This is a book that every American should read, especially Christians, educators and students of religion. Vine DeLoria is one of the great interpreters of religion in America. If one can remain a Christian after reading this book, s/he might be a pretty good one."

I agree with this assessment completely as a Christtian and an American Indian. Real truths, especially religious or political truths, are only arrived at when the mind and the beliefs it stores are challenged and contemplated.  This essay definitely brings some very relevant points that bring the breadth and depth of the case into a clearer and more accurate focus.

American Indians are in the situation they are in to this day because of a total inability of the non-Indian Christian world to understand itself. Educational, economic, social and legal problems of Indian peoples stem almost directly from protestant theology and a misapplication of basic
biblical ideas in the arena of political thought. Until the non-Indian peoples understand themselves and the religion they profess to confess, the situation will grow continually worse. The time may yet come within our lifetime of a genocidal war against American Indians being waged by these same churchgoing Christians who are now obliterating other parts of Southeast Asia. With such a prospect in the offing, is it any wonder that from a variety of sources from within the American Indian community have come voices attempting to raise a variety of issues? For many Indian people understand all too well the inability of the Christian peoples to realize their religion here on Earth as a viable social force. Too many times Indian peoples have seen the humanity of Christianity give way to more abstract forms of oppression by people firmly convinced they are following God's will. And fanatically determined to carry out God's will as they are able to understand it, they have perpetuated massacres and theft unparalleled in the history of mankind.

The most drastic error of Protestant theology as applied to the American Indian peoples has been the total inability of the Christians to understandtheir own idea of "covenant".
Initially, a covenant was a pact between the peoples of two nations whereby the integrity of each nation was pledged to uphold the agreement. A covenant did not give people the right to intrudeon the other partner of the agreement. Indeed, it meant that the spiritual faith of the two peoples was pledged so that the agreement called for the best efforts of the two groups to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

With the development of Christian theology after the death of Jesus the whole idea of The New Covenant permeated explanations of the meaning of life and death of the founder of the religion. Declaring that everyone who accepted the teachings of Jesus, later Paul and still later Luther, the various Christian denominations found in the idea of a New Covenant a community transcending time and space and bound together by a faith in the uniqueness of history as exemplified in the Christian story.

Where the New covenant meant new community, a gathering of saints, a
communion of the saved, to that degree the individuals composing the heavenly city were required to act positively in response to the message they proclaimed to the world and by which they were encouraged to judge the secular world. Thus Christians were told that they had been freed to live in a state of near-grace. By transcending the law and dwelling permanently within covenantal relationship, Christians bound themselves to living a life of creative , a life in which they were not judged solely by their transgressions of law, but by the vision of life in it's totality toward which they marched.

But, there was no corresponding understanding by Christians taken as a corporate group that they had a duty to incarnate the covenantal life in their relationships with peoples different than themselves. Law quickly replaced covenant and Christianity bogged down to the concept of a god who laboriously recorded each and every transgression of individuals for use in the afterlife when He would exact vengeance. It was this lower conception of divinity and hence society that Christians believed in when the "New World" was "Discovered". And the early colonial governments reflected ascales-and-balances concept of both law and covenant in their dealings with each other and with their own settlers. Combined with the perversion of covenant was a misapplication of the conceptof Genesis to go forth and multiply and the placement of man as havingdominion over all other species of creation. According to the Genesis legend, when man was given the right to name the animals, he was given dominion over them since by creating their names he had in effect participated in their creation also. As Co-Creator, one might have argued, man had a corresponding responsibility to care for the non-human elements of creation. In tending the garden of Eden, man had a corresponding responsibility to the earth itself to maintain it's fruitfulness. All of this, particularly the edict of man's responsibility, was perverted by Christian theologians.

Early in the history of North American exploration, the fundamental responsibilities of Genesis became interpreted as man's right, and basically the White Man's right, to use whatever he wanted and however he wanted to use it. Thus, slavery was justified as God's rightful contribution to the economic well being of the Americans, God's chosen people. Wholesale destruction of forests, the game, the original peoples of the continent were justified as part of god's plan to subdue and dominate an untamed wilderness. Nowhere was there any sense of stewardship between diverse elements of the new Christian settlers, either collectively or individually, and the continent as they found it.

Within THIS context one can trace the tragic story of the American Indian peoples. The United States and the individual colonies signed treaties with the various tribes at which the faith and good will of the United states and it's component states was pledged. Missionaries representing the respective denominations attended these treaty signing sessions, each assuring the tribal leaders that if the government of the United States did not uphold the treaty, his church and his God would guarantee them. Indeed, missionaries promised that God himself wanted the tribes to sign the treaties because of his foreordained plan to create cities, suburbs and shopping centers on the North American Continent.
Within the treaty context, then, total faith and good will of the two parties, the Indian tribe and the United states, were pledged. Treaties were covenants of the new lands insofar as they affected the relationships of individuals of the two disparate treaty groups. But, as soon as the treaties were signed, and often before the signing was even official, large groups of settlers following God's divine command to subjugate the Earth went forth into the reserved Indian lands. The tribes were thus pushed further and further backwards into the interior. At no point was there an acknowledgement by the allegedly religious people of the new nation that once having pledged the faith and validity of their religion, there was a corresponding responsibility to actually uphold the treaty.
The settlement of the continent, therefore, was one in which people, claiming to be divinely inspired members of a New Covenant, refused for a moment to keep their covenantal commitments to people whom they had given them.

Article by article, treaty by treaty, the spiritual faith given by the white Christians was violated in favor of God's other commandment, also misinterpreted, to subjugate the earth. It is therefore ridiculous to view Indian tribes as a people who do not and probably cannot understand the requirements of either religion or civilization. Both religion and civilization require, for their fundamental integrity, the premise that one can be taken at his word for what that word spiritually represents. Instead history has shown a marvelous ability of the white Christian to quibble on the meanings of specific words contained in treaties and statutes, finding in tortured interpretations of those words the loophole required when one is breaking faith.

In a corresponding development, responsibility to the Earth and it's creatures has been studiously avoided. Instead, exploitation for the sake of exploitation has been the rule. Property rights have taken precedent over any sense of affinity for living creatures and their rights. The buffalo were exterminated to provide grazing lands for cattle, and misuse of these grazing lands resulted in the creation of the Great Dust Bowl followed by farm programs in which land is kept unproductive in order to maintain a false economy for selected land owners while millions throughout the world starve.

The justification for taking American Indian lands has always been: they are not doing anything with them. Underlying this complaint has been the idea
that the earth itself can have no rest. it also must be exploited and used. There is no responsibility of man not to destroy the world. On the contrary, the more the world can be changed, the theology has run, the more concrete poured, the more freeways, apartment buildings, slums, football stadiums, in short, the more confused edifices created, the better God is pleased. God, then, created the Earth most ineptly. It was fortunate for God that man was available to recreate the world as it should be.
Now, the chickens have come home to roost. The entire Viet Nam fiasco revolves around the question of covenant. To what extent are we bound by our promise to protect the south Viet Nam republic? And the answer has been that we are bound to the point where it becomes our duty, our God given duty, to massacre old men, women and children and babies- for their own good - and for our good, to defend them. When 83% of the citizens of this country, this Christian Country, think that Lt. Calley did right in executing the people at My Lai, then one can see how far from the reality of
what they proclaim, the Christians have drifted in four centuries.

Instead of creating the world in a better way than the Deity- Christian peoples have only succeeded in creating a situation in which mankind may well extinguish itself within a generation unless pollution is controlled. And even that statement is not really correct. Unless the white Christians control pollution, all of mankind, Christian and non-Christian, may become extinct. This obvious fact, rather than the theological fancies of the past, tells us of the relative truth of the genesis legend. For if man was given the right to totally subjugate, then no harm would come to him. such, according to to our best scientific minds, is not and has not been the case. Outside of a massive repentance and a society turned completely around, there appears to be no solution to modern problems. Unless mankind takes it's responsibilities to the world, and unless Christians take their responsibilities to non-Christians, as serious and critical calls to action, we really have no future. We will have created our own judgment day far in advance of any divine plans for the event.

In the field of human rights there must be a radical change in the attitudes. If it has been stated that Indian treaties will be upheld, then it is the responsibility to uphold them. No amount of quibbling over phraseology can change that basic response. If all men are created in God's image, there should be no question, at least among those alleging to be Christians, to carrying out those programs and projects that will most nearly approximate that condition. The continual bickering over legal sophistries with respect to treaty rights, integration and race relations, welfare, the aged, orphans and burial rights, speaks of a society in which law and not covenant dominates. That society and it's members who so loudly proclaim to be members of the covenant, the New Covenant, should either put up or shut up.

Most of us really know what is right. We rarely do it. But, there is a corresponding responsibility on Christians today that faces no other group. For Christians have not only proclaimed that they are right, they have proclaimed that they ALONE are right and that everyone else is wrong. And then they have backed away from their responsibilities to uphold the right. When minority groups have tried to get them to respond in a manner of spiritual commitment to the principles which they proclaim and not the legalistic footnotes behind which they have always hidden, then the
Christians have fought back thinking all efforts to make them live up to their responsibilities are subversive to the great society that they, allegedly with God's help, have created.
The case of the American Indian is clear and uncomplicated. American Indians suffer because the non-Indians have devised ways and means and rationalized arguments for not keeping their word. Non Indians have violated their covenants with Indian tribes. let them fulfill these treaties and covenants and then come talk to us about problems. for it is then we will be able to discern which problems are our problems and which problems created by non-Indians for us.- END

Thus, these issues at hand are not part of some ancient or revisionist history but part of the legacy of HERE and NOW. look at statistics on social problems within the remnants of Indian's sickening, the highest ratios of poverty, mental illness, addiction, disease, suicide...look it up yourself instead of getting your news of the world from cable TV or talk show hosts who tell you all that all this multiculturalist crap is just an angle at raiding your tax dollars. These are the problems that beset a people when they are dehumanized by a white washed version of history and constantly reminded that their ancestors were not really people at all, the continent being empty of real people until 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue and they are not really people now, who deserve to have their treaties and rights upheld and deserve nothing more than a status as cartoonish mascots. Note that the council on race relations that convened under the Clinton administration and did a national tour composed itself of Whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians. Where is the voice of the American Indian today? Nearly wiped out...nearly forgotten...
Do not insult our intelligence by telling us we are all on some theoretical equal playing field nowadays...after the hypocritical dominating culture has decided how when, where and why the "game" is played. I dare say the "playing field" would be very different if any philosophical or ideological input had been allowed by minority cultures...What year was it anyway when Blacks or Indians or women respectively were finally allowed to cast a vote?

Land ownership is the basis for all socio political power. Where the lands of the American Indians have gone so too has gone most of their power, their voice and possible contribution to the betterment of the human race....

However, my father taught me this...The Indian Nations are not a defeated people, but rather, a people still under siege by a force that does not have our spiritual, cultural or ecological best interests at heart. The choice is yours...let it go and have yourself a drink...assimilate and participate in it...or fight it to the very bitter end...Is my choice too obvious? As too the religious aspects of the argument I would simply say that I wonder sometimes how God's will could be such as to produce this situation...the answer is that it has more to do with man's will than God's. It is not the fault of faulty data or religious insight from God, but the twisting of it by prideful man...his freewill that has made things the way they are. It's not God's's man's fault...and I choose to remind people of that and hope they will reassess what they believe and why. So what does modern day America owe the remnants of the American Indians? That is the question it all comes down to every time isn't it? It is understood that either justice or the honoring of old promises and treaties is still too expensive or at least more than the culture at large is willing to give...How about some truth is history lessons then? Or perhaps a little bit of respect...a little dignity? How about changing the name of the professional football team in the Nation's capital to something other than "Redskins"? That in itself would be a start. I also encourage the Indian nations such as they are to move away from the mentality of smoke shops, tourist traps, bingo parlors and casinos. My message to them is that before people will much listen to these kind of rants about the loss and disrespect of our culture- we need to raise the next generation to be something more than drunks, convenience store clerks, bingo callers, cocktail waitresses, blackjack dealers and bickering tribal politicians.

It has all the earmarks of a lost cause eh? So what...I'm still going down swinging all the way. I think this is what a man is for in this fight the good fight no matter what the odds....besides I figure my time is better spent doing this than watching TV and filling my head with crap that a person would have to be crazy to give a rip about in the larger context of the meaning of life as a human being in God's image on this Earth.)
S. Starr

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is it possible to be an Texan and a Christian?

(3rd Excerpt from original posting on Theology of Nuance on October 15, 2006 and a precursor for Diversity Around the Table of the Last Supper)

I encourage anyone interested in this subject to download and listen to this sermon from Dr. Thomas Robinson of the Manhattan New York Church of Christ. Just click on this paragraph and you will directed to the MP3 of the lesson. Pay particular attention to the sermon at 11:15 through 15:00 minutes into the sermon. If you are from a CoC background you will be challenged greatly by Dr. Robinson's sermon. However, I have studied the passages that he references, and I am confident that his context for the passages are correct. In other words I do agree with his interpretation of the scriptures.

There are many possibilities for who we might be, by carnal standards.
We may even wear these labels with pride.

I could be:
1) A Disciple of Jesus (Christian)
2) A Democrat
3) An Arab
4) A Woman
5) A Parent
6) A Man
7) An American
8) A Hunter
9) A Texan
10) Pro-labor (Union)
11) Pro-businessDemocrat who is not honoring Jesus' mission, to seek and save the lost.Republican who is not serving Christ's purpose to seek & save the lost.
12) An environmentalist
13) Caucasian (White)
14) Animal Rights Activists
15) Progressive
16) A Seminole (Tribe)
17) A Warrior
18) Conservative
19) A Sooner (OU)
20) A Cowboy (OSU)
Are any of these sinful? If you answered "yes" you are correct. If you answered "no" you, too, are correct.
In fact, none of these are sinful, when correctly placed in priority. But, all of these, except the first, may be sinful, if they supplant the first by even one place.

The world, i.e. the carnal conventions outside the Church, "must" make judgments in order to know who is accepted and who is rejected.

It is a "natural selection" thing. This is a Charles Darwin phrase, please don't reject it just because it was described by Darwin. It is valid to the carnal/natural.

If labels are not applied, any and all are, by default, accepted into the tribe or camp. The tribe and clan is threatened if there are no physically discernable ways to keep out of the camp, those who have no kinship, and vested interest in protecting the members of the camp.

Jesus however, changed the rules for all time. As a means of exclusion, the labels began to disolve, even while Christ taught only to the descendants of Israel. Look at this exchange between Jesus and a "gentile" woman. This may be a very harsh answer to her, or it could be a very harsh example of faith to the descendants of Abraham. Which is it? Let me say this, God/Jesus doesn't need to know if the poor woman had great faith. The creator knows her heart. However, those disciples with Jesus did not know her heart. Did they? The teachers of the Law did not know her heart either. In point of fact, she may not have fully known her own heart, until God provided her with the opportunity (a.k.a. "test") to exercise her faith.

  • 25 Right away a woman came to him whose little girl was possessed by an evil spirit. She had heard about Jesus, and now she came and fell at his feet.

  • 26 She begged him to release her child from the demon’s control.
    Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia,

  • 27 Jesus told her, “First I should help my own family, the Jews.* It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

  • 28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are given some crumbs from the children’s plates.”

  • 29 “Good answer!” he said. “And because you have answered so well, I have healed your daughter.”

  • 30 And when she arrived home, her little girl was lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

By the original plan of God, it was His purpose to have Israel as a light to the nations. It was Jesus who finally fulfilled the ultimate plan for the nation of Israel. Read Isaiah 49 and see for yourself. The exclusionary rule, which comes from the the carnal law of natural selection, was being banished by the Holy One, long before the resurrection of Christ.

  • 5 And now the Lord speaks—he who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring his people of Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength.

  • 6 He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

  • 7 The Lord, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by a nation, to the one who is the servant of rulers: “Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will bow low because the Lord has chosen you. He, the faithful Lord, the Holy One of Israel, chooses you.”

The labels that we live under, by our own choosing, are not bad, unless we allow those labels to push Jesus' plan of bringing "light to the nations", into second or third place.

  • Each "thing" that I am, that I perceive in my own mind, affects how I act and respond to others.

  • Each "thing" that I am to others, that they perceive in their minds, affects how they respond to me.

Matthew 10:37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;…"

  • Is it really possible that being "Pro-life" can be a sin?

  • If so, how?

  • And if so, how can we keep from walking or even running into our adversary’s trap?
    The questions are valid.

If Jesus was being honest in Mt. 10:37, that loving your parents & kids is bad (evil/sinful) when placed in the wrong order of priority, then Satan’s potential armaments are as varied as there are things & ideologies in the universe. Because we can see that anything and everything in this world has the potential to be a weapon wielded by the evil one, against the Way of Jesus (The Church.)

So, let us be clear.

1. Being "Republican" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "God"
2. Being an "English Speaker" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "Jesus"

3. Being a "member of a specific church" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "the Father" (THIS ONE SHOULD RAISE QUESTIONS, PLEASE ASK IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION.)

4. Being "American" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "the Holy Spirit"

5. Being an "Environmentalist" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "the Lamb of God"
6. Being "Pro-life" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "the Holy One"

7. Being "Democrat" can be evil. If or When it pushes people away from "I AM"

When any of these detract from Christ, they are Satan’s weapons against "the Bride of Christ," which is the Church

Our historical context hides the carnal biases and fools us into giving our hearts to these benign or even noble clubs and causes. Even when we recognize the potential for harm, we often have trouble tempering our desire (lust) for the thing or ideal with which we’ve identified.
Sports fanaticism may become "religion" for which we may spiritually harm our fellow man.

Governmental Political zeal may become "religion" as well, as we condemn those with whom we disagree, and thus harm our ability to reveal Jesus’ love, hope, and healing to these souls still held captive by our Lord’s adversary.

A single issue may become our "religion" and overtake our "faith", as priority and focus.

(To Be Continued)

God bless,


p.s. Did you notice that I was intentionally provocative with the title for this post. We need to guard against following the apostle, Nathaniel's, example, which is found in John 1:46;

“Texas!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from there?”.

Nathaniel didn't really say Texas, I think it was more localized and specific. Maybe it was Austin.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tending the Garden- Christian Environmental Stewardship Conference 2007

Click the arrrow in the corner of the screen to stay with this blog while watching or listening.

Richard Cizik-'s Inspiring Person /Christian Environmentalist

Click the arrrow in the corner of the screen to stay with this blog while watching or listening.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How Do I Know What God's Plan For My Life Is?

The question, "How Do I Know What God's Plan For My Life Is?", is often batted around in places of worship and Christian literature. Both contibutors to this blog as well as several other people I know or am related to have often struggled with this question. Another question often heard is How do I REALLY know if God is prompting me to a certain course of action? These are indeed legitimate questions. As atheists and critics of people of faith and religion are quick to point out- God does not seem to talk to us through burning bushes or blinding flashes of light these days. Most people raise their eyebrows and wax suspicious when someone claims that God has directly told them anything.

Without going into a lengthy treatise abouty how God interfaces with man and how one develops discernment I will say that the sermon I heard this morning gave some very practical advice on how a person can detrmine what God's plan for them might be. First let me say that I am a firm believer in freewill. I do not believe that God is like some cosmic movie director with a folding chair , a shooting script and a bullhorn who gets upset when we break character or diverge from the predetermined storyline. I do believe that God simply wants us to be who WE want to be as long as he hold Him at the center of all that we do.

With these qualifications spoken- here is the lesson outline from this morning's sermon about how one can ascertain God's plan. I understood that this outline was developed by an Instructor at Oklahoma Christian University for incoming college students struggling with this question. Its is in my estimation very practical:

1. What do I want to do?

2. What am I willing to do?

3. What needs to be done (in a Biblical perspective)

4. What do I have the capacity to do?

5. What do I have the opportunity to do?

6. What do my most spiritual friends and/or mentors think I should do?

7. Where is the convergence on these points?

Next, determine the course and GO FOR IT.

I personally think that this is very solid advice.

In my own life I find myself pointed directly toward working to reconcile Native American Indians, their worldview and life philosophy with the Father of all life, the true and ideologically undefiled teachings of the Bible and to Christ... the One , the only One that can bridge the gap between God and man and to convey to them that they DO have a seat at the table and a role to play in God's Kingdom and in culture at large.

Blessings upon thee.

Think eternally. Act spiritually.

The Spiritual War Against the Native People Of "America"- Is True Reconciliation Possible?

by Phil Duran
Duran's BIO:

As background, I will begin by saying that in 1998 I moved to South Dakota with my wife to become the director of First Nations Institute, a post-secondary school for Native Christian believers, and I was there only 18 months because of the decision to close campus operations. I am a scientist and educator, not a missionary or a “minister” in the normal sense of that word. However, I am self-trained in Bible knowledge, having extensively studied systematic theology, eventually reviewing article manuscripts, served as part-time pastor and denominational representative, and for more than three decades served as deacon in two churches. I am very familiar with life in Indian country and the pressing issues that the tribes have been dealing with for hundreds of years. I do not depend on church funds or church approval for the full-time work that I do with the tribal communities, because I am paid by a Tribal college where I directed a program in environmental studies. My specific area is theoretical physics.

Read the article HERE.

Who am I, in my heart? My answer to this question affects my purpose! (This ties in with Merton's writing)

(2nd Excerpt from original posting on Theology of Nuance on October 15, 2006 and a continuation of Diversity Around the Table of the Last Supper)

What is the meaning of Life?
My opinion is that we are to glorify Jesus Christ, and in so doing we honor the Father.

Faith & Politics
1. Faith includes those Spiritual beliefs for which men & women will give their own lives. This makes ‘Faith’ different than ‘religion’ in this discussion. We see Jesus Christ as the model for our faith. Jesus was willing to give his life for his friends, & yet was unwilling to kill. Jn. 10:17-18 "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life…" Jn 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

2. This distinction between "Faith" & "Religion" is an opinion of this writer, and is based on the relatively few passages in the OT & NT where "religion" is recorded in scripture. Note: That "Religion" tends always to reference ones deeds that earn credit and "Faith" tends to address ones attitudes of charity/love and mercy, which follow Jesus’ example. Review Amos 5:21ff; Micah 6:6-7; Jas.1:26-27 Note however, that religion is traditional actions of ritual, not necessarily evil or wrong, but often times tend toward self expressions of duty, obligation, and as such are not love and charity by nature. When rituals of duty supplant mercy and love, evil always results, e.g. Shi’a Muslims blowing up in close proximity to Sunni Muslims, or American Christian Cavalry killing Indian "savages" and thousands of other examples in most all cultures & races.

3. Politics includes in its broadest sense, all ‘public life & affairs’, although we typically limit it in our thinking, to government activities and issues, it actually will include anything that is seen to occur within ‘Public Life’.
With this understanding of ‘politics’, everything in our interpersonal relationships has political implications.

Therefore, how we see our self, affects our attitudes, it forms our biases, it under girds our vocabulary, and it moves us to our actions, either for good or for ill.
Who am I?


God Bless,

My Mission Among The Peoples of The First Nations Of The "Americas"

One of my original mission statements when I started this blog was to give expression to Native American theology and philosophy an demonstrate how it can be reconciled with teachings from the Bible. I haven't really lived up to that much. I have been working through some theological issues and a deep disillusioment with the political climate and the wars at hand. I must now lay those things aside inasmuch as I am able and is reasonable. I have said plenty with regards to both theology and politics right here in this blog. I have made my case.
Now its time to actually do what I originally set out to do. The original name of this blog was Native American/Christian Theology. Its time to get back on the trail of spirit that I have deterred myself from.

My thesis, which goes beyond books and movies and conjecture, has been and still is that Native American people have a voice and a place in God's Kingdom- that is Jehovah, the God of the Bible's Kingdom. Indians do not have to stop being Indians to know Christ. Trying to bring the knowledge of Christ and proper relationship with him to the American Indian is as yet a monumental task. Mainstream Christians have never understood the Indian's world view at all...let alone how it can actually fit with the way of Christ. Indians have had such a negative experience in the industrial world and society that they do not see how this idea could work either. At this point in history the differences seem near totally irreconcilable. There is such bitterness and hurt among Native Americans... and indigenous people the world over. The modern world has meant very bad things to their culture and and their physical and spiritual well being. Not only is history and human nature against the kind of understanding I wish to express... but then there are also the unseen spiritual forces that are set against the mission. Do not think for a moment that I do not realize that I stand against history, culture, human nature,economics, psychology, religious differences, two seemingly incompatible worldviews, my family, my friends, the powers of darkness and my own fear. I fully realize these things. And yet... I know that I can succeed because I have God and his ultimate truth on my side. My confidence may seem irrational, politically incorrect, heretical, sacreligious, misguided and or poorly reasoned. Still, I know, not believe but know, that I speak the truth. I cannot hold it in any longer. God and my own conscience will wait no longer.

So, now I must say something to all them that know me. I want to make it plain that
although my freinds and family may not understand that which I speak of- none of them have ever really discouraged me from what I have told them about my calling. Still, I must say this.... to steal a line from a movie my good friend DSM has just turned me on to... "From this moment foreward, I don't want to hear another word out of anyone's mouth unless its helping me out or taking their leave of me."

Its late... I have much more to say on this, but its time to sleep and dream.


XIT Color Nature Gone, Silent Warrior 1973

I have been looking for a clip with this music for soooo long. My father had the album with this song when I was a kid. Thank you so much. I think I'm gonna cry now... yep.

Vision Quest "Dreamer" -by Ray Spiess Jr.

Watch the vid HERE!

Powerful stuff!

Native American Missioner Janine Tinsley-Roe-1997

Native American missioner Janine Tinsley-Roe speaks about the commitment of the Episcopal Church to fully recognize and welcome Native Peoples into congregational life through education, advocacy, and leadership development. Tinsley-Roe also talks about special events taking place throughout 2007 marking landmark moments in U.S. history when settlers from England first discovered the New World 400 years ago.

The Native American Ten Commandments

Click the arrrow in the corner of the screen to stay with this blog while watching or listening.

Native American - Amazing Grace (in cherokee)

Click the arrrow in the corner of the screen to stay with this blog while watching or listening.


Winona LaDuke - Living By The Creators Law

Watch HERE

Winona LaDuke: One would do well to live in accordance with natural law.

Winona LaDuke speaks on Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity and Decentralization: A view from the Native American perspective.

Watch HERE

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chomsky Speaks About Human Destiny

Click the arrrow in the corner of the screen to stay with this blog while watching or listening.

QUESTION: When we talk about manufacturing of consent, whose consent is being manufactured?

CHOMSKY: To start with, there are two different groups, we can get into more detail, but at the first level of approximation, there's two targets for propaganda. One is what's sometimes called the political class. There's maybe twenty percent of the population which is relatively educated, more or less articulate, plays some kind of role in decision-making. They're supposed to sort of participate in social life -- either as managers, or cultural managers like teachers and writers and so on. They're supposed to vote, they're supposed to play some role in the way economic and political and cultural life goes on. Now their consent is crucial. So that's one group that has to be deeply indoctrinated. Then there's maybe eighty percent of the population whose main function is to follow orders and not think, and not to pay attention to anything -- and they're the ones who usually pay the costs.

This is a repost.

Hit the Chomsky tag at the bottom of this post for more on Chomsky including:

How Noam Chomsky Helped Save My Spiritual Life

When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs- Charles Kimball

Last night I bought four new books. God help me I am an addict. I will soon write more about my love affair with books. One of the books I purchased last night was:

When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs- Charles Kimball

Skimming through this book I found it to be very much in line with my own basic thoughts on the subject. Ironically when I got home I discovered DSM's new post here that is also very much in keeping with this topic. Neither he nor I believe that these kinds of synchronicities are entirely random. They are part of a spiritual dialog that is at times guided by the unction of the Holy Spirit it would seem.

Anyhow, the book is definately thought provoking and does indeed tap into a much wider and I dare say, mainstream body of thought on these matters. Current events and trends all point back to this topic on a daily basis.

In the book Kimball lists five warning signs of corruption in religion:

1. Absolute truth claims
2. Blind obedience
3. Establishing the "ideal" time
4. The end justifies any means
5. Declaring holy war

I will offer more thought on this as I read more. The basic thesis does indeed appear to be on the money. Check it out... think about it.

Yesterday another most excellent friend challenged me to predict the next name we would see being batted around as the mortal enemy of mankind. He pointed out that Communist and Terrorist had been used. I reminded him not to forget the term Liberal.

I have been thinking on this dynamic question every since. Based on the trends I see- the backlash against religious intolerance, fundamentalism and a brand of "conservatism" that is not so conservative after all... right now I am leaning towards something like "religio-political fascists" or some permutation thereof. We shall see...

I have pondered also the idea that whomever coins the term for this next great enemy of man and freedom will become at the least an Icon and perhaps a very rich person to boot. I am not motivated by either of those ideas...but the question is extrememly intriguing and has inspired me to don my "geopolitical, geotheological thinking cap".

Friday, August 24, 2007

Diversity Around the Table of the Last Supper

(Excerpt from original posting on Theology of Nuance on October 15, 2006)

Last Supper

Our historical context hides the carnal biases and fools us into giving our hearts to these benign or even noble clubs and causes. Even when we recognize the potential for harm, we often have trouble tempering our desire (lust) for the thing or ideal with which we’ve identified.
Sports fanaticism may become "religion" for which we may spiritually harm our fellow man.

Governmental Political zeal may become "religion" as well, as we condemn those with whom we disagree, and thus harm our ability to reveal Jesus’ love, hope, and healing to these souls still held captive by our Lord’s adversary.

A single issue may become our "religion" and overtake our "faith", as priority and focus.
1. Pro-life
2. Democracy
3. Freedom of Speech
4. Equality
5. Freedom of Religion
6. Right to privacy
7. Right to keep & bear arms
8. Right to Own Property
9. Liberty
10. Right to Pray

All of these and dozens, if not thousands, of other issues are offered to us by the world, or more accurately, the devil, to encourage us as "Ambassadors of Christ" to give up our purpose/focus and instead physically or intellectually fight our fellow man for an issue, instead of Spiritually fighting the adversary (satan) for the captured and lost soul of our fellow man.
["The meaning of life, is to Glorify Jesus…" "But how?" We should consider this question, because it helps us to focus our energy on the same goal that our Heavenly Father has.]

Should the purpose/focus of the Church be diverted by these various issues, which are only symptoms of our fallen world?

What happened when the Apostle Peter lost his focus on Jesus?

What happened to Field Marshal Rommel’s forces when Gen. Patton, in WWII, was able to divert Nazi Germany’s focus to Pas-de-Calais in Northern France?

Did Christ come to make this lost world more moral, just, kind, generous, equal, peaceful, progressive, conservative, environmentally sustainable?

Are we to condemn "Western Powers" for CO2 emissions?

Are we to condemn the world for abortion?

Are we to condemn the USA for the Middle East war?

Should we condemn the USA for not "helping" Israel more?

Are we to condemn the Democrat Party for weakening America’s defense status?

Are we to condemn the Republican Party for bloodthirsty war mongering?

Are we to condemn the Mass Media for distorting the "truth"?

Are we to condemn the Hezbullah for attacking Israel?

Are we to condemn Israel for attacking Hezbollah?

Should we be diverted to condemn immorality in the media, culture, USA, hip hop/rap music, Hollywood, (all of which are a.k.a. the World)?

What purpose did Jesus give for coming into the World?

Was he vague?

Was it for condemnation? Do we condemn?

Or do we serve and save?
1. Condemnation and salvation are not the same.
2. Condemnation is not a service.
3. Condemnation is not a mission.
4. Condemnation is not noble.
5. Condemnation glorifies satan (the accuser), not Jesus (the Savior).
6. Condemnation is not Jesus' "Great Commission" to His Wife (the Church.) Mt. 28:18-20

God bless,


p.s. The painting at the top of this post depicts the last supper. Any idea how many divergent politcal views sat around this table? Yet, these men were focused on one thing..., the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ made them all political allies with only one special interest, saving their fellow man's eternal soul. Maybe, this should tell us something, too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Prayer Of The 13th Warrior

In the movie "The 13th Warrior" Antonio Banderas' character, an Arab Muslim, delivered a prayer just before an epic battle that has stuck with me every since. Some of the words in that prayer are words that have inspired me to say and do and think some of the things that I have every since I walked out of the theater on the night that I saw that movie. This prayer, although delivered by a Muslim rather than Christian character has become part of me. The words are beautiful and simple and eloquent:

Merciful Father.... I have squandered my days with plans of many things.
This was not among them. But at this moment, I beg only, to live the next few minutes well. For all we ought to have thought and have not thought... All we ought to have said and have not said. All we ought to have done and have not done. I pray thee, God for forgiveness.

Of course if you think about it this prayer also spawns thoughts to the inverse of the lines used; i.e. Father forgive me for the things that I/we have thought that I ought not have thought, for the things I have said, that I ought not have said, for things I have done that I ought not have done.
Also, nowadays I consider myself a pacifist or peacemaker with regards to warfare. What that means to me is not a belief that all violence is always wrong no matter what. It does mean that I judge any given situation with a spiritual discernement and/or, to borrow a term from my friend DSM, a THEOLOGY OF NUANCE. It means that I choose violence as a solution last... not first. It means that I do not hate my enemies, but rather love them and consider my ultimate enemy not my fellow man... but the spiritual forces of darkness in the celestial realm as the Bible teaches. It means that I know that the power to give life is far greater than the power to kill and destroy. It means that I think eternally and act spiritually inasmuch as I am able as a weak and pitiful sinner and carnal man. It means that I leave room for God's plan and God's sovereign right to vengeance before my own. It means that I do not fear death... and am thus not controlled by fear in my actions or reactions... inasmuch as I am able. The Bible says that the spiritual man is able to discern of all things. If a man is in right relationship with all things - he will know what to do in any given situation as led by God. Take care with these words...
do not mistake your own desires or instincts for the true prompting of God. Attaining RIGHT relationship cannot be achieved without the surrender of the deadly sin of pride. One cannot defeat the deadly sin of pride without the ability of self analysis, the willingness to re-evalute oneself's motives and/or positions and the willingness and/or ability to view the self through the eyes of the enemy.

Isaiah 53 Suffering Servant Questions

Contemplative Snowman (Temporal Man)

He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows* that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!
Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 1997 . Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.

Was Jesus acquainted with bitterest grief and sorrows before He took up our weaknesses?

It occurs to me that this passage may imply that Christ knew sorrow prior to taking our infirmities upon him.

What might Jesus’ sorrows have been, i.e. His sorrows which were his alone and apart from mankind?

I have always thought that Jesus only knew grief, vicariously through mankind.
But, what if He knew grief in His own right; what if He experienced personally a grief that was unique to Him and His own life, would that make a difference on how I perceive my Lord?
It seems to make a difference to me.
Does it make a difference to you?

It is a curiosity.

God bless,


...His text was one which I have loved over the years: Psalm 42:1 "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee O God." (JCS) A biographer said of him : "Seeking truth and seeking God were one and the same thing." Perhaps the continued usefulness of this book can be attributed to the writer’s great spiritual discovery that to seek God does not narrow one’s life, but brings it, rather, to the level of the highest possible fulfillment. In this hour of ALL BUT UNIVERSAL darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing number of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with "correct interpretations" of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.

Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence.

Christian theology teaches that God must first work in man before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man. Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment within him. Imperfect as it may seem (to the outward eye. JCS) , it is a real and true work nevertheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him.

I want to deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire...Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.

Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activity activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. ... all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all. If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him...

The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the church is famishing for lack of His presence. The cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter into the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and God in us. This would lift us out of pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged. This would burn away the impurities from our lives as the bugs and fungi were burned away by the fire when the bush is burned. What a broad world to roam in, what a sea to swim in is this God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must go beyond the mere idea of God that is so often held, and get to the person of God beyond the creed and theory. We must have reality, instead of going through life trying to love an ideal and be loyal to a creed.

Then I think a new world will arise out of the religious mists when we approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking. If you would follow on to know the Lord, come at once to the open Bible expecting it to speak to you.

I would emphasize that our committal, this one great volitional act establishes the heart’s intention to gaze forever upon Him. God takes this intention for our choice and makes what allowances He must for the thousand distractions which beset us in this evil world. He knows that we have set the direction of our hearts toward Jesus, and we can know it too, and comfort ourselves that a habit is forming wich will become, after a while, a sort of spiritual reflex requiring no more conscious effort on our part.


O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear to be glorified in your saints and admired in all them that believe. Amen

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Are you created…, yet?

Creation of DS Martin
The Merton quotes are poignant and I believe that there is deep truth in them. These are similar to CS Lewis’ “Great Divorce” where the people are hurt by walking on the grass of heaven. The blades were like daggers to the feet of those souls from Earth.
It was only when the men and women were willing to give up there mortal lives from Earth, that they became substantial enough to not be injured by the grass of heaven.

I also strive to maintain “myself” as I want to be known to the world. I know my “self” is flawed, but still, the shell protects my heart from the pain that Love must carry.

When were you created? Well, consider this possibility; you have not yet become. God has not yet made you. God’s plan is beyond us and our understanding. His Holy power exceeds our understanding.
He can take a handful of dirt & water and produce a world of life and love.
He can take a dead deity and crush sin, death, satan, and pain for all eternity.
God has not created (past tense) me yet.

He is still touching my hand and filling me with His Holy power, otherwise I would have melted away a long time ago.

God bless,

Real and False Selves- Thomas Merton Quotes

At the heart of writer and mystic Thomas Merton's spirituality is his distinction between our real and false selves. Our false selves are the identities we cultivate in order to function in society with pride and self posession; our real selves are a deep, religious mystery known only to God. The World cultivates the false self, ignores the real one, and therin lies the great irony of human existence: the more we make of ourselves, the less we actually exist.

excerpted from "The Pocket Thomas Merton" - New Seeds Pocket Classics.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Do you like the revisions?

Contemplative Humans (Temporal Mankind)
Scott has asked me to make some revisions to the look of Geotheology.
I value the Greek's contributions to thought and reason, so I thought this look might apply to our "Geo" aims here in Geotheology.

Also, I have reduced the number of posts on the main page. It should load into your PC or Mac browser much more quickly. Also, because it will not consume your computer's memory so voraciously, the computer should be more stable while viewing the main page.

I am not set on any changes. The changes reflect my desires and preferences, which are not what Geotheology viewers may be expecting, so let me know if you would like to go back, and I can reverse the changes. However, the ultimate vote will be Scott, who has given this forum it's life.

What do you think?

God bless,

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hello World!

Contemplative Snowman (Temporal Man)

This is my initial post to this forum and I will very briefly explain what I have understood my function to be in this venue.

But first, I should say thank you to my best friend from way back.

I am humbled by the offer to contribute here.

Thank you Scott for entrusting me with the care of; what is, or has become your "baby", and therein lies a part my purpose here.

I am to help maintain focus on the One who is our reason for being.

It becomes difficult to remain objective about bringing glory to Christ, when one is serving his passion for life.

I have recently found my life passions exercised from me by the Father.

Therefore, I am facing my pride and loss here with Scott and hopefully I will be able to help Scott with his goal to shine for the Master.

I don't want to go over the top, but the addictive nature of pride pushes humans, carnal spirits or "Ghosts in the Machine", to serve self, even while we serve the Creator.

That's okay, insofar as we never attempt to step down from the cross, which we are told to bear daily.

When servants of the Master become servants of the carnal self, thankfully our Lord has made provisions for us to be painfully humbled.

Scott has seen fit to humble himself before God and man. He has done this by the simple act of opening his blog to my spirit and words, which BTW is imbued with the Divine in an indwelling of Christ's and the Father's Holy Spirit.

If you want to know who I am you may look at my profile, but you would probably do better by asking Scott. He knows me best and he won't pull punches, as you can clearly read in his past posts.

I prefer the compliments of a true friend's criticism, to the flatulent accolades of dishonest salesman.

I too will introduce you to Scott, as I write about our (i.e. mutual disciples of the Christ) purpose and our goal.

He has sought to remove his personal mirror from the profile, and I respect his need to do this, yet, I know him and you should know him too, through a close friend's eyes.

God bless,


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Stranger In a Strange "New" World

Click the small arrow in the corner to stay on this page while watching.

I remember the first time I found this simple, yet hauntingly beautiful clip. I couldn't stop watching it. The melancholy, yet powerful song stirred something deep within me. I have to admit it was a deep, painful longing for a world I had really never known. My eyes misted. I couldn't stop watching it. I went and found the lyrics for it. here they are:

A Perfect Circle - A Stranger Lyrics

Cast the calming apple
Up and over satellites
To draw out the timid wild one
To convince you it's alright
And I listen for the whisper
Of your sweet insanity
while I formulate
Denials of your affect on me

You're a stranger
So what do I care
You vanish today
Not the first time I hear
All the lies

What am I to do with all this silence
Shy away, shy away phantom
Run away terrified child
Won't you move away
you %$@#&*! tornado
I'm better off without you
Tearing my world down


This song is very in tune with my brooding mood at this time.

Its hard to explain. The feeling is a sweet, painful, righteous, longing and sorrow. Feeling it feels... right... as in appropriate... in order. Because in feeling it I know that I cannot but move to the unction of things on my heart. It motivates me. And that feels good and right.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Cross Is A Radical Thing - A.W. Tozer


The cross of Christ is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear among men.

The cross of the Roman times knew no compromise; it never made concessions. It won all its arguments by killing its opponent and silencing him for good. It spared not Christ, by slew Him the same as the rest. He was alive when they hung Him on that cross and completely dead when they took him down six hours later. That was the cross the first time it appeared in Christian history.

After Christ was risen from the dead the apostles went out to preach His message, and what they preached was the cross. And wherever they went into the wide world they carried the cross, and the same revolutionary power went with them. The radical message of the cross transformed Saul of Tarsus and changed him from a persecutor of Christians to a tender believer and an apostle of the faith. Its power changed bad men into good ones. It shook off the long bondage of paganism and altered completely the whole moral and mental outlook of the Western world.

All this it did and continued to do as long as it was permitted to remain what it had been originally, a cross. Its power departed when it was changed from a thing of death to a thing of beauty. When men made of it a symbol, hung it around their necks as an ornament or made its outline before their faces as a magic sign to ward off evil, then it became at best a weak emblem, at worst a positive fetish. As such it is revered today by millions who know absolutely nothing about its power.

The cross effects its ends by destroying one established pattern, the victim's, and creating another pattern, its own. Thus it always has its way. It wins by defeating its opponent and imposing its will upon him. It always dominates. It never compromises, never dickers nor confers, never surrenders a point for the sake of peace. It cares not for peace; it cares only to end its opposition as fast as possible.

With perfect knowledge of all this Christ said:

Luke 9:23 (NIV) "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

So the cross not only brings Christ's life to an end, it ends also the first life, the old life, of every one of His true followers. It destroys the old pattern, the Adam pattern, in the believer's life, and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins.

This, and nothing less, is true Christianity, though we cannot but recognize the sharp divergence of this conception from that held by the rank and file of evangelicals today. But we dare not qualify our position. The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment. A shallow and worldly leadership would modify the cross to please the entertainment-mad saintlings who will have their fun even within the very sanctuary; but to do so is to court spiritual disaster and risk the anger of the Lamb turned Lion.

We must do something about the cross, and one of two things only we can do--flee it or die upon it. And if we should be so foolhardy as to flee we shall by that act put away the faith of our fathers and make of Christianity something other than it is. Then we shall have left only the empty language of salvation; the power will depart with our departure from the true cross.

If we are wise we will do what Jesus did: endure the cross and despise its shame for the joy that is set before us. To do this is to submit the whole pattern of our lives to be destroyed and built again in the power of an endless life. And we shall find that it is more than poetry, more than sweet hymnody and elevated feeling. The cross will cut into where it hurts worst, sparing neither us nor our carefully cultivated reputations. It will defeat us and bring our selfish lives to an end. Only then can we rise in fullness of life to establish a pattern of living wholly new and free and full of good works.

The changed attitude toward the cross that we see in modern orthodoxy proves not that God has changed, nor that Christ has eased up on His demand that we carry the cross; it means rather that current Christianity has moved away from the standards of the New Testament. So far have we moved indeed that it may take nothing short of a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place in the theology and life of the Church.

American Fascists- Chris Hedges

Click the small arrow in the corner to stay on this page while watching.


The Christian right has no religious legitimacy. It is a mass political movement. It ignores the core values of the Christian religion, summed up by Jesus in the sermon on the mount, and the core values of American democracy. They are not biblical literalists as they claim- but selective literalists choosing bits and pieces of the Bible that conform to their ideology and bigotry and ignoring, distorting or making up the rest. ~Chris Hedges

Bring Me To Life- A Prayer

I like to think of this song as a prayer.

Look what happens when you change the word darling to God.


"Bring Me To Life"
(feat. Paul McCoy)

how can you see into my eyes like open doors
leading you down into my core
where I’ve become so numb without a soul my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
until you find it there and lead it back home

(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
(Save me)
call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
before I come undone
(Save me)
save me from the nothing I’ve become

now that I know what I’m without
you can't just leave me
breathe into me and make me real
bring me to life

(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
(Save me)
call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
before I come undone
(Save me)
save me from the nothing I’ve become

Bring me to life
(I've been living a lie, there's nothing inside)
Bring me to life

frozen inside without your touch without your love (God)
only you are the life among the dead

all this time I can't believe I couldn't see
kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
got to open my eyes to everything
without a thought without a voice without a soul
don't let me die here
there must be something more
bring me to life

(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside
(Save me)
call my name and save me from the dark
(Wake me up)
bid my blood to run
(I can’t wake up)
before I come undone
(Save me)
save me from the nothing I’ve become

(Bring me to life)
I’ve been living a lie, there’s nothing inside
(Bring me to life)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Christian Right and the Rising Power of the Evangelical Political Movement

The Christian right has no religious legitimacy. It is a mass political movement. It ignores the core values of the Christian religion, summed up by Jesus in the sermon on the mount, and the core values of American democracy. They are not biblical literalists as they claim- but selective literalists choosing bits and pieces of the Bible that conform to their ideology and bigotry and ignoring, distorting or making up the rest. ~Chris Hedges


Feeling the hate with the National Religious Broadcasters

TYPE Article
COLLECTION Soldiers of Christ
BY Chris Hedges

Cross reference this post with the post entitled "The Government Vs. All Saints Church (AKA the Body of Christ)- by clicking on All Saints at the bottom of this post.

Incestuous Amplification- AKA The Blind Leading Those Who Will Not See

I was watching one of these YouTube clips just the other day. In the clip they started talking about the run up to the invasion of Iraq by the world's only "sanctioned and ordained superpower(s)". In the clip a concept was introduced that I wrote down in my notes because it had the ring of wisdom to it. The concept was the term "incestuous amplification". I decided to see what else I could find about this term which apparently originated within the Department of Defense. Here are some of the definitions I found:

This one is from Phrase Finder

"Incestuous amplification" = "A condition in warfare where one only listens to those who are already in lock-step agreement, reinforcing set beliefs and creating a situation ripe for miscalculation"

(David Mulholland, "Scepticism mounts among defence and intelligence officials", Jane's Defence Weekly, 03/05/03)


Incestuous Amplification
From Sourcewatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy

" ... a conclusion that comes from other generals talking to each other. In the Pentagon we call this kind of positive reinforcement an "incestuous amplification" of one's OODA Loop.

The existence of Incestuous Amplification shapes one's Orientation by naturally distorting the Observations feeding that Orientation. (The observer sees what he wants to see rather than what is.) When this happens, the Decisions and Actions flowing from that Orientation become progressively disconnected from reality. This process pumps dysfunctional behavior into the OODA loop which then becomes magnified as the effects of the disconnected actions are fed back into the Incestuously Amplified Orientation. As any student of nonlinear dynamics or evolution knows, this kind of positive feedback loop can produce confusion and disorder and ultimately degenerate into chaos or extinction, if the organism becomes disconnected from its environment. Any hint of Incestuous Amplification is therefore a bright red flag."
-- The View From Mount Olympus Seen from the Cheap Seats, 12 June 2001 [1]

Refer also to the Groupthink article.

Groupthink is another related term. The SOURCE for the definitions of groupthink below also offers several examples of the groupthink principle at work.

Groupthink is "a concept that was identified by Irving Janis ("a forefather in the study of group dynamics") [in 1972] that refers to faulty decision-making in a group. Groups experiencing groupthink do not consider all alternatives and they desire unanimity at the expense of quality decisions."[1][2]

Groupthink is also defined as a "phenomenon wherein people seek unanimous agreement in spite of contrary facts pointing to another conclusion."[3]

It is said that groupthink "occurs when groups are highly cohesive and when they are under considerable pressure to make a quality decision." Some possible "negative outcomes" of groupthink include:[4]

* Examining few alternatives
* Not being critical of each other's ideas
* Not examining early alternatives
* Not seeking expert opinion
* Being highly selective in gathering information
* Not having contingency plans

Some "symptoms" or "warning signs" of groupthink are:[5][6]

* Having an illusion of invulnerability
* Rationalizing poor decisions
* Believing in the group's morality
* Sharing stereotypes which guide the decision
* Exercising direct pressure on others
* Not expressing your true feelings
* Maintaining an illusion of unanimity
* Using mindguards to protect the group from negative information

In a 1972 book, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychology Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, Irving Janis identified the Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba as particularly compelling examples of how very smart people can collectively make very stupid decisions, noting that groups around the Presidents "made a series of assumptions ... that were fundamentally deluded." [7]

The term, coined in the model of newspeak, is used to describe the process where a group will come to a decision by each member agreeing with what they think the consensus will be, whatever private doubts they might have.

Another description, as it applies to education and group projects, is that "Groupthink is a process of gradualism that seeks to gently merge the followers into a pack with leaders, the hope being that the leaders will pull up those who typically reside on the low end of the motivation and achievement scale."[8]

So, then my personal understanding and definition of "incestuous amplification" would be;
"when a group of persons begin to believe that the things they want or assume to be true are in fact true and beyond reasonable questioning."

I personally think that it is the imperative that any freethinking, patriotic, responsible, moral, spiritual person should know, recognize,comprehend and guard against the onset of these concepts, incestuous amplification and groupthink. That would include Christians.