Tag Archives: faithlessness

Ours

The granddaughter of an author friend is going through a well-documented process of discovering the names of things, words and concepts that will define her world from now on. It’s always best, as the Taoist master Pooh observed, to begin at the beginning. Sometimes, it’s a place to return in reduction to essence, as my character Jon Anthony terms his method of understanding.

One of the foundational concepts this youngling is encountering includes the idea of Mine. Sometimes a child’s assertion is a plausible premise, as in the case of pointing to her foot. Sometimes it is less so and warrants correction. How we go about that vital process depends entirely on the validity of our own orientation and perspective.

At the appropriate time we need to take away the object in a childish claim of Mine and pass it along to a co-owner, pointing out the concept of Ours. Then to another, repeating in demonstration the higher ideal. Finally, the object lesson may pass back to the child, but again with the admonition: Ours. In most things, we are in this together.

Nearer the age of accountability, and once the essential choice between love and hate and indifference has been incorporated into a young life, the time arrives to encounter in faith another concept: His. A successful journey is an ordering of loyalties as our capacity permits. Faith, commitments, and self. This involves one descending in priority rather than retaining the juvenile self-focus marking our starting point, and in that perfect balance of acknowledging our place in the natural order diminishment equals growth.

In the Christian perspective, the closed circle of our Creator’s revelation, God took Mine and Ours and made it His. Our transgressions, our shortcomings, our just punishments earned in lifetimes and generations falling short of the Glory of God. He gathered those to Himself and placed the burden forever on the Cross. When it was over, he returned with the treasure and declared as a good parent: Ours. We are in this together.

One sees the concepts of Mine and Ours and His in play throughout life and society and politics. Sometimes those are embraced in solid premises, and in other times less or tragically not, and only the acid test of deconstruction will reveal one from the other.

Mine can be a prison of false liberation, where vicious manipulation in presumably self-serving politics of identity promise gain and instead diminish one’s American heritage. Mine can be the justification for the pursuit of lame advantage, where lust and envy, fostered by assumptions of due accommodation and reparation stunt the lifelong edification of a healthy intellect and vital spirit.

Ours, embraced in violation of natural laws, becomes an immoral process of conversion. There, the individual entitlement of Mine metastasizes into communitarianism or worse travesties of economic and political ideology stripping the return from one’s labor and collectivizing achievement. Ideological platitudes aside, have no doubt there will always be those at the top of such an order who fully retain the empowering and individual concept of Mine.

Even His can be subverted to serve purposes other than worship. Assumed delegation assures some servants will be held in higher regard and position than others, with the privileges and advantage of Mine cloaked in tradition and esteem and hierarchy preserving what ambition—having lost its focus previously—has established to perpetuate a comfortable arrangement instead.

His and Ours and Mine exist in the balance that Pastor Lin Shun Lun perceived in the second novel of Boone’s File, The Bonus Pool: another tripartite reality of Heaven and Earth with Man between. It remains our challenge to sort one from another day by day, a process by which we are winnowed as well. It’s good to keep this in mind.

Choose to love, -DA.

*****

In production news, Daniel Sean Ritter’s next, The Yemeni Package being the fourth title of Sean’s File, is approaching the three-quarters mark in production editing and on schedule to appear in January, 2018. Now is a good time to begin, if you’ve neglected the story of the man who has yet to miss his appearance in one of my novels. You will, I promise, discover why.

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Holidays in an Epidemic of Faithlessness

Things, being that all-encompassing term for the current state of affairs, are generally unsatisfactory and not working well for the world as a whole. Only a minority polled seem to think that good times are here. Only the most unshakeable optimists see bright sunshine ahead in a gloom perpetuated by nearly any means of observance one cares to employ.

We passed Thanksgiving here in the States and headed straight into the orgy of consumerism known as the Christmas Shopping Season. While everyone is distracted, in Washington our leaders betray the interests of the electorate they were appointed to serve. Overseas, relations between almost everyone are as tense as they have been since the end of the Cold War.

It was not always like this. There was a time of greater stability, greater accomplishment, greater prosperity and greater peace of mind. Typically, such times come after cyclic historical upheavals.

The 1920s were one, when the country cut loose after going through the first experience they would call a Great War. Economics had not evolved, however, to the point of being able to circumvent the Great Depression. It took the mobilization for another worldwide conflict, twenty years after the first, to break that cycle of malaise perpetuated by an over-involved government. World War Two followed a generation after the end of the first because people already tired by war avoided hard decisions and stalwart commitments which might have forestalled the ambitions of a madman.

The Second World War eventually was won by those whom we now term The Greatest Generation. A golden age followed into my lifetime. American power infused and fortified the world in what academe termed Pax Americana, the American Peace. America was great, according to a quote often misattributed to de Tocqueville, because her people were good.

Then, not coincidentally at about the time Internet access became commonplace, everything slowly started going to hell. So, what changed?

Everything in the temporal realm was changing the whole time, of course. There are few enduring constants in any modern culture. Times will change. The problem is that human nature does not, nor does nature in general, whether it is observed in natural law or the nature of truth and sin.

There, in the essential and universal conditions experienced by all human beings, constants can be found. It does not necessarily follow that essential questions are addressed, recognized, respected, or even sought out by any individual, much less any modern culture.

Personal faith is one such essential characteristic, and entirely an individual experience. One will answer certain questions whether or not they are deliberately addressed. Does God exist? Do I owe my allegiance to anyone, any institution, or any ideal? How should I conduct myself in the course of this short lifetime?

The ability to answer questions such as these in clarity is what produces stability, accomplishment, prosperity and peace of mind. We live in a universe of actualities, in which reality is not subjective, but dependent on accurate observation. There is one best way to describe events in the past and ongoing occurrence, and that focus of expressed actuality is called truth.

We are, going into this holiday season, experiencing a worldwide epidemic of faithlessness. When our forebears accomplished great things, they did so in the belief their efforts were worthwhile. Men went to war, and women did without them. Essentials were rationed. War bonds were purchased. Patriotism was cultivated, and all happened because enough people believed.

Patriotism descends from spiritual faith. America, this culture of limited government, idealized individual freedoms, and accompanying responsibilities, descended from the Judeo-Christian traditions which produced it. Prosperity following the last worldwide conflict created an environment which seemed to make nonessential many of the moral strengths preserving the Greatest Generation and previous through their times of trial. Too many, in a sense, became the idiot children of America’s success.

When faith in The God Who Is was lost, afterward so did the concept of limited government fade away. The Great Society of Lyndon Johnson, through unattended moral laws of cause and effect preserving family structure, became a nightmare of urban violence and inescapable dependency. Government, which is only a secular model of the natural order of things, grew out of control as more people saw its lure as the answer rather than the reality of its drain on the economy as the problem.

Government can regulate, but legislation is unable to instill morality. The preservation of the American Republic depends on morality for the integrity of its elected office holders and their stewardship of our Constitutional system. That brings us back to the Internet.

Communications technology, made available to intelligent and discerning people, allowed self-education and the propagation of wholesome ideals and initiatives. The bell-shaped curve of standard distribution, however, decrees we as a species to be half-comprised of dullards, with flanking populations of outliers at the good end and the truly evil on the other.

Idiotic notions, once everyone could shut out opinions proving uncomfortable, propagated online. The ability to pursue truth as a non-subjective construct was abandoned in favor of answering the Siren call of permissive, non-judgmental modern-day liberalism. Great populations, as a result, now hold as absolutes and dedicate themselves to the extension of false premises. The notes they care to hear are exclusive and repeat endlessly in the symphony of deception which comprise the only forums of information the faithless choose to enter.

Faith is no longer viewed as necessary in a world where cell phones ask questions and provide the answers. The Internet is before them always. Their gods have moved, with never a shortage of voices in the new temple to affirm apostasy.

“Things” will continue to worsen in this environment of faithlessness, of course, until such time (in the current system) as the smartest five percent of the dullest half are convinced, absent divine intervention. We are, I firmly believe, almost there either way.

Revival has put off catastrophe before, if enough of us are found when angels walk unseen to make their tally. People, by their divinely engineered nature, thirst for explanations to essential questions. Here, we have been leading horses to water since December 2011.

This endeavor the Editress and I began, with what since became the first title of Jon’s Trilogy, was not undertaken to advance any agenda. Only precepts which reflect actuality interest us. I encourage everyone to drink their fill of truth. Lessons abound unseen if unsought. One connects to the other throughout Creation, which is in its essence a purposefully discoverable matrix of objective reality meant to declare the Glory of God before each individual soul.

Truth, as my character Jon Anthony said, suffers not from inspection. Trace every premise backward to its essence. If it is solid, extend it and repeat the structural test. If it is faulted, change it out of your mind and your heart and adhere to a more wholesome concept. To do otherwise fulfills the parable Jesus presented of the house built upon sand. It fell, and great was the fall of it.

To even begin, one first has to believe. To progress, one has to dedicate oneself to self-edification. To endure, one has to hold to faith. This is true in Christ, in America, and in every aspect of a life lived well. May it be so everywhere.

Choose to love, -DA