Tools of Faithful Titans

A couple weeks ago I finished reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss.

It’s a massive book, 600+ pages, comprised of snippets of interviews Tim did with, what Tim considers to be, successful people.

Much of it was weird. Many push doing hallucinogenics. Many are overly obsessed with diet and exercise to the extent it consumes most of their waking hours, or at least it would if I were to do all that. Most also pushed transcendental meditation.

Many of their heroes and recommended resources were religious in nature, but mostly Buddhist, Taoist, of Gandhi type things.

Not a single one mentioned Jesus Christ. Six hundred plus pages and not one mention of Jesus Christ, not even in a sloppy way. No mention whatsoever.

At first this bugged me, “are you suggesting that no successful people follow Jesus? I mean, seriously?”

But as I thought about it more, this is actually a good thing!

What Tim Ferriss respects are people who are dominant, those who have followers, and material success.

Buddhism allows you methods by which you can attain material success. Meditation is a “spiritual” thing you do to get better physical results.

If a person followed Jesus Christ, they would never be on Tim Ferriss’ show, nor in his books.

Jesus Christ will not lead you to be materially successful.

Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t those who manipulate His teachings to arrive at material success, there are, and they are called false teachers–their god is their belly.

But an honest following of Jesus will leave you disrespected by Tim Ferriss and other self-help gurus. Even if you did achieve financial success, following Christ would make you get rid of that money in a non-flashy, not gonna make it on Tim’s show, kind of way.

Hebrews 11 is God’s version of Tools of Titans.

All these people were massive losers in the world’s eyes. But in God’s eyes, they were eminently successful.

And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

The world has no respect for no-name poor people who suffer and then die. Tim Ferriss has no use for such folks. They provide no value to him or his worldview.

Even the great people of faith we do know did not have great material success.

Abraham never saw any of the promises he was given fulfilled, he died still wondering where the fruit was.

Moses couldn’t get anyone to listen to him ever.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel were largely ignored and then killed by the people they were sent to help.

Paul died alone, no man stood with him.

Peter was crucified.

And, of course, our Leader, Jesus Christ, was rejected and even forsaken by His own disciples.

He asks you to follow Him in this rejection, in this lowliness and humility. Lose your life to find it.

This is all insane on an earthly level.

Tim Ferriss wrote a 600+ page book about how to be successful on this earth and Jesus was not mentioned once.

I like that.

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Eternal Morality and Being on the Right Side of History

Biblical morality is at odds with culture. This is not new. People have always viewed God’s wisdom as foolishness. What man esteems, God despises.

Societies base morality on majority vote. Morals change because the majority of people today have different morality from the majority of people hundreds of years ago.

Tie this in with our evolutionary mindset and our rampant self-flattery, and we conclude that morality is evolving. Modern morals are superior to ancient morality.

Even the church has bought into this evolutionary idea. We’re embarrassed to maintain biblical morality written thousands of years ago. Many who claim to be Christian promote moral evolution.

Today we talk about changing your morals to be “on the right side of history.” When people look back on this day, you don’t want to be viewed as being on the wrong side.

Typically, and ironically, this statement is said by people who despise history as a record of oppression written by the winners.

To be honest, I do not care what side of history I am on. People’s opinions of my morality bothers me very little.

I believe my morals are correct because, as best I can, I base them on God’s Word. The only side I’m worried about being on is God’s side. His judgment is the only one that matters.

God’s moral standards are eternal. They don’t change. Right will always be right and wrong will always be wrong. God’s truth is not evolving. God’s truth does not change by majority vote.

In the end, the old, out-dated biblical morality will shine through. People who maintain biblical morality will avoid the ailments that come from immoral living. The fruit reveals the wisdom.

In the end, this world will be melted and dissolved. What a melted planet thinks about my morals bothers me none. Use eternal morality to guide your temporal living. You’ll shine in the end.

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Preferred Pronoun Confusion and God

One of the central tenets of Christianity is our aloofness to the idiocy of the world. We’re not to be conformed to the world. We’re to come out from among them and be separate. We’re to be on guard for the deceptions and lies of human philosophy.

If a person does this and has no “dog in the fight,” it’s fascinating to behold what sin makes people do. The irony of sin is inherent to itself–you desire to do what kills you–and the fruit of sin is equally ironic.

Here are two separate news items from our current sin-filled culture.

There is a new law in California about making people use transgender people’s preferred pronouns.

Among the unlawful actions are “willfully and repeatedly” failing to use a transgender person’s “preferred name or pronouns” after he or she is “clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

The law states that if provisions are violated, the violator could be punished by a fine “not to exceed one thousand dollars” or “by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year,” or both.

Near the same time that this comes out, we also have this news item:

The Church of England should stop using male pronouns when referring to God in order to counter the erroneous belief that the Almighty has a gender, the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords has said.

Speaking before the event, the bishop raised the issue of God’s gender, saying: “We’re told that God created human beings in God’s likeness… If I am made in the image of God, then God is not to be seen as male. God is God.”

Instead of using either “He” or “She” to describe God, Bishop Treweek said she  prefers simply to use the word “God”.

Am I the only one who sees the irony?

Clearly the Bible, which Christians believe was authored by God, addresses God with male pronouns. Male pronouns, like “He” and “Him,” are God’s preferred pronouns. That’s how He wants to be addressed. He is our Father in heaven.

I thought we were supposed to use people’s preferred pronouns and that willfully not doing so was wrong? What gives?

I am so confused.

Yet I’m not.

Our world is insane.

If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, you will notice the insane everywhere. It becomes rather entertaining.

There is nothing new under the sun. The world has always had crazy people because sin makes people crazy.

We’re told that being rational is a result of having a materialistic, scientific view of the world.

The Bible tells us being wise/rational comes from the fear of God and listening to His Word, which is truth.

Stick with God’s Word, it abides forever. Humanity’s words are far sillier and far more temporal. Act accordingly.

7 Thoughts on the Numerous Recent Moral Failings of Public Figures

When Bill Clinton was elected president, I was cleaning floors in the Northwestern College cafeteria. My roommate’s girlfriend came in and told me, with tears in her eyes, that Clinton won.

“Oh,” I said, and went back mopping.

The Clinton years were a fascinating time to be a Christian. I will admit I got caught up in the hysteria. Monica Lewinski, rape allegations, “at least Nixon resigned” t-shirts, etc.

The moral outrage amongst Christians was astounding. Clinton was the devil incarnate.

Oh how far we’ve come, dear church.

“a new PRRI/Brookings poll says. In 2011, 30 percent of white evangelicals said that “an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.” Now, 72 percent say so — a far bigger swing than other religious groups the poll studied.

Evangelicals no longer think moral failings are that big of a deal in our politicians. The “other side” apparently has no monopoly on moral failing, so our morals have adjusted accordingly.

The recent election is one possible reason white evangelicals don’t think moral failings are that big of a deal.

Hillary Clinton potentially has played into it, as well. Many Republicans find her unacceptable, and it may be that some dislike her so much that they have stretched their conceptions of who it’s OK to vote for.

Hillary Clinton carries with her all the baggage of her husband. Christians, as I recall, absolutely hated Bill Clinton. His wife is lumped in with him. We’ll vote for any louse as long as it’s not a Clinton louse.

Here are a few points to consider:

  1. Christians think they vote for the lesser of two evils. If we have to vote for someone who degrades women, so be it, at least he’s not for abortion. Although I understand the desire to protect the unborn, tying our boat to the dock of immoral, immature leadership seems tenuous.
  2. Voting typically makes Christians look stupid. Vote if you think it matters, but perhaps consider keeping it private, along with all your political views. A vote is putting a stamp of approval on a person. When the Church is seen doing that, the Church gets lumped in with the politician. This has never worked out well for the Church.
  3. Our government in America is by the people. We get what we deserve. Politicians are not going to morally reform America. They are not going to get rid of abortion. They will, in fact, continue to flush our morals down the toilet, because that’s what human nature wants to have happen. America needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If America came alive to the Gospel, politics would follow. It doesn’t work the other way. Never has; never will.
  4. Moral lapses in our leaders should be expected occasionally. Leaders are people. People are sinners. But that’s why the Bible says the people we follow should be tested and proved to have character. People make mistakes and grace should be shown to both sides of the political spectrum. Currently, however, we appear to be in a time where the majority of leaders are failing regularly. I’m not sure this is a new thing, or if it’s a result of invasive, incessant media coverage. I don’t know, but none of this makes it right.
  5. The typical way to deal with the moral failings of a person on “our side” is to bring up moral failings of a person on the “other side.” We’re in a battle now of ignoring moral failures while also comparing and contrasting them indefinitely. Moral failings are moral failings. Apologies don’t cut it in leadership. If a leader fails they’re supposed to step down. The fact that our leaders fail and don’t step down, but instead point out how other leaders do it too so leave me alone, is not a good sign.
  6. Men are disgusting. If there’s no other point to take out of the recent headlines, it’s that men are out of control animals. Good grief, men. Get a grip. It’s time to personally fight against pornography, sexual perversion in all forms, and dealing with dignity toward women. Women should also wear more clothing. But still, even if women walked around buck naked, grow up men! Get control.
  7. We are more loyal to our party than we are to our God. We’d, apparently, degrade moral standards for the sake of staying loyal to our guys. When we are in a spot like this, it’s time for an examination: Do we have our trust in God who established morals, or rulers who wield temporal power? The obvious answer here is troubling.

However, this is just a poll and polls are easily manipulated. Polls also show what the majority wants, and a majority of human nature is always going to side with sin.

Actual believers in Jesus Christ are not selling out godliness for the sake of political power. Followers of Jesus Christ are not entangling themselves with the affairs of this life. Jesus paid next to no attention to politics. What He did say is that we seek first the Kingdom of God, He’ll take care of the rest of what we need. He tells His people to let the heathen fight for power; the meek will inherit the earth in the end.

I do wish the Church were more interested in the better country to come than we are in this tottering republic. America has been good to me. I mean no disrespect. But this is not my home. I will not let go of godliness for a bowl of pottage, even if the bowl has the Stars and Stripes on it.

Careful Outraged Christians; Your Lack of Faith is Showing

Some of the most freeing verses in the Bible speak of living for a better country, having our conversation/citizenship in heaven, setting affections on things above, and putting our treasure in heavenly places.

These ideas are all over the Bible. The Book of Ecclesiastes has no other theme.

These verses speak of true freedom and liberation from all that entangles people. You cannot break away from sin unless you reject conformity to the world. You cannot overcome by faith if you are walking by sight.

Although this concept is stated in so many ways on so many pages of Holy Writ, and even though so much freedom and peace is promised for those who obey, we sure seem to hate it.

At every opportunity we chuck this concept and go back to minding things of this earth and living for this country.

I’m amazed at how many Christians are upset over NFL anthem protests. Except I’m not, because this is what we always do.

We pay lip-service to Biblical Truth, but when the next earthly distraction comes along (elections, boycotts, protests, presidential tweets, etc.), we’re fighting for our things in this world.

The only way protests would upset you is if your treasure was on earth.

The only way elections would rile you up is if you were minding earthly things.

Boycotts are not only having a problem with an earthly institution, but also using an earthly means to make the point!

I would not kneel during the anthem, but I also wouldn’t get upset if someone did. The anthem is a song (and not a very good one either). It’s about a hunk of land organized by some people.

None of this is eternal.

Yet Christians are taking a stand (no pun intended) on one side or the other about an anthem in a football game.

We’re letting our particular point of contention (politics in football, trampling the flag, disrespecting veterans, etc) trump our concern for individual souls.

Why do we take stands on general issues that will put up hurdles to the Gospel? The Gospel is hard enough for people to like, why do we insist upon making it harder?

If you have to be upset, be upset in the quiet of your own home. Don’t go public with your tirades. It’s not coming across well.

If you’re concerned about the treatment of veterans, then go help them. If you’re concerned about the treatment of blacks, then go help them. Outrage is the lazy person’s uniform.

For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
–James 1:20

If seeing someone kneel during a song gets you upset, you may want to get some of that peace that passes understanding.

It’s peace because it guards your heart. It keeps you thinking on what is good and right and eternal. The more you think on what is good and right and eternal, the more your heart is guarded, and the more peace you have.

(A possible side bonus is that you will actually start caring about things that actually matter, like the spiritual condition of your own family and church.)

Want peace? Want release from the bondage to anger and worry?

Then let go of this world and lay hold on eternal life.

Identity Politics and Unity in Christ

Our divided and angry populace is obsessed with identifying with a group based on an external criterion.

People identify by race, political party, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, income level, and who knows what else.

The more we eliminate higher things, spiritual things that call us to live for something better, we are left to identify with ourselves. No God? Fine, I’ll make it all about me. No focus on God leaves to focus on self.

We focus on our unique identifying trait and gang up with those like us, resulting in an Us vs. Them mentality. Eventually your group wants money and power, which must be taken from another group.

Being a legally blind person, I know blind people that want handouts from the government, so they petition for funding and recognition. Who cares what your needs are, we’re blind, we need stuff cuz we’re blind.

Every group lobbies for their rights. Thus we fight, cuz when others get their rights, they take money we otherwise could have had!

So blacks hate whites. Straights hate gays. Women hate men. And vice versa. They threaten our group identification and are seen as the enemy because they aren’t US.

Christianity, which speaks of unity all the time, is the only alternative. It’s vital for us to know the meaning of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:16:

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, because He’s not just a flesh guy we’re identifying with but a possessor of a resurrected, spiritual body, He gives us a new identity. We’re born again. We’re born of the Spirit.

Since we’re new spiritual creations, as Christ is, fleshly identifications are done away with. There is neither male nor female, bond nor free, Jew nor Gentile.

Our main identity is with Christ. That’s it! And Christ is now risen and has an incorruptible, spiritual body. We’re viewing ourselves in Him as spiritual creations.

Therefore, no Christian should fight over identity politics. We shouldn’t belong to groups that divide over externals.

This would be easier if everyone else weren’t so stuck on their identities! Identities are constantly being shoved down our throats, people don’t drop them easily.

But Paul doesn’t tell us to make other people stop doing that. Paul says to see people in Christ. Whether you are black or white, Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, gay or straight, I primarily see you in, or potentially in, Christ, and will refuse to fight you.

My primary concern for you is not for you to leave your group, or to defeat your group, or defund you; my primary goal is to see you come to Christ. To get you to a place, by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, where you no longer identify yourself with some external criterion, but instead see yourself and all others in the Spirit.

If you’re in Christ, you won’t fight over externals because there are no externals worth fighting for. We wrestle not against flesh and blood.

This is the only hope for human unity. As long as we view ourselves after the flesh we will be fighting. So, stop it! See yourself in Christ, as alive from the dead, and as new spiritual creations in Christ.

How to Get Politicians to End Legal Abortion

Politicians are primarily motivated by getting votes. When they keep their jobs with your votes, they make money. To get your vote, they give you other people’s money.

A politician will magically appear to grant any wish, as long as you rub their bottle with a vote.

Abortion has been legally killing American humans for over 40 years.

Many efforts have been made to stop abortion, yet it continues. Voting has us in a stalemate. Vying living people can’t settle the matter, and politicians/Americans are not motivated by morality (if they were, abortion never would have become a political issue).

Democrats and Republicans both seem inept at ending this mass slaughter.

Here’s why: fetuses don’t vote.

Politicians don’t care about the unborn because they can’t use the unborn for anything. I think this is the main reason euthanasia is not an American thing: don’t kill old people; they actually vote!

Here are two possible ways to get politicians to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  1. Give fetuses the right to vote.
    This obviously presents a challenge: how do you discern how a fetus is voting? I don’t know, but certainly a way can be devised. Quite frankly, it doesn’t even matter, they just need to have the semblance of voting. If nothing else, you could give pregnant mom’s two votes. Say they have more voting power to make up for obvious male oppression, and everyone will be happy.
  2. Tax birth.
    I am fundamentally against more taxes, but this seems like a good one. If each of us owed a $10,000 Birth Tax to be paid gradually over our working life, politicians would end abortion immediately.

Either of these options has a good chance of working. The system is corrupted. We need to use the materialistic bent running our nation. Nothing we’re doing now is working, might as well try something new.