Friday, May 28, 2010

Quiet Descends

O goddess sing, whose wane and fall has come,
Of He above who reigns and made thee thus.
Thy beauties born were borne by man that from
Their supplicance they got more life from dust.

Cry down the gods for He has surely said,
"Thy time is o'er and given to My Son!"
What crowns divine fall from thy brows and heads
To pass from night to this, the day of only One?

The stone we graved in passing likeness of
And trees the same (we raised and bowed to less)
Were made for more, from naught but thought above
And did declare to those who hear, a rest.

But certain silence walks behind my tongue;
Though words, high words, had tumbled out before
Of gods' romance, of having been that once.
But this, O God! The God, my God! Adore!

by Evan Wilson

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trust and Get Gain

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
Proverbs 31:11

When someone or something is trusted, a certain release of control is delegated to the thing or person trusted. “I trust a chair,” means that I intend to give up supporting myself by my legs, and delegate that effort to the legs of the chair. If I trust my wife it means I find her able to take over the areas I delegate to her, and in those areas, since I hope to gain from life, I will gain in her efforts. It is the center (“heart”, as in heart of the tree) of the husband that relinquishes control of areas of their life together. A “Goodwife” is not one who makes her husband concerned or suspicious of her abilities. No one likes to be in the chair that gives cause for suspicion. To avoid embarrassment, you start to tuck your legs under you, in case the chair fails. What then is the point of the chair?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Mornin', Goodwife!

Proverbs 31:10
A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

A “goodwife”, tragically, is a rarity. When you have read all of Proverbs 31 it should be obvious why. It is almost as rare as righteousness. The comparison to the precious rarity of jewels is multifaceted (ow!). Besides rare, they, second only to a "baby-in-the-room", gain a woman’s attention.

Jewels, it should be noted, are not valuable intrinsically. They are made precious when the market declares and we believe them to be a valuable item, like cash money. These retain their value as long as the market believes them to be worth something. How far has the average Christian woman fallen from this description in Proverbs? How much time is wasted making excuses, or denigrating either Solomon or the Word of God? How easy is it to sell men on you by just adjusting cup size, eyelash length, or “suggestion”? Who needs to work so hard?

Proverbs 6:25
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;

Husbands often behave badly. Wives do no less. If your looks and your leisure are the measure of your success as a woman, you may be, at best, a precious and prize cow. You have filled out the herd of many thousand head that wanders the malls of this land. And no, that wasn’t a “jewel” you left behind nor did your husband “rise up and call you blessed” for having left it steaming in his life on your way to lunch with your spray-tanned friends.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Sexy Time

If husband and wife are going to govern their marriage together they have to jointly know what is going on. Alone, each tends to project their own views of what sex is about. We think, incorrectly, that our physical reactions and emotions are the same.

The men say, “We want sex, dang it!” and the women say, “Us too... sometimes.”
And here we have liftoff into our problem.

Proverbs 5
15 Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely hind, a graceful doe. Let her affection fill you at all times with delight,
be infatuated always with her love.
20 Why should you be infatuated, my son,
with a loose woman and embrace the bosom of an adventuress?

There! See?
Hey wife! I got a verse!
In the Bible we are supposed to want her all the time.
And we do. Our work here is done.

But what is it that we are desiring “all the time”? Men think it is the tingling they feel in their naughty bits, (the big stupids).

Genesis 2
23 Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

This is the Mojo (and Evan is its prophet).
This is the magic passed down to every man (discounting the eunuchs). The act of sex, which we seem to want just like animals, is not merely an act desired for the physical satisfaction. We share that with the animals. The human and moral desire of man is for rapprochement, the rejoining of that which was previously separated. Sex is a metaphor in which we enact this desire. God gives us pleasure in it physically, but the closer we approach the sensation of reunion, the higher and more intense the act becomes.

We see it in all the insecurities, or even perversions, men encounter. There are the endless commercials and huge market for male enhancement products. Enlarging a man is less demanded by a woman, but for the man it grants an emotional sensation of his greater rapprochement. And then there are men who dress up in women’s clothes or want to be surgically made into “women”. From size insecurities to perversions, man wants to enter woman from every angle and with great frequency. For the married, the wife is the “target” of their never-fully-achieved rapprochement. Thankfully, God in his wisdom has given us the solaces of orgasm, marriage and children. Orgasm punctuates the attempt, marriage allows continuance of the attempt, and children are a victory in the attempt, as the child “is” in a sense the successful combination of the two people.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Little More "Shut the Heck Up."

Those who tell a future story based on prophesy is trying to match the vision to a narrative, yes, but their narrative is, by definition, a fiction. The latitude of fiction is that I can make anything happen and it can bear a wonderful similarity to the vision it promises to “fulfill”. These Bible teachers think that in this God is glorified. God is only glorified in His having accomplished (in history) a story which followed a preexistent vision to the prophet describing the same. God is not glorified by us creating a fictional accomplishment and believing it strongly. They have tried to glorify when they should hope. Any false prophet has the same latitude if he can craft both a prophesy and write book after book on how it will be fulfilled.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:22-25

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Gravity of Being a Christian

So you go to a believing church. They confirm to you the great truths of the Faith. But you really wish your Christian life was more "real" and was more successful. Depending on your emotional frame you seek out a spiritual function that will excite you because it seems to you that an excited Christian is a good Christian. Some ministries will offer you the heaviest back-beat this side of Aerosmith while some tweak you emotionally giddy with the magick of Latin. There is nothing wrong with having a back-beat in church nor is there something wrong with Latin. What is wrong is the "cart-before-the-horse" error of crafting an excitement in a religious circumstance and telling yourself you are on the road to the deep things of Jesus.

What am I suggesting? Christianity is not by Faith lived in excitement, it is by Faith lived in deeds. Feel free to be excited (and you very well may be) after your "have done all that is commanded."

"Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. "
James 2:18

"Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built."
Luke 6:47-48

Head faith becomes heart faith, not when you "feel it deeply", but when your see the world before you in no other way. Christians have problems because their head faith is in Jesus but their heart, their center, is in submission to other claims about reality. The emotional church moment works you up into a state of "willfully suspending your disbelief" in those other claims and just as in the movie theater, you judge the movie (church) by just how well your heart and center ignore the reality of your actual beliefs about life outside. Such it temporary and you keep going back to get the jolt.

You have heart faith in gravity. You never run through a catechism before your take a step. You practice no apologetics for sitting on a couch. You certainly would claim 32 feet per second squared if asked but that is not gravity to you. Gravity for you is to look out your eyes, move with your limbs, plan you every day never doubting that 32 feet per second squared is the way the world is made. Do I need to develop an emotionally mystic fit to keep gravity true (most of the time)? I would seriously worry about such a man.

So if you claim Jesus as Lord and you wish that you did what He told you, you may wish to depose all your other little gods of self and society and consider viewing the world no other way.

"Why do you call me `Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Of Kings, for those That are Not

It is self-evident that our government governs our neighbor, not just ourselves. Any society has need for a law above us each. This is the economy of government. We can say, in some crude form, a government is pyramidic by necessity. If a man arbitrates between two; he governs them. And when a general directs the many agencies of his army to battle; he governs. These pyramids (where the base effected is broader in number than that which affects) are essential admissions in the theory of rule. The importance of your rule is defined by the numeric breadth of people you are above. The quality of your rule is in the economy of your pyramid.
When pyramids first were built in the 3rd dynasty of Egypt, the experiments, though necessary, failed to reach the Wonder of the World perfection of the Great Pyramids of Giza (4th Dynasty). Pharaoh Djoser managed by his undeniably brilliant seer/architect Imhotep to erect a step pyramid. The shifts between the levels was stark and sudden, like the ziggurats in Babylonia. The Pharaoh Snefru shot for the stars, almost literally, in that the pitch of his pyramid (as begun) would have thrown the pinnacle into impossible heights. The inevitable decision was to change the angle of the sides midway up and Snefru is remembered by the barn roof in the desert. To rule well, the difficulties of the crude pyramid must be shaped and stacked to define the idea of government more clearly and to have it function more efficiently. As in the words of Jethro;
“Moreover choose able men from all the people, such as fear God, men who are trustworthy and who hate a bribe; and place such men over the people as rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties , and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times..”
Exodus 18:21

The clearer the pyramid, the more efficient the government. Absence of graduated delegation is foolish and tragic but to completely remove the pyramid will provide your brief society with the joys of, “And every man did what was right in his own eyes”. Good, perhaps, for Ron Paul but not for the sane.

An aristocracy/oligarchy considers that a plateau is as good as a mountain but loses the rule that they, the aristos, need as a mini-society themselves. A democracy/polity does not even rise above the plain. Their rulers are themselves. They have delegated up, not down, so that they do not bow to the definition of rule. It looks to be a pyramid but the peaks or plateaus at the top always feel the rule of the constituency, the mob. Democracy organizes its rebellions into scheduled overthrows. And we wonder why modern democracies wander further and further away from God. They can’t absorb the concept of an agent whose rule was not up to them and at their permission. And why do parents, clinging grimly to the monarchy of the home, sound so petty, angry, and impotent. Wisdom is lost with forms other than the strict pyramid. These shifts, they say to avoid tyranny, are in reality to avoid government and its benefits to the ruled.

“When you see in a province the poor oppressed and justice and right violently taken away, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. But in all, a king is an advantage to a land with cultivated fields.”
Ecclesiastes 5:8-9

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Art of Marriage

Proverbs 24
3 By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
4 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.

Enjoying life “with the wife that you love” is your lot in that futility you call your marriage. Be advised that a married couple can and often do differ from each other and from other couples in their complexity of eye and understanding. This will make homes different from each other in how artfully humane the home’s environs become.

Certainly there are some dear Christians whose vision of life is that of an engineer or a mathematician. Their homes will be, if godly, always neat, and it will look like someone works there as “a lover of the home”. Since the “desire of the eyes” is a vanity and not intrinsic to holiness it ought never supplant the love we have for God or be a standard of judgment by which we assess another Christian’s walk. If both parties to the marriage are artless, then the accidentally Bauhaus living room and abhorrent color schemes chosen will have no negative effect on “sustaining a socially avowed sexual relationship” nor on the holiness of their hearts. Such lives can be tranquil, when both can’t cook, if neither can taste the food.

But many people do have a degree of taste, and hope that life will become more beautiful than it was. That means that there can be the temptation of divergent levels between the spouses. How often has the wife been the most moved to “art”, but the least equipped? How frustrated is a man going to become when he has to live with “cute” decisions? And how tempted can a woman become when her husband can’t (or won’t) wear a tie that matches anything within a hundred yards?

Civilization is the increase in the intricacy of a culture’s order. Affluent civilizations increase in the realms of art. But many men think that civilization is an attack on their manhood. They have considered that the raw demands of life should be met in aggressively raw form (therefore the manly form). Women don’t make it easy by trying to define the “civilized” as delicate and passive. It is as if you have a party and you want the theme to be “bunnies” and you ask the poor sap to die cut rabbits and flowers out of paper bags and put them by your driveway with tea lights for the whole world to witness and bewail. Imagine his pleasure, ladies, when he asks what will be the theme of your next party, and you say “Ragnarok. Could you build me some heavy iron, flaming tripods to go out by the driveway?”

Women, it is possible that a thinking and artful man, while shopping with you at Bed, Banal, and Beyond, could suggest (hold on to your seats, ladies) that, given the intimate nature of the bedroom, satin is preferable to canvas as a bedspread. And maybe a watercolor landscape would be nice instead of the Spinal Tap poster he had framed with plastic while in college.

This is a decades long arena of joint government of your marriage. Art is an objective communion between the Other and the Self entering sensually but enjoyed mentally. Within a marriage each party must remember their duty to the sense and enjoyment of the other. The husband serves his wife as a member of himself by considering her “eye” and her enjoyments. The wife serves her husband as head of herself by submitting to his “eye” and his enjoyments.

Proverbs 31
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

Song of Solomon 3
9 King Solomon made himself a palanquin from the wood of Lebanon. 10 He made its posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; it was lovingly wrought within by the daughters of Jerusalem.