July 23, 2023 Unfairness of Life

A girl, 37 years old, on the way thru Dallas, in Centerville, with her two children in the car, a rear tire had a blowout causing the car to wreck and flip over. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and both children life flighted out to a hospital. They are doing ok, better…

Why did God have to make the human body so fragile?

How do we help suffering families as clergy?

Do we blame God or ourselves, as if we are in control/or responsible somehow?

Does the Book of Job help explain or cope with these situations?

We must inversely ask why there is truth, goodness, and beauty.

Life’s journey is filled with unforeseen tragedies that can profoundly challenge our faith and understanding of the world. As we reflect on the fragility of the human body and the unfairness of circumstances, it’s natural to grapple with profound theological questions. Providing compassionate support to suffering families is essential for individuals and clergy, acknowledging their pain while seeking solace in our beliefs.

In the face of adversity, we are encouraged to embrace life’s impermanence and discover purpose within vulnerability. Coping with grief and suffering may lead us to question, even blame, God or ourselves. However, recognizing the mystery of theodicy necessitates healthy coping mechanisms and reevaluating God’s role in our lives.

The Book of Job offers valuable insights into faith and resilience, guiding us to trust and remain steadfast during crises, even when answers seem elusive. As we navigate these challenging times, the comforting words from the Scriptures can offer strength and solace:

Psalm 34:18 (NRSV)

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 46:1 (NRSV)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV)

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

Together, as a community, we can provide unwavering support to those affected by tragedy, displaying empathy and active outreach. Acknowledging our interconnectedness offers solace, knowing we are not alone in our struggles.

Above all, faith can serve as a source of strength and comfort as we navigate life’s twists. Turning to the Scriptures and finding solace in the Word of God can provide us with hope and healing:

Matthew 5:4 (NRSV)

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.”

The technical term for the belief that one’s thoughts, actions, or behaviors can influence events in a way that defies logic or causality is “Magical Thinking.” It is considered a cognitive distortion or thought process that deviates from rational and evidence-based thinking.

Magical thinking can be associated with various psychological conditions, including:

  1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with OCD may engage in magical thinking as part of their obsessions or compulsions. For example, they might believe that if they perform specific rituals or avoid certain actions, they can prevent bad things from happening.
  2. Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety can lead to irrational thoughts and beliefs, including magical thinking. Individuals with anxiety may associate their actions or thoughts with potential adverse outcomes, even without a logical connection.
  3. Superstitious Beliefs: Some may believe specific actions or thoughts can bring luck or prevent harm. This magical thinking is based on cultural or personal beliefs rather than evidence.
  4. Paranoid Disorders: In certain paranoid disorders, individuals may experience delusional thinking, leading them to believe that their actions or thoughts have significant consequences or connections to external events.
  5. Schizophrenia: In some cases of schizophrenia, individuals might exhibit magical thinking as part of their disorganized thought processes or delusions.

It’s important to note that magical thinking, in itself, may not always be indicative of a psychological disorder. Many people may engage in occasional, harmless magical thinking as part of their cultural beliefs, rituals, or day-to-day life without it causing distress or impairment. However, when these thoughts become pervasive, distressing, or interfere with daily functioning, they may be symptomatic of an underlying psychological condition that requires professional evaluation and support.

In the face of life’s unfairness, let us unite in our shared journey of faith, compassion, and resilience. By supporting one another, we navigate the mysteries of existence, discovering the enduring power of hope and love. Through our collective efforts and the strength we draw from the Scriptures, we find a path forward, finding faith and meaning amidst life’s tragedies.

July 9, 2023 Sacrifice – Universal and Biblical Aspects


Sacrifice is the act of giving up something valuable or cherished, often to obtain a greater good or appease a higher power.

Sacrifice is a concept that exists in various cultures and religions worldwide, illustrating its significance in human societies.

Biblical References – Old Testament:
The story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19): Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac demonstrates his unquestioning obedience to God’s command and the ultimate test of faith.

The Passover sacrifice (Exodus 12:1-30): The Israelites sacrificed a lamb and marked their doorposts with its blood, signifying protection and deliverance from the plague of the firstborn.

Biblical References – New Testament:

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ (John 3:16): Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross is seen as the ultimate act of love and redemption, providing salvation for humanity.

The widow’s mite (Mark 12:41-44): Jesus praises the widow who gives her last two coins as an offering, highlighting the value of sacrificial giving and the sincerity of the heart.

Philosophical Points:
Sacrifice can be viewed as a virtue that involves selflessness, altruism, and the willingness to prioritize the needs of others above personal desires.

Sacrifice often entails giving up something valuable or desirable, but it can also lead to personal growth, spiritual fulfillment, and a more profound sense of purpose.

Controversial Points:
Sacrificing one person’s well-being for the greater good raises ethical dilemmas, challenging the value of an individual’s life or happiness.

Traditional notions of sacrifice often place a more significant burden on women, perpetuating gender inequalities and expectations within societal and cultural contexts.

Counter Culture Perspectives:
Some argue that excessive self-sacrifice can be detrimental, leading to burnout, neglect of personal well-being, and enabling unhealthy relationships.

Counterculture movements emphasize the significance of collective sacrifice for social justice, environmental causes, and building inclusive communities.

Psychological Uses and Limits of Sacrifice:
Individuals may develop resilience, discipline, and a stronger sense of purpose by sacrificing personal comfort or immediate gratification.

Unhealthy or excessive sacrifice can lead to feelings of resentment, emotional exhaustion, and a loss of personal identity if individual needs are continuously neglected.

July 2, 2023 – Four Academic Doctrines Moving the West from Triumph to Decline

Several academic doctrines, namely critical theory, postmodernism, social justice, and critical race theory, significantly influence the world, particularly in the West. While these doctrines claim to advocate for equality, peace, and social cooperation, they reject core Enlightenment values such as open inquiry, individual autonomy, free speech, scientific skepticism, and reason. Instead, they promote identity politics, elitism, and centralized control, which has led some to view them as the four “doctrines of the apocalypse.”

These doctrines are primarily activist and political in nature, seeking not just to interpret the world but to actively change it. Critical theory, in particular, is often misunderstood as critical thinking, which involves reasoning, explanation, critique, and challenges. However, critical theory’s purpose is condemnation rather than critical thinking. It relies heavily on ideological assertions rather than data or deduction, often leading to predetermined conclusions.

Critical theory encompasses various approaches and variations, defining it as a singular school of thought challenging. Its history is complex and convoluted, and its scholarship can be verbose, incoherent, and difficult to penetrate. Nevertheless, these doctrines have become the intellectual foundation for the rising ideology of woke progressivism, characterized by its severity, uncompromising nature, and vengefulness. They have permeated Canadian society, where cultural contrition is ubiquitous, with claims of systemic racism, white privilege, misogyny in the nuclear family, oppression by capitalism, and environmental destruction caused by private property rights and prosperity.

The ultimate goal of the cultural revolution driven by these doctrines is to establish a new way of thinking as the prevailing norm. The most significant threat to the West is viewed not as external forces like China or Russia but rather as cultural self-hate. When people turn against themselves, it represents a more effective coup than any external influence.

The origins of critical theory can be traced back to scholars at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt, who sought to understand why Marxism did not gain traction in the West. They expanded Marx’s focus on economic oppression to encompass power and oppression in all aspects of society. This led to the development of critical theory, which posits that knowledge is socially contingent and calls for the collapse and reconstruction of unjust Western institutions. Over time, critical theory and its variations made significant inroads into universities, influencing disciplines such as sociology, literary criticism, and linguistics. It also infiltrated professional schools, including teachers’ colleges and law schools, and dominated programs like women’s studies, gender studies, and media studies. Today, critical theory’s influence extends to almost every field in the arts and social sciences, and it is now making inroads into science, technology, engineering, and medical faculties.

From a political standpoint, critical theory and related doctrines are strategically effective. Any challenge to their legitimacy can be interpreted as reinforcing their central thesis: that reason, logic, and evidence are manifestations of privilege and power. Consequently, challengers risk being stigmatized as bigoted oppressors. Critics like James Lindsay describe critical theory as a “kafkatrap,” where accusations of racism are effectively inescapable. The absurdity or lack of coherence in critical theory’s assertions is not the primary concern, as making sense is seen as a Western and privileged concept.

Double standards regarding speech and conduct have become ingrained in the current political order. Actions such as burning churches and blocking railways are viewed as supporting social justice, while peaceful protests against vaccine mandates are treated as public order emergencies. Defying pandemic lockdown rules is seen as threatening public safety when it involves church services but not when thousands gather for Black Lives Matter marches. Furthermore, the authorities vilify law-abiding gun owners while simultaneously reducing minimum sentences for gun crimes. These inconsistencies and hypocrisies are not accidental but rather deliberate and calculated choices made by those in power.

James Lindsay states this treatment is rooted in a 1965 essay by critical theory philosopher Herbert Marcuse titled “Repressive Tolerance.” Lindsay summarizes its theme as follows: “Movements from the left must be granted tolerance, even when they are violent, while movements from the right must not be tolerated, including suppressing them through violence.”

With the aid of critical theory and related doctrines, liberalism has transformed into the dominant ideology of woke progressivism. Once considered essential to protect the left, free speech is now deemed unnecessary as progressive values prevail. This realization led to the understanding that progressives were more interested in promoting their values than upholding the principle of free speech.

Pursuit of Wealth

The believer’s relationship to wealth, as depicted in the Bible, is multifaceted. While Scripture acknowledges the practical aspects of wealth and provides guidance on its use, it also warns against its dangers and potential pitfalls. Here are some biblical verses, both from the Old and New Testaments, that shed light on the believer’s relationship to wealth:

The Arts and Other Expressions of the Soul

How do we know we have a soul? How do we know there’s God? By God’s expression of Himself.

How do we know there’s a soul?

What are those expressions that indicate the presence of the soul?

My favorite saying to give to someone who has very recently lost a pet::

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

~~Anatole France

How do we know what is the ultimate power?

The Weaponization of Empathy

We will focus on the broader spectrum of Empathy Weaponization this Sunday, June 11, 2023.  

The video is excellent, and we will discuss the progressive use of Empathy Weaponization in other areas of our culture.

Religion provides our culture and society with a proverbial blueprint to guide decision-making in love and objective considerations of for another in a justified way.

Effective Compassion versus Sentimental Compassion deals with different emotive responses solicited by everyday life events.

One could be interpreted as transitory and rooted in immediate gratification, the other as a genuine expression of love and care.