Season of the Gnostic

Gnosticism sighting in Taki’s Mag. I’ve never read Charles Norman before, but I’m going to see what else he’s got. He names the beast and nails it to the wall in this post: Season of the Witch.

It’s gratifying to find someone else who sees it, and even better when they can articulate it precisely and relevantly. That’s another way of saying that I’m going to plagiarize him.

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An Easy Decision

I read something recently that went like this: Antisemitism has no place in the Christian Church!

I added the exclamation point, but the quote is verbatim. I’ve been trying to find out who said it, but my googling has proven fruitless. Maybe I dreamed it, but I don’t think so. Could be that I heard it on television. If I ever find out who said it, I’ll update this post. At any rate, it’s been bugging me for about a month, and the reason is, whoever said it is dead wrong.

Antisemitism is a poor word for what it really means, because Semite refers to a number of different peoples, and in general no one of consequence is against many of them. I, for example, have absolutely no problem with the Mhallami, but I’m from the Deep South and I don’t get out much. They may be assholes, but they’ve never bothered me. Now Arabs I could do without, but I have no opinion about the Druze.

We all know what antisemitism means. Antipathy towards Jews or Judaism, which is really the same thing for a Christian. Secular, non-practicing Jews are a whole other issue for Christians (they’re just a part of the World), and Jews who become Christians are embraced by the Church. But practicing Jews, and Judaism itself? I would love for all Christians to understand this: There has always been a very prominent place in the Christian Church for antisemitism.

If you’re a Christian and believe that anti-Judaism is wrong, and therefore anti-Jewishness is wrong, then you have to disavow Martin Luther, John Calvin, St. Augustine, John Chrysostom, Origen, virtually all the Church Fathers, and pretty much all of Christendom from the time of the Apostles all the way up until roughly yesterday.

Don’t get me started about Martin Luther. He wrote a whole book about this, called On the Jews and Their Lies. I read it a few years back, and found it extremely funny, but I like insult comedy. I don’t think anyone would argue with my description of it as vicious. I’ve also read a little known and shorter book by John Calvin, called Response To Questions And Objections Of A Certain Jew. Calvin, as expected, was much more measured and analytical than Luther, but nevertheless he writes things about the Jews that today would get him torched. For example, he taught that the Jews were the chosen people of God, and therefore blessed, but when they rejected the Messiah that God sent directly to them, that blessing became a curse. He calls them a cursed race. I’d say that qualifies as antisemitic.

The following are choice quotes from Calvin, Luther, and some of the early Church Fathers, antisemites all.  We’ll start out with the Church Fathers, then to Luther, and then to Calvin. I put more work into quoting Calvin for three reasons: first, I’m a Presbyterian, so I’m naturally partial to quoting Calvin; second, I think most Christians, especially the Reformed kind, would be more surprised to discover Calvin’s antisemitism than Luther’s; and third, there’s simply too many awesome quotes from Luther. Where to begin? What to leave out? Just read the book, man.

Anti-Semitism of the “Church Fathers”
 

Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (98-117A.D.) – Epistle to the Magnesians

For if we are still practicing Judaism, we admit that we have not received God’s favor…it is wrong to talk about Jesus Christ and live like Jews. For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.

“Epistle of Barnabas” Chapter 4vs 6-7 (between 130A.D. and 138 A.D.)

Take heed to yourselves and be not like some piling upon you sins and saying that the covenant is theirs as well as ours. It is ours, but they lost it completely just after Moses received it.

Justin Martyr – Dialogue with Trypho (Between 138A.D. and 161 A.D.)

We too, would observe your circumcision of the flesh, your Sabbath days, and in a word, all your festivals, if we were not aware of the reason why they were imposed upon you, namely, because of your sins and the hardness of heart.

 The custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and you cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of your land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. Your circumcision of the flesh is the only mark by which you can certainly be distinguished from other men…as I stated before it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observance of the sabbath as a mark.

Origen of Alexandria (185-254 A.D.) – A ecclesiastical writer and teacher who contributed to the early formation of Christian doctrines.

We may thus assert in utter confidence that the Jews will not return to their earlier situation, for they have committed the most abominable of crimes, informing this conspiracy against the Savior of the human race…hence the city where Jesus suffered was necessarily destroyed, the Jewish nation was driven from its country, and another people was called by God to the blessed election.

John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.) – One of the “greatest” of church fathers; known as “The Golden Mouthed.” A missionary preacher famous for his sermons and addresses.

The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition.”…”I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.

From “The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism” by Malcolm Hay

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 A.D.), Confessions, 12.14

How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them (the Jews) with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!

Peter the Venerable – known as “the meekest of men, a model of Christian charity”

Yes, you Jews. I say, do I address you; you, who till this very day, deny the Son of God. How long, poor wretches, will ye not believe the truth? Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human… I lead out from its den a monstrous animal, and show it as a laughing stock in the amphitheater of the world, in the sight of all the people. I bring thee forward, thou Jew, thou brute beast, in the sight of all men.

From “The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism” by Malcolm Hay

Martin Luther – 1543

On The Jews and Their Lies

What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we cannot tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more…

Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home…If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination…

To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden – the Jews…

Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew. When you lay eyes on or think of a Jew you must say to yourself: Alas, that mouth which I there behold has cursed and execrated and maligned every Saturday my dear Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed me with his precious blood; in addition, it prayed and pleaded before God that I, my wife and children, and all Christians might be stabbed to death and perish miserably. And he himself would gladly do this if he were able, in order to appropriate our goods…

Such a desperate, thoroughly evil, poisonous, and devilish lot are these Jews, who for these fourteen hundred years have been and still are our plague, our pestilence, and our misfortune.

I have read and heard many stories about the Jews which agree with this judgment of Christ, namely, how they have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnapped children, as related before. I have heard that one Jew sent another Jew, and this by means of a Christian, a pot of blood, together with a barrel of wine, in which when drunk empty, a dead Jew was found. There are many other similar stories. For their kidnapping of children they have often been burned at the stake or banished (as we already heard). I am well aware that they deny all of this. However, it all coincides with the judgment of Christ which declares that they are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil, who sting and work harm stealthily wherever they cannot do it openly. For this reason, I would like to see them where there are no Christians. The Turks and other heathen do not tolerate what we Christians endure from these venomous serpents and young devils…next to the devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew. There is no other to whom we accord as many benefactions and from whom we suffer as much as we do from these base children of the devil, this brood of vipers.

Translated by Martin H. Bertram, “On The Jews and Their Lies, Luther’s Works, Volume 47”; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971.

Martin Luther – 1543

Of The Unknowable Name and The Generations of Christ

But your [God’s] judgment is right, justus es Dominie. Yes, so shall Jews, but no one else be punished, who held your word and miracles in contempt and ridiculed, insulted and damned it for such a long time without interruption, so that they will not fall, like other humans, heathens and all the others, into sin and death, not up in Hell, nor in the middle of Hell but in the pit of Hell, as one cannot fall deeper…

Even if they were punished in the most gruesome manner that the streets ran with their blood, that their dead would be counted, not in the hundred thousands, but in the millions, as happened under Vespasian in Jerusalem and for evil under Hadrian, still they must insist on being right even if after these 1,500 years they were in misery another 1,500 years, still God must be a liar and they must be correct. In sum, they are the devil’s children, damned to Hell…

The Jews too got what they deserved. They had been called and elected to be God’s mouth as Jeremiah says…Open your mouth wide and I will fill it; they however, kept tightly closed their muzzles, eyes, ears, nose, whole heart and all senses, so he polluted and squirted them so full that it oozes from them in all places and devil’s filth comes from them.

Yes, that tastes good to them, into their hearts, they smack their lips like swine. That is how they want it. Call more: ‘Crucify him, crucify him.’ Scream more: ‘His blood come upon us and our children.’ (Matthew 27:25) I mean it came and found you…

Perhaps, one of the merciful Saints among us Christians may think I am behaving too crude and disdainfully against the poor, miserable Jews in that I deal with them so sarcastically and insulting. But, good God, I am much too mild in insulting such devils…

http://www.yashanet.com/library/fathers.htm

 

John Calvin, Response To Questions And Objections Of A Certain Jew – excerpts

Calvin maintains the Biblical view that the special favor shown to the Jews under the Old Covenant is no longer a blessing, but rather has become a curse. – Introduction, pg. 5

…the Jews have been unique in their perpetual obstinacy. Reading the Response should convince any reasonable person that there is no spiritual common ground shared by Christians and Jews, as the Jew stands opposed to the redemptive work of Jesus at every point. – Introduction, pg. 5

Calvin’s interlocutor was neither one of Calvin’s contemporaries nor Calvin himself writing in a different persona, but the author of Sefer Nizzahon, which translated means The Book of Victory. Nizzahon is a Jewish polemical anthology probably written in Germany during the fourteenth century. It had acquired a particularly evil reputation among Christians even before the Reformation began. – Introduction, pg. 6, quoting Stephen G. Burnett’s Calvin’s Jewish Interlocutor: Christian Hebraism and Anti-Jewish Polemics During the Reformation

The kindred nature of Catholicism and Judaism helps to explain why Calvin so fervently attacked Judaism both in the Response and in his commentaries. – Introduction, pg. 7

***

But unbelievers, as long as they spurn this gift, invite upon themselves a two-fold destruction… – Question 1

In short, the Jews speak as if their race had never been ungrateful to God, and had never made a deadly poison out of a medicine. –Question 1

But the explanation depends upon the abrogation of the legal worship, the ignorance of which causes the Jews to talk nonsense quite stupidly. – Question 4

If there were any trace of healthy discernment amongst the Jews, they would at once recognize how far the excellence and dignity of Christ is beyond Moses, even in miracles. – Question 6

Surely, were not all the prophets and all religion not a joke to those rascals, they would consider with a very different reverence whatever God proclaims concerning His favors. – Question 8

By their obstinacy the Jews were the first of men to show that they did not want peace with God. Therefore the Jews deservedly tore up their insides until the final destruction of their fatherland. –Question 8

But because of their arrogance these beasts desire to bind God to their own laws. – Question 9

These dogs bark that the greater part of mankind perishes because, having been put off by the mean appearance of Christ, they shrink back from him. –Question 9

If these utterly lost men had some ingenuousness, they would be ashamed to carry on a debate using such stupid objections, such sickening nonsense that is entirely unworthy of a refutation. – Question 11

Those Jews babble brutish stupidity, who say that God was visible in the person of Christ, as if his divine essence could be seen by carnal eyes. –Question 11

Again I ask you, what is signified by the fact that they wretchedly wander, dissipated throughout the whole globe, and lie prostrate in their ruin… – Question 12

If there were a trace of wit or right thinking amongst these cattle… – Question 12

But truly, whatever spiritual gifts Christ bestows upon his followers, it is not surprising that they are counted for nothing by these profane men, who are utterly without sense when it comes to partaking of every aspect of the celestial life. – Question 12

Whatever Messiah they finally invent for themselves… – Question 13

Nay more, does not this filthy mockery of theirs sufficiently prove what I said earlier, that it is not so much our Christ who is a laughing stock to these Jews, but the law and all the prophets? – Question 13

The solution to this problem, which is of no importance to these pigs, is that Christ experienced hunger, because in taking on our flesh, at the same time he took on hunger and all other human passions, except for sinful corruption. – Question 14

But from this cause they more than stupidly infer that there are very many Christs to be discovered by us. – Question 15

These words have been corrupted by a stupid contrivance under the papacy, but the ignorance of men is not a reason for these dumb animals to scoff at the true faith. – Question 16

From this it is certainly made plain how these rabid dogs gnaw without discretion at whatever they hear from the New Testament. –       Question 17

What will escape their impudence when they allow themselves to clamor against the mysteries of God so wantonly? – Question 18

The solution to this question depends upon a principle that is unknown to the Jews, because they have been struck by a spirit of dizziness and madness. – Question 18

But these pigs so subvert all the principles of nature, that no trace of reason can be found amongst them. – Question 21

First of all, their depraved and indomitable obstinacy merits that none of them be pitied, as they all delight in their evils while being oppressed by a great mass of miseries without end or measure. How absurd is this stupidity, that now after so many centuries of continually and openly being worn down by the hostile hand of God they feel so secure in their case? It is evident from the prophets how the horrible filth of all their crimes was advancing amongst that people long before the exile. Already one hundred years before, Isaiah called the leaders Sodom and the people Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:10); from that time they did not cease from provoking the vengeance of God against themselves with their diabolical hardness. – Question 23

Selections from Calvin’s Bible Commentaries

From Ezekiel 16:53

“He here confirms again what we lately saw, that the Jews were doomed and devoted to final destruction, nor was it possible for them to escape any more than for Sodom to rise again and Samaria to be restored to her original dignity.”

“…but the Israelites were already alienated from God; afterwards the Jews also cut themselves off from him.”

From Isaiah 8:14

“…for he includes the whole nation, and declares that God will be their destruction.”

“…for they were altogether rejected by God, whose Son they had refused.”

From Matthew 5:17

“… Christ saw that the greater part of the Jews, though they professed to believe the Law, were profane and degenerate.”

From Malachi 1:11

“Here God shows that he no longer cared for the Jews, for he would bid altars to be reared for him everywhere and through all parts of the world, that he might be purely worshipped by all nations. It is indeed a remarkable prophecy as to the calling of the Gentiles; but we must especially remember this, – that whenever the Prophets speak of this calling, they promise the spread of God’s worship as a favor to the Jews, or as a punishment and reproach.

The Prophets them promised to the Jews that the Gentile would become allied to them; so does Zechariah,

“In that day lay hold shall ten men on the skirt of the garment, and will say to a Jew, Be thou our leader; for the same God with thee will we worship.” (Zechariah 8:23)

It would have been the highest honor to the Jews had they become teachers to all nations, so as to instruct them in true religion. So also Isaiah says, that is, that those who were before aliens would become the disciples of the chosen people, so that they would willingly submit to their teaching. But as the Jews have fallen from their place, the Gentiles have succeeded and occupied their position. Hence it is that the Prophets when speaking of the calling of the Gentiles, often denounce it as a punishment on the Jews; as though they had said, that when they were repudiated there would be other children of God, whom he would substitute in their place, according to what Christ threatened to the men of his age,

“Taken away from you shall be the kingdom of God, and shall be given to another nation.” (Matthew 21:43)

Such is this prophecy: for our Prophet does not simply open to the Gentiles the temple of God, to connect them with the Jews and to unite them in true religion; but he first excludes the Jews, and shows that the worship of God would be exercised in common by the Gentiles, for the doctrine of salvation would be propagated to the utmost extremities of the earth.

This difference ought to be noticed, which interpreters have not observed, and yet it is what is very necessary to be known; and for want of knowing this has it happened that passages wholly different have been indiscriminately blended together. The Prophet then does not here promise, as we have often stated in other places, that the whole world would be subject to God, so that true religion would everywhere prevail, but he brands the Jews with reproach, as though he had sad, “God had repudiated you, but he will find other sons for himself, who will occupy your place.” He had repudiated in the last verse their sacrifices, and we know how haughtily the Jews gloried in the holiness of their race. As then they were inflated with so much pride, they thought that God would be no God except he had them as his holy Church. The Prophet here answers them, and anticipates their objection by saying, that God’s name would be celebrated through the whole wolrd: “Ye are a few people, all the nations will united in one body to worship God together; God then will not stand in need of you, and after he rejects you his kingdom will not decay. Ye indeed think that his kingdom cannot be safe, and that his glory will perish except he is worshipped by you; but I now declare to you that the worship of God will flourish everywhere, even after he shall cast you out of his family.”

We now then see what the Prophet means when he says, that Great will be the name of God from the rising to the setting of the sun. It is simply said in Psalm 113:3,

“From the rising to the setting of the sun wonderful shall be the name of God.”

There indeed it is only a promise, but here the Prophet includes the punishment which the Jews had deserved, as though he had said, that after they were rejected by God on account of their ingratitude, the Gentiles would become holy to God, because he would adopt them instead of that wicked and ungodly people.”

From Isaiah 7:14

“But it is a just reward of their malice, that God hath blinded them in  such a manner as to be deprived of all judgment. This happens in the present day to the papists, who often expose themselves to ridicule by their mad eagerness to pervert the Scriptures.”

From Genesis 49:10

“Though this passage is obscure, it would not have been very difficult to elicit its genuine sense, if the Jews, with their accustomed malignity, had not endeavored to envelop it in clouds.”

“For while they lay too much stress on certain words, they produce no other effect than that of giving an occasion of ridicule to the Jews, whom it is necessary to surround with firm and powerful barriers, from which they shall be unable to escape.”

“ They have indeed no relish for a spiritual kingdom; and therefore they rather imagine for themselves wealth and power, and propose to themselves sweet repose and earthly pleasures, than righteousness, and newness of life, with free forgiveness of sins.”

“But now, when, through nearly fifteen centuries, they have been scattered and banished from their country, having no polity, by what pretext can they fancy, from the prophecy of Jacob, that a Redeemer will come to them? Truly, as I would not willingly glory over their calamity; so unless they, being subdued by it, open their eyes, I freely pronounce that they are worthy to perish a thousand times without remedy.”

From Haggai 2:9

“But in suffering a counterfeit Temple to be built by Herod, when the manifestation of Christ was nigh, he manifested his vengeance by punishing their ingratitude, rather than his favor; and I call it counterfeit, because its splendor was never approved by God.”

From Isaiah 53:3

“He does not even except the Jews, whose hearts were puffed up with a false opinion of their own superiority, but condemns them indiscriminately, along with others, to destruction.”

“I have had much conversation with many Jews—I have never seen either a drop of piety or a grain of truth or ingenuousness—nay, I have never found common sense in any Jew.” —John Calvin, Commentary on Daniel 2:44

***

Oh, and by the way, I haven’t even begun to quote what Jesus Christ said to, and about, the Pharisees. It’s easy to find in the Gospels and in Revelation. He calls them a brood of vipers, children of the Devil, and a Synagogue of Satan, among other condemnations. What is Judaism, now and in the past, if not Pharisaism? Then and now they hold the Talmud to be authoritative. Then and now they are hostile to Christ and Christianity. There is no discernible difference between Judaism and Pharisaism. The two faiths, Christianity and Judaism, have never been in any way compatible.

I also haven’t mentioned what the Talmud says about Christ. It’s vile. So vile that I don’t want to repeat it. Look it up for yourself. Granted, there are some rabbis who say that the old rabbis were talking about someone else, but I don’t buy that. Also granted, the Talmud is 5000 pages of gobbledy-gook, just a bunch of rabbis arguing with each other down through the centuries, but that in itself tells me that holding the Talmud as authoritative is folly, at best.

Does this mean I want to gas the Jews? Not anymore than Calvin did.

But if we have to choose between what our modern Church and it’s milquetoast pastors says about antisemitism, that it’s double-plus bad, and we’re not to criticize Jews or Israel, or choose to stand with Calvin, Luther, the Church Fathers, all of Christendom except for the last fifty years, and Christ himself, I’ll choose the latter, thank you very much.

Not much of a decision, is it?

 

The Chateau Is Locked

Free photo: Barn, Old, Abandoned, Rustic, Farm - Free ...

Heartiste has been shoah’ed.

Didn’t we all know this was coming? Of all the sites on our required reading list, we all had a pretty good guess who they’d shut down first. There’s no one who’s written so prolifically on such a variety of topics, with such depth of insight, with such dark, searing wit, with such fury at our betrayals, with such mirth at our follies, with more passion for our deliverance, or with greater anticipation of our coming restoration. That he came to (((their))) attention was a certainty long overdue.

Vox comes close. I’d be able to make a case for Porter, but he’s MIA. PA might come close one day, and our respect for him is immense. Roissy, if you never come back, your name is cemented in legend. You’ll be written about in history books.

Of course, I believe he’ll be back. Other platforms await. Did Martin Luther’s excommunication stop him? No, it just made him more free. And that, by the way, is why I believe men like me are drawn to great men like Roissy (or whoever he is, or they are). They’re free men, in the most important sense. Men like me are still figuring out how to work free from our knotted chains. Great men show us that it can be done.

I write this from a WordPress platform. Fuck you, WordPress. That’s all the damage I can do to you, at present, but I remain hopeful that any future pain that I can cause or contribute to you and your kind will be much, much more satisfying.

Lastly, from PA’s place, commenter walawala shared CH’s archived site, just in case we need it: Chateau Heartiste Archive.

The Masthead

If I could start a church, this would be on the masthead:

Equality Is A Gnostic Heresy

All prospective members would learn exactly what this means, and all of the ramifications of this truth.

This dream church, like this post, is aimed at a certain portion of the Christian community. It’s not intended to bring in the mainline Protestants, what’s left of them. If you don’t smell sulfur when your lesbian pastor steps up to the pulpit, then pass on by. This is for Christians who fall on the right end of the graph. Moderate to conservative, whether they’re Evangelical, Catholic, or Orthodox. I’m tempted to be snarky and write that if you’re in a Mainline church, then by definition you’re too far gone, but I know that’s not true. I personally know folks who go to the local PCUSA Presbyterian church and also some who go to the local Episcopal church. Most of them are on the right side of the graph, and there are no lesbian pastors at either church. If there were, none of those people would go there. I would classify these folks as normies who’ve seen the denomination of the church they’ve belonged to their whole lives gradually then suddenly taken away from them. But the church is still there, quietly worshiping, singing, preaching and congregating much the same way they always have. Hoping they don’t get noticed by their denominational authorities. Hoping the rot won’t reach this far.

Bad news, though. The rot is already here. In your small town church that still seems somewhat normal. It’s also in you. And me. And your family, friends, neighbors, and your friendly grocer. The good news is that it’s treatable, and doesn’t have to be fatal.

***

Here are some really good indicators that you’re on the right side of the graph:

  1. You know yourself to be a sinner in need of redemption, and are trusting in Christ, and Him alone, for your salvation (iow, you believe in sin, that it’s serious, and you’re not good enough to justify yourself before a perfect God).
  2. You hold Scripture to be the inerrant Word of God, and the rule for all life and godliness (iow, you don’t believe that the Bible is just a good moral guidebook, and that you can pick and choose which parts you like. It’s all or nothing).
  3. You understand and stand with the Apostles Creed, 100%.
  4. You believe that God created all things, and since He is perfect, all things were created good. It’s sin that has marred creation.

I could go on, but that’s good for now.

So, about my masthead. Equality Is A Gnostic Heresy. I believe this Gnostic heresy is the sickness of our age. This is the rot that has infected everyone, even those in your quaint, old-fashioned, conservative small town church. As I make my case for why it’s heresy, you’ll begin to see where it has infected you, and to what degree. That is my hope. Because half of the cure is sunlight. The other half of the cure is humility, and that’s up to you. All I can do is bring the sunshine, so here goes.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS EQUALITY. Say it with me. No such thing, not in heaven or earth. It’s a fantasy. It’s a unicorn. A unicorn with AIDS. And rabies. So run from this dangerous delusion.

First of all, we know that there’s no equality in Creation. All we have to do is look around. Nothing is the same here, not one thing. Every tree, every rock, every animal, every vegetable is different. Different size, shape, color, texture, etc., ad infinitum. And the only way to achieve equality is to have sameness, which is not found anywhere in Creation. Without sameness, something is always going to be bigger, or prettier, or more or less useful, depending on the context. I could go on and on, but I’ll end this point by saying that the only things we find in Creation that have sameness are the things that we make. A more accurate word is manufacture. Bricks, for example. Humans can manufacture tons of bricks, and they’re all pretty much the same, and therefore equal, but God never does this. There’s a whole other lesson here, with plenty of Scripture to back it up, but that’ll have to wait for another time.

Back to my masthead, Scripture tells us that we don’t even need Scripture to be sure of this truth. Romans 1: 19-20 says For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” By seeing clearly and obviously that everything in Creation is different, and nothing is the same, we know that God loves variety. Therefore, He cannot love equality. Put another way, since God made everything to be various, God is the very author of inequality.

It is here that you might first be noticing something inside yourself, maybe in the pit of your stomach. To state that “God is the very author of inequality” sounds kinda wrong, and wrong as in kinda blasphemous. Don’t worry. That feeling means you’re starting to see your infection. The best thing to do right now is to take a step back from that statement, get some perspective, and when we step back toward it you won’t feel nearly as uncomfortable.

Most normal Christians (see above) have no problem with most of what I’ve just stated. In fact, a lot of it seems pretty basic. Of course we know that God has made everything different. Most of you would say “Of course men and women are different!” You’re bewildered that so many people believe that sex/gender is a social construct, when it is plainly a biological fact. We Christians celebrate the variety of Creation, and are truly sorrowful for how our sin has defaced such beauty and wonder. We Christians, looking strictly at ourselves, seek to be content and grateful for where God has placed us in the created order, and we want nothing more than to use whatever God has gifted us for His glory and the benefit of mankind (another way to say this is that we Christians seek to accommodate ourselves to where God has placed us in the hierarchy of Creation). We believe Creation is good, because Creation is from our perfect God. We are not good, because of sin, but Creation is.

If the above describes you, then you do well. Now, let me show you where the infection starts.

You have no problem with all people being different. Common sense, right? So tell me, how can you say that all people are different, but then say there’s no difference between people groups?

In nature, all things are different, but some things are similar enough to classify them together in groups. Oaks and pines are both trees, but subdivided into different groups. We would say that their differences to each other and their similarities to themselves make it useful to categorize them into these two separate groups. We would not say that their differences are so insignificant or unimportant that it would be immoral to categorize them. But when it comes to people, somehow it’s become immoral to categorize different people into people groups if the subdivision is based on race.

What is more basic to our biology than race? The only thing that comes to mind is sex/gender. We Christians can say all day long that everyone is different, praise the Lord, but when it comes to people groups based on race, there can be no differences. Or, if there are differences, they’re insignificant or unimportant. Further, we Christians assert that not only do differences in racial groups not matter, but speaking individually, race doesn’t matter. So, what we’re saying is that race, something God Himself created, is unimportant, insignificant, doesn’t matter. Now who’s being blasphemous?

There is no such thing as equality in the created order. We know this. And because there is no equality at all among anything individually, there cannot be equality among groups. Put another way, everything is greater or lesser, depending on the context. The fact that black people of West African descent have won all the gold medals for sprinting for the last 3 gazillion years tells us clearly that black people of West African descent, on average, are superior to all other people groups when it comes to sprinting. Interestingly, to me anyway, is how well people of East African descent do at long distance running, but I digress. So, am I a Black Supremacist? Only when it comes to sprinting, and then I’m a West African Supremacist. My question is, why should it even raise an eyebrow if I were to say that the best sprinters in the world really suck at math? It shouldn’t, especially among you clear-headed Christians, but if I said such a thing in your Sunday School class, what could I expect? Audible wincing and groaning, followed by a reaaallly uncomfortable silence? A serious talk with the pastor? Depending on the church, I wouldn’t be surprised at excommunication.

Most of you Christians have no problem stating that men and women are different, but deep down, you really think that the differences between men and women are only physical, and therefore don’t really matter. Admit it. You think the only difference is a couple of the naughty bits, but other than that men and women think the same, therefore they think in equal manner. Here again, I don’t even need Scripture to refute this. I can just point to Science(!). It’s documented that the very structure of male and female brains are different, therefore we do not even think alike.

Stand up in your church and state that women, on average, aren’t as good at math as men, therefore maybe we shouldn’t encourage girls to be engineers. See what that gets you, if you would even dare to say such a thing publicly. Tell your church that women shouldn’t be firemen, er, firefighters, because that unnecessarily puts lives at risk, and let me know the reaction. Or, try this: quote any of the Scriptures about wives being submissive to their husbands, and tell them that Scripture, therefore God, doesn’t give them a pass if their husband is mean, or lazy, or stupid, or whatever else they have a problem with. You see, if men and women really were equal, at least mentally and emotionally, then requiring wives to be submissive wouldn’t make sense. Do you think God chose men to be in authority over women arbitrarily? Did He do the Eanie Meanie Miney Moe?

Ok, we can now say (or whisper, if you’re still uncomfortable) unequivocally that there’s no such thing as equality in all of Creation, while understanding how far that truth goes, or rather, how far we’ve strayed from that truth. But you may recall I stated earlier that there’s no such thing as equality, not just on earth, but also in heaven, which is another way of saying that there’s also no such thing as spiritual equality.

“Now wait just a damn minute!” you may be thinking, “We’re all equal before God, just look at Galatians 3:28!” By all means, let’s look at that verse. It’s what is trotted out to justify this heresy to Christians. It says:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

First of all, Paul says we are all one in Christ Jesus, not all equal. Secondly, was the Apostle Paul testifying that distinctions between men and women are now abolished? Between races? Between classes? As Paul said elsewhere, “By no means!” Read Galatians. All of it, then tell me what that verse means in the context of all else that Paul wrote to the Galatians. This verse, in context, was clearly expressing the truth that salvation is now open to all, regardless of race, sex, or social status. To be even more explicit about what Paul was writing to the Galatians, he was telling them they did not have to become like Jewish Christians in order to be saved, by getting circumcised. Paul was combating a heresy, Legalism, that perverts the Gospel by asserting that salvation requires faith in Christ plus *fill-in-the-blank*. If you put your faith in Christ, you will become part of Christ’s body, regardless of who you are, and there is no kind of work requirement on your part. Grace is free.

So, what is Christ’s body like? Paul himself gives a wonderful description to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 12. Read it and tell me what you think. Do you see equality anywhere? What you see is variety, and hierarchy. Individual Christians are given different gifts in varying degrees, but all are part of Christ’s body, the Church, and contribute to the unity and health of the whole. All are important, yes, but there are greater and lesser gifts. In verse 28, Paul gives a list in descending order, and in verse 31 he even tells us to desire the greater gifts.

So, it is clear from the Apostle Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit, who is God, that there is no such thing as spiritual equality either. Should we Christians rail against this? Or should we humbly and gratefully seek to fulfill our place and purpose in the Body of Christ?

I’ll now only mention that Scripture gives us glimpses of Heaven and of spiritual beings, and we see angels, archangels, Seraphim, Cherubim, and others, indicating clearly that there is no equality to be found in Heaven itself. Just skim through Revelation and see what I mean.

Gnosticism holds that the created order is, at best, insignificant, and at worst, evil. All that matters is the spiritual, the world of the intellect, ideas, and there, away from the created order, all are equal, so here, in the created order, we should seek to remake this broken SYSTEM to reflect the spiritual world. This is the Gnostic heresy that has subverted our Church and made us sick unto death before a gloating, debauched world.

There is no such thing as equality, in Heaven or on earth, created or spiritual. It does not exist. What does exist, with God who is the righteous judge, is fairness, and justice. Thankfully, with Him, there also exists mercy, and grace.

***

So you now bask in the healing sunlight. You’re welcome. Do you have the humility to stay here, or will you sneak back into the darkness of Gnostic heresy? If you sneak back, I don’t condone it, but I understand. It’s a lot easier staying with the pack. There’s safety there. Nobody likes to be ostracized. I hate feeling homeless, especially in the Church. The humility I speak of is in letting go of your ego investments. When you’ve spent your whole life believing something, pride makes it difficult to let that go, even in the face of all rationality. Swallow that pride. It’s always better to humble yourself than have God humble you.

All around me I see a dying Church, but I truly believe that God will always reserve for Himself a remnant. I also believe that God is the righteous judge, and that being infected with this heresy doesn’t, in and of itself, exclude a Christian from salvation. Not to make light of it, but it’s a heresy, and we’re all heretics about one thing or another. It’s serious because of all the damage it’s done to the Church in the world, and because it does violence to the created order, but in the end this Creation will be remade, even better than before.

I hate to end on an upbeat note, so I’ll end with this: I may be wrong about the cure. Individuals recover, or are healed, but that could be simply because God chooses to heal some, and not the rest. I’m an old school Presbyterian, so of course I’m all about election. I hope that sunlight and humility will do the trick, but I don’t know it will. Could be the only cure is a cleansing fire.

 

Jim Names the Beast

I don’t remember Jim ever calling out Gnosticism before, but in his last post he calls it out, loud and clear, in Natural Selection Is Reactionary.

I’d be loathe to call Vox Day full of crap about anything, but Jim’s a big boy ’round these parts, he’s earned the right to argue with him. Also, I’m not really into the Evolution arguments. I believe in Creation, but I’m not going to the mat about it. I’d much rather smart men, like Vox, take on that fight.

What I do find interesting, of course, is Gnosticism. It explains everything. And at the end, Jim drops a flying elbow on it:

Gnosticism is an anti human, and anti this world Christian heresy. 

New Required Reading

A while back I wrote a recommendation to read Ron Unz’s American Pravda. I stand by that recommendation, but only with the caveat that Unz has revealed himself to be a  cucktard. He published a spineless, sniveling, and misguided essay about the Alt-Right, and the mask dropped.

Now, it’s not that I can’t stand criticism, but this was different. It was distancing from deplorables, and that won’t do. It’s also not that I have a problem with people who’re wrong. Ann Coulter (and a whole lot of us) used to be a Civic Nationalist who’s only problem with immigration was the illegal kind. She evolved, and so did we, but Unz made it clear to me that he wouldn’t evolve, and that also won’t do.

That said, I still think Unz is brilliant, driven, insightful, and should have a voice to pay attention to. He’s just not, in the end, an ally, and should be viewed with healthy suspicion.

***

While all that was going on, I read a comment in one of Porter’s poasts that really grabbed me. It was insightful, yes, but that wasn’t what caught my attention. A lot of comments from a lot of people are insightful. It was the style. I’m not good at describing literary style. I feel silly doing it, like describing wine. Silly as in pretentious. I wish I was better at it. What I can tell you is that I’m drawn to wit. Porter has it on steroids, so does Heartiste. Anti-Gnostic, Steyn and Sailer too.

Not being particularly witty certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me. I don’t find Vox Day particularly funny, and I read him devotedly. Not everyone’s a comedian. If someone can write something that literally makes me laugh out loud, though, that person gets my full attention. This commenter did. Sometimes I’ll click on a commenter’s name or icon in one of the blogs on my Required Reading list, to see if he’s got anything interesting going on. Most of the time there’s no blog, and sometimes there is and it’s not too good. Once, I clicked on Sorcery God’s icon over at Heartiste, not because I thought it would be good, but because the guy’s a lunatic, and kept referring to his own blog. Curiosity got the better of me. I felt dirty, reading some of his stuff. Not because of the content, but because it felt like spying on a mental ward. To be fair to Sorcery God, though, I see him now commenting occasionally at Heartiste, PA and other places, and he seems like a different person. Lucid, insightful, and interesting. I’d like to check out his blog now, but I’m a little nervous about it. Sooner or later, curiosity will get the better of me again, and I hope I’m not disappointed. Saucy, keep taking those meds! They’re working!

So I clicked on the icon of this commenter, The Empty Subject. The name seemed familiar to me, and I think I must have read a comment here or there from him before. I visited his sight and started reading. Devoured the latest essay, then the previous one, then the one before that, and here it is a month later and I’m still doing that. I read his latest, then go through his back catalogue. I doubt I’ll ever read all of his previous poasts, because I have the same desire with Porter and Heartiste, and they were here first (for me) and I’m not near done with their old stuff. But I at least intend to keep chipping away at all three like I’m in Shawshank.

TES is damn good, and of all those on my Required Reading list, the most personal. I don’t expect personal information from writers, and TES certainly remains anonymous, but he writes about his life. It’s cultural critique but also privately candid. And so, so funny. Laughed out loud twice reading today’s essay.

See, I told you I suck at describing literary style. I’ll finish with this: here’s the link to The Empty Subject.

 

Goodnight Romeo

Following the lead of the venerable PA (and not shamelessly copying, come on), I’m posting about a music video, this one from Colin Hay, a live video of Goodnight Romeo followed by Prison Time. Way back in the early 80’s, Hay was the frontman for Men at Work, who went really huge for a few years. The band broke up, though, as most bands do, and Hay found his career in shambles and developed addiction problems. He worked his way out of that, and started from square one, playing clubs, touring on his own, and he slowly built up a following, albeit smaller than he had with Men at Work. He’s now in his 60’s, still touring and playing, which reminds me of something Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits once said back in the 80’s, I think. A journalist asked him what he’d do if his music career ever crashed and burned. He said something like “I’ll just find some pub to play at.” That always struck me as a very grounded attitude. It was clear from the context that for Knopfler, it was about playing music, and he’d be just as happy playing at a bar as in an arena. Career failure wouldn’t really mean much, unless it meant he couldn’t play music anymore. He and Dire Straits never really flamed out, they faded away over time, but Hay has lived what Knopfler once said.

While we’re comparing Hay with Knopfler, I’ll note that they’re both conspicuous finger-pickers. Rock and Pop guitarists typically use a flat pick, but for Knopfler his finger-picking style gave him a markedly different sound, especially for a lead guitarist capable of pyrotechnics. Knopfler was phenomenally talented, and, when he wanted to be, flashy as hell. Remember Sultans of Swing? One of the great guitar solos in Rock history. Hay, on the other hand, was never known as a lead guitarist, but as a singer/songwriter, quirky in voice and lyric. That’s on display in Prison Time, but I also want to highlight his guitar work in Goodnight Romeo, which is understated but entrancing, and at times magic.

So take a listen to this video, and afterwards I’ll tell you some of the things that I see and hear, things that you may not have noticed:

First off, for you guitar players, you’ll notice that Hay isn’t in standard E tuning (from highest to lowest EBGDAE). I believe he’s in Open D, in which the 1st string is tuned down to D, the second tuned down to A, the 3rd tuned down to F#, the 4th and 5th strings remain at D and A, and the 6th string is tuned down to D. There isn’t anything remarkable about playing in open tunings, in and of itself, but playing with them you’ll find some very rich sounds. (By the way, I may be wrong about the tuning, in that I’ve never tried to learn this song. There wouldn’t be much of a point. I’m not a finger-picker, I’m a flat-picker, but more importantly I wouldn’t be able to do the song justice. I’m good enough to know when I’m out-classed.) (12/19/18, I now believe he keeps the 3rd string at G)

The 20 second mark, which is the end of the first measure, is where I do find something remarkable. Hay hits a couple of harmonic notes in a way that I’ve never seen before. The easiest way to find harmonic notes on a guitar are to look for the dots inlaid on the fretboard, especially at the 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets. You don’t press down on the string to get a harmonic note, you lightly touch the string at the fret, pluck the string with your right hand, and lift off from the string just as it’s plucked. It takes timing, but it can be mastered easily enough with a little practice. Every guitar player I’ve ever seen places the pad of one of his fingers on the string to do this, which means disengaging from any chord or notes that you’re playing. I’ve never seen it done the way Hay does it at this point and elsewhere in the song. He’s not really chording, but he slides up and plays a regular note at the 7th fret on the 3rd string, and uses the tip of his pinkie finger to play the 2 harmonic notes on the 1st and 2nd strings while maintaining the regular note on the 7th fret. This is a delicate, subtle, and extraordinarily difficult maneuver. When I first saw the video and heard this part, I doubted what my eyes saw, because I didn’t see it. I thought “how the hell did he hit harmonics there?” I had to rewind and watch close to see how he did it. Again, I’ve never seen it done that way. Magic.

Another remarkable yet subtle maneuver is found at the 43 second mark, just before the beginning of the 2nd verse. You’ll hear the same notes as in the 1st verse, just an octave lower. Up to this point Hay is finger-picking, but notice his right hand just before he starts the 2nd. Almost like a magician, he flicks his wrist and out slides a flatpick, which he then uses for much of this verse. At 0:53 he slides the pick back into his palm, at 0:58 he slides it to his thumb and forefinger again, and then at 1:08 he slides it back one last time into his palm. Like with the way he hits the harmonic notes, this is delicate, subtle and extraordinarily difficult.

As for the song as a whole, Goodnight Romeo is haunting, sad, and vaguely Celtic. Hay is originally from Scotland. At 14 his family moved to Australia, and after Men at Work hit it big he moved to Los Angeles, where he’s lived ever since. Whether it’s some deep recollection from his childhood memories welling up into song, or whether it’s simply his Scottish blood, or both, I can only imagine Hay shaping the complexities of this piece unconsciously and unbidden, flowing out of his hands like bagpipes.

I won’t go into much detail over Prison Time, except to note a few observations. Musically, it dovetails seamlessly into the ending of Goodnight Romeo, which causes the first song to take the shape of an extended intro without diminishing it’s power. Lyrically, it’s in keeping with Hay’s best works, a playful lyricism that disarms deep sadness. For example, in the last verse he sings:

Nothing’s black, and nothing’s white / I hear the echo of your footsteps in the dead of night.

There’s a kind of skipping rhythm to his phrasing that contrasts the expression of loss. As I’ve read at Le Chateau, Contrast is King.

Final note, I’ve downloaded some of his songs, and I’ve checked out a lot of his videos, and I find that Hay at his most powerful is always when he’s playing solo, just him and his guitar. When he’s playing with a band, somehow he seems diminished compared to when he’s by himself. Solo, there’s an undeniable gravity and a presence, whether on video or audio. If I could, I’d tell him to forget playing with a band. For Hay, less is much, much more.

***

If I ever do this kind of thing again, it’ll most likely be about someone, like Colin Hay, who should be a helluva lot more famous, or rich, or both. I’m talking about Scott Miller.