The Impact of Hope Upon Cultural Analysis

“The day will come when people cast aside the Party’s organizations that are attached to the state apparatus, allowing the social systems to function independently, backed up by the core forces of the society. With the passing of a dictatorial Party organization, the efficiency of the government will be improved and enhanced. And that day is right around the corner…

Removing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) possession of people’s minds may prove to be more difficult than clearing out the CCP’s possession of state administrations, but such a removal is the only way truly to uproot the evil of communism. This can be achieved only through the efforts of the Chinese people themselves. With their minds set right and human nature returned to its original state, the public would regain its morality and succeed in a transition to a decent non-Communist society. The cure for this evil possession lies in the recognition of the evil specter’s nature and harmfulness, eradicating it from people’s minds, and clearing it out, so that it has no place to hide.”

Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party – p. 266-267

This was written in 2004. The day that was “just around the corner” is still apparently “just around the corner,” as we are now in 2020 and Chinese Communism is still as oppressive as it was in 2004. (Doubt me? Just ask the citizens of Hong Kong or Wuhan.)

It seems to me that people, for the most part, cannot live without convincing themselves that that which they most earnestly hope for is imminent. I have found that most often that their earnest hope translates into just so much happy talk. I see it here in this quote. I often hear or read it in the writings of postmillennialists. The day of recovery is “just around the corner.” “The schools will be Christian by the year 2000.” “There is Reformation breaking out in the inner city.” All happy talk engaged by postmills I know of in the 1980’s but now seen as hope filled but vastly errant prophesies.

I see it today in the voices of those who are so desirous of the end of Globalism they are now going around saying, “we are on the cusp of a new Nationalism.” More happy talk. More “wishin’ and hopin’ and hopin’ and wishin’ and thinkin’ and dreamin’ won’t get Nationalism to start.

Now mind you, I’m not saying that it is wrong to be hopeful. I am saying that it is unwise to let what you hope for interfere with your ability to make a level headed analysis of any situation. There was no reason in the 1980’s to think public schools were going to fall by the turn of the century. There was no reason in 2004 to think the end of the Chinese Communist party was just around the corner. And there is no reason today to think we are on the cusp of a global break out of a worthy Nationalism that will any time soon replace globalism

This book quoted above has been really quite good at analyzing the problems of Chinese communism, but here we come to the prospects of the future and they are full of happy talk about the end of the CCP being just around the corner… full of sentimental bunkum about human nature being returned to its original state, as if human nature in its original state is anything to hope for… full of the idea that the public will gain its morality much the way tinker-bell might regain her wings.

It seems that some people who can’t live without exaggerated hope cannot properly analyze without at the same time engaging in happy talk. A country that has been communist for 50 plus years like China does not just quit being communist over-night short of blood in the streets. Totalitarians, whether in the public schools, or as running huge nation-states do not just give up power, no matter how much happy talk is engaged upon. The hope of the one doing the analysis cannot get in the way of the facts on the ground.

This is one reason why I enjoyed reading Martyn Llyod Jones. Jones earnestly desire Revival and Reformation and yet as he aged Jones was honest enough to say it would not happen in his lifetime. Lloyd-Jones was able to, at one and the same time, have an earnest hope for Reformation and Revival and yet realize that the conditions were not ripe for Reformation and Revival.

Behold, Michigan Governor Gretchen (Dim) Whitmer

Let’s do a review on who Michigan Gov. (half) Whitmer is,

1.) Michigan female Gov. Whitmer’s display of the rainbow flags on Michigan Government property in June 2019 marked the first time in Michigan’s history that the banners were flown on a government building in Michigan.

Michigan female Attorney General Dana Nessel, the state’s first openly lesbian attorney general, wrote on social media that the presence of the flag likely dissuaded sodomite and lesbian youth from harming themselves that day.

2.) Newly elected Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer (D) “issued an executive order forbidding any discrimination against the LGBTQ crowd.” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a directive that removes a religious exemption for faith-based groups contracting with the government. This will force Christian adoption agencies to either close their door or force them to endorsing LGBT causes.Which in reality means she issued an executive order giving the Queer crowd special privileges.

3.) In October 2019 Michigan Governor Gretchen (half) Whitmer Says No to More Taxpayer Funds for Anti-Choice pregnancy Clinics.

4.) Michigan Governor Whitmer’s lockdown order, coming in the context of the Wuhan virus exempted facilities providing abortions. Later lockdown orders will find Whitmer forbidding extended families from gathering while still allowing the continue operation of abortion clinics.

5.) Michigan Governor (Half) Whitmer in an interview says it is “dangerous, irresponsible, reckless, and downright infuriating” that Churches would be gathering for Worship on Resurrection Sunday. Says that we (churches) have to make the sacrifice for the greater good.

And this is just hitting the most obvious high points.

Maleficent; Mistress of Evil

Ma·lef·i·cent

/məˈlefəs(ə)nt/

adjective – LITERARY

Causing harm or destruction, especially by supernatural means.
“a maleficent deity”

___

I Viewed the “Maleficent” sequel last night. Talk about obvious attempt at predictive programming. Good is evil… evil is good. You can’t really tell the difference between the two. Demon like characters are really the good guys. Noble humans are really wicked. The daughter of whom everyone thought was evil marries the son of whom everyone thought was pure, and so good and evil are brought together to live happily ever after. Near the end Maleficent is seen flying through the air in a dress that fades and shimmers in black and white as she flies. Good and evil are not polar opposites. They really are the same.

Maleficent and her tribe are unquestionably depicted as fallen angels in the way they are costumed. You get the sense that the 1/3 that were swept from heaven as recorded in Scripture are now the good guys who were persecuted by the evil humans to near extermination. The viewer’s sympathies are engaged on the side of the fallen angels as led by black robed Maleficent as against the wicked human Queen Ingrith (always dressed in regal white) who desires to destroy the fallen fairy angel race.

The contest between Maleficent and Ingrith becomes one that sees Maleficent, who desires the fairy world and the human world to become one vs. Queen Ingrith who desires to destroy the fairy world by supernatural means. White Queen Ingrith injures Maleficent in the film but Maleficent, in a benevolent act of self-restraint does not kill Queen Ingrith.

The two main white male characters in the film are both portrayed as doofuses. King John of Alstead is portrayed as a bumbling idiot who is weak in comparison to his evil but competent Queen Ingrith. Prince Philip, the other white male human character in the film is well intention-ed but clueless about the evil intent of his mother, Queen Ingrith.

The one main black male character (Percival) does the bidding of Queen Ingrith but eventually in the film he realizes that he is being played and shows his wisdom by changing sides to support Maleficent.

Maleficent is the head of the Fallen Angels race and she, in an act of self restraint, stops the war between the humans and fallen angels and brings unity to the ying and yang existence of the human world and the fairy world so that all live happily ever after with the marriage of Maleficent’s daughter and the White Queen’s son.

Aurora, the human daughter of Maleficent is a kind of un-fallen Eve, while the White Queen Ingrith is a fallen Eve.

Miscegenation is prevalent in the film. Just as good and evil are slammed together so there is no distinction among either the humans or the fairy realm between different races. You see all races as part of the one united fairy world and you see all races as part of the one united human world. This is consistent with the film’s motif of denying distinctions and insisting that all is one.

Anyway, Maleficent is just another film served up by Hollywood with the purpose of pursuing the egalitarian agenda. It is yet another anti-fairy tale fairy tale. The Wicked witch is really the good witch. The White Queen is in point of fact wicked. The dragon like Phoenix that makes an appearance is on the side of good. The male rulers are either a bumbling fool or a naive love struck incompetent. The fallen angel race and the demon like depicted fairy realm are the good guys. The humans are the bad guys. Up is down. Down is up. Good is evil. Evil is good. Black and white are resolved so that both exist as one.

Just another piece of skubla film-making coming from Hollywood.

Matthew’s Account Of The Paid Off Guards — Resurrection

Before we get to this text proper we see the paranoia of the enemies of Christ. With these guards assigned to guard the body of Jesus there is a triple redundancy in the provision to make sure that Christ doesn’t fulfill his promise to rise as repeated several times during his Ministry.

Matthew 16:21

From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

John 10:18

No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

Matthew 26:61

“This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'”

Here were these promises that Christ’s enemies seemed more conversant with than Christ’s disciples. Christ had repeatedly promised to rise from the dead and His enemies knew it and were determined to stop it at all costs.

One of the impediments to Resurrection is the Stone mentioned in Matthew,

He (Joseph of Arimathea) rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away (Matthew 27:59,60).

But not only was there the matter of the Biggly Stone that was no easy matter of dispensing of from the inside there was also the

Roman seal on the Stone and a Roman guard to insure that the Stone was not going to be removed and the body stolen.

And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone (Matthew 27:66).

The idea of making the grave secure means they worked to the end that no one was toing to easily get inside that tomb… or get out of that tomb It was secure. The enemies of Christ were doing their flat level best to make sure Jesus Christ stayed in that grave.

Now understand that Roman seal, if broken, bore the penalty of death for the one who broke the seal illegally.

So … we have the big stone… we have the grave made secure … we have the Roman seal. Next there is the guard assigned.

The guard assigned was either the Roman guard or the Jewish temple police.

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone (Matthew 27:65,66).

There is a question as to which one of the two groups was watching over it. The context seems to favor the Roman guard. The Roman guard, which in my conviction was likely the guard that was set was a sixteen-man unit that was governed by very strict rules. Sixteen Roman soldiers were watching a grave made secure, as closed by a big stone having upon it a Roman seal that promised death for all who would dare break the seal.

Now … this Roman guard found each member responsible for six square feet of space. The guard members could not sit down or lean against anything while they were on duty. If a guard member fell asleep, he was beaten and burned with his own clothes. But he was not the only one executed, the entire sixteen-man guard unit was executed if only one of the members fell asleep while on duty.

And remember all this against an opposition who couldn’t stand up against a servant girl making inquiries as to whether or not the chief disciple was indeed a disciple at all.

This redundancy of all this to protect the grave from potential chicken hearted grave robbers reminds us of Houdini hancuffing himself, putting himself in a safe, and then wrapping the safe in chains before dumping it into the harbor.

But despite all their redundancies their best laid plans came undone.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the (Big) stone and sat on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

Just like that … the Big Stone … the Roman Seal … the 16 man Roman guard. Poof.

Then we are told
11 … behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

We note here that the response of the Deep State elite here was to create a conspiracy that would both dismiss the facts of what really happened while at the same time reconstructing a false narrative at to what really happened. While certainly not the first occurrence of what we now call “fake news” it is a classic example of CNN or New York Times type reporting.

Here we learn from God’s Word that God’s enemies will consistently do all they can to invert and twist truth. God’s enemies live by conspiracy and as God’s enemies own the organs of information now as they did on that Resurrection Sunday as Christians we must not be so naive to believe the “news” as reported by God’s enemies who always have an ax to grind against God’s narrative. The Scripture repeatedly teaches us that the wicked conspire and we are fools if we don’t seek to see through the conspiracy of dunces put forth on a daily basis.

If nothing else, Resurrection morning reinforces the idea that we should be believers … big believers in conspiracy theory. To not believe in conspiracy theory would have found us believing that Jesus had not really resurrected but instead his body had been stolen by the disciples. This ranks right up there with the single bullet theory, that high rise buildings which have not been hit by hit by jetliners fall down, and that a virus can cause all by itself a multi-trillion dollar worldwide economy to fall.

Second, we should note that the purpose of all this skulduggery on the part of the deep state at the time was to keep a community from rising which would worship Jesus as the Messiah. The Pharisee deep state had an interest in controlling the people and part of that control was to control what they would and would not believe. A community of faith would never rise up to follow a Messiah who remained dead and buried and so they created a false narrative that would steal the resurrection from any fledgling faith community. Take the money. Tell a lie. Shut up.

I don’t want to press this too far but we still have a deep state that has an interest in not seeing a faith community corporeally gather to worship. Don’t physically gather. Shut your services down. You can risk your lives by going out to get your food and liquor but don’t you dare go out to get your food unto eternal life. Trust us. We wouldn’t lie. We know what’s best for you. Worship at home.

Third we should note here that this narrative underscores the advice that this Pastor always reminds you of and that is when it comes to the truth of matters an important consideration is to always follow the money. If one had followed the money that the Roman guards pockets were heavy with they would have found out what was motivating the lies on that Resurrection morning. Follow the money is good counsel.

Note next that the Pharisees now know beyond any shadow of doubt that Christ had resurrected. They had first hand hostile witness accounts of what had happened. These guard had experienced some form of catatonia (Mt. 28:4) and yet had remained aware enough to realize what had been going on. They were the first and perhaps most direct witnesses of what the Father had done in raising the Son. They were the most immediate witnesses and they had reported directly to the Pharisees what they had not only heard but which they had seen with their own eyes, what they had gazed upon and what had put them in a catatonic fit.

Did the Pharisees then and there repent? Did they cover their mouths in shock admitting that they had been wrong about their Messiah? Did the truth that they had murdered their long promised Messiah cause them to second guess themselves? No … instead they went all MSNBC and doubled down and concocted a plan that would keep their false narrative as the narrative.

And remember this is all in the face of being told by their own guards who had been scared whitmerless by witnessing the resurrection. That’s what the text says. These guards witnessed to the Pharisees ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED.

This reminds us in our apologetic endeavors that people don’t give up the lie they are invested in simply because they are brought face to face with a indubitable and indisputable truth. Instead what they are prone to do is to find someway to support their false narrative that they have invested themselves in.

Of course this action by the Pharisees proves what Jesus had said, by way of parable, that

Luke 16:31 ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’

They had first hand testimony that someone had indeed risen from the dead and they believed enough to try and suppress the story in unrighteousness but not enough to bow to the truth. At this point they know they are actively seeking to cover up the Resurrection. They know what has happened but they intend to kill the story.

This account of Matthew and the payola to shut up the guards who witnessed the resurrection is the best evidentiary material that Christ was bodily resurrected. His resurrection here isn’t a matter of “the faith of the early church” that some talk about.

Some Christians infected with modernity talk about “the faith of the early Church,” and by that they mean that the early church believed such and such but they also often mean that just because that is what the faith of the early Church was that doesn’t mean that is what really happened. Rather it is merely what the early church believed happened. If you even hear someone talking about “the faith of the early Church” you need to ask said person if they believe to be historically and actually true what the early Church believed.

So, here we have testimony that Christ was resurrected. Physically resurrected. Not a resurrection that was spiritual. Not a resurrection that finds Christ “rising into History.” Not a resurrection that was a result of mass hysteria. Not a resurrection that was metaphorical. Not a resurrection that finds its reality in the fact that “He lives within my heart,” but rather a real live genuine physical historical resurrection as testified to by men who suffered paralysis in the presence of this happening.

John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.


The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.


Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.


The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.


And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.


Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.


You will forgive me if I belabor this point but so much of the Church today doesn’t believe in this kind of resurrection…. Doesn’t believe in a Resurrection where there are nail prints in a real body that can be examined by him whom we dub, “Doubting Thomas.” Doesn’t believe in a Resurrection that is so concrete that hardened military men are left in a catatonic state by coming face to face with the Resurrected one. Doesn’t believe in a Resurrection that finds the Resurrected one sharing a breakfast with His disciples,

John 21:12 Jesus said, “Come and eat!” But none of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew he was the Lord. 13 Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to his disciples. He did the same with the fish.

To much of the Church no longer finds it credible to believe in a Resurrection that is corporeal, distinct, and personal. Jesus had a glorified body to be sure but it was not more glorified than it was body nor more body than it was glorified.

And so on this Resurrection Sunday we articulate again for those with ears to ear that we believe in the Resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Christ is Resurrected. He now sits at the right hand of the Father as the Resurrected God man. Your life beyond this life depends on your faith in this Resurrected Christ. A lack of faith in this Resurrected Christ means that you go from this life to eternal and unremitting death. A presence of faith in this Resurrected Christ means that you go from this life to eternal and unremitting life. It means that you go from life unto life in this life. It means life and life abundantly. It means the only familiarity you will ever have with death is the fleeting moments you go from this life to even more life.

Friends.. own Christ. Cast your all on the Resurrected Christ. Taste and see … know for yourself the quality of the Resurrected life as given by the Resurrected Savior.

Reconciliation

Romans 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

The necessity of reconciliation bespeaks estrangement. It is those whom are estranged from one another who need reconciled. The need for reconciliation presupposes a previous relationship that was fractured and needs to be restored. This is indeed the case. By way of creation we, as in Adam, were all sons of God but with the Fall that original relationship was so sundered that God took us as enemies as we took Him as an enemy. The hostility was mutual and could only be satisfied with a one of a kind reconciliation.

That reconciliation required someone who could mediate the sundered relationship and provide a means to put an end to the mutual raging hostilities. Such a reconciliation required a mediator who had the capacity to meet the demands of an offended deity as properly brought against the sons of Adam and one who could, at the same time, represent the offended God. That mediator was and is the Lord Jesus Christ who reconciled God to us and us to God. The Lord Jesus Christ, with and in His work on the Cross effected the reconciliation of the Father to man by quenching the Father’s just wrath against man’s sin and effected reconciliation of man to God by being the offering that the sin of man required. This is why St. Paul can say to the Church, “Therefore we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This reminds us again of the centrality of Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross. If we are not found in Christ and His reconciling work we have naught to deal with but a God of wrath. No Christ … no peace with God. This is why Christians are adamant that there is no salvation outside of a known Christ. A well intended Jew, Muslim, or Hindu maintaining their identity as Jew, Muslim, or Hindu is un-reconciled and as un-reconciled God’s intent for them is their complete and utter destruction both in this life and the life to come. The Father can only be experienced and known as reconciled as gazed upon and approached through the Mediatorial reconciling work of the Son. Besides, no-one un-reconciled by the Son desires themselves to be reconciled to the Father but instead as un-reconciled they are full of hatred and vitriol for God. Any kind words that may be upon their lips for Jesus hides the dagger with which they intend to use to extinguish the biblical idea of God.

There is good news in this for the sinner. They can be sure that if they genuinely desire to be reconciled to God that is indicative of the fact that God has reconciled them to Himself in Christ. No sinner has a heart to be reconciled to God who cannot be confident that God has reconciled Himself to that sinner as they look to Christ. The earnest and genuine desire to be reconciled then is a warrant that reconciliation has taken place.

When we consider “reconciliation,” we consider it as occurring in the family since inasmuch as when we are reconciled we are adopted as “Sons of God.” Other aspects of the Atonement (reconciliation is only one) happen in other conceptual worlds. Redemption, conceptually speaking, happens as in the slave-market world. Propitiation, conceptually speaking, occurs as in the Temple sacrifice world. Justification, conceptually speaking, happens as in the Court-room world. But reconciliation, conceptually speaking, happens as occurring in the context of the family world. Before reconciliation we were strangers and aliens but now because of the reconciling work of Jesus Christ we are now members of God’s Household (Ephesians 2:19).

Reconciliation is an objective reality. Having been reconciled we are forever reconciled. This is something we need to keep close to us when we become overwhelmed at the sight of our sin. There are times when our sin absolutely haunts us like a specter reminding us how unworthy and guilty we really are. When those times come, as they must come for all believers, we must remember we are reconciled with a reconciliation that cannot be canceled or forfeited.

We should also note that the death of Christ did not make the Church’s reconciliation possible. The death of Christ made the Church’s reconciliation actual. There is nothing the elect have to do in order to make certain their reconciliation. It was all accomplished at the Cross. This is true for the members of the Church who were alive when the Cross took place and it was true for all the members of the Church who were yet to be born. The Cross was the Church’s reconciliation.

This stands in direct contrast to those who say that Christ made reconciliation available for every one. No, if Christ only made reconciliation possible on the provision that we give our assent then Christ didn’t provide reconciliation but only made it possible that we could reconcile ourselves.

This stands in direct contrast to those who say that we only have to believe in order to be reconciled. No … we will believe because we have been reconciled. Our reconciliation is not contingent on our belief. Our belief is contingent on the fact that we were reconciled @ the Cross.

Christ did the work of reconciliation on and at the Cross. To suggest that the reconciliation was mostly or provisionally completed is to empty the Cross of its glory.