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Thursday, August 30, 2012

And just for fun, here is a piece of art a dear friend did for me of  a dear friend, inspired by his appearance at a local SF con.

If I could get pictures of all my many reader, whatever could be done?!?

Incidentally, I MAY have to move to Iceland....

Why no Paul.

A dear lady on Facebook commented:

I can not understand why Ron Paul does not have stronger support.
 To which I responded: 
 Because the mainstream Repubs AND Democrats have no desire to operate Constitutionally. Zero desire.
A local businessman and church person said:
 I agree positionally about 80-85% with Ron Paul. However, the remaining percentage is off the charts in another area code entirely, with regards to my family's beliefs.  
(I would lay odds that the sticking points are the Holy War on Drugs, and Paul's belief that not every war the US participates in is Divinely Inspired.)
I responded:
The (moot) question is, do you want a President who will govern MORE constitutionally, or less? We have the unenviable choice of a big-government Democrat, or a big-government Republican, which is to say, little choice at all. "Anybody but ______" has continued to get us mired more deeply presidency by presidency. Maybe we as voters need to drop the pragmatism tactic, and really vote for principles. (Holding one's nose and pulling the lever cannot be defined as principled.) Constitution or no? Herein lies the choice. This November, we have next to none. 
 No responses. We shall see. How someone can throw over ~85% agreement over a few sticking points is beyond me, especially in that Dr. Congressman Paul is pro-life AND pro-Constitution. 


 On to Dallas on the morrow (Thursdae). The Dread Dormomoo and I drive ten hours to AnimeFEST!

Here's hoping for a pleasant drive, and a boffo weekend of con biz. It is a 4-day con.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Nice Guy" =/= Christian

(or) Here is a Chance for Me to be Completely Misunderstood!


 Almost everyone likes me.

This worries me a tad, because the Faith Once Delivered is not so much conducive to likeability as it is to conflict. Not "I'm gonna strap on a bomb and blow up a crowd in JEEEEE-zus's Name!" conflict, but conflict with the dominant culture. It is disturbing that the biggest conflicts I see of late are whether-or-not to say "Merry Christmas" and what chicken sandwich one prefers.

The Christian faith is to be offensive, not obnoxious. Passive-aggressiveness is NOT a fruit of the Spirit. The faith is a reasonable one, which is one reason why Paul the apostle is so unpopular. "Better felt than telt" as the old holiness guy said is NOT the way of the cross. God said to Israel through Isaiah: "Come let us reason together....". The reasonableness of Biblical Christian faith leads it ineluctably to conflict with the Spirit of the Age, the Zeitgeist. C.S.Lewis' book Mere Christianity is a primer in Christian thinking. Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live  clearly shows the Christian roots of Western Civilization. (The film series is gorgeous if you can get it. OH! You can!)

One conflict from the first century involved the Roman practice of exposing infirm babies and baby girls on the mountainside for the wolves to take care of, not  in Romulus and Remus fashion. The local Christians, with no fanfare or street marches, would collect the infants and raise them.

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, proclaimed:

34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

35For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
 37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10)

 Wow. This is not Nice Guy talk at all, but it has been borne out countless times throughout history. In India, when a Hindu is baptised into Christ, the disciple's family understand what this signifies, and hold a funeral. Divisive.

The Gambler, the Drunkard, the Lecher, all must separate themselves from their former associates and start anew. This appears to be haughty and high-minded, but Paul makes clear the problems inherent in bad company.

Paul! He was NOT  a Nice Guy. When Judaizing teachers came to the Gentile churches at Galatia, and troubled them by teaching that they should be circumcised and follow the Mosaic Law to really be Christians, Paul came out swinging:

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (Gal. 5:12)

Not a Nice "Christian" thing to say. The truth, though, must be spoken plainly, for it divides the sheep from the goats, the obedient from the rebels. The Word of God is Life, but it divides.

For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12 KJV2000)

On the last day, what we have done in Christ will divide us from the disobedient.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.(Matthew 25)

The truth that we speak, and the truth that we do divide us from the rest of the world. 
This is not Nice, in any kids' soccer sense. Some get the crown, some get the boot. Each of us has the choice to make, Jesus' way, or Sinatra's. If it's Jesus' way, SOMEONE'S not going to like it.

Let me see, I need to make one point. Offensive (as in games), not obnoxious. Biblically, there is no call for the currently chic vulgar Vulgate; the convenient ignoring of the teaching:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph.4:29)

It is a comment on our time that for many modern Christians, "f-bombs" and comments on people's ancestry are more often to be heard than discussion about "propitiation", "soteriology", "gnosticism", and "the Godhead". (Pauses a tick). Just needed to express that. One more area where modern believers are looking more like the world than not.  This admonition is not hard to understand. Say what builds up, not what tears down.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The end of the Faith as we know it.


This kind of treacley bilge is why kids cannot live or share their faith effectively.
 God forbid that they grow up with a foundation like this. When they enter college, the Dawkins and Hitchens will eat them alive. There is ALWAYS a prof whose sworn duty is to relieve the kids of any vestige of a "Sunday School" mindset.

Paul wrote that "the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation". That means BIBLE STUFF! Teach children the Word of God. Teach them what it means to be a Christian (by which I mean, what does God say about it, not ice-cream parties in the fiery furnace).


 What would Paul have said? Parents brought their kids to Jesus, and there was nary a cake cone or sprinkle in sight.

  I was taught the Scriptures, AND studied the children's catechism (a collection of doctrinal Q&As). These provided me (as a child) with a foundation for my beliefs, not just cutesy VBS songs. I understood what sin was, what Jesus did, how I did not want to displease my Heavenly Father (though I did with regularity), what the church was about. I knew it was time to be quiet when someone was praying, from a very early age.

(Swerves to the shoulder)

Lookit...as a toddler I was taught that prayer-time was special! You bow your head, put your hands together, and pray (or at least be quiet while others were doing the praying.) I was taught reverence  for prayer and prayer-time. It was not a time to be fed Cheerios to shut me up, or to riffle pages of a Little Golden Book. It was a time for praying.

How hard is this?

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

The faith, the church, and all the parts thereof: singing, praying, Scripture reading, Communion, giving, loving God, loving one another, all are part of training up a child, and not merely at church...all this must be inculcated in the home, saying grace, bedtime prayers, like that. At home.
The spillover at churchtime will be a bonus.

As we teach the kinder  the Word from an early age, (and this involves actively reading TO them and WITH them) we pave the way for them to live a life of faith as they grow up, and prepare them to be ready to "give a reason for the hope that is in them" when grown.

I was fascinated to learn of Jeff Foxworthy's Game Show Network project: “The American Bible Challenge”. It will be interesting to see how well the contestants fare.

Friday, August 24, 2012


...So sez the world.

People who CAN"T or WON'T are enraged by those who DO. This is typified by the current Lance Armstrong thing. He has passed numerous doping tests in the past.
I believe his greatest crime is being an American, and beating the Europeans at their game seven times.



Lookit...achievement is achievement. If athletes insist upon "doping" then what you do is have two organisations: the Natural Talent Leagues and the Borg Leagues. The Borgs may enhance their performance with hormones, nanobots, bionic implants, whatever can make them put a baseball in orbit or make them break the sound barrier on a bicycle. The Natural Leagues are non-doping, muscles as God made 'em. Each group has its own records, no kindergarten asterisks, and each can feel superior to the other. This way Congress can waste its time and our money on something other than what pills or shots ath-uh-letes are using.

Everybody wins! You heard it here first. "Natural Talent Leagues" and "Borg Leagues" and their derivatives are (c) me, the Aardvark. Let the money flow!!!

Oh, wait...this is a blog, and my name isn't Wil Wheaton.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Taking the Mark, a postmillenial look.

Backward brand is backward

While it may appear that I am picking on One Group (a group that is largely responsible for my being in the Faith Once Delivered in the first place), I must say that the majority of Mainstream Christian Churches fall in precisely the same category.

Why has the Southern Baptist Church taken the Mark of the Beast?

The Mark is not a tattoo like this:


Nor an RFID chip:


It is simple, and eminently lawful. It is spelled "501c3". It is the tax designation for "charitable organisations", and it requires any church so designated to report to the Federal Government. Uncle Sam is Lord. This is because CLEARLY believers only give if they can receive a great charitable deduction. This screed may sound familiar, but it is more far-reaching this time.

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6)

Unless of course you really NEED that deduction!

Now, the SBC is in the forefront of "Romans 13 churches", the ones that pretty well teach to do what gubmint says, period, "unless it violates God's law". Seems the Matthew 6 passage points a damning finger from the get-go. Some firebrand talk radio guys are REALLY hot about mega-church "pastors" who are lining the sheep up for Federal slaughter, taking up the FEMA mantle to "handle" parishioners in time of crisis (read: tell 'em to be polite to those who would feed upon them).
(note: I do not endorse the linked site. I merely share it as evidence of my assertion.) 

Pastoral Pacification.

ALSO: local Southern Baptist churches who order screenprinting from us require us to provide a W-9 form. The churches are actual Tax AGENTS of the Government. 

Publicans were not well-liked in Jesus' day.

Hear what the Apostle John saith:

He (the prophet of the Beast) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13) (ital. mine)

The person causing all to be marked is pastoral, prophetic; he is NOT "The Antichrist". He is a personage who leads people to follow the religious system of the Beast. He is religious. 

Let me note that Revelation, in main, is a symbolic book. We must not therefore switch back and forth from literal mode to figurative mode willy-nilly. The text must give us a clue. That this is figurative is signalled by the next sentence:

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

Symbolism, but if you have understanding, you can suss it out (this is another clue that Revelation was a message to the readers of the day, not a prophecy for millennia hence). 

The State-Beast is inimical to the Kingdom of God. The Government, too, is a jealous god, and does not take kindly to competition.

The danger of allowing the Federal camel's nose into the Kingdom tent is keeping the rest of the camel out. With the FEMA business, I rest that case. That, too, has been shown to be a problem in Canada, where preachers have been charged with hate crimes for deigning to preach what the Bible says, rather than the pronouncements of the governmental Zeitgeist . Taking the Federal Mark renders a church unfit for the heavy lifting of Kingdom work, for at some point, the suited Fed will go "ahem", and payment for Corleonesque favors rendered will come due. Then to whom will the preacher listen to teach the flock?

Given the direction and velocity of our country's travels, it would be advisable to encourage your church leadership to pull the 501c3 plug, or that failing, find a congregation whose allegiance is not divided.

Unalienable rights.



Yes. Bug-eyed Monsters from Proxima Centauri cannot take them away.

Wrong-o, Mary Lou.

Try "un-a-LEEN-ah-bul". Rights made intrinsic by the Creator, so endowed, and unable to be abridged or removed by lien (or legal force).

I drove eight hours last night. You're lucky to be getting this!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aaaaaand the bleat worked.

Ft. Smith and Konsplosion came through! Saturday put us well on track to our goal, which is modest, because for first-year cons my rubric is "small con is small", and I set my expectations accordingly. Nonetheless, it is significant, because I do these cons to make money, so as to buy for my children Toys and Oatmeal.

The staff have been unfailingly polite and helpful, and by their report there has been little drama. This is a multi-con, with anime elements as well as LARPing (one of those things that fills me with Rage and Loathing, like bicycle lanes - no, it's not YOUR road either, because it is paid with gasoline taxes.), which consists of people in play armor, beating each other with foam-covered sticks, and the Society for Creative Anachronism, which consists of (mostly quite older) people in real armor beating each other with sticks and swords, while speaking King James English.

 Other authors and suchlike are here (there's a website, for cri-yi....).
Sonny Strait was here, as was Samantha Inouye Harte, both voice actors for anime and games.
Bill Blair, who has a Guinness world record for being an alien in everything was here as well. 

The other dealers purvey shirts, comic books, anime trinkets, PVC figures molded curvaceously, Leather hats, corsets, and steampunky goodness, vinyl stickers, and pagan/New Agey stuff. Most are affable, at least one is irascable.

And then there's the Roller Derby chicks.

This is a fairly new phenomenon: city Roller Derby teams setting up at cons to promote their events, and promote they do. I have yet to meet an unpleasant Derby gal, and many are family folk, with kids and homes and keys; well-rounded persons.  The River Valley Roller Girls are the local stars, and they love the Aardvark and his shirts! And he loves the RVRGs!

Brooke and Courtney and crew have done an excellent job with the con, and Should consider a Konsplosion next year!

When we close at 4, I will have to pack up and drive the eight hours home. Prayers would be welcome.