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Complete Introductions Collection 1 - Chapters 6-7

Ben Huot

June 28, 2011

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Table of Contents

Chapter 6

Extras from Continuing Philosophy and more

6.1 Kierkegaard Quotes

6.1.1 On Bible Interpretation

'But,' you perhaps say, 'there are so many obscure passages in the Bible, whole books that are practically riddles.' To that I would answer: Before I have anything to do with this objection, it must be made by someone whose life manifests that he has scrupulously complied with all the passages that are easy to understand; is this the case with you? Yet this is how the lover would respond to the letter- if there were obscure passages but also clearly expressed ones, he would say, 'I must comply with the wish- then I will see about the obscure parts. How could I ever sit down and ponder the obscure passages and not comply with the wish, the wish that I clearly understood.'

91

Soren Kierkegaard in "What is Required" in For Self-Examination

6.1.2 Too Busy for God

As a matter of fact, the connection was actually this: first they all tried to demonstrate the truth of Christianity with reasons or by advancing reasons in relation to Christianity. And these reasons fostered doubt and doubt became stronger. The demonstration of Christianity lies in imitation...And the imitators truly needed his Ascension in order to endure the life they were leading- and therefore it is certain. But someone who sits in idleness and ease through good days or is busily astir in busyness from morning to night but has never suffered anything for the sake of truth has no need. It is rather something he imagines or lets himself imagine for money; he concerns himself with this Ascension more as a curiosity- and so, of course, he doubts, since he has no need; or he invents some reasons, or someone else has the kindness to hand him three reasons for- well, now, neither is that person's need especially great!

92

Soren Kierkegaard in "Christ Is the Way" in For Self-Examination

6.1.3 Faith is Not Reason

According to the diversity of natural endowments, we are all born with a stronger or weaker immediacy; the stronger, the more vigorous it is, the longer it can hold out against resistance. And this endurance, this healthy confidence on oneself, in the world, in mankind, along with all this, in God, we call faith. But in the stricter Christian understanding it is not faith. Faith is against understanding; faith is on the other side of death. And when you died or died yourself, to the world, then you died to all immediacy in yourself, also to your understanding. It is when all confidence in yourself or in human support, and also in God in an immediate way, is extinct when every probability is extinct, when it is dark as on a dark night- it is indeed death we are describing- then comes the life-giving Spirit and brings faith. This faith is stronger than the whole world; it has the power of eternity; it is the Spirit's gift from God, it is your victory over the world in which you more than conquer.

93

Soren Kierkegaard in"It Is the Spirit" in For Self-Examination

6.2 The Source of Contemporary Anti-Christian Sentiments

6.2.1 The Idea of the Barbarian

It seems to me that the reason why there is so much of the intellectual movement that is anti-Christian comes from the assumption that European attitudes about thinking that other races were less than them, because they were thought to be barbarians, was some how based on Christianity. I honestly don't care and am not surprised that the Islamic world was so much more advanced in material wealth, in vain displays of this wealth, and that they were as materially successful, as the West. This has nothing to do with what I value or would impress me. I base Christianity on what the Bible says and evaluate the status of civilizations based on their morality, much as the Bible does.

6.2.2 The Acceptable Scapegoats

It is widely assumed that being anti-Christian is some how objective and it seems that the only acceptable bias now is being anti White Christian Male. Some how they blame the wrong things that Europe did that I had no control over and many times wasn't even alive in that period, but it is widely considered ok to blame me for that, just because of how I was born and my religious beliefs.

6.2.3 Everyone wants an Empire

I am not saying that a very small percentage of Rich White Men didn't victimize a lot of the third world and were in pursuit of world domination. I just believe that the Muslim world was just as interested in world domination as well. Even as we see multinational corporations dividing up the vast majority of the world's wealth amongst themselves, this does not mean that the Muslim world is not trying to do the same thing in the name of their religion, and it also doesn't mean that the majority of Americans or Christians support these multinational corporations.

6.2.4 State Religions

One of the things people seem to confuse about Christianity, before the last century or two, that most countries required you to be a certain religion, in order to be considered patriotic. This was throughout the whole world and not just in Europe. At the most, if other religions were tolerated at all, it was only allowed to have one of several approved religions, as under the Mongol empire, or different religions were allowed under Muslim rule, in such a way so that over time, due to attrition, most people were pressured into becoming Muslims, due to various ethnic cleansing techniques.

6.2.5 Europe and Christianity

When we talk about the terrible things that the governments in Europe did to the third world, it was not based on what the Bible said, but rather on the interpretation, that was designed by the politicians, to legitimize their behavior. One of the main reasons why the European rulers, of Medieval age Europe, accepted Christianity was, because they saw the Christian God, as more powerful, than the pagan gods and believed that this new God would allow them to conquer more territory, which is the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches. I would be just as wrong to blame Islam as the reason why the Islamic world is the way it is today. The Pope does not represent all Christians and neither do Evangelicals.

6.2.6 What is Christian?

Another thing to understand is that not everyone who claims to be a Christian actually believes in the Bible, in a specific set of doctrines, or tries to follow what the Bible teaches. There are a variety of different heresies that claim to be Christian, which I will not name, as there is no point in arguing about it, because those people, who follow those heresies, are not willing to change their views, no matter what the Bible says. Also, in the West, Atheism started first in the leadership of the major European powers and expanded over a period of hundreds of years to the point, where the only places in America or Europe where Christianity is still strong now is in the American South.

6.2.7 Atheism Transformed into Paganism

There is actually a connection between the secret societies, who on the outside preach an embracement of the ideas of the Enlightenment, but in the upper leadership actually practice New Age or Pagan religious rituals. This is not surprising, because the Roman and Greek ideas, that were so cherished by those in the Enlightenment were entwined with pagan beliefs. The goal of the secret societies is to use the idea of free speech to make it easier to advocate anti-Christian ideas with the ultimate goal of latter shutting down any free exchange of ideas that is counter to the New Age/Pagan views.

6.3 The Source of Hope

6.3.1 Finding God

I pray that you may learn from my writings who the Christian God is and how you are His beloved creation. People have manipulated most religions throughout history and it is hard to find what is true, in a time where you can easily find your opinion regurgitated, but never find someone committed to the truth. It might seem that every opinion and every practice should be acceptable. But once you find He who created you, your life will never be the same.

6.3.2 What is Faith?

In an age where people have such a high opinion of themselves, that they cannot accept, that they are destroying themselves, by their arrogance and low opinion of the resources that sustain them, it is hard to understand, that what we see is of the least importance. Faith is based on what you can barely imagine and living as a believer means that you shrink in size and the world grows. You realize that the most important things in life are not the things you can measure and explain.

6.3.3 The Artist

There is hope in the belief that we are only one creature of humble power and the magnitude of our potential lies in our connection with our Creator. When we see life through faith, we come to understand that we are but a paint brush and the Artist is the one, who moves the brush. Our experiences are based on the Artist's use of color and shape. We start out as nothing more than light sketches and by the interaction of the colors, with our outlines, we are transformed into a more beautiful creation. We are formed in black carbon and we are given color by the hand strokes of our Creator.

6.3.4 Submitting to God

We see our lives in terms of what happens to us or by the choices we make, but we are dancing with our Creator and as we let Him lead us, we stop tripping over ourselves. We need to realize that our free choice is there, not to make the choices that advance our own interests, but rather that we grow in wisdom, as we learn to make choices, that are part of our Creator's plan. Exerting our own independence makes sense when we are young children, but we need to learn to sacrifice our own wishes for the betterment of others, as we grow older.

6.3.5 Spiritual Truth over Scientific Fact

It is the constant dance with our Creator that comes to define the most important aspects of our life. We have so few years on earth and it is filled mostly with sorrow and frustration. Life only has meaning, if we choose to value the spiritual over the material. We need to stop accepting facts as truth and instead choose our belief in God over our belief in Science. The only way to have peace with this world is to not be part of it. We can exist in this world, while not having ourselves invested in its interests, but rather invest in spiritual qualities and our eternal future.

6.3.6 God is Our Future

That is what encourages me: to have my future in God's hands. I cannot trust myself or my control over my fallen nature. I need to daily submit myself to the will of God. What is best for us is for the the will of God to rule in our lives, instead of the being slaves to our corrupt desires. We are in need of help beyond what Science can provide. We cannot rule ourselves - We need God as our boss. God never designed us to live our lives without His direction. We are the hardware and God is the software.

6.4 Latest Introduction

6.4.1 Background

A True Alternative Worldview

For hundreds of years, Christians have fought for their cause, by using the tools of reason and logic, to reclaim a mainstream following and dominate the academic debate, but this is not the approach of Christ's ministry. We need to re-examine the role Christianity should play in the world. Instead of focusing on getting political leaders, to champion our causes, fighting to be the establishment, and holding to the ideals of an imagined perfect past, we should accept the role of the outcast and the victim.

Throughout most of Christian history, we have not been the establishment, but rather a counter-culture movement. The Bible does not represent itself as the champion of the rich and the powerful, but as an Asian mystery religion, of passionate mystics, in opposition to religious scholars. Christianity is the underdog and the alternative to the way society is evolving.

Instead of clinging to our grandparent's generation, we need to go far in the past and embrace the future at the same time. We need to see the battle for Christianity and the problems in the world today as essentially spiritual. We need to take back the ecological movement from unbelievers and abandon the wealth and power, that believers have given up their first love for.

We need to re-imagine the lines of contention, giving up our worldly status and human support, for a model focused more on who Christ was, rather than what theology and religious traditions we were taught in schools. We need to embrace reality and the way the world is and take our stand, on the most essential battle. Christianity needs to return, to champion the cause of the rejected and the persecuted and stop using wealth and power, to destroy those who deny our theology, but embrace the life of Christ.

Christians should be on the right side of history. There is a clear right and wrong. There are clear positions to take. But we have collectively chosen the wrong path. We need to stop trying to explain ourselves to unbelievers and choose instead to win them, by our actions. Yes, I embrace an evangelical Christianity, not in terms of traditional theology, but in terms of objective.

The problem with Christianity today is not that we embrace the mainstream worldview, but that we reject the wrong things about it. We need to start doing what we know is right and stop arguing about theology and explanations, for things that we cannot comprehend. Essentially we need to live a life of faith, in rejection to a secular life, which is based on the authority of reason.

The authority we need to answer to is Christ and He too is Who we should emulate. Simply, we need to be like the disciples of Christ, instead of being like those religious scholars, who rejected Him. If most people see Christians as the contemporary Pharisees, we need to learn from this and follow the spirit of the law and not just in outward displays of moral superiority.

Who Do You Believe?

It is commonly believed that if someone can prove something Scientifically that it is true, but that which cannot be explained, no one can be sure of. But how does a person know if: the data collected by the Scientist is valid, that their math is correct, and that their methodology is of the highest standards. The reality is that most people do not have enough education in the right area, to prove whether an expert is even trying to be objective.

With the advent of the Internet, we have more information available than ever before, but how to we determine the validity of statements? Even before we had the Internet, we often believed people by: their reputation, their education, their experiences, and their job. We have relied on experts for a long time, but what objective qualitative or quantitative method do we measure their expertise? If you are not already an expert in a particular field, how do you protect yourself from urban legends?

Now that anyone can write anything, how do you know what to believe? Definitely don't believe those, who have a financial interest in a certain field. And then who does that leave you with? Then all you have is people who are trying to push a certain ideology, or are good at making up things that are believable. The reality is that no one is objective and there is no way to conclusively prove anything. Reason will not save us, because of our corruption.

Who do you believe now? Why not believe He who created the entire multiverse? Why not believe what has helped people, for thousands of years, before we had Science? If you are going to never know for sure about anything, why not try having faith in something real. If you cannot rely on your own judgement or that of so called experts, than why not believe what your Creator says?

Why Believe in God?

How do you know you can believe God and take Him at His word? If you want a reason, there are many: other people's testimony, sacred scripture, and your experiences. Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in the world, outnumbering Islam 2 to 1, with Islam having over a thousand year head start.

Do an experiment in your own life. Read through the entire Christian Bible in a year. This is not hard to do. There are many plans you can find that tell you just what to read each day and it only takes a matter of minutes.

Then focus on doing the obvious things, that you realize right away, that the Bible asks of you. Then keep at it, for a whole year. If your life is better or you like yourself or other people better, than you have a good reason to become a Christian. If you honestly try to do this, the Christian God will back you up.

Will you like my writings?

If you are opposed to the way most Christians believe and the worldview of atheism, then who are you writing to? There is a third group that I am appealing to: seekers or people spiritual but not religious. I am appealing to the kind of person who likes what they know of what the Bible says, but would never go to a church. I am appealing to those people, who are moral, but do not believe in organized religion. People who no other Christian is targeting. Just as I realized early on that what I was taught in school and learning new things were 2 totally different and unrelated endeavors, so I hope to show people that what the Bible says and the way most Christians act are two totally different things. I am seeking to help those who do not want to accept an established path: people who truly think different.

You do not have to have completed any college courses, to understand my writings, as even I do not have even an accredited bachelor's degree. But, if you have not gone to college, because you are not disciplined or smart enough, than you will not understand my writings. I wouldn't recommend attempting them. Also, if you don't enjoy learning new things or if you cannot read things you disagree with, than you will not like my writings. I generally do not take the positions of almost any idea that is mainstream. I am a Christian and if you hate Christians, then you will hate my writings. If you are a stereotypical Christian, you will probably hate my writings as well. For everyone else, I am sure you will enjoy and learn a lot from my writings.

Most of my books are based on the concept of paradox. Many people think that paradoxes are the same as contradictions, but Biblical paradoxes are like the Chinese yin-yang relationships between male and female. Many people also think that East Asian philosophies don't have any morality, because they mistakenly think that good and evil are a set of paradoxes. This is untrue because the major Chinese Philosophies as well as Buddhism and all the other Indian belief systems all have a very highly developed set of ethics. There very much is a definite right and wrong in both Indian and Chinese philosophy and religion. Most of Biblical theology is also based on this same concept of paradox.

The major paradoxes in my books are: humility and compassion, kindness and seriousness, global north and global south, hope for salvation and social justice, heart-soul and mind-body, personal God and holistic worldview, imagination and self control, discipline and creativity, submission to God and equality to other people, and the last one is still unpublished - joy and purpose.

6.4.2 Problems and Solutions

Why so Worried?

We are undergoing an information revolution, which is going to create a transformation of society, on the scale of the industrial revolution. What I am concerned about is that the powers that be don't seem to take the situation seriously enough. The entire order of the world and the balance of powers is depending on the transition going well. Even China and Saudi Arabia care about our unemployment rate, because the US is still the primary market of world producers.

At this point the only thing keeping white collar jobs even as advanced as engineering, computer programming, accounting, medical, and journalism is the number of businesses that aren't aware of what they need to do to stay in business over the next 10 years, or have a market that is not competitive. I am worried that everything is set up for just in time delivery and people have no extra credit or alternate skills in case they get unemployed.

Another major problem happening a the same time is global climate change and the problems that will definitely happen, because of this are more violent weather and natural disasters, which means that a lot of people are going to experience what happened in New Orleans and don't have even basic survival supplies to last even 72 hours.

Philosophy Inspired Solutions to World Problems

ECONOMICALLY BASED

* Make Ethical Decisions in the Products We Buy

* Find Creative Way to Reduce Our Expenses

* Get Supplies and Training to Survive Disasters

* Promote Internet Usage to Empower Individuals

* Give Away Free Content to Support Alternate Opinions

SOCIALLY BASED

* Network to Expand Our Circles of Influence

* Form Relationships with Our Neighbors

* Encourage Others

* Stay Positive and Increase Our Positive Influences

* Avoid Mainstream Assumptions

SPIRITUALLY BASED

* Pray for God's Will to Be Done

* Improve a Specific Animal's Life

* Increase Our Understanding of the World

* Raise Our Kids to Be Good Citizens

* Take Time to Relax

6.4.3 Concluding Thoughts

Disclaimer on Science

I wanted to let people know that I am not anti-science. I believe that scientists do very valuable work and my sister is a scientist. There is a big distinction between using Science as a belief system and a source of morality and using Science as a discovery process. What most people do not realize is that contemporary ecology as opposed to the Enlightenment ideas that brought forth the first wave of Science are very different.

The philosophical basis for Ecology is closer to mystical religion and philosophy than it is to the bigger, better, faster mentality that came along with the original Science and where most the money for Science presently goes to. A scientist can be as moral as anyone else, but the person who practices science needs to leave it compartmentalized in the role it is designed for and not use it in solving philosophical and religious problems. Science should not be considered as a belief system and when it is it takes on something that it has no way to deal with.

My Ultimate Goal

If I leave you with just one thing, this is it: you should never follow someone else. I don't mean that you shouldn't follow laws, but you should not follow any person's ideology, especially not mine. Everyone knows what is true and what is right and wrong. The best you can do is follow your conscience.

Take a creative approach to your problems. Realize the reality of the things you cannot change and change the things you can. The biggest source of our problems is that we seem to be unable to draw connections and have a lack of imagination. Einstein once said that creativity is more important than intelligence.

I do not want any followers, just as Kierkegaard and Nietzche both felt. I would be happiest, if you formed your religious and philosophical beliefs, by your own experience and research. I do believe the opinions that I wrote and am not ashamed of having strong opinions and risking being wrong. I want you to have passion for doing what you believe is right. You cannot go wrong by following your heart.

If I was able to change anything about my life, I would try to enjoy life more and not be so serious. Make sure you don't spend all your life thinking: take time to relax and meet new people. It is important to have balance in life and to listen to the advice of other people who care about you. The only way you grow is from learning from forming relationships and taking risks to improve your life. Other people can see things you cannot, so benefit from their experience and differing points of view.

Chapter 7

More Insights and Inspiration

7.1 Politics, Religion, and Empathy

7.1.1 Empathy

Understanding the World

I have come to the conclusion in my 12 years of independent study that the two factors that are the most important to understand if you want to know why the world works the way it does are modern psychology (starting with Freud) and history (especially before 1500 and especially Asian). The key thing to understand about psychology is that most people's decisions are almost entirely emotional.

It is very dangerous to play on people's emotions in things like religion and politics, but it is the key to motivating large groups of people. The key to understanding history is to start from the very beginning and read as much, from original sources, as possible. Read Buddha's explanation of Buddhism, read about the Coptic church and the Syriac churches to understand Christianity. Then continue to follow the development, of the major belief systems, into the major modern branches.

Risking Empathy over Objectivity

The idea that unites both these endeavors is the concept of empathy. Empathy means understanding something, from another person's or group of people's point of view. Most people use the term objective, in their study of people and history, but saying you are objective is like saying you are perfect. Only God can be truly objective.

Instead of ignoring your emotions and others' emotions, embrace them. Feel what others feel. See things as other people see them. It is hard, because you have to not think about your beliefs at that time, but, at the same time, you still need to see with your heart, as you have to care and take a position. Too often students are afraid of having a controversial opinion, but forming an opinion helps you understand the situation much better, because you are forced to give adequate support, for your decision.

7.1.2 Creativity

Creativity and God

There is never just one solution to a problem. And being creative in your solutions will always be more effective than trying to make the most common and obvious move. One of the biggest reason why I continue to be interested in learning more about God and enjoy this pursuit is because God is not just perfect and perfectly objective but that God also feels as we do and is even more creative than the greatest thinkers.

Outmaneuvering His Enemies

God is very subtle and He often takes an approach that appears like He is giving up and forfeiting His success, to those who oppose them, but then ends up outmaneuvering them, because He sees and controls the greater picture. God always takes the hardest route, and allows the enemy a certain degree of success, because He really enjoys being creative and wants to show all His followers, that they need not fear any enemy, or any situation. Where His followers look outnumbered, He wants to grow their faith and surprise them, so that they learn to trust Him by their faith (or our lack of understanding), because of what He has done in the past.

God's Personality

God is always perfectly consistent and His personality is always the same. God always does what He promises and is in direct and complete control of everything that happens, could happen, or could be imagined, but He does so in His own way and in His own timeframe. God knows the future perfectly and has come up with a plan, for everything, that will happen and He follows it. But no one knows what it is now, anytime in the past, any time in the future, or in any different reality. Things are rarely as they appear and truth is much stranger than fiction.

7.1.3 History Lessons of God's Work

Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We can look at several major events in history to see how God has out maneuvered His enemies. The first major surprise, that we are all very aware of, is God coming to earth as Jesus Christ and allowing His enemies to kill Him, but then outmaneuvering them, by taking on the sins of the world, rising again from the dead, and defeating death and hell, in the process. His enemies were outmaneuvered, because they thought that Jesus would fight a political and military battle.

The Threat of Islam, Then Atheism

Many Christians are afraid of the growth and the power of Islam today, but the Islam was at its zenith of power, during the time of the Ottoman Empire. If Western Europe had not risen, to become world powers, at the time they did, then Christianity would likely have been wiped out in Europe. Then, as the enemies of God tried to push the entire world, into unbelief, in the last few hundred years, culminating in the Cold War, they focused too much on Europe and America, and at the same time, a much larger part of the world became Christians.

Total Reversal

In just a matter of about 20 years, the situation has turned totally around. Now Christians are afraid of people of other religions of becoming too religious. This is a major victory. Paganism is on the rise in the West, but this next generation has too little knowledge of Christianity, to share their parents rebellion from it, so they are equally interested, in other spiritual things, like Christianity. Christianity has had the most success, in recruiting people, from polytheistic faiths, than from any of the world religions. Most of those, who are willing to convert, are from these polytheistic religions, who already prefer Christianity to Islam.

Christ has Already Won

Islam may be growing and may be the religion of a billion people, but it took over 1,000 years to happen and Christianity has grown to twice that size, in only the last 100 years. Christianity is still growing much faster and is considered more culturally relevant, to more people, than Islam. The ironic thing is that the enemies of God tried to convince people that Christianity was the religion of the rich and powerful and unbelief was the religion of the masses, but the poor masses chose Christianity when these rich and powerful rejected Christianity.

7.1.4 American Social Split

Bitter Division

In America, we seem to be culturally divided between an emotionally driven conservative movement and a rationally driven liberal movement. There are positives and negatives to both sides, but they seem so bitterly divided so that half the people in America hate the other half of Americans. Then our national foreign and domestic policies flip flop back and forth between 2 extremes after each elections, both presidential and congressional.

Religious Motivations

I think one of the big reasons for their animosity is that there are religious undercurrents that fuel a lot of the divisions. Both seem to only see the negative side of the other one. One of the reasons why I think so many Christians are so emotionally motivated is that many Christians are convinced they had to choose between Christianity and reason and they chose their religion.

Politically Correct

I think much of this goes back to the resentment that many Christians feel towards the education system which has pushed many anti-White, anti-Male, and anti-Christian points of view and so many white male Christians were not going to believe that they were wrong, because of how they were born, and were not going to give up their religion, so they just decided to reject the pursuit of education. We have this term politically correct, where the government claims that you can have any opinion you want, but really only want you to take their position. And they use the word objective, to describe this one politically correct government-sponsored opinion.

Finding Common Ground

Most Christians are social conservatives, in that they oppose the direction society is going, in legalizing many things, that were for most of history considered anti-social and deviant. I and many of my generation are fiscally liberal, in that we want people and animals in need, to be taken care of and, without government funding, these needs will not be met.

Win-Win Solution

Many Christians would be willing to support things like the environment or increased funding for the poor, if the same politicians adopted a more socially conservative point of view. Basically, two opposing groups can pick the things that they want most and compromise on the things that are not as important to them, then everybody gets something they want instead of one group winning and the other losing.

7.2 History and the Future

7.2.1 Religion and History

Religious Tolerance

In America today, we take for granted, that we have one of the most inclusive of religious beliefs historically. In the recent the past, even more religiously tolerant governments, like the Mongols only allowed certain religions. The major writing, that put weight behind tolerance, in modern Europe and America, was written by John Locke and, in his letter, he talked about the reason for tolerating religions, other than the dominant and government supported religion, of the country, but he did not extend this toleration, to those without a religion (atheists).

Patriotism=Faith

Throughout most of history, being patriotic and loyal to your country was the same thing as practicing the state approved religion. One of the reasons why the Church did some of the great persecutions periodically was because of politics and not due to theology. During the last thousand years or so, Christians from different countries fought each other and politics and religion were intertwined.

Major Christian Churches

This is because each of the different original centers of Christianity were political, intellectual, economic, and linguistic rivals. Most had imperial support, after the first few hundred years of Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox (Greek) church was supported by the Byzantine Empire, the Nestorian and Jacobyte (Syriac) churches were supported by the Persian Empire, and the Roman Catholic (Latin) church was supported by the governments of Western Europe.

Success of Islam

The fighting, between the Persian and Byzantine empires and the persecution of the Syriac church allowed the Arabs, to take over the Middle East, all the way, from Spain, to India. The Christians living there (who were most of the population, for hundreds of years, before and afterwords) actually invited in the Arab armies, as they thought they would be treated better, than under the Byzantine Empire. And they were for hundreds of years. This changed history profoundly.

Islam as a Unifying Factor

This is what allowed Islam, to become a major world religion and, over many hundreds of years, Christianity shifted its center, from the Middle East, to Western Europe. One of the big reasons why it will continue, to be a capitol offense, to convert from Islam, to any other religion, in the Middle East is because just like the Afghan or the Scots, the Arabs are a tribally organized people with a common language. The thing that unifies the Arabic people is the Islamic religion. In other non-Arab Muslim-dominated countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan the country includes multiple ethnic groups and Islam also provides a unifying factor.

Latin Church as Unifying Factor

Christianity also served as a similar politically unifying force, in Western Europe, as Islam was, for the Arabs. The Roman Empire adopted Christianity, because the emperor at that time believed, that the Christian God was more powerful, than the pagan gods and so believed he would win more battles, if he and his empire became Christian. The Germanic tribes eventually converted to Christianity, for similar reasons. The Roman Catholic Church was then the only institution, that survived the Dark Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire, and was used to keep the royalty in power, until the French Revolution, when the government took all the money, from the Church, to fund Napoleon's war campaigns.

Paganism and Christianity

The Roman Empire and Greek and Roman culture were preserved, by the Latin Church, during the Medieval period. They are the basis, for modern European culture. The Roman Empire was not the biggest, or most important empire, of its time, even in the Old World and the city of Rome was a backwaters during that time, but Europeans glamorized it, because it was a successful empire run by a white racial group. It is ironic that the Church, that is so afraid of the New Age movement, voluntarily chose to synchronize itself with the pagan Greek and Roman philosophies, religions, and cultures. Some of the big sources of tension between Scientists and the Roman Catholic Church were not over Biblical doctrines, but came about as a side effect of the Latin church adopting pagan Greek and Roman views of the world.

Importance of Middle East

The big reason for the success of the Roman Empire and any other empire, that controlled the Middle East, was because the maritime technology of the time allowed easy navigation, of the Mediterranean, but was not able to allow navigation in an open ocean. Basically, there was some very important trade, that happened, between Europe and the Far East, including China, India, and Southeast Asia. The Middle East was the central point, in this trade, and those who transported these good back and forth became very powerful and rich.

7.2.2 No Rules

Why Liberals are Progressives

Many people believe the conventional wisdom, that people get more conservative, as they get older, but when people get older, they change less and less. The reality is that society is going more and more in a liberal direction and has since the Renaissance, to as recent as the last 50 years, depending on what part of the world you are living in. The reason why liberals sometimes use the term progressive is because what is now considered liberal will be considered conservative in the future. Liberal is another word for change or "progress".

The Slippery Slope

I think many of the changes, in the last generation or two, of American society are good, but I think several more generations, in the future, it will be taken too far. The big problem with being more and more liberal is not about being liberal fiscally but about being liberal socially. We now are making it acceptable for two men or two women to marry, which, I think, makes sense.

Many social conservatives see this as a slippery slope, where the sexual revolution goes so far, that certain things, that most people consider morally wrong sexually (even radical liberals) may become common place and socially acceptable, far into the future. I don't see this even starting to happen in my lifetime or even the generation after that's lifetimes, but later on this could well be a serious problem, in the making. Think about how much has changed in the last 50 years and how things are changing, at an accelerated pace. Think about what might happen, if the current trends continue, to be pushed, at a exponentially faster pace. Where will it end?

Not Enforcing Laws

What I am concerned about is something quite different. What I am concerned about is the desire of those in power and the average citizen on making more and more things legal and even not enforcing laws, that are unpopular, but are there for a good reason. For some people, this brings up the idea, that our government makes laws about what the criteria must be, for someone to legally come into the country. Then we decide, instead of changing the laws, that we should just not enforce them, and so some people, from certain countries, get away with things we would never allow people, from other countries, to do.

Taking Risks with Safety

But even more basic is the unwillingness to follow, even the most simple and obvious laws, designed for safety. For example, people seem to think it is ok to run red lights and not signal, when they turn. This happens so often, that you never know, which way a car will turn. And the reasons for these rules are so obvious and following them so simple, but people are still unwilling to follow even these rules.

Fear of Hard Work

People in various jobs, I come into contact with, refuse to show up on time, or even follow the most simple directions. The average person toady is an expert in how to give impressive arguments about why they are unwilling to follow directions. It seems that most people's greatest fear is having to perform an honest day's work. And this still happens, when many people still have no jobs and if someone loses a job, there are no jobs open, but this still doesn't motivate people, to do their work properly.

Too Cheap

Now that we have budget cuts, because of tax cuts and welfare for the big corporations, we have to cut basic services, like public education and law enforcement. We have so little money left, to even keep public order, that crimes against property are not prosecuted. We won't even spend money, to repair bridges, never updated for over 50 years, even though they are crumbling, right before our eyes. We refuse to even provide the most basic security updates, for computers, that run our critical infrastructure, because we are too cheap.

Unwillingness to Save/Invest

Businesses seem unwilling to save up money, before they invest in new projects, so when they lose money, they go bankrupt and the average citizen ends up bailing them out. And businesses seem unwilling, to invest any of their own money, into improving their business, and never adopt any new ideas, or take any risks, to differentiate themselves, from the other brands and then are surprised by their failure. Most people are deep in debt, because they are don't have the discipline, to save their money, before they buy new things.

7.2.3 Fundamental Problem

Victim of our Success

The fundamental things that is ruining America is that we are the victim, of our own success. Things are too easy for us, which has made us weak. Since even national governments are unwilling, to even think one generation ahead, and the public is unwilling to make any measurable effective sacrifice, things are going to get exponentially worse, before we even realize, what has happened. One the critical amount of momentum has happened, it will be very costly, just to slow down the increase in damage.

Exponential Growth

One of the biggest problems, we are facing today is that our leaders and our citizens can't seem to understand how exponential growth works. Exponential growth explains how when the English came to America, that the fish in the rivers couldn't move, because the rivers were crammed full of fish. We had so much timber in America, that we used old growth wood, that we can't even find today, for firewood, or just cutting it down, to start farms. When we started making cars, we never thought that all of the people in China and India would eventually be able to afford one and that we would have billions of cars.

Exponentially Greater Problems

This is the same way, that diseases spread, from one person, and then infect hundreds of millions. When we wait 10 more years, to solve environmental problems, the damage could easily be 10,000 times harder to fix then. The reality of Global Warming is that when the temperature rises just a little bit, the entire ecosystem falls apart and the natural controls, for the climate stop working. Then the weather gets exponentially more destructive. This is the reason why environmentalists made such a stink about it, as early as the 1970s.

Out of Our Control

People made fun of Jimmy Carter, when he pushed alternative energies, but how much better would the world be if the country had the political will, to get the problem under control then. At this point, the US has lost their ability, have the leverage, to push other countries, to use less fossil fuels. At this point, the bulk of the environmental losses will be the result of India and China, so that if we give up a certain amount of fossil fuel consumption, they will increase their consumption, to the point, that it will offset our reduction.

7.2.4 Solutions

The "Easy" Solution

I have already talked about a return, to an earlier level of technology, as a way to deal with our current lack of resources, to solve our energy problems. Most people would consider that giving up, but there is another, more popular solution. This solution would involve finding a much greater source of energy. But the problem here is that we need more than just 100 or 1,000 times as much energy, and we need to continue to find exponentially increasing amount of energy, every generation, or else we end up, with an earlier level of technology.

Many More Solutions Necessary

Basically, we are addicted to energy, and out energy desires will increase exponentially, so instead of us needing a one time increase of energy, we need to find, either an almost unlimited amount of energy, or else we need to keep on finding more and more powerful energy sources. So this problem will keep happening, every 20 years, and we will be in the same situation, that we are in now then. That is the biggest problem, with keeping things comfortable, and avoiding a collapse, of the world, as we know it. The largest amount of energy will be needed, to engineer projects, to protect people and society, from the increased destructive power of weather.

Will God Return?

Many Christians think God will come, if society collapses, but that is not Scriptural. Jesus talked about returning like a thief in the night and that no one wold know what hour or day He would return. You can basically be sure nothing will happen, at any time, that is forecasted. So, if people give a date, when they think the world will end, you can almost guarantee, that that will not be the time. History proves this.

Very smart and good intentioned people, with great faith, a lot of good evidence, and good scriptural support gave exact dates, when Christ would return, and all were wrong. I think it is a waste of time and resources, to continue this pursuit. Remember, that that even the devil and the angels have no idea about this, as well, and they are much smarter, have more resources, have had much more time, and want to know more badly than us.

God's Return will Surprise Everyone

The timing will likely come, when things are very peaceful and society is very stable. Before Jesus comes, people will have tired, of being afraid of His return. We will likely experience things, in a different order, and in a way, as surprising as how Jesus came and what He did, compared to what people thought would happen.

Jesus will return, when there is a spiritual crisis, that we will likely be unaware of, and it will not likely be at a time of a political or environmental crisis. The fist half of the tribulation could happen, without us knowing, until we were half way through. Only God knows and controls when this happens. When it does happen and the government wants us to take the mark of the beast, it will be the number 666 exactly and you will be crystal clear of what that is, when it happens.

The Best Solution

The best solution is a solution, that God will bring. Prayer for God's will to happen, keeping a Christ like attitude and doing our best to avoid sins are the best way to help. What is spiritually significant is different than what is socially, politically, militarily, or financially significant. We need to have faith in God and follow His will.

The only way to be sure, that what we attempt, will succeed is to make sure that we are doing what God wants us to do. If God wants you to do something, He will make it crystal clear. And success will need to be defined, as serving God's purposes, which we will unlikely know how, what we do, will help God's plan. God doesn't need us, but we need God. We will fail God, but God will never fail us.