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I tweet, therefore I are

Friday, March 17, 2017

APOCALYPTIC BELIEF


 I am a Christian.

I was told today that I dance upon the tombs of the unbelievers by believing that God will some day destroy the world, taking his own with him before the end.  Now, there are at least three bad assumptions that were made by the person saying this to me.  I have issues with the comment because people assume many things that are far from true.

Assumption 1)  Christianity is a monolith faith and what is true for one is true for all.  

Really?  Assuming I am no different from Catholicism or Assembly of God denominations is as bad as me saying that Atheists have no belief in anything.  Or that Agnostics are actually atheists in more polite clothing.  I don't believe these things.  And I am very different from Catholics or Assemblyites of God.

My belief in Armageddon and Apocalypse is that we are going to face the end of the earth, and whether it comes from God or man, it is going to happen.  It is a tragedy.  It is a catastrophe.  I mourn those lives I couldn't help, and far from dancing upon the graves, I see my failure in them.  I am not saying that Armageddon or Apocalypse isn't from God, or that I have hopes for great things in the afterlife.  I am saying that the bible should be rated PG-13 or R because if it is true, life is really going to descend into hell.

Assumption 2)  As a person I look forward to the horrible deaths of masses of people I do not know, along with those I know who do not believe as I do.

Insane.  I see in the accusation a hint of what the person meant about me, when they said what they did.  They see Christians as being cold, hurtful and smug.

I live a life that is by no means sinless, or flawed, but I do try to live in a moral fashion.  It happens often that I fail.  But at no point do I assume who should live or die regarding the end of the world.  I would never, and do not foresee this changing.  I believe in a compassionate god, but, I also know that if my belief that God is enormously powerful is true, 99% of what is real, that from God's perspective and understanding, is alien to my mind.  Yet, I try to be moral, and have tried to be a dispenser of mercy, hope, and goodness to others.  I try not, in fact, to judge others.  It is foreign to my form of belief.

Assumption 3) That I must not read the bible.  

This is a mistake people often make when hating Christians.  That is,  that they might know God's mind or heart more than one who actually believes the religion.  I am not saying I know more about God than anyone else, I am saying that I've read the bible, along with tons of books from other religions to discover truth.  I believe in God, and read the religious works that I do, with a mind to learn more about it.  I might well be wrong, flawed, mistaken, but I think someone who has read Shakespeare, for instance, would know more about Shakespeare's work than someone who listens to other people's opinions on the work.  (I don't altogether like the works, but recognize their importance and brilliance.)

I believe that the End is going to happen.  And it won't come with a banner flying behind a dragon saying "This is God telling you, time to die".  It'll appear as the worst sort of event in human history.  And from there, I can only pray that you are safe, hopeful, and have found shelter.
 

Revelation 19:11-21

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great." And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Thoughts upon the day


Click all images for better clarity.

A thought for the week.  Why do I make such efforts for so little return?  I was called to be what I am.  It would be great if everyone bought dozens of my books.  But, if my work saves a life, makes a person reconsider their purpose for the better, or makes a person reading the work feel something that they had never imagined possible, perhaps that is enough.


My two cats, Sophie and Katya in a photo taken by my beloved son Jonathan.  I am comforted by all three of them. 


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Quick hit


There are a number of awesome reads in the area of crime fiction.  Whether it is noir, hard boiled, detective, they all have a potential to be a look into a dark place, and an entertaining journey.

The books shown here represent some of the best books and writers of the genre, but of course, there many many more you might find.



















Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Entropy in Europe

"The term originates from the Greek: βάρβαρος (barbaros). In ancient times, the Greeks used it mostly for people of different cultures, but there are examples where one Greek city or state would use the word to attack another.[citation needed] In the early modern period and sometimes later, Greeks used it for the Turks, in a clearly pejorative way. Comparable notions are found in non-European civilizations, notably China and Japan. During the Roman Empire, the Romans used the word "barbarian" for many people, such as the Germanics, Celts, Gauls, Iberians, Thracians, Parthians and Sarmatians."

From Wikipedia


When a fall of a culture happens, the blame for such is often cast upon the outsiders.  However, the fall of any great empire or society has most often been from issues within and endemic to the society.  Greed, hedonism, refusal to serve public duty, and other reasons are more often the cause of the fall.  When people on the fringes of society or from a different society attack/invade or are involved in a war with the society, they are often called Barbarians.  Julius Caesar himself faced many tribes of so-called barbarians and it was his victorious campaigns against them that caused his great popularity. 

Those same peoples were the cause of the military fall of Rome.  In Britain where the Romans had attempted to expand power by removing kings and queens and taking the land, the Icenii tribe revolted under the hand of Queen Boudicca and her daughters.  They burned Londonium before their rebellion was put down.  On the mainland Celtic tribes in Gaul, modern France were subjugated by Caesar, but Germania stood afar from the conquests, and from Germanian Celts were among those who caused the sack of Rome.  But Rome's walls and culture had fallen long before.



Addiction to gladiatorial games, the use of slave labor, mercenary ranks filled in the Roman Legions, and more all hollowed out the culture's fortitude.  They'd lost their will to fight for their own safety.  The barbarians invading succeeded, but it was because they themselves were as hardy and powerful as the Romans who fought the Carthaginians, who had carved out their Republic had been.  The pleasure seeking Romans 800 years after the Punic wars, of the empire, were fat, lazy and arrogant in comparison.



“In my own opinion, the average American's cultural shortcomings can be likened to those of the educated barbarians of ancient Rome. These were barbarians who learned to speak--and often to read and write--Latin. They acquired Roman habits of dress and deportment. Many of them handily mastered Roman commercial, engineering and military techniques--but they remained barbarians nonetheless. They failed to develop any understanding, appreciation or love for the art and culture of the great civilization around them.”  J. Paul Getty, Billionaire


"History teaches us that when a barbarian race confronts a sleeping culture, the barbarian always wins."

Arnold J. Toynbee

Arnold Joseph Toynbee CH (April 14, 1889 - October 22, 1975) was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934-1961, was a synthesis of world history, a metahistory based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline, which examined history from a global perspective.

“Youths of the Pellaians and of the Macedonians and of the Hellenic Amphictiony and of the Lakedaimonians and of the Corinthians… and of all the Hellenic peoples, join your fellow-soldiers and entrust yourselves to me, so that we can move against the barbarians and liberate ourselves from the Persian bondage, for as Greeks we should not be slaves to barbarians.”

Alexander the Great

O [Roman] people be ashamed; be ashamed of your lives. Almost no cities are free of evil dens, are altogether free of impurities, except the cities in which the barbarians have begun to live...

Let nobody think otherwise, the vices of our bad lives have alone conquered us...

The Goths lie, but are chaste, the Franks lie, but are but are generous, the Saxons are savage in cruelty...but are admirable in chastity...what hope can there be [for the Romans] when the barbarians are more pure [than they]?"

-Salvian

Robert E. Howard was a writer who wrote prose and poetry featuring tales of adventurers, fallen empires, and the wild men who skirted the rules to succeed with a rough hewn sense of honor.  Some saw his characters as being all cut from the same cloth, but they did have many differences.  But the ways in which they were similar came from his own personal belief of the nobility of the savage over that of polite established society.

In the early 1970s Marvel Comics restored the memory of Conan and Robert E. Howard's world of characters and adventures.  First with Conan, then with tangent characters and stories, they created a wonderful print and color memory of the set of stories.


Not Conan, but the Celts versus the Romans, via Crossgen comics and Chuck Dixon.  Sadly uncollected by Crossgen or Checker or Marvel since the end.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Choose your poison


Some of the writers of Science Fiction seek to tell stories of a positive future, where mankind has overcome the struggles of the present.  Some ignore the present and write of the worlds elsewhere, to throw a different focus upon our norms and reality.  And some use their words to question the present, using exaggeration to bring into full view areas of concern.  Authoritarian government, Theocratic government or society, the decay of society due to nuclear war or pandemic all bring the fears and worries of the present into view.



Science FICTION is especially powerful as a means of inquiry.  This is because the author is free to question the society and create the paradigms free from worries about hurt feelings, and the like.  Fiction based on wide imagination allows the reader to consider the issues at hand, and then see them in their own life.


However the society presented in each book arrived at being an authoritarian system, they all have numerous ideas in common.  A desire to achieve conformity of the individuals, the lack of rights, ethnic minorities and other smaller groups are often kept from full membership and thereby access to benefits, and there is always the implicit threat of violence should the society member decide upon resistance.  Some believe that Nazi Germany inspired much of the Dystopic government stories, but it simply isn't true.  Many of the great stories were written and conceived prior to World War Two.  But it doesn't mean Hitler wasn't absolutely lock step with the template.


I've been told that the law of entropy means that Order decays into chaos.  Society being order breaks down into chaos.  In the Dystopias found in many of the books an event happened, chaos ensued and someone instilled order.



A great fear some people have is an enormous pandemic of killer flu or other infection.  World wide germ warfare is one thing, that is human created, but, humans have not yet eradicated some horrific germs, and have allowed certain bacteria to become resistant to our antibacterial drugs.  The world is ripe for such a horrible event, and wherever it comes from, it is right to fear it.  The Last Man by Mary Shelley therefore is an amazing book, written before most people understood the power of germs, despite the knowledge of the Black Death and such.  She was first among the many  the Science fiction authors to tell a story where the earth is quickly, and brutally depopulated.  It would happen quickly, and when finished, society would be hard pressed to continue, in any meaningful fashion.


And then there was, THE BOMB.  Since World War Two the fear of nuclear war, accidental war, nuclear plants having accidents, and more.  The idea of the power of atom held in the hands humans is a bit worrisome.  Having the power of the atom and thousands of warheads scares me and a lot of other people.  Science fiction looks at it all in many varieties of ways, none of which are frivolous, none of which are foolish, and none feel wrong.  Nevil Shute's ON THE BEACH is a book that brings the focus down to life's smallest point, how do you want to die, since we are all going to die.  If anyone thinks it is at all not perfect, I'll eat their hat.  The point to all the books is not that WE WIN! but that, in the Nuclear Age, use of these weapons means, WE LOSE, THEY LOSE, WE ALL LOSE!