Gnostic Mysteries

There is something appealing about possessing some bit of secret knowledge or trivia that is unknown to everyone, save a select few “initiates” fortunate enough to partake in the mysteries.  The seductive allure of secret knowledge—or of just being “in-the-know” about some microniche subculture—seems to be a part of human nature.

We’d like to think in our modern age that we’re not superstitious sorts, but we are haunted everywhere.  Scientists have elevated themselves to the level of priests in a cult of scientism, worshipping the emptiness of nihilistic materialism just as the pagans worshipped lifeless idols.  Both are made of stuff—hard, material, unfeeling, insensate stuff—and both are equally empty.

But we here on the Right can fall prey to Gnostic fantasies as well.  The Libertarian dreams of a utopia in which everyone engages in frictionless free exchanges and all uncomfortable disputes are settled with cash and self-interest.  He’s as materialist and deluded as the mask-wearing mandatory vaxxer preaching loudly from the Church of Scientism.  The hyper-nationalist dreams of some impossible ethnostate that never really existed in the first place.  And so on.

Still, it’s seductive, the idea that we can possess the knowledge of good and evil, of true Reality.  After all, that’s the original sin, isn’t, it?  Eve, then Adam, could not resist the allure of being—so they were told, dishonestly—like God.  But even—perhaps, especially–Christians can fall into this trap.

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TBT: Counting Blessings

In searching through some old blog posts recently, I stumbled upon one from April 2020 about being thankful for the blessings in our lives.  The day before I’d written what I thought at the time was a doom-and-gloom post, but reading it now, it wasn’t too bad.  I do seem to remember being in an exasperated mood when I wrote it, so that probably explains, in part, the sense of contrition I experienced after writing it.

Regardless, it yielded “Counting Blessings,” a post giving thanks for God’s many blessings in my life.  It’s rather serendipitous that I stumbled upon this post again the other day, because the theme of counting one’s blessings is one I’ve been contemplating quite a bit lately.

Life is going well enough for yours portly (I’d better not say that too loudly!).  Work is clipping along and I’m hustling big time with lessons.  I have a great (and godly) girlfriend, dog, and house, and a supportive family.  Things could be worse.

With that here is 29 April 2022’s “Counting Blessings“:

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Bible Study Update

For the past month (roughly) I’ve been dedicating my mornings to Bible study.  I became very negligent about spending time in God’s Word over the past school year—and, really, over the past few years—so I have been doing my part to mend my relationship with Him and to immerse myself in His Word.

I’m pleased to report that, so far, I have largely stuck with it, only rarely missing a day’s reading.  I started simply:  reading through Proverbs.  A very common Bible study tactic is to read one chapter of Proverbs a day; in thirty-one days, or one month, you’ll have read the entire book.  I adapted that slightly, sometimes reading a couple of chapters a day.  As June has only thirty days, and I started late, I managed to end the month with Proverbs 31.

After finishing Proverbs, I realized I needed to expand my reading further.  To that end, here is my current reading schedule each morning:

  • Three chapters of Psalms (with 150 chapters, it should take fifty days to get through Psalms, although Psalms 119 might be its own day)
  • One chapter of Proverbs, corresponding with the date (for example, this morning I will read Proverbs 12)
  • One chapter of Isaiah, also corresponding with the date until I get to Isaiah 32 on 1 August 2022, at which point I’ll keep reading one chapter a day until I have completed the book (again, this morning I’ll read Isaiah 12)
  • A New Testament passage from a little “read-the-New-Testament-in-one-year” Bible someone gave me years ago (today’s passage will be Romans 1:1-17)
  • Some days, I do a reading from a little devotional, Our Daily Bread

In total, it takes me anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour to complete this reading, as I try to read slowly and take notes in the margins (I also start readings with thorough prayer time with God, praying prayers of thanksgivings to Him; praying specific prayer requests; and praying for His Hand in my life and my budding relationship) and if I see connections to other Scriptures—which is happening more and more frequently lately—I will take time to note the parallels and tie them back.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Idolatry

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

In this insufferable season of “pride,” when we’re apparently meant to celebrate narcissism and buggery, I’ve come across the YouTube channel of Becket Cook, a formerly gay man who surrendered to Christ and now fully rejects the personalistic cult at the center of the homosexual lifestyle.  My dad sent me his interview with Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian women’s studies professor who went from hating Christ to loving Him completely.  She’s now a pastor’s wife who homeschools her children (it looks like she has blue or purplish hair in the video, but I think that’s just the lighting):

Listening to Cook’s (no relation) videos over the past week has really been convicting for me, not because I’m gay (quite the opposite), but because they highlight something that permeates our culture today:  idolatry, specifically the idolatry of Self.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

TBT: Reclaim the Rainbow

Well, here we are—that time of year when every corporation changes its logo into a rainbow format to avoid the persecution of people who define their entire identities based on which body part they want to stick into which hole.  God have mercy on us all.

Wouldn’t it be great if corporations pretended to love Christianity, like in the good old days?  Better yet, they could actually be Christian.  I guess Hobby Lobby, My Pillow, and Chick-Fil-A will have to do.

One casualty of our fascination with buggery—besides the kids groomed into “alternative” lifestyles and exposed to men in dresses reading them children’s books—is the rainbow, a symbol of God’s Promise never to flood the Earth again.

Rainbows are beautiful, but like everything the Left touches, they’ve been appropriated to represent something odious and sinful.

It’s time to “Reclaim the Rainbow“:

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Slowing Down

For many years now I’ve received Dr. Don Wilton’s The Daily Encouraging Word, or “DEW,” in my inbox every morning.  It’s a wonderful little daily devotional with a bite-sized chunk of Biblical Truth attached.

I’m ashamed to admit that due to both my busy schedule and my own spiritual recalcitrance, I do not read DEW daily.  Indeed, I have a massive folder in my Hotmail account (yes, yes, go ahead and laugh) called “DEW” with over 1200 unread issues.  Gulp!

I do a bit better with Audre’s blog, Words on the Word.  Even there, though, I could do better.

That’s all to say that it’s serendipitous that this week, The Daily Encouraging Word is going through a series called “Try to Slow Down.”

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TBT: Saint Patrick’s Day

It seems like this week is packed full of holidays and pseudo-holidays:  Pi Day, The Ides of March, and now Saint Patrick’s Day.  Was there a holiday on 16 March that I missed?  “Blustery Sweet Sixteen Day” or the like?

I like holidays, even the minor ones, and as much as companies love pretending we’re all Irish for a month so they can sell socks with four-leaf clovers on them, I would slot Saint Patrick’s Day in the “minor holiday” category.

That said, the story behind the holiday is quite inspiring, especially for Christians, and explains how a barbaric, pagan land became a bastion of Christianity and, quite possible, the savior of Western Civilization.

As such, I’ll be donning some green today (if I remember—d’oh!) and enjoying a wee bit o’ the spirit of the day.

With that, here is 17 March 2021’s “Saint Patrick’s Day“:

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Supporting Friends Friday: The Sandwhich Press

As I’m working on Péchés d’âge moyen, my collection of short piano miniatures, I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the influence of Telegram user Goth Kilts.  She has been a huge source of encouragement as I begin dabbling in composing again, and a friendly sounding board for some of my musical ideas.

Kilts is herself quite a prolific commentator through her excellent Telegram page, The Sandwhich Press (and, yes, it’s spelled with the extra “h,” although the URL for her page spells “sandwich” the normal way).  It boasts over 500 subscribers, all of them richly deserved.

As such, I wanted to dedicate today’s edition of Supporting Friends Friday to The Sandwhich Press, and the insightful, humorous, and Goth-inflected TradCath [she’s actually Coptic Christian—oops!] commentary of Goth Kilts.

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Flashback Friday^2: Christmas and its Symbols

Okay, okay—it’s not Christmas.  But, hey, close enough, right?

There will be an actual Christmas post tomorrow morning, though it’s going to be very short.  But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to turn “Flashback Friday” into “Flashback Friday^2,” angering mathematicians and calendar enthusiasts everywhere.

The original post in this “series,” “Christmas and its Symbols,” contains some excellent Christmas wisdom.  So often we hear Christmas denounced as a secretly “pagan” holiday because we hang wreaths, put up trees, and dangle mistletoe.  But as one meme I’ve seen recently put it (to paraphrase), “Yes, I love to display the trophies of my vanquished foes.”

Christianity sure did kick—and continues to kick—some butt.  We could probably do with some more warrior-monks running around with maces and clubs.

For this weekend and beyond, though, Jesus—as He always does—will do.

With that, here is “Flashback Friday: Christmas and its Symbols“:

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