Saturday, March 29, 2014

...and how shall we treat homosexuals?

Homosexuals may like to deny Jesus Christ exists, but they sure like to benefit from his largess. In our Christian culture they benefit (not subject to execution as they would be in Muslim society) from the current dispensation - namely, in the revealing of the person and person of Jesus Christ God extended his hand in an offer of peace to all humanity:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him - John 3:17

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests - Luke 2:14

In matter of fact, the past, present and future sin of every single human being has been "taken away" (John 1:29) through Christ's work on the cross, so homosexuals are correct when they point out, that, if it is a "sin" for man or a woman to lie down with others of the same sex, they are in no way different from a person who "sins" by cheating his fellow man in a business transaction. However, what homosexuals always fail to point out when using this type of analogy is that our society does not condone the sin of cheating your fellow man, and laws exist to hold accountable people who do. Likewise our society used to enforce laws that forbid homosexual behavior. Such laws have been declared unconstitutional by our courts.  So what remains to be done or discussed? How should Christian people, or a Christian nation, treat homosexuals?

Not many options remain in America in America but to tolerate them and pray for them. However, we can draw the line at allowing them to redefine marriage. There exists no valid reason to redefine marriage to accommodate homosexual "lovers". The current rationale for allowing homosexuals to marry is that we should not deny the institution of marriage to any two adult persons who "love" each other. This is an abuse of the word "love". There are many types of love - fathers love their daughters, but should not be enabled to marry them. Environmentalists love polar bears but should be enabled to marry them. Many soldiers develop life long love for persons they serve and suffer with,  just as deep as they feel for their opposite sex spouse, but it doesn't mean man-soldier should be enabled to marry man-solider. Romantic love (Greek: eros) is unnatural and inappropriate among members of the same sex, just as eros between a mother and her biological son is and would be.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Deeper Meaning of Banzai Attacks

Most Americans are probably acquainted with the fact of Japanese Imperial Army troops employing a battlefield tactic of Banzai charges against U.S. ground forces during WWII. A Banzai charge was a timed, coordinated human wave assault during which Japanese soldiers would shout "Tenno Heika Banzai" ("Long live the Emperor"). These tactical charges were intended to overwhelm the enemy not only with a mass of charging bodies, but also by so unnerving the opponent with the loud cry "Tenno Heika Banzai", that the enemy would flee or be paralyzed into inaction, or ineffective action, by fear.

Fewer Americans, steeped as we are in the folklore of overwhelming U.S. victory over Japan in WWII, will know how close the United States came to being defeated in the early days of U.S. offensive operations against the Japanese in the South Pacific (Operation Cartwheel). The Japanese are an island people well acquainted with the sea and their navy presented a formidable opponent to U.S. naval forces, especially early in the war. During the first stage of the Solomon Islands campaign within the purview of Operation Cartwheel, U.S. naval forces were tentative, cautious and even cowardly in their actions towards an aggressive Japanese Imperial Navy that liked to intimidate with "scary" night time attacks. For example, the USS Chicago broke off engagement with Japanese forces at the very height of a critical battle, The Battle of Savo Island, and her commander, Captain Howard D. Bode, subsequently committed suicide.

It is not for no reason that, three months later,  Rear Admiral Norman Scott's actions in the wild and brutal Naval Battle of Guadalcanal posthumously won him the Medal of Honor. Admiral Scott lost his life in a fusillade of enemy shells while he quietly went about his business taking the battle to the enemy on the bridge aboard the USS Atlanta (CL-51). The Medal of Honor citation read thus:

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty during action against enemy Japanese forces off Savo Island on the night of 11–12 October and again on the night of 12–13 November 1942. In the earlier action, intercepting a Japanese Task Force intent upon storming our island positions and landing reinforcements at Guadalcanal, Rear Adm. Scott, with courageous skill and superb coordination of the units under his command, destroyed 8 hostile vessels and put the others to flight. Again challenged, a month later, by the return of a stubborn and persistent foe, he led his force into a desperate battle against tremendous odds, directing close-range operations against the invading enemy until he himself was killed in the furious bombardment by their superior firepower. On each of these occasions his dauntless initiative, inspiring leadership and judicious foresight in a crisis of grave responsibility contributed decisively to the rout of a powerful invasion fleet and to the consequent frustration of a formidable Japanese offensive. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. (emphasis mine)

The deeper meaning I wish to point out is the spiritual truth hidden in plain sight behind the facade of battle tactics analyzed and interpreted by historians, and seen by eye witnesses. We can know for certain that Japanese strategy and tactics in WWII originated, and were directed, not by flesh and blood, but by
the rulers... the powers...the world forces of...darkness...the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12)

The reason we can know this is the tactics employed. Satan favors the surprise attack and so nighttime is when he often accosts us:

And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15 NAS)
For the serpent to bruise on the heel it is necessary for him to engage in sneak attack, from behind. Satan, at core, is terrified of Christians, so he prefers sneak attack. He does not prefer to assault us front on. However, like God, Satan is not one dimensional - he is shrewd. Satan knows that a Christian disciple's supremacy over him in Christ is a spiritual reality that can only be realized by an exercise of  faith. We have supremacy over Satan only to the extent that we believe we have supremacy. Our lack of faith is a weakness that Satan exploits. Consequently, a favored tactic employed by Satan is the frontal assault - the Banzai charge, if you will - intended to get us off balance physically and mentally. This is the tactic lions use - when a lion charges, after the crouch, it roars and then attempts to use its bulk as a battering ram to send its prey reeling. Christ described Satan as lion:
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NAS)
A lion devours nothing it has not first charged.

At the The Battle of Savo Island, Captain Howard D. Bode, allowed the lion to intimidate him; we can all relate to that weakness. At The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Admiral Scott refused to be intimidated. It did cost him his life, but the battle was won, and in confronting Satan, Jesus lost his life on the cross but won the battle.

We can perceive the true nature of our opponents in life by examining their tactics. If they:

  1. Mimic the sneak attack of the serpent (the devil) from behind (Japanese night attacks), which in your own life might take the form of a co-worker, or family member covertly attempting to undermine your standing at work, or in family, or
  2. The intimidation assaults of the lion (the Japanese Banzai charges), which in your own life might take the form of someone trying to intimidate you from retreating from hard won ground at work - a promotion -, or at home, an environmentalist neighbor threatening to picket your driveway with The Sierra Club if you disturb "wetlands" to install a boat dock on your waterfront property
if we see this then we know our struggle is not against flesh and blood.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Candidate Nixon Bugged by Sitting President

Watergate Redux

Everyone knows that President Richard Milhous Nixon was forced to resign the presidency of the United States because his operatives burglarized the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C., the ostensible purpose of which was to photograph documents and install listening devices. 

Few Americans know that Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States and then titular head of the Democrat Party, had, long before Watergate, illegally wiretapped Nixon [1] who was in the midst of his campaign for President in 1968.

To the extent that the left acknowledges this truth, they distract attention from the obvious implications by spinning the episode, in typical fashion, against Nixon. Leftist spin is that the wiretapping revealed that Nixon and Kissinger treasonously were encouraging then President of South Vietnam, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, to not succumb to Johnson's pressure to involve South Vietnam in peace talks with North Vietnam. In truth, Thiệu had good reason to not want to negotiate on terms laid down by the Johnson administration (Johnson had publicly declared, months earlier, he would not seek re-election) and would probably have concluded on his own, without prompting from Nixon, that he was better off to wait for the notoriously anti-communist Nixon to ascend to power before entering negotiations with his communist adversaries.

In any event, what Johnson learned from his illegal wiretapping is beside the point. The point is that Johnson, while President of the United States and titular head of the Democrat Party wiretapped a political opponent and a former Vice President of the United States, a more grievous offense than what destroyed the presidency of Richard Nixon.

[1] pp. 263-264, America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975; fourth edition, George C. Herring