Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Adoptive Dad, Adoptive God

I am an adoptive father of two young boys, five and two. The bible speaks of God's children as being adopted by God. In reflecting on my relationship with my sons, I think I've gained an insight into our relationship with God that I wouldn't have if I had never adopted any children.

Most children are natural, biological children. My wife is pregnant, so we hope to have a biological child four or five months from now. Most naturally born children are born to their parents without the intent to bear that specific child at that specific time. For a lack of a better term, the birth is "accidental" to what caused the birth, namely the union between a man and woman. That is to say, child bearing is not the primary purpose of the sexual union. God did not say, "man needs somebody to bear children for him," He said, "it is not good that man be alone." In addition, many acts of intimacy may result in few or no children at all, and there is no control over each one as to whether children will result, and children may not even be on the mind of the parents at the time.

In our adoptions, on the other hand, each child was a direct, one-to-one correlation of our decision to adopt them. We want this specific child to be a part of our family. This child already exists, and we can love him ahead of time, and even know who he is.

Our children being so young, they have a limited capacity to understand their adoptions. Our oldest was adopted before he turned two. Our youngest was adopted at birth, and at just two years old, he has no clue at all. We've decided to be open and up front toward our children about their adoptions. God is that way with us. But the ability for young children to understand that they lived with another family before ours, or that they grew in another mommy's tummy and not our mommy's tummy (the mommy they know), is limited, and sometimes funny. Our oldest had said some fairly funny things in repeating his adoption story back at various times. In terms of adult thinking, these things are wrong, but we know he's only a child, so we have mercy and take it with a light hearted attitude.

But our ability to understand God's adopting of us can also be limited. We can have skewed ideas about our adoption into God's family, and where we were beforehand. We can say things about God as our Father that aren't quite right, or maybe even very wrong. But does that make us any less children of God? Hopefully as we grow in our Christian lives, we will gain a much better understanding. When my children don't comprehend their adoptions, are they any less my children? Of course not. I still love them even if they say goofy things about it. I think I've learned to be more forgiving about other Christians who don't understand things the way I do, in part because I understand adoption more fully because I am an adoptive father.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Letter on Creation, Dualism and the Weaker Brother

Andrew Sandlin's reply to a letter written to him is posted on his blog. This letter ties the doctrine of creation to Christian liberty in a way that I couldn't have said so myself in such simple terms. He points out that dualism throws a roadblock down in our understanding of Christian liberty. Read it here.

Pregnancy/Illness Update

We found out today that the bun in the oven is a boy. This should give us enough time to plan to buy blue things, not pink. Since my last update, both of our boys came down with the other flu. So we hit for the flu cycle in our family twice. Not only that, but since then, our littlest got an ear infection. Now to think of baby boy names.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Other Blogs I Visit

Aside from the four blogs I visit - and read daily - I visit many others each day, but are not quite as engaged. Ron McKenzie's Blessed Economist is now a daily read, and he posts things about general righteousness and how the bible applies to daily life. Many things economic - because economics faces each of us all day, every day. Keith Darrell's In Athens is another daily click, although he doesn't post every day. He's mostly commenting on Christian ideas and some politics. McCovey Chronicles is a SF Giants baseball blog with plenty of sarcasm. for libertarian ideology and musings. Gene Redlin's Northern Gleaner is a daily click. He's conservative with a charismatic bent, and a believer in the continuation of the gifts. He's not afraid to speak his mind, and is a good read. TB Vick's Shadows of Divine Things is mostly theology and philosophy and is food for thought on church issues. Team Pyro for the MacArthurite, Spurgeonesque Calvinism of Phil Johnson and group. A good place to get into some arguments, so I need to exercise control. Got into one with Frank Turk over whether U2 qualifies as a Christian group. I started out agreeing with him on a related topic, but well, you know. Keith Ghormley, The Presbyteer, has a cool banner on his site. He's a Presbyterian pastor from Nebraska who has some great photography. An Anglican touch at Of Priests & Paramedics. Dr. Lenny and alter ego Lemme Howdt at The Zone. He's a real scientist, and poet, and baseball fan. Chalcedon's blog for a reconstructionist bent. At Reformed Catholicism, Kevin Johnson and others wrestle with issues that pertain to the unity of the church and how various traditions help or hinder this.

Other more minor blogs are in my favorites list, but I'm not yet at the point I want to write about them. Some are offshoots of my regulars, some are anarchists, monarchists, methodists, pastors and assorted others that I may have found interesting at one time or other.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

No Sooner I Post, Then Find This

No sooner I posted my last post about marijuana, I clicked on Independent Country, like less than a minute later, and JLW's latest post linked to this article about the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, and we quoted the same bible verse, Genesis 1:29. Just too bizarre.

What To Do When Dope-Smoking Liberal Pinko Commie Leftist Radical Berkeley Wackos Are More Biblical Than You and You're a Conservative (Part 2)

Read part 1 here.

I spent five years of my life in Berkeley, California. Yes, the place famous for riots and demonstrations in the 60's, hippies, tie-dyed t-shirts and Grateful Dead concerts. I went to school for three years at the University of California, Berkeley, then lived in Berkeley after school for another two. During that time, the city council passed a city ordinance declaring that the Berkeley Police Department wouldn't arrest anybody who was found in possession of marijuana in an amount small enough to be considered for "personal use."

As a conservative kid from the suburbs (engineering major), my friends and I were incredulous at such a proposition. This also made national headlines. Marijuana was, after all, against the law, and the city of Berkeley was saying that it would ignore state law, which was against the moral law of obeying state law. I was raised within a culture that put state law above everything else (including God's law). Politicians, even though they were idiots, somehow were gods when legislating, and disobeying state law in any sense was tantamount to hating God or something.

But now, looking back on those wild times, I've come to a completely different conclusion regarding marijuana, Berkeley and conservative suburban culture. In the Bible, God tells the whole human race through Adam,

"Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food" and it was so. Genesis 1:29-30

Well, not only does marijuana fit this list, but so does opium and cocoa leaves. God plainly gave these things to man to use, so who is man to disagree? Even though I was a conservative "law abiding citizen", dope-smoking liberal pinko commie leftist radical Berkeley wackos, whether they knew it or not, held to a more biblical position than I did. So, now, I have no choice but to believe the bible. I've found so many of these things that I can no longer call myself a conservative.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Slavery and Your Credit Rating

"The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave." Proverbs 22:7

Here we see the wisdom of Solomon. The borrower becomes a slave to the lender. In today's economy, one's credit rating (a.k.a. credit score) is simply one's slave rating. Your credit score doesn't tell how much of a slave you are, you're already a slave. It simply tells how good a slave you are. Pay back all your borrowing on time, with lots of borrowing!, and your score will be high. Others will look at you. The higher the score, the more likely you are to be a good slave to them. They like slavery.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Anarchy, Monarchy and Democracy (Part 2)

In Part 1, I made the statement that in terms of human government, I am an anarchist. But Jesus said in Matthew 28 that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him. So all authority in the earth among men is derivative from and delegated by Christ. So, overall, I'm not an anarchist, just relative to man. Overall, I'm a monarchist, but this term is used in a relative way, too. Christ is the Monarch. No man or men have claim, in part or in whole, to God's monarchy.

So with respect to man, I believe in anarchy, with respect to God, I believe in monarchy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hugo Chavez Is A Racist

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez told US officials to "go to hell, gringos." The term "gringo" is a derogatory racial slur in the Spanish language with reference to caucasians. Mr. Chavez should ungergo sensivity training immediately while on temporary leave of absence as communist dictator. The 700 Club offers such training.

As for US officials going to hell, St. Peter and Lucifer are negotiating as we speak.

Sick, Sick, Sick

Just as I'm planning on finally going back to work - this afternoon - the pregnant Mrs. Scott is coming down with my latest version of the flu, the chest cold/fever variety. Hopefully the baby will fly under the radar...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Anarchy, Monarchy and Democracy (Part 1)

These are terms for sure to evoke strong emotions in debating the subject of politics. We all have views of these forms of "government", whether indoctrinated by our culture or reached by our own self-education. Dictionary definitions carry baggage not present in the basic meanings of each word.

The basic meanings of each word are as follows:
anarchy: an = no, arhcy = ruler - no ruler
monarchy: mon = one, archy = ruler - one ruler
democracy: dem = man, ocracy = rule - man rule

Typically, these terms are used politically,with respect to human government. So, anarchy would be the lack of civil government, monarchy would be rule by one individual, such as a king, and democracy is taken most to mean government by a majority of the people.

But democracy is simply tyranny of the majority. If 51% of the people believe a thing, no matter how corrupt or immoral, it goes. This is life in America today. Monarchy is tyranny of an individual. If the ruling individual believes a thing, no matter how corrupt or immoral, it goes. Anarchy, although it can have its own problems, is free from these two forms of tyranny, and I'll talk later about these.

In terms of human civil government, I'm an anarchist.

Twisted Sister Performs "Oh Come All Ye Faithful"

In a previous post, I mentioned Twisted Sister's performance on Craig Ferguson. I found the video on YouTube here.

What To Do When Dope-Smoking Liberal Pinko Commie Leftist Radical Berkeley Wackos Are More Biblical Than You and You're a Conservative (Part 1)

Change your beliefs.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sick Again - and Again

Family update - Since my last prego update, many things have happened. Not only did my mom come down with the flu, but so did my sister-in-law. Our little one became so dehydrated from diarrhea that Mrs. Scott had another all night ER visit. Now I've got another version of the flu/cold. I had a fever with both head and chest cold and headache hit me in a short time and it put me in bed. I just had my first food in two days. My fever broke, but I've still got a nasty cold. My dad got hit with the stomach flu so severely that he collapsed and broke a toe. Can't wait for summer.

During all this, people in our church have been wonderful in providing meals in Mrs. Scott's pregnant stead.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Westminster Confession Of Faith And Full Subscription To It

Some people, Presbyterian ministers included, are full subscriptionists to The Westminster Confession of Faith. That is, they hold to the teachings of this document, often by oath, and will not depart from it in terms of beliefs. I'd like to look at this idea with respect to the WCF itself. To quote WCF 20.2:

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are, in any thing, contrary to His Word; or beside it, if matters of faith, or worship. So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also. (Source: CRTA)

Now voluntary subscriptionism to this document is not contrary to it; for if one agrees with the WCF he is free to subscribe to it. But mandatory subscriptionism (i.e. the church requiring it of its members) seems to me to be a direct contradiction of WCF 20.2, because man's conscience is free from the doctrines of the men who wrote the WCF. Does this make sense?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blogs I Read Daily

I read quite a number of blogs and other websites regularly. I've found that reading views I've never heard or from people I don't always agree with is good for sharpening my own beliefs. I'd like to share the sites I visit most. For quite a while now, four blogs have been absolute daily readings and those authors' views and comments have helped shape not only my beliefs but my way of thinking, while not necessarily agreeing with them. I am thankful to these four just for being in the blogoshpere. Andrew Sandlin, John Armstrong, James Leroy Wilson and Vache Folle.

Andrew Sandlin (blog, CCL ministry site). He is a church elder/pastor in Santa Cruz, CA, and writes extensively on Christianity's place in culture. I hold many shared views in theology, and have gained much insight into our place in God's kingdom. I sense in him a deep concern for how Christianity works in our world. I've corresponded with him a number of times and have met him personally at one of his conferences. We don't see eye to eye on the role of the US in the war on terror or on certain things regarding George Bush, but I'll take our agreements in theology anyday. He's not afraid to ask tough questions or rock the boat, or criticize views of even his allies.

John Armstrong. He's a former pastor and an itinerant preacher and conference speaker. My church used to have affiliation with him in theological circles. I met Dr. Armstrong almost 10 years ago. After quite some time without hearing about him, I re-discovered him through of all places, Andrew Sandlin's blog. He has a great heart for the unity of the church and has been a great example to follow for how I need my attitude changed toward Christians of other traditions. His love for baseball probably equals my own. I've corresponded with him on occasion.

James Leroy Wilson (Independent Country). James is... I'm not even sure what James does, but he brings a libertarian angle to things that has been for me a constant check to my previously held conservative ideas. James is refreshing because he hasn't become a libertarian broken record, and isn't afraid at all to call other libertarians to the mat on certain issues. He doesn't have a one track mind when it comes to politics, and his wide variety of topics and several other websites makes him constantly interesting. The next time I'm knowingly within a hundred miles of him, I'll try to buy him lunch.

Vache Folle (St George Blog). I don't know his real name, but do I need to? He's a character from the keyboard; a libertarian/anarchist in an (correct me if I'm wrong) at least somewhat Reformed church context, originally from the deep South now living in New York as an attorney. He practices laughing at himself, and others, and is constantly engaging in slapstick sociology. He loathes mindless, sheepist conformism, and knows well his place on the Bristol Stool Chart.

I'll write more about other sites I visit a bit later.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pharisees and Politicians

Ron McKenzie at Blessed Economist recently ran a series of posts that showed the close parallels between today's politicians and the Pharisees of Jesus' day. He applies Jesus' scathing condemnation of the Pharisees in Matthew 23, point by point, to modern politicians. The implications are frightening. He has condensed his entire series into a single, relatively short, piece. Read it here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What I'm Reading Right Now

I'm currently reading RJ Rushdoony's The One and The Many. This is a study in how the one relates to the many, or unity & diversity, community & individuality, church & individual believer, in short the whole to its parts in every area of thought and life. Rushdoony's observation is that all of human history shows man's natural tendency is to favor one of the two extremes as ultimate. Thus, destruction and meaningless are the result.

But he posits that in the Holy Trinity, neither the One God nor the Three Persons of God are ultimate, but are equally necessary. Since creation and man's world are reflections of the Trinity, we are to pattern our lives, our businesses, our culture after the Trinity. Neither the tyranny of the individual nor the tyranny of the community will result. Freedom is maximized.

Okay, I'm only on page 10 or so right now, so the second paragraph is my guess as to what he'll say. I believe it already. I am an avid Trinitarian, which is why I believe I'm also a Christian libertarian, a communal individualist and a biblical anarchist. More to come on how I define these terms and how they play out in everyday life and into the kingdom future.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Posthumous Scoreboard: Ford Praise, Nixon Villification

Gerald Ford's recent death, complete with stories of his controversial pardoning of Richard Nixon, evoked memories for me of the time Nixon died. Nixon's death brought about, on one occasion, the most venomous, hate-filled tongue thrashing of another human being I've ever heard in my life. And oddly enough this was triggered by, of all things, the routine operation of a baseball scoreboard. Read about it here at From The Bleachers, my baseball blog.

Another Prego Update

We had an appointment with a specialist, and he determined that the recent problem is not as dangerous as we feared, and Mrs. Scott was taken off complete bed rest in favor of just taking it easy. He determined that some known high risk fears probably won't come into play for the rest of the pregnancy. We're thankful for that. But we're still day to day. In the mean time, though, all four of us have come down with the stomach flu, our five year old first on Thursday, then the three rest of us yesterday. Our soon-to-be two year old had his first experience with tossing his cookies (he never spit up when he was a baby), and I'm sure it freaked him out. We spent last night changing jammies, bed sheets, sofa linens and the like, and gave our washer and drier a good workout. My mom and several others were over to help out during our emergency room visit and for the next two days. My mom now has the flu, but the others haven't succumbed. I hope we can laugh at all this sometime in the future.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Prego Update

Complications arose in Mrs. Scott's pregnancy yesterday and she's been sentenced to bed rest for an indefinite time period. Symptoms resembling previous miscarriages landed us in the ER for, like, nine hours. Quite a day, to say the least. But the baby seems to be fine, and had a heart rate of 153 beats per minute - faster than disco music. John Travolta eat your heart out. I'll be doing different things at home now, so I don't know how this will affect my blogging. Stay tuned for the answer.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Resolution: No Resolutions

This year, I'm going to continue my long-standing tradition of making no New Year's resolutions. Since I have no resolutions, other than resolving to make no resolutions, I cannot fail; I will succeed. I have succeeded in my resolutions ever since I have resolved to not resolve. I feel better about myself and have incentive to encourage others. As soon as I hit the "Publish Post" button, I'm heading over to the fridge to celebrate the New Year by drinking my favorite beverage - a beer.

Well, actually it's an ale, but generalizations are acceptable many times. Happy New Year!

Happy Pew Year

Happy New Year, everybody! From the Pew.