There’s a battle for Trump’s fallen crown and there are various groups that are trying to claim it and others that benefitted from it, are now quickly distancing themselves from it now that Trump failed to secure the election.
Some of these groups are going off on some crazy conspiracy theories, and various apocalyptic scenarios. Unfortunately many of these branches off the conservative political vine are being led or influenced by Christian leaders and evangelical celebrities and other popular online personalities.
The political and pious “prophets” have been “prophesying” and many of their prognostications have been proven false or have failed to materialize at this point. Yet, there seems to be little substantive accountability or countering of theses messages and movements by its own house.
The far left has its own tactics and tacticians.
The new favorite word being used to lump all who voted for Trump into is being called ‘Trumpism’.
But Trumpism(?) is a different beast in my perspective than the platform principled, libertyminded, antiglobalist but not Great Resetism, constitutionalism that many of us who voted for Trump hold.
Failing to delineate this critical difference is at the heart of the continual misread, misunderstanding and mischaracterization of many Trump voters by the media, Republicans and the growing left of center post-conservative evangelicals brigade.
They fail to see that Trump didn’t create a movement, he was a product of a political ideology that’s morphing out of continual failures and fractures of the Republican Party. He harnessed this movement.
But it’s a movement happening in both parties. You see this in the Democrat party with the rise of Congressional Representative AOC and her pack of far left ideologues.
For conservatives there’s a scramble for power and a drive to gather the social and political capital of Trump’s war-chest amassed.
For the Left they want to press for as much ground they can take with thier election victory and strike as hard a blow they can to those who supported Trump and represent a political and social threat to their agendas, values and vision of what they want America to become.
Let’s not forget that there’s a lot of people processing political disappointment right now and many are letting that cloud their reasoning. It’s a vulnerable place to loose a leader in a battle. People are looking wildly around to catch sight of a standard bearer to figure out which way to go and where to regather the conservative troops in this culture war.
71 million people voted for Trump and 75 million voted for Biden.
These numbers reflect the on the ground reality that this battle is going to be a long one with various tides turning, wins and loses, battles won and lost. This culture war hasn’t been declared over by any means. So everyone has to come to grips with the political realities at hand and be very discerning about whose trying to rally people to thier cause.
Rome is always wrestling with Republic Senators, Caesars, or Emperors and of course the ever pressing Barbarian hoards.
The Political Fight for Trump’s Fallen Crown. December 15th, 2020Eric Blauer
“What is the meaning of this?” asked the Witch Queen. Nobody answered. “Speak, vermin!” she said again. “Or do you want my dwarf to find you a tongue with his whip? What is the meaning of all this gluttony, this waste, this self-indulgence? Where did you get all these things?”
That was the White Witch’s inquisition on the woodland creatures of Narnia’s Christmas Party and it should be the question asked of all of us who are still keeping Christmastide.
Unfortunately, these days we do not have the joyful stamina to truly keep festival. We have been worn down and weakened by our palsy prosperity and there’s little vigor and vitality left for music, feasting, singing, dancing, giving of gifts and the hardest of all Christmastide celebrations…being with each other.
December 21 was the Winter Solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year. We are now in the season when the light of day is growing longer and night is growing shorter. Celebrating the arrival of light and the diminishment of darkness has been a rich part of our Anglo-Saxon past.
For Christians, during this part of the season, we celebrate the Lord Jesus’ birth in a feast called Christmastide. This season traditionally lasts until the feast of Epiphany which is celebrated on January 6 every year, also known as “Three Kings’ Day.” This lasts until the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ [at the Temple] (called Candlemas) on February 2 (40 days after Christmas, when, according to Leviticus 12:1–8, Mary would have to be ritually purified after childbirth).
“Epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphaneia, meaning “manifestation” or “appearance.” In 2 Timothy 1:9–10, the word is used to refer to the manifestation of Jesus Christ:
“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”.
It’s in this light that we continue to celebrate. If anything our party should be in full rage-mode by now if we truly are captured by the truth of what our gospel is proclaiming. Is joy a one-day event or a posture and power of the heart?
Christmas is a tide that at certain cycles of sun and moon crashes upon the shorelines of our communities and floods them with unintoxicated cheer, prenuptial promise, ridiculous generosity, and unrestrained godly gaiety?
Do we dare leave the birth of Savior in the stable and head back home only with the memories of the birth?
Bah humbug! That’s languid lunacy bereft of the gift of the heavenly stardust of Divine levity!
If the Apostle Paul had to write letters of restraint to the feasting that would break out at the Greeks weekly celebrations of the Lord’s table, shouldn’t there be some possibility of danger in our delight too?
Or have we been turned to stone?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Chapter 11 by C.S. Lewis
“But I will skip on to the time when the snow had stopped and the morning had come and they were racing along in the daylight. And still they went on and on, with no sound but the everlasting swish of the snow and the creaking of the reindeer’s harness. And then at last the Witch said, “What have we here? Stop!” and they did.
How Edmund hoped she was going to say something about breakfast! But she had stopped for quite a different reason.
A little way off at the foot of a tree sat a merry party, a squirrel and his wife with their children and two satyrs and a dwarf and an old dogfox, all on stools round a table. Edmund couldn’t quite see what they were eating, but it smelled lovely and there seemed to be decorations of holly and he wasn’t at all sure that he didn’t see something like a plum pudding.
At the moment when the sledge stopped, the Fox, who was obviously the oldest person present, had just risen to its feet, holding a glass in its right paw as if it was going to say something. But when the whole party saw the sledge stopping and who was in it, all the gaiety went out of their faces.
The father squirrel stopped eating with his fork half-way to his mouth and one of the satyrs stopped with its fork actually in its mouth, and the baby squirrels squeaked with terror.
“What is the meaning of this?” asked the Witch Queen. Nobody answered. “Speak, vermin!” she said again. “Or do you want my dwarf to find you a tongue with his whip? What is the meaning of all this gluttony, this waste, this self-indulgence? Where did you get all these things?”
“Please, your Majesty,” said the Fox, “we were given them. And if I might make so bold as to drink your Majesty’s very good health – “
“Who gave them to you?” said the Witch.
“F-F-F-Father Christmas,” stammered the Fox.
“What?” roared the Witch, springing from the sledge and taking a few strides nearer to the terrified animals. “He has not been here! He cannot have been here! How dare you – but no. Say you have been lying and you shall even now be forgiven.”
At that moment one of the young squirrels lost its head completely. “He has – he has – he has!” it squeaked, beating its little spoon on the table.
Edmund saw the Witch bite her lips so that a drop of blood appeared on her white cheek. Then she raised her wand. “Oh, don’t, don’t, please don’t,” shouted Edmund, but even while he was shouting she had waved her wand and instantly where the merry party had been there were only statues of creatures (one with its stone fork fixed forever half-way to its stone mouth) seated round a stone table on which there were stone plates and a stone plum pudding.
“As for you,” said the Witch, giving Edmund a stunning blow on the face as she re-mounted the sledge, “let that teach you to ask favour for spies and traitors. Drive on!”
And Edmund for the first time in this story felt sorry for someone besides himself. It seemed so pitiful to think of those little stone figures sitting there all the silent days and all the dark nights, year after year, till the moss grew on them and at last even their faces crumbled away.”
“Let us keep the Feast: -1 Corinthians 5:8
The Danger of Christmastide December 29th, 2019Eric Blauer
William Bradford writing about his Pilgrim Pastor John Robinson teaching them about the dangers of a faith that is unwilling to go beyond its Reformers. ( July of 1620)
“He charged us before God and his blessed angels, to follow him no further than he followed Christ… He took occasion… to bewail the state and condition of the Reformed churches who were come to a period in religion and would go no further than the instruments of their reformation.
As for example, the Lutherans, they could not be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw; for whatever part of God’s will he had further imparted and revealed to Calvin, they will rather die than embrace it.
And so also, saith, you see the Calvinists, they stick where he left them, a misery much to be lamented; for though they were precious shining lights in their times, yet God had not revealed his whole will to them; and were they now living, saith he, they would be as ready and willing to embrace further light, as that they had received…
Here also he put us in mind of our church covenant, at least that part to receive whatsoever light or truth shall be made known to us from his written Word; but withal exhorted us to take heed that we received for truth, and well to examine and compare it and weigh it with other Scriptures of truth before we received it.
For saith he, it is not possible the Christian world should come so lately out of such thick antichristian darkness, and that full perfection of knowledge should break forth at once.”
A Pilgrim’s take on how to follow the Reformers December 6th, 2019Eric Blauer
The older I get the more I’m drawn to the idea that there’s a realm within a realm where evil has no power. A place within the story that is beyond and before the story. A piece of heaven in hell. A figure that’s singing while the world is weeping. A man whose dancing and prancing, feasting and taking walks in the wood. Outside Bombadil and Goldberry’s land, there’s an apocalypse unfolding around a powerful ring but inside its merely a trinket with no use to him. Everything in the hinterlands is monumental, tragic and catastrophic…everything is so important and demands action. But here ancient evil spells are broken with a nursery rhyme. Here the kingdom is entered with the key of a child.
I think we often need to be reminded that this world is a small world within a grander world. This present darkness is fading, because a light from on high has dawned.
Hopefully you are able to hear him sing:
“Hop along, my little friends, up the Withywindle! Tom’s going on ahead candles for to kindle. Down west sinks the Sun: soon you will be groping. When the night-shadows fall, then the door will open, Out of the window-panes light will twinkle yellow.
Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow! Fear neither root nor bough! Tom goes on before you. Hey now! merry dol! We’ll be waiting for you!
Hey! Come derry dol! Hop along, my hearties! Hobbits! Ponies all! We are fond of parties. Now let the fun begin! Let us sing together!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather, Light on the budding leaf, dew on the feather, Wind on the open hill, bells on the heather, Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water: Old Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!”
Why Tom Bombadil Matters December 3rd, 2019Eric Blauer
A poem inspired Veterans and 1 Chronicles 12:8, 2 Samuel 1:19-27 and Joshua 14:7-12
In honor of Veterans, men and women who will not be forgotten in the annals of eternity’s pen and the hearts and minds of patriots and the memory of our enemies.
There was a day when wars ended.
An era when country and combat were not held in dishonor, back when the shame of being a bastard was more about the father refusing to own his role than the character of the child.
But not now, evil is good and good is evil and the lock on the door is chided as the tool of fools. We live among generations that have never known a time of peace. They have been born in blood.
We also live among those who have fought battles in cities few know or care about and yet many who do, can’t utter them without remembering someone they lost in battle.
We are forbidden to have heroes in this age. The soldier no longer stands for anything or anyone when Eden is everywhere, there’s no snake in the garden and everyone is divine.
When I reflect on Scriptures like the ones that inspired this piece, I mourn not for the glory of victory or violence, but for the loss of living in a time when dying for something was possible. These are confusing times when Nazis are neighbors and Hitler has been resurrected from the dead but the Holocaust is denied.
May God send us Eagles and Lions before we are convinced we don’t need saving.
For the choir director: A love song to be sung to the tune “Lilies.” A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
-Include love songs in your marriage. Include flowers in your marriage. Music and flowers will strengthen and sweeten your marriage.
1 Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.
-Include poetry in your marriage: You will have many years ahead and many moments to say things that you need to say but won’t quite know how to say it. That’s why God gave us Poets.
2 You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever.
-Learn to tell each other the good things about each other. You will increase what you praise. If you want to make love at night, you have to be loving during the day.
3 Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic!
-A good person protects what they love. Security matters in marriage. Protect it from all the dangers that threaten to kill it be they physical, emotional, relational, financial or spiritual.
4 In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!
-If you want to succeed and have a healthy marriage, be trustworthy, humble and do what is right. The truth of what you say is proven by what you do in marriage.
5 Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts. The nations fall beneath your feet. 6 Your Divine throne, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. 7 You love justice and hate evil. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.
-A marriage that lasts is one that understands that you will fight all kinds of battles in life but God will give you what you both need to cultivate a life of joy together.
8 Myrrh, aloes, and cassia perfume your robes. In ivory palaces the music of strings entertains you.
-It’s the little things that matter the most in marriage. Many marriages have all the right things happening but still stink. It doesn’t matter how good a man or woman you are, if you stink, nobody will want to be close to you.
9 Kings’ daughters are among your noble women. At your right side stands the queen, wearing jewelry of finest gold from Ophir!
-A good marriage surrounds itself with good people. You will face many things in marriage that you won’t have a clue on how to navigate. That’s why God gave us multi-generational friends. If you don’t have any…make some and if you have bad friends, it’s time to make some new ones.
10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away.
-One of the first commands in the bible regarding marriage, is “leave and cleave”, which means God wants you two to create your own life together. Many marriages falter because they will not maintain proper boundaries with inlaws, or judge their own marriage by one another’s parents marriages, or feel trapped to replay the bad stories of the past.
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.
-Love and respect are the two foundational motivations for men and women. If you understand this truth, you will understand how to serve one another and unlock each others hearts.
12 The princess of Tyre will shower you with gifts. The wealthy will beg your favor.
-Finances are one of the top three reasons couples get into difficulty and often divorce. Figure out how you will manage your money together. Oh, and you will get all kinds of glassware as wedding gifts, re-gifting is ok for recently married folks, that’s marriage truth #36 in the marriage handbook.
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. 14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. 15 What a joyful and enthusiastic procession as they enter the king’s palace!
-Beautiful clothes and a lovely home are far more important in a marriage than most men think. Life will be more difficult until you learn the importance of both of these things. A well dressed woman in a crappy home, or a terribly dressed woman in a nice home are both to be avoided.
16 Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands. 17 I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.
-Your kids will be like you, weigh that piece of knowledge very, very carefully. It’s not just what you say but what you do, that will be the most powerful influence on your kids. And remember, when you are dead, the only people who can really tell others about the kind of person you were, is your kids. Weigh that heavily too.
13 Reflections from the Bible’s Royal Wedding Psalm October 20th, 2019Eric Blauer
I do my best to stay engaged in the primary matters of importance in politics. I try to listen to both sides and do my homework on the major issues.
I do this because I believe that public policy matters in private life.
I pay taxes and I want to know what they intend to do with my money. I’m an American and I choose to participate in our political process, which is the envy of many in the world.
I’m always on the lookout for a leader that will advocate for the political platform, policies, programs and principles of what I believe matter.
I love the primary season of elections because this is where all the horses get in the race and we get a chance to learn what they envision matters and what or how they will pursue that vision.
Anyone can apply for the job, but after the primary, the choices are made and that’s just how it works. Every voter who chooses to play, has to play with the cards dealt.
To me it’s not about personalities but platforms, policies and principles. It’s not about someone’s age, sex, persuasivness, attractiveness or even poltical party. It’s what they see as the problems and how they intend to advocate for change. It’s also how they see America and what they will protect of America that doesn’t need to change.
I am not a Trump groupee.
I would love for there to be another candidate that better represents the totality of my vision and values on a number of fronts and issues. But I do agree with Trump on many of the platform, policies and principles he has advocated, defended and put in place. There are many I don’t and there is a ton of tone, style and temperament issues and actions that I don’t like either.
That said, I am not primarily influenced by the way in which something is done as much as how important is it that it gets done.
As surprisingly as it may be, some of this thought came to me from Martin Luther King Jr with his charges against what he called “The White Moderate” in works like “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html).
Many of the reactions to Trump remind me of the same critiques that opponents of King used. I am not saying Trump rises to the same level of King and I know I am triggering a ton of my friends by even putting the two in the same paragraph, but there’s similarities as I see it.
I voted in 2016 based on my deep concern that the American far-left was driving our Republic into the ditch on all fronts that matter to me.
My vote was used to thrust a stick into the wheel as another radical put it:
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
As a politician Trump has governed far more conservative than anyone imagined he would, to the surprise of his reluctant supporters and the chagrin of his opponents.
There are two public fronts in American life…the political arena and the culture war.
My faith informs both but it’s active in different ways within the limitations of each.
I am not looking for a politician in my pulpit or pastor in the oval office.
I believe that distinction is uniquely part of our American political heritage. It’s the genius of this American Experiment and a purposeful and principled part of our founding documents. I think it works and the history of our Republic witnesses to the long moral arc of justice as MLK Jr. put it.
“Evil may so shape events that Caesar will occupy a palace and Christ a cross, but that same Christ will rise up and split history into A.D. and B.C., so that even the life of Caesar must be dated by his name. Yes, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Both Trump and King fail to live up to the moral example I would hope for in men of such influence and power. Many people wrestle with the words, works and witness of each man and I do as well.
I do not defend the sins, failures and faults of either and their accomplishments don’t justify their actions, but their sins don’t nullify their accomplishments either.
That isn’t to say that such actions won’t have consequences, they do and will, but I don’t want to live in a world where such standards are used on each other or those in history.
Today we are on witch hunts to exposes and dethrone anyone who doesn’t live up to some current and ever changing standard of what is right in the eyes of this postmodern culture.
We claim people as heroes I would of never imagined a few decades ago and burn at the stake the memory of those who we once saw as people to admire or celebrate on many issues.
This is the world we live in right now and I do my best to be a voice and active witness in these times and I know I fall short in more ways than I can count, but that doesn’t invalidate the endeavor.
If there’s a better way of engaging all of this and you have found the perfect path, then feel free to share it with me.
Until then I will keep fighting it out with the tools I currently have and pray it matters for the most good, for the most people, in the years to come.
Trump, MLK Jr. and Why I Think Politics Matter October 16th, 2019Eric Blauer
Scythians and the person sitting next to you at Church
Colossians 3:11 “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”
I just love when Bible study encompasses history and horror and connects it to church life. I am not sure who you would categorize as a “Scythian” in your mind and heart but everyone has someone that represents.
Who makes your skin crawl and sets you off in a knee-jerk trigger? What issue provokes you to want to move seats or attend a church service elsewhere?
How about who someone voted for in the last election?
What they do in their private sex lives?
What they eat or don’t eat, their nationality, skin color, language or the car they drive?
Nail biters, open-mouthed chewers, drinkers, smokers or tokers?
Men, Women, Crying babies or runny nosed knee-bitters with smelly pants?
Normies, Rappers, Lumberjacks or Parents who put their kids in daycare?
Homeschoolers, Creationists, Atheists, Anti-Vaxers or Politicians?
Loud Talkers, Huggers, Weepers or Creepers?
Fat people, thigh-gap girls, botoxed or the dirty and toothless?
Who are your Scythians?
Do you see Christ or…only Categories?
A little history: The Scythians were a terribly violent group of people who lived just north of the Black Sea. They were Eurasian, Horsemen, Nomads.
Herodotus: “…no invader who comes against them can ever escape and how none can catch them if they do not wish to be caught. For this people has no cities or settled forts; they carry their houses with them and shoot with bows from horseback; they live off herds of cattle, not from tillage, and their dwellings are on their wagons”..
The Most Savage of the Barbarians: “In what concerns war, their customs are the following. The Scythian soldier drinks the blood of the first man he overthrows in battle. Whatever number he slays, he cuts off all their heads, and carries them to the king; since he is thus entitled to a share of the booty, whereto he forfeits all claim if he does not produce a head. In order to strip the skull of its covering, he makes a cut round the head above the ears, and, laying hold of the scalp, shakes the skull out; then with the rib of an ox he scrapes the scalp clean of flesh, and softening it by rubbing between the hands, uses it thenceforth as a napkin. The Scyth is proud of these scalps, and hangs them from his bridle-rein; the greater the number of such napkins that a man can show, the more highly is he esteemed among them. Many make themselves cloaks, like the capotes of our peasants, by sewing a quantity of these scalps together. Others flay the right arms of their dead enemies, and make of the skin, which stripped off with the nails hanging to it, a covering for their quivers. Now the skin of a man is thick and glossy, and would in whiteness surpass almost all other hides. Some even flay the entire body of their enemy, and stretching it upon a frame carry it about with them wherever they ride. Such are the Scythian customs with respect to scalps and skins.
“The skulls of their enemies, not indeed of all, but of those whom they most detest, they treat as follows. Having sawn off the portion below the eyebrows, and cleaned out the inside, they cover the outside with leather. When a man is poor, this is all that he does; but if he is rich, he also lines the inside with gold: in either case the skull is used as a drinking-cup. They do the same with the skulls of their own kith and kin if they have been at feud with them, and have vanquished them in the presence of the king. When strangers whom they deem of any account come to visit them, these skulls are handed round, and the host tells how that these were his relations who made war upon him, and how that he got the better of them; all this being looked upon as proof of bravery.” -Source: Herodotus’s “Histories”, Book IV, 440 B.C., translated by George Rawlinson
Scythians and the Person Sitting next to you at Church October 4th, 2019Eric Blauer