Sunday, August 28, 2011

A little Gospel

Okay, time for another outbreak of Gospel music.

I know we've had this one before, but hey...Ernie Haase with the Cathedrals, long ago (comparatively speaking): "I Want to See Jesus"

And for more clapping and toe-tapping, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, not quite so long ago, "Climbin' Up the Mountain." Wait for the piano riff by Gordon Mote. Gordon is amazing. He really can play with one hand tied behind his back, just to make it fair. And for those of you who are a little put off by the Gospel music smile, notice that Gordon has that bluegrass/country impassivity. But you can tell he's having fun.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Matthew 18 does not apply to criticizing public articles

This should not need to be said, but I've become aware (most recently through some reactions to a post at W4) that some in the evangelical community are developing the oddest notions about public writings and public refutations. Apparently Jesus' injunctions about how to handle it if "your brother trespasses against you" in Matthew 18 are being applied to criticism of the public writings of people who claim to be Christians or even who simply may be Christians based on some affiliation of theirs. (I even saw it lately applied to a group of homosexual activists who, as far as I know, make no claim to be Christians at all!)

Now, this is a wild misapplication of the verses. Obviously, if someone unknown to me has written something in public, this isn't a matter "between me and him alone." The whole point of Jesus' instruction is that if something is, initially, a private dispute between two Christians, it should be escalated to a public matter involving the opinion of the whole church only by degrees and only if it cannot be resolved at a lower level. But this has no point to it at all if we are talking about the public writings of one Christian (much less a merely possible Christian or putative Christian, still less a non-Christian). There is no dispute between two individuals. The matter is public ab initio. There is no specific person who has been "trespassed against" who might try to "gain his brother" by getting a private apology and resolution. The entire set of instructions is obviously inapplicable.

I have been told that this misuse of Matthew 18 has even been applied to authors like Rob Bell who write arguably heretical books. When pastors and theologians try to criticize them, they are in turn criticized if they did not first go to Bell privately concerning his published books! This, even if they have no independent private acquaintance with Bell. What absurdity.

Moreover, of course, if the principle applies, it should also apply to public criticism of public critics, which would mean that no Christian could be publically criticized for anything at all before "the steps of Matthew 18" were followed. So the critics of public critics, if they have not first "followed the steps of Matthew 18," are subject to their own criticism of acting unbiblically. This is a reductio of the entire application of the passage, though I suppose it's asking too much for those who misuse it in this way to see that.

So, what does this come to? Well, to quote an old Internet friend of mine, the inimitable Zippy: No, we won't shut up.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Suppressing the truth

This is an amazing video clip at Gates of Vienna:

A reporter interviews a man who was an eyewitness to the raiding of his store. She's supposedly trying to get an eyewitness account. When the man says that 100 or 200 "black dudes in hoodies" raided his store, she immediately interrupts him. She rides over his words again and again trying to pressure him to say that the crowd of raiders was not all black. She believes that she knows that it could not have been all black, and she won't let him say it. Eventually he says something like, "Okay, then...Let me just say they weren't all black." She says, "Yes!" apparently expecting that now he will say what she wants him to say. He continues, "I was the white guy there." She interrupts again, "There probably were other white guys there..."

It's that bad. She literally will not let the eyewitness tell what he saw.

I know that there are conservatives who say that we should never refer to things like "black flash mobs" or "blacks" as the constituency that might oppose certain law-and-order crackdowns. Their idea seems to be to ask, "What's the point? Why say that? It does no good."

But truth is important. That flash mob attacks in America are a black phenomenon is not a trivial truth. That the riots in Britain were vastly disproportionately minority (I've seen one estimate of 70-80% and another of 60-70%) is not a trivial truth.

And the danger is that if we tell ourselves that we must not speak these truths, eventually we get a society full of people like that reporter who refuse to know the truth even when told it by a credible witness. This is not good.

HT for the link to GoV--VFR

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Me on everything

For anyone who is wondering, "What does Lydia McGrew think about the fact that London has burned for several nights in a row?" I'll give you a couple of things I've said on Facebook recently. I give them here because this is my personal blog, where I reign as Personal Potentate, so I don't have to deal so much with difficult liberal commentators. One of my comments was that the police in England seem more likely to crack down on a school child accused of "racism" than on violent mobs who loot and burn London. I don't have time to google the stories, but some of you have doubtless read them: Some ten-year-old kid uses some word, or is accused of doing so, in school in Britain, and the police visit his house and put him under investigation.

Another of my comments was that perhaps T.S. Eliot was wrong and the world does end with a bang instead of a whimper, though Britain's leaders seem to be the ones doing the whimpering.

If indeed things have quieted down there (this is me now, not anything I've written elsewhere), as the news stories are telling us this morning, I'm rather surprised. Is it just that there's nothing more to loot? Or did the thousands of thugs actually believe the government's bluff that it would use (gasp!) water cannons and plastic bullets against them? I think if they'd called the bluff they would have found they could go on with their wave of pillage and destruction, their paean of horrible joy to the gods of hate against all that is productive and orderly. The so-called forces of law and order in England are clearly non-functional. It is absolutely appalling.

Still more appalling was the beginning of an AP story I saw last night. It has since disappeared from the news feed when I call up Yahoo, and I consider this good riddance, so instead of trying to find it, I'll just give the gist from memory. It said something to the effect that Cameron's government would now be called on to improve policing (um, yeah) and also to "help struggling communities in economic hard times." I feel ill. That's positively angering. Talk about appeasement. Talk about Danegeld. What does this mean? More government goodies and handouts for the very people who have just been tearing down England brick by brick and burning the rest? Yep, that has worked really well so far. Sickening. What it should have said was something like, "Making sure communities know that the law will be enforced" or "Cracking down on the lawless communities who have come to believe that they can do anything they like." (And, yes, by the way, all this talk about "communities" does point, in the eerily coded fashion of the liberal news media, to the racial nature of this anarchy, especially in its inception.)

No one who has loved English literature and taught English history can fail to be saddened to the point of near-speechlessness by this undeniable further evidence that England is dying. England the fair. England the Sceptred Isle. England of the Book of Common Prayer, of Churchill, of the brave fighters of the Battle of Britain. England the plucky, the quirky. England of the glorious literature and the lovable variety of accents. England of the peaceful countryside, of the orchards and the bees. England of the tough Yorkshire farmers. England now dying of the cancer of liberalism and anarcho-totalitarianism.

Requiescat in pacem, my beloved ancestor. What you once were will not be forgotten.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

John Who Saw

From Adrian Green-Armytage, John Who Saw (1952)

There is a world -- I do not say a world in which all scholars live but one at any rate into which all of them sometimes stray, and which some of them seem permanently to inhabit -- which is not the world in which I live.

In my world, if The Times and The Telegraph both tell one story in somewhat different terms, nobody concludes that one of them must have copied the other, nor that the variations in the story have some esoteric significance. But in that world of which I am speaking this would be taken for granted. There, no story is ever derived from the facts but always from somebody else's version of the same story.

In my world, almost every book, except some of those produced by Government departments, is written by one author. In that world almost every book is produced by a committee, and some of them by a whole series of committees.

In my world, if I read that Mr. Churchill, in 1935, said that Europe was heading for a disastrous war, I applaud his foresight. In that world no prophecy, however vaguely worded, is ever made except after the fact.

In my world we say, "The first world-war took place in 1914–1918." In that world they say, "The world-war narrative took shape in the third decade of the twentieth century."

In my world men and women live for a considerable time -- seventy, eighty, even a hundred years -- and they are equipped with a thing called memory. In that world (it would appear) they come into being, write a book, and forthwith perish, all in a flash, and it is noted of them with astonishment that they "preserve traces of primitive tradition" about things which happened well within their own adult lifetime.

HT: Esteemed Husband