Inauspicious

Well, it has been an inauspicious start to 2012 for Traditores. I’m going to blame it on my cold, but although we did broadcast my first sermon of 2012, we didn’t record it. 🙁

I forgot to hit "record."

Well, considering what the cold has done to my voice, maybe that’s more of a blessing…at least for all of you. 🙂

P.S. I went ahead and rerecorded the sermon (well, I suppose technically, recorded it the first time :-)). You can listen or download it from our Sermons page or the page with its study notes.

Going Gaga Over Christmas

(I wrote this in a particularly snarky frame of mind, so if you aren’t in a good mood or are a Yankees fan, please back away from the computer and save reading this for another time. :-))

A Very Gaga Holiday Album CoverI know I spend way too much money at Amazon MP3…but I’ve been addicted to music since I first started developing my own collection. (Prior to that my tastes were my father’s…basically adult contemporary. It’s still music I enjoy and have great respect for, but at some point…with a 70’s teen…Olivia Newton John and Englebert Humperdink had to give way to Kansas and Journey—after a short detour into The Village People. Come on, you gotta admit “Y.M.C.A” and “Macho Man” are catchy!)

Either way, I check out Amazon MP3 at least once every 24 hours to see what their MP3 Daily Deal is. More often than not it is a genre I have little interest in (it’s often indie coffee-house type stuff), but it does mean that during each visit Amazon’s whizz-bang computer gets a shot at enticing me to buy something else I don’t really need, and it knows from my buying history I’m a pretty big fan of Christmas music. (If you check out my “Christmas Album ‘Must Haves’ (2011 Version)” you’ll see I am a traditionalist…give me the old standards sung by people who could have been my grandparents or great-grandparents.) One recent time when their page refreshed Amazon MP3 shocked me by suggesting “A Very Gaga Holiday” by…well…that’s pretty obvious. 🙂

Why shocked? Continue reading Going Gaga Over Christmas

Christmas Album “Must Haves” (2011 Version)

Okay…I really should be working on my sermon, but I figured I’d list my “must have” Christmas albums and songs (almost all available on Amazon MP3)…in no specific order:

Continue reading Christmas Album “Must Haves” (2011 Version)

Luther Plays “Amen” & “This Little Light of Mine”

Nothin&#39 better than an awesome artist (and great human being) singing a Christian song. I take that back, singing two Christian songs is better! 🙂

This is Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson playing at the Antrim Home & Harvest Festival.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzfW31DvenA&rel=0&w=512]

A bonus non-Christian song by Luther: Continue reading Luther Plays “Amen” & “This Little Light of Mine”

Do Views Exist On a Linear Trajectory?

Often when we see the excesses of a given group—political, religious, or etcetera—we connect them with one end or the other of the given categorization’s spectrum. It is as if we pull out some graph paper, draw a straight line, and are convinced that anyone’s view can be plotted on it. A little bit left of X, a little bit right of Y…a bit more liberal than A, a bit more conservative than B.

And we lionize that thoughtful, considerate, and mystical class that falls right in the middle…you know…the “moderates.” (Although it should be noted that in this paradigm a moderate is a big fat zero.)

Sometimes thinking of viewpoints this way makes sense. Denominations are often connected in overall thought with differences only being a matter of degree and non-essential doctrines. The same is true with politics—is it not fair to consider Code Pink to the left of, but on the same half of the line, as Democrats? The Tea Party, albeit somewhat of an unruly son, the child of Republicans (perhaps with some Libertarian DNA snuck in)?

But what of organizations and viewpoints the great majority would find excessive? Where would you place skinheads? Anarchists?

Individual lunatics?

The reason I ask is because I believe, at least with politics, part of the reason people choose to apply the linear paradigm is because they can use it to assign guilt by association. See a racist?! Clearly it shows the natural result of Republican thought!!! See an anarchist?! Those darn Democrats have struck again!

But are either fair? The anarchist example might be best. Should they be plotted around Democrats or Republicans? Given their other (likely) viewpoints and the folks they hang out with (e.g. at a G20 protest), it would seem fair to plot them left of the Democrats—on their end of the spectrum. However, given the Republican’s historical (but not necessarily constant or recent) commitment to as few laws possible and minimum government, shouldn’t it go (heading right on our graph paper) Republicans -> Libertarians -> anarchists?

Which is it?

I suspect most of us could easily expand our plotting to 2D…for example a Libertarian would be to the right and either above or below (depending on what the Y access defines). But would that really be be enough for every case? How about 3D?

I don’t believe so. I would argue some viewpoints, and definitely some people, exist in a totally different dimension. Their thought universe is wholly different than pretty much anyone else’s who has at least one foot in reality. To even speculate about connections to Democrats or Republicans is at best disingenuous and/or illogical, and at worst outright character assassination. There is no benefit; do we really believe if Democrats would tone down their language anarchists would suddenly embrace the rule of law? Or if the Republicans would stop their war-like metaphors skinheads would start embracing African Americans?

No, there is no benefit to connecting thought-outcasts with mainstream organizations other than to demonize our opponents. It isn’t an honest discussion, it is a strategic attack.

I have focused on the political because, I’ll admit, it’s easier for me to come up with examples…but it has theological implications.

To mimic Greg Gutfeld on Red Eye, if you don’t agree with me you are a Sabellian anarchist who is a closet member of the John Birch Society and believes in the Moral Influence Theory!