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Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Perdition Declension

The disorienting light swept over me unexpectedly. The pain and nausea was overwhelming for a moment, but subsided nearly as quickly as it had arrived. My mind was a bit slower to recompose itself. I slowly lifted my head and opened my eyes. I looked around in the attempt to figure out where I was.

“Where, where am I?” I asked.

One of the gathered nearby responded, “I don't know.”

My head continued to clear. “I...I think there was some kind of explosion.”

We looked at one another.

Another added, “I was in a hospital room.” I supposed that would have made sense. She was, after all, adorned in what looked like light-blue scrubs of some sort.

But we were no longer obviously in a hospital or any other kind of medical facility.

We appeared to be outside.

The realization swept over me in a renewed wave of nausea. I solemnly informed the gathered,. “I think we are dead.”

The eyes of those closest to me widened.

“Dead?” they mumbled in considerable yet hushed silence.

We took stock of our situation. We looked up the verdant clover and grass-covered path that sloped continually upward. One could not avoid feeling drawn towards it.

We realized that was one of two possible directions. However, reluctance began to build to view what laid in the other. Yet there was a greater cosmic compulsion regarding each person to view it nonetheless.

Before us, we could see charred and burned trees. Not a single leaf clung to the lifeless limbs of the trees lined along the dry rocky path that sloped downward.

Beyond what were once vibrant trees in the distance, dark smoke billowed slowly into the sky. Its ascent seemed as reluctant to reach for the sky as had been our reluctance to gaze it its direction.

The smoke lingered to form what could be described as nothing but a warped, sinister halo. At the center one could glimpse at briefly before having to look away an intense flaming orange and yellow. It made a blazing sun seem cool and refreshing in comparison.

“That must be Hell,” I said to clarify things as much to myself as anyone else around me.

By deduction, someone else concluded, “Then that way must be Heaven.” They pointed in the direction for added emphasis.

The reality of where everyone was continued to sink in. Still, no one was really all that eager to make a choice.

Hesitation continued to grip me. But I knew I had to say something. It seemed that no one else would.

“I guess we go in the direction dependent on whether or not we want to see Jesus.”

“Jesus?” someone responded in a tone mixed with both surprise and disgust.

Murmuring spread amongst the group. One of the particularly more vocal enunciated,. “Well, I certainly don't want to see him.” A few nodded in agreement.

Another lamented, “But I've been so bad he won't let me near him.”

“Hold on, “ someone tried to comfort, “all you've got to do is to want to see him and be sorry about what you've done.”

Parties began to form. We found ourselves with one last chance at a choice in light of the evidence with which we were confronted staring us in the face. Despite being on the very boundaries of the Afterlife, the larger group still did not want anything to do with Jesus. Perhaps one or two changed their minds, but not many.

Most were convinced that they had never done anything wrong. Some were eager to flip Christ off for even the bare minimum of a requirement to avoid the Hellfire blazing before their very eyes. Their disgust and contempt overrode even the primal instinct to avoid the fire and billows of smoke at the end of the decimated path strewn with jagged rubble. They did not want to commence their perambulation into perdition, but through the stubbornness of their own wills, they conscientiously began the descent nevertheless.

The remainder of us looked on stunned in silence, aware of the torment and suffering that awaited them at the end of the journey. Despite pleading, they went in that direction anyway.

We watched for a while. Morbidly, one supposes, our own lamentation and regret for them subsided as they passed out of sight into an eternity of their own choosing.

Nothing could be done for them. Even with the evidence of the two paths set before their very eyes and what was required to avoid the less desirous destination, they had set out in that direction anyway.

After much solemn contemplation and awkward silence, the remaining began to look one another in the eye again. Smiles crossed our faces.

By deduction we concluded that if those that wanted nothing to do with Jesus went down towards that fiery pit, then Heaven must be in the opposite direction up the verdant hilly path.

Many laughed joyously in celebration. This was what, after all, each of us hoped would be awaiting us at the conclusions of our earthly lives. Some had been expecting it for decades; others not quite so long.

“Well, I suppose this is it. We'd best get started,” some suggested. Nearly every one smiled and cheered. We were, after all, on our way to Heaven.

No one seemed to mind the inclined perambulation at first. Surely Heaven was worth an uphill but otherwise even walk. Some a little ways off were singing hymns.

Joy filled the air.

Despite the anticipation of the destination, minds --- even if no longer alive in the terrestrial sense --- could not help but wander.

The ease of the ascent did not exactly channel one's thoughts into the task at hand.

Thoughts of family began to fill my head. How would they get along without me?

Sure, I'd be more than fine in Heaven. However, they'd be stuck in misery for now back on Earth.

I stopped for a moment to catch my breath. It seemed that, with each additional thought regarding my family, the following steps up the leisurely slope grew increasingly difficult to take. I tried to put thoughts of the mortal life and world out of my mind.

As I did so, the pace would become easier. There was much to look forward to at the end of this easy and gentle ascent.

The path was certainly much more pleasant than the jagged crags selected by the majority for no other reason than that they did not want to see Jesus. Besides, not only would we see Jesus, but I would also be reunited with loved ones that passed away earlier. Others would be there that I had never met but loved anyway. Possibly cherished pets might even be there as well in eager anticipation. Speculation about that question alone and curiosity to see it resolved once and for all imbued me with renewed vigor to continue.

Yet family, to the mortal mind at least to one transitioning from one realm to the next, exist as an interconnected whole. As much as my mind focused on grandparents, departed uncles and even buried dogs and cats, I couldn't block out images of those still on Earth.

Once again, movement forward grew exceedingly difficult. It seemed as if I slid a few steps back down the hill.

“What the....?” I caught myself mentally from completing the thought. There was no need to be nearing the Gates of Heaven quite literally with such verbal formulations on my mind and tongue. Furthermore, having seen some march willingly towards the infernal destination just a short time prior dissipated any of the psychological relief one might under terrestrial circumstances experience verbalizing such profanities of metaphysical reference.

I turned to the other perambulating pilgrims. “Did you see that?', I asked as they walked by as I slid back. They smiled kindly enough with sincere reassurance but continued with their singing and walking forward.

The more that I felt I was not worthy to number among the happy throng assured of their beatific triumph, the more I thought about family back on Earth, the further back down the hill I slid.

I elevated my head in realization at the extent of my declension. I was back to where I started.

I looked over to my right. It seemed that I was back on Earth. My family was so close that I could have touched touched them if I possessed corporeality.

My finger touched the translucent barrier separating the realms. Ripples cascaded across it like soft shock waves skipping across a pond.

I placed my hand against what I concluded must be some kind of energy barrier. It could not be consciously seen, but one could sense it nonetheless. The sensation was not unlike that of pushing together the same poles of two magnets.

I pushed my hand against the barrier a little harder, eventually making a fist so to concentrate the pressure of my efforts at a single point on the barrier. Maybe I could find a weak spot.

For what purpose, I did not know. After all, I was dead, right? I couldn't go back.

It seemed at this very point where the material world and what, for lack of a better term, one might term the spirit world weren't even converging in a cemetery. If I somehow broke through, I wouldn't even have my body to inhabit.

Despite logic insisting I start back up the hill towards Heaven, I still couldn't resist the urge to poke a little more at the ethereal barrier. I pressed my fist against it once more.

A cone began to extend through to the other side. My hand disappeared altogether into the funnel.

I stopped. If my entire hand could slide in without too much effort, how much more of me could fit into it?

I extended my arm in up to the elbow. Other than a slight repulsion similar to a light magnetic field, there was very little in the way of sensation or resistance.

I wondered if anyone on the other side could see what I was doing. Maybe my efforts were manifesting there in the physical world in the form of some kind of paranormal phenomena.

I looked down at my arm. From my perspective, the appendage had disappeared.

I stopped for a moment. Should I pull it back out? Maybe I should push against the barrier with my other hand as well. Perhaps I should try to push again at it with my entire body, or at least with what I perceived of as a body.

I braced myself, pushing my hands against and then into the nebulous barrier. I kept walking forward. My nose tingled as my proboscis rubbed up against it. But I did not stop.

As the field approached my eyes, everything blurred. At first, the image was out of focus but eventually everything turned a translucent cream color not unlike looking through a teardrop.

My body tingled as it passed through the barrier. Dizziness and nausea swept over me.

The distortions grew overwhelming. My consciousness began to fade.

Instead of reaching either of the Afterlife's eternal destinations, would my own existence now dissipate into nothingness? I clung to any sliver of awareness for as long as I could.

Fading.

Fading.

Fading....

The Nothingness. It lasted only a brief second.

Whereas before my vision was distorted by an illuminated blur, that brightness was now replaced by a distinctive darkness.

My heart was racing, the fear causing my tympanic membrane to pound.

Consciousness washed over my eroded mind. Slowly I realized I was not dead. From the weight of the blankets draped over me, I concluded it had all been a dream. A very intense one, but still nothing more than a dream.

My heart slowed. Fear dissipated. Whether right nor wrong would be an issue for theologians with too much time on their hands, but at the moment I was relieved to consider this world my home.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #112

A survey indicates that most millennials would rather date a convicted felon over a Trump supporter. Likewise, why should Trump supporters settle for these deadbeats and sloppy seconds? Jesus might forgive but that does not cure STD’s. Given the conscientious vocalization of this sentiment, perhaps pity should be denied when said millennials are victims of the convicted felon’s domestic violence, indolence, and criminal conspiracy.

Investigators have concluded that there is no proof that California Assmeblywoman and MeToo movement supporter Cristina Garcia groped a staff member in 2014. So sort of like a significant percentage of the cases of individuals accused by MeToo activists possessing no forensic or corroborating evidence beyond “He said, She said”.

Activists are sponsoring a mariachi band to play outside the office of a lawyer that flew into a tirade over the refusal of restaurant staff to speak English. So will these radicals applaud pro-lifers taking a stand on behalf of the unborn outside of abortion clinics?

If a landlord can evict a lawyer caught on video for articulating his displeasure against restaurant staff speaking in Spanish, on what grounds should a Christian business be required to bake cakes for gay weddings?

Will a video of a lawyer caught in a tirade over restaurant staff speaking Spanish rather than English also be used to ruin the careers and livelihoods of others heard in the video?. For those were actually the ones threatening violence. For the most part, the lawyer was merely stating his compliance with the see something say something propaganda we are constantly conditioned with.

Will New York Democrats condemning the comments of a lawyer videoed articulating dismay over restaurant staff vocalizing Spanish rather than English as a “violation of our civil society” defend President Trump for his accurate portrayal of the horrendous acts of violence perpetrated by a number of illegal aliens?

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz has decreed that the National Rifle Association is “just shy of a terrorist organization”. If that is the case, does that push C.A.I.R and Black Lives Matter over the threshold into being legitimately categorized as such? C.A.I.R. has never really explicitly denounced Hamas or Hezbollah as terrorist organizations. And, unlike the NRA, activists affiliated with Black Lives Matter regularly destroy property as a method to express their displeasure in response to unpopular trial verdicts or police actions.

The producers and cast of the new iteration of “Murphy Brown” have declared that their core mission is to take on the world of alternative facts. They do realize, one hopes, that Murphy Brown is not real. Has the medication not had time to kick in at the retirement home? As a fictional character, isn’t any scenario the screenwriters present by definition an alternative to reality? And many dare to ridicule the conspiracy theorists that decipher the symbolism referenced in the latest science fiction productions? There will probably be more accurate content on the average episode of Ancient Aliens than in the escapades of this nonexistent broadcaster.

In a Christianity Today article, Albert Mohler doesn’t even reference by name Paige Patterson, dismissed as president of a Southern Baptist Seminary largely over a matter of words rather than of deeds. It is almost as if the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had never even heard of the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former prelate of Mohler’s own denomination. As disturbing as Patterson’’s remarks might be to those of anti-masculinist sympathies, the issue boils down to what Patterson said rather than over anything he did. So if Mohler is in a rush to distance himself from one colleague over what boils down to a matter of interpretation and opinion, why did Mohler assure C.J. Mahaney at a conference that he was surrounded by hundreds of his closest friends? For what Mahaney is accused of doing can not be boiled down to simply holding an opinion at odds with prevailing revolutionary fervor but rather in delaying justice from being dispensed in the case of an accused child predator serving directly in Mahaney’s chain of authority. For should that not be considered a greater offense than an off hand remark that teen boys are visually drawn to teen girls?

In a Southern Theological Seminary Leadership Briefing on the public virtue of George Washington, Albert Mohler did not hold anything back pertaining to the first president’s shortcomings in regards to matters of race and ethnicity. So does this Reformed theologian intend to deliver a prominent oration as hard hitting critical of Calvin’s role in the execution of Michael Servetus or the role played by the Puritans in abridging the innate liberties of Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, and a number of Quakers?

A South Carolina Baptist church has voted to remove a series of sculptures depicting the life of Christ on the grounds that the works are perceived as being “Catholic”. The artwork has been erected on the grounds of the church for eleven years. If they bothered the pastor so much to the extent that he strongarmed the congregation into authorizing their removal, why did he become pastor of this church in the first place? If installed after his ascension into the pulpit why didn’t he stand by his convictions and resign in protest? If a church wants to do everything by the Good Book and avoid anything that is not authorized in its pages, does the congregation intend to remain consistent and resign from the Southern Baptist Convention as well? For does not an ecclesiastical organization found nowhere in the pages of divine revelation ruling from an ornate centralized location also reek of the alleged odious stench of Catholicism as well?

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Hit & Run Commentary #111

A missionary said that Christians ought to share the Gospel with those that do not look like them.  But shouldn’t the Christian also be willing to share the Gospel with those that DO look like them, even if this includes White and Americans?  If missiological theory now holds that it is often best to let the natives reach out to other natives if at all possible, why should Whites and Americans be chastised if they are most comfortable with reaching out to other Whites and Americans?

A missionary praised a letter by Adoniram Judson to his prospective father in law essentially berating him that he was a bad Christian if he did not consent to surrender his daughter to a man readily admitting he was unfit to provide for her in the name of missionary outreach.  That’s certainly a ballsy approach to persuade a father to grant the hand of his daughter in marriage.

Reflecting on a missionary’s admonition on the need to genuinely respect Muslims, a pastor confided that in public he is careful not to directly look at Muslim women for fear of offending their high moral standards.  First, if Muslim women do not want to be looked at, they can return to their excrement pile homelands. This is America. If you are a woman and you don’t even want to be looked at, don’t come here. Given that where many of these women come from they can pretty much be raped if caught in public unaccompanied by a male family member, one would think simply being looked at would be a welcomed improvement.  If Americans are obligated to pander to this extent to the Islamist adversary, this global worldview war is already lost. What other defeatist postures are Christians obligated to assume? Are believers in Bible Belt states such as North Carolina now expected to eliminate their thriving pork barbecue culture?

Because of the wave of a missionary’s hand, the congregation of a Baptist church where the pastor once regularly went out of his way to emphasize what a wretched religion Islam is is now harping how believers are obligated to show “genuine” respect to Muslims such as at least hearing out what the Koran has to say.  One must ask will such an open approach now be extended to Catholics, science fiction enthusiasts, and women that wear pants?

If ever criticized in Independent Baptist circles for my interest in science fiction and comics, I might just ask how is this different than the “genuine” respect and interest we are now obligated to manifest on behalf of Muslims.  If I was any good at outstretching my hand and expecting something to be placed into it, I should have claimed I need funds for outreach to ComiCon.

Of Adoniram Judson, he and his first wife lost their first child through miscarriage, their second child eight months after his birth, and their third child sixth months after his first wife’s death.  Of the 13 children he sired, only six survived. Given that these deaths were likely attributable to the squalor endemic to the heathen world, though he is worthy of praise as a missionary, is anyone going to have the courage to point out that he was a lousy husband and father?

Baptist functionary Paige Patterson ahas been castigated for remarks suggesting that teen boys often display an enthusiastic appreciation for female physical attributes. If these marms are eager to chastise men for determining a woman’s worth based on the size of her measurements going to be as eager in disabusing the young women that the value of a man is determined by the size of his bank account or the horsepower of the automobile that he drives?

Because the thoroughfare is named after the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Highway in Northern Virginia is slated to be renamed Richmond Highway.  But since Richmond was also the capital of the Confederacy, shouldn’t that name itself also be just as offensive? If we are to be consistent, shouldn’t the entire city of Richmond be “renditioned”  in a manner similar to that which occurs on the USA drama “Colony” in order to remove this geographical “trigger”?

A 104 year old scientist who technically wasn’t terminally ill killed himself at a Swiss suicide clinic.  Is there no reason he couldn’t have waited a few days

Technically, isn’t the Captain Marvel being foisted upon the movie going public in the upcoming film actually just Ms. Marvel from the comics before these periodicals become hyper-political?

Regarding this level of abuse that Southern Baptist functionary Paige Patterson is alleged to have endorsed.  Does that consist of actual hitting or is this merely of a man simply articulating disagreement with a woman and raising his voice in reply to a voice that was first raised at him?  Do these Dana Carvey-style good church women intend to say anything about the increasing number of women that mistreat and disrespect men as well?

If professional sports teams can ban fans living outside of certain zip codes from purchasing play off tickets or from wearing the paraphernalia of the visiting team as in the case of the NHL playoffs, why should we give a flip when these enterprises cry a river about decreasing attendance at these high priced competitions?  If people want to be berated and ordered about in a surly manner, they can just go to the DMV.

So will authoritarian progressives feigning opposition to human oppression to the extent that all vestiges of the Confederacy from statues to road names must be obliterated from public consciousness toss hissy fits as vehement against the erection of an 18 feet tall Karl Marx statue paid for by the Red Chinese in his hometown of Trier, Germany to celebrate the bicentennial of the deadbeat philosopher?  

In a tweet, Maxine Waters quipped, “How many diet Cokes did Trump consume while he gulped and waited for the defeat of his pedophile candidate?”  How is Trump’s consumption of diet soda any more outrageous than those in her preferred constituency known for their proclivity for gape soda? Roy Moore might have dated a few a bit young for his age.  But unlike many in the community this particular legislator claims to represent, at least Moore did not leave these gals with a litter of out of wedlock children in his wake.

If it is unacceptable irrespective of what statutory law allows for 30 year olds to date 18 year olds because such young minds are impressionable and easy to manipulate into compliance, why is it acceptable to manipulate those of that age into giving their lives in their country’s wars?  Is not the government making promises of education and enlistment bonuses not much different than a man promising to lavish nice things upon a compliant young woman?

It is insisted that Confederate statues should only be allowed to exist if these memorials are placed in an historical context.  That means they must be exhibited in a way so as to maximize the amount of White guilt elicited. So if exacting nitpicky detail is the ultimate goal, will additions be made to the Martin Luther KIng memorial pointing out that he fooled around on his wife, denied a number of fundamental Christians doctrines, and that he received support from a number of avowed Communists likely themselves at the behest of the Soviet Union?  Or is this one of those instances where we are supposed to overlook Russian meddling in American affairs but are expected to react as if it is the opening scene from Patrick Swayze’s version of Red Dawn if subversive operatives are accused of conducting under the table discussions with Trump administration representatives?

Outrage erupted when Ben Carson observed that a good measure of poverty is actually a mindset.  Are those jacked out of shape that this is a criticism of individuals or that government complicity in the welfare racket has been exposed.?  This mental shackling has ensnared nearly all of us to some degree. When considering an undertaking or an enterprise, often thoughts no longer dwell upon  do I possess the skill need to succeed or what will happen if the idea we think is so great turns out to be a flop. Rather, we calculate is it even worth the effort given the penalties likely to be incurred for failing to comply with with the intricacies of complex taxing regulations or even the violence one is likely to incur for criticizing ideas contrary to the orthodoxies of entrenched elites.

Homeschool activist Kevin Swanson suggests avoiding the public library because of books on the shelves that promote the homosexual agenda rather than simply avoiding those books. Among certain fundamentalist sects, attendance at places such as amusement parks, beaches, and the cinema are also forbidden. Children probably shouldn’t visit museums either because their impressionable minds might be exposed to evolution. Extending this logic a bit further, one supposes these youngsters should not be allowed to go to the supermarket either because they might catch a glimpse of the condom display or the heaving bosoms of the tramps on the covers of Cosmo magazine or those trashy paperback romances. So when is the homeschool child ever allowed to leave the house? Even if they aren’t allowed to date, won’t their mail order brides be exposed to assorted carnal evils racing through the airport on their way to the cordoned off family compound? If those from this Evangelical sociological subgrouping are to live lives this sheltered or separated, on what grounds do such thoroughgoing Protestants gripe about cloistered monks and nuns?

Mitt Romney has condemned the selection of Robert Jeffress to offer the opening prayer of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on the grounds that the Baptist minister is a religious bigot.  So what Romney is saying is that it is unacceptable for someone to articulate why they are reluctant over religious grounds to vote for a candidate running for elected office but perfectly acceptable to exclude that individual from a public event over refusal to embrace religious universalism.  Technically, Romney is not much different then philosophically from the Romans that tossed Christians to lions in the gladiatorial arena. If dedicated temple Mormons like Mitt Romney really do believe no religion is better than any other with all sincerely held paths leading the individual to an eternity with God in Heaven, why does his sect spend so much time canvassing the neighborhoods of the world with missionaries many of whom have been strongarmed pretty much into this service taken away from their families?

President Trump is being criticized for acknowledging the hero in the Waffle House mass casualty incident three weeks after the fact.  Had Trump thanked the individual at the time, the President would be accused of being a media whore having to interject himself into the story.

By Frederick Meekins

There are answers if you know where to look for them Faith in Christ Lives JOIN the Faith in Jesus Network