Foreign and Domestic

Reading along in a fantasy book, uncommon reading for me, I came upon this declaration, “Paranor was taken from within.” I immediately recognized, not for the first time, the situation in which the United States of America stands. We are being assaulted from the inside by home-grown forces, aided and abetted by foreign elements. Their aim is nothing less than the dismantling of the republic which has been a light to the world since its founding.

Our nation has not always done the admirable thing.  We’ve had periods of turmoil and strife. Yet, we’ve remained the apple of the world’s eye, the desired destination for immigrants from all corners of the globe.

In 1962, I took a vow upon enlistment in the United States Navy, which includes the phrase, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic….” The vow has not expired. There’s no time limit or qualifying phrases. I said what I meant, I still mean it.

I’m not a combat vet. I’m an aware American. Now, I’m getting old. I’m somewhat frail. But, I am as ready as ever to stand up for my family, my neighborhood, my community, my nation. And yes, I’m prepared.

You don’t need to be a veteran to recognize this call to stand up to the forces of evil. Be ready, friends and neighbors, Do not let them take what was so valiantly earned. Resist the forces of domestic terror and revolution. Resist politically. Resist rhetorically. If it comes down to it, resist physically.

COMMENTS?

What the Bible says about faith?

God’s Word can be viewed as the final word on faith. The term is used 492X (some about marital faithfulness). Let’s look at a few examples.

We are Not Always Faithful.

2 Chronicles 29:6
Our fathers were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.

2 Chronicles 36:14
Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

God is Always Faithful

Psalm 33:4
For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Psalm 119:90
Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

Lamentations 3
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Faith Brings Healing

Matthew 9:22
Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

Romans 3
21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 5
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And werejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (This brings up the final point. He will purify, only those with faith. Not perfect faith, but saving faith).

Faith Requires the proper Object (faith in your cat or in the [rotten] bottom rung of the ladder will not do.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 3:22
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

Galatians 2:16
know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

Conclusion:

This brief overview should serve to point out two things:

Western society is, at least, non-Christian. The general consensus in society is not a Christian perspective. Even the media reporting on society tends to be non-Christian, if not openly anti-Christian. Various studies on media elite. Popular culture is non-Christian. And yet, we cling to faith and to religion.

Faith remains relevant despite attempts to destroy it; marginalize it; erase it. Example: Just a few years ago Guenter Lewy of the University of Massachusetts set out to write a book entitled Why America Doesn’t Need Religion. He wanted the book to be “a defense of secular humanism and ethical relativism.” Lewy is not a Christian, and does not believe in God. But he was determined to offer his results as objectively as possible. As he assembled his extensive research he got a surprise. He found himself forced to conclude that Christianity has a record of strong support for social justice and human dignity. Other research forced him to conclude that Christians constantly show a lower rate than non-Christians of the behaviors associated with social ills and moral failure. These include divorce, domestic violence, out-of-wedlock births, adult crime and juvenile delinquency. He finally concluded, from other studies, that people who actually live the Christian life have higher rates of happiness and are healthier. The final title of his book is Why America Needs Religion. (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996)

Christians should not be fearful about living out their faith, even among unbelievers. As they live out their faith, God is not only blessing them, but also the unbelievers who surround them. 

The church is not doing its job. The command from the Bible to have dominion over all the world, necessarily means to be leaders in all areas of life. Christians are not to “ghettoize” themselves, and sit in a dark corner of mediocrity talking and preaching to ourselves.

In What Do We Put Our Faith?

Having looked at those things from which worldviews are drawn, we now turn our attention to some of humanity’s objects of faith; those things in which men are willing trust their lives – and their very souls. .

Faith in Science and Technology. “Salvation” for many is wrapped-up in the ability of science to unlock all the secrets of the universe. These optimists are certain that science will eventually find cures for all the illnesses (hence the interest in cryogenics, placing our bodies in frozen animation until science comes up with a cure for disease or defeat of death. Science will eventually, it is also believed, produce whatever is necessary to secure world peace. What a far cry this is from the beginnings of science, when people came to scientific inquiry seeking to understand and have dominion over God’s universe. Now the scientists, themselves, are viewed as Gods. Popular astronomer Carl Sagan wrote (in The Cosmic Connection),

“In MAN, not only is adaptive information acquired in the lifetime of an individual, but it is passed on extra-genetically through learning, through books, through education. It is this, more than anything else,  that has raised Man to his pre-eminent status on planet earth.” (p. 5).

Understand that I am not saying that science and Christian faith are incompatible. But a Christian who is a scientist views his/her work as discovering the truth of what God has done in the universe. 

Faith in Material Goods. One way to learn about Western societies is to listen to their slogans. In the United States, of course, we can find these all over the bumpers of people’s cars and trucks (I {heart} my Pekinese; my Subaru, etc.). One particularly revealing sentiment found on a lot of vehicles is: “whoever dies with the most toys wins.” Now this is not science. Everybody doesn’t live and die with what it says on their bumper stickers. French philosopher Jacques Ellul wrote that, “the commonplaces” (by which he means “ready made ideas which are found in all the newspapers; slogans and clichés) “are the expression of an ideology and can be useful in distinguishing its outlines.” In other words, when a slogan becomes popular, there’s some meaning behind it. This bumper sticker about the toys, for instance, indicates much more than greed. It indicates a great need to have a way to keep score in life; a way in which to indicate that life does, indeed, have some meaning.

Faith in Hedonism. “Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses. In Philosophy. The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good. In Psychology, the doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.” We all know, by now, about the “sexual revolution.” It has taken many twists and turns of late – and that isn’t going to stop real soon. But this revolution, and hedonism in general are actually part of a faith in “today.” It indicates that society doesn’t really have any faith that there is a tomorrow.

“Grab for all the gusto”

“To know no boundaries; the way life should be”

White teeth; not for health, for sexual conquest

For those who have no hope for a future, of course, these attitudes are absolutely correct. The Apostle Paul wrote, in 1 Cor. 15:32, “If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

Faith in Mankind. Not a new phenomenon.. The Apostle Paul wrote:

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:21-23; 25.

Here’s one way this faith in human-kind was expressed in a novel just a few years back. Colleen McCullough wrote, in A Creed For the Third Millennium,

I offer a creed for this third millennium. A creed as old as this third millennium. A creed summed up in three words – faith, and hope, and love. Faith in yourselves! Faith in your strength and your endurance. Hope in a brighter and better tomorrow. Hope for your children, and their children. And love – ah what can I say about love that you, all too human, do not already know? Love yourselves! Love those around you! Love those you do not even know! Waste not your love on God, who does not expect it and does not need it. For id He is perfect and eternal, then He needs nothing. You are Man, and it is Man you must love. Love wards off loneliness. Love warms the spirit no matter how cold the body might be. Love is the light of man! (p. 444).

A very religious-sounding formulation, but one which basically nudges God out of the way so that man can love himself better. There are many other faith objects in our society; education; the various “isms” of the day; History (with a capital H). 

Next week we’ll take a look at what God says about faith.

Is Faith Relevant in a “Woke” Age?

Poor atheists have competition in the quests for the minds and souls of the clueless. BLM, Black Lives Matter (the organization) and Antifa might rightly be seen as denominations in the religious world of Wokeism. Many “protestors” and rioters in the US are adherents of one or more woke sect. Others are just along for the ride.

NY Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, often shouted to crowds, “Keep the faith, baby.” It ‘s reasonable to ask in what the corrupt politician had his faith
So, I ask the question: given the ease with which many people attach them selves to these quasi-religious groups, is faith relevant today? Let’s start with a definition.

Faith: “Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.”[1]

In a day and age in which morals, beliefs, attitudes changes rapidly, is it reasonable or even possible to put one’s faith in anything trustworthy?

The church was once a major influence on the mind and the values of the Western world. But the church today has lost its moral authority. People have a lot of options when it comes to faith and their view of the world. I’d like to take a look at just a few of the more popular viewpoints which form the basis for how our society thinks and what it values.

Springboards for Faith. (Platforms or foundations from which people form their ideas about society and the world around them).

Guarded Pluralism. Western democracies, by which I mean, primarily, European countries, Canada and the US, tend to pride themselves on being “pluralistic.” This means, theoretically, that members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups enjoy equal opportunity to participate fully in the development of both the society and their own special interests. In practice, this pluralism works best when one’s special interests coincide with the social and cultural trends of the day. Specifically, there is a tendency to be left outside the pluralism loop when one holds strong beliefs based upon traditional Judeo-Christian values. Let’s take a brief overview of some of the areas in which people of religious faith are excluded from the pluralism of society.

  • Textbook selection. Textbooks in the public school classrooms today include favorable readings on astrology, black magic, homosexuality, cheating to succeed. What’s left out, of course, is any positive mention of religion, or religious persons. Charles Krauthammer wrote in an article that was printed in the Washington Post Magazine, that: “…It is true that school textbooks have recently developed an allergy to traditional religion.  Like blacks a generation ago, religion hardly exists in the work of Dick and Jane.  Paul Vitz, a professor at New York University, plowed heroically through 60 social science textbooks and shows that they grossly ignore religion [Christianity] in American history and society.  One textbook manages to give the Pilgrims thirty pages without once trespassing on the issue of the religious [Christian] motivation for their excursion to the New World.  Another text defines Pilgrims as “people who make long trips.”[2]
  • The annual creche wars. Every year the battle continues regarding whether or not displays of  manger scenes can be placed on public property. Coincides with,
  • No mention of Christmas in schools. You can have holidays- even Halloween, but don’t mention Christmas. Don’t sing traditional carols.
  • Bible studies on campus. Banned. Removing funds for Christian groups on university campuses.
  • BLM. An avowed Marxist organization which has gained a foothold not only in schools and corporate America, but in many churches as well as “progressive” pastors and churches try to Out-Woke one another.
  • The Homosexual lobby and its agenda. Takeover of television (AJ and the Queen,  Boys, etc) Speaking of schools, it’s not alright to have Bible studies or wear Christian jewelry in publicly-funded schools – but it’s OK to have publicly-funded schools just for homosexuals.

Misplaced Faith. This is the second platform upon which modern society builds its world. The Apostle Paul said to the philosophers gathered in Athens, a city which abounded with household deities and pagan philosophies, “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.” Our society today is no less religious. But the object of religious faith is seldom Jesus Christ. Instead, He has been replaced with many new household deities. It is important for observers of culture to understand what mankind views as worthy of his faith and trust. For the Christian, in particular, it’s important to have a working knowledge of the competing “faith traps” of the world in order to articulate to the world a belief in Jesus Christ as the savior and in God’s Word as absolute Truth. Understanding the underpinnings of other faith systems will also help Christians to maintain their spiritual equilibrium.

Next Week: Objects of Faith

What are your thoughts, readers?


[1] The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.  

[2] Krauthammer, Charles.  “Scopes Revised.” Washington Post Magazine, October 19, 1986.

More Reminiscing

This is the group I was involved with in the US Navy. I went to CTT school in 1962. This is copied from another CT veteran.

The Birth of the Communications Technician Rating

In 1948 the majority of the wartime Specialist ratings were disestablished. At that time the Communications Technician Rating (CT) was established; the Specialist Q ratings CR, TE, and IN were incorporated into the CT rating. Four CT career fields were identified as branches:

• A – Administrative

• O – Communications

• M – Maintenance

• R – Collection

Although the CT rating comprised four distinctly different branches, the service member’s branch was not a part of the rating designator.

📷Note: CAPT Holtwick, after serving as commanding officer of USS Platte (AO 24) was assigned to Headquarters, Naval Security Group as head of the Personnel and Administrative Department. In that position CAPT Holtwick is credited with establishing the Communications Technician (CT) rating in the Navy with it various branches for enlisted personnel.

Timeline

In the 1956/1957 time frame, the CT rating was further sanitized when all the “General Service” ratings still serving in the Communications Intelligence field (Radioman, Teleman etc.) were converted to CT.

In 1960 two additional career fields were added to the CT rating: the Technical Branch (T) for non-morse operations and the Interpretive Branch (I) to identify linguists. Prior to 1960 the duties assigned to the T and I branch personnel had been assigned to various other branches.

Effective 1 May 1970 the CT rating was further refined when the addition of the “branch” to the CT rating designator. The third letter rating designator was added to better identify and manage each branch.

26 March 1976 BuPers Notice 1220 announced the change in title for the Communications Technician rating to the below six Cryptologic Technician ratings. The purpose of this action was to bring the designation of the Communications Technician (CT) into consonance with the Warrant Officer (744X), Restricted Line (161X) and the Limited Duty Officer (644X) Cryptologic communities.

• CTA –Administrative Branch

• CTI – Interpretive Branch

• CTM – Maintenance Branch

• CTO – Communication Branch

• CTR – Collection Branch (MM)

• CTT – Technical Branch (SpecSigs, Classic Wizard, OPELINT, TechELINT)

1991 – CTR assumed Special Signals and Morse code

📷01 Oct 2003 – EW rating converted to CTT rating.