Sunday, July 31, 2016

Signs of the Total Secular State

Signs of the Total Secular State
The Total Absence of God

Gradually the loss of human dignity
Is no belief in the sanctity of life.

Filled with ambiguity,
The new secular order rife
With its version of people value

Creates a culture for each individual,
A dignity seemingly better than biblical.

The politics of covenant is gone,
A collective responsibility forsaken
For the common good previously undertaken.

Deep roots has a relationship of covenant,
A willing sacrifice for the sake of others.

Secular citizens begin caring less
About any such political fundament
And more about their private living.
Society dissolves into a series of pressure groups, chilling.

No deep, stable structure
Lives in the secular ever-variable.
The steady religious tenet they puncture
With lies never tenable.

The secular floats on the surfaces,
On tides and waves uncertain,
No meaning and no purposes,
The real life behind their curtain.

Morality also a loss,
Though citizens not necessarily immoral.
Words losing force and original meanings now dross.
Duty, obligation, honor, integrity, loyalty and trust,
In secularism, all a loss.

Relationships no longer consecrated,
Marriage becomes a mistress.
New forms of friendship reconfigure and break
Relationships with no emotional distress.

The idea of marriage as commitment,
A loyalty at the depths of our being,
Easy to discard and unsustainable,
Bring personal resentment.

Fewer people marry,
More divorces ensue,
Parents with no connection to their children,
Bonds across generations subdued.

The possibility of life meaningful,
Not a personal project
As offered by secular culture,
But from the outside bedecked
As a call, a mission, a vocation.

From the outside means a Transcendence,
Perhaps the final religious functioning in your presence
To teach, heal, and fight all forms of injustice.
The total secular order
Has no space for transcendence, vocation, or the life meaningful.

When life floats on the surfaces
It is a purposeless and self-centered fantasia.
Life becomes meaningless and disposable
In the form of abortion and euthanasia.

This is a versed adaptation/interpretation taken from the writings of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’
The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning.
Schocken Books/Random House, New York, 2011, pp. 103-4.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Oh Really, O’Reilly?

Oh Really, O’Reilly?

There is this commentator O’Reilly
An expert on all things entirely.
If you don’t think it so
Just let him know
How his thoughts not always regarded highly.

It was just the other day
When Christian forgiveness came into play
Felt he necessary to correct a viewer
That repentence, required from a wrongdoer,
Releases forgiveness held at bay.

Reconciliation, though, can start with either side
But one may be obstinate with personal pride.
So the process begins
Regardless of who sins,
The high road therein attempted and tried.

God is in this high road action
Where repentance gains traction
With the two persons aggrieved.
Repentance and forgiveness now agreed,
Meet full reconciliation, not a fraction.

Thursday, July 21, 2016



‘God has healed’ is Rafael,
But he seemed so far afield
When principles are held
As a protective shield.

Not meant here
To be a comparison,
But principle’s tier
Should learn from some.

The nine of Mother Emanuel
Lost life’s breath
Suddenly, not gradual
But instant death.

Then Mother Emanuel’s faithful
Shocked the nation;
A congregation not ungrateful
For the gift of reconciliation.

Though not of the same magnitude
Rafael’s bride was wronged
And her spouse went on to brood
In front of a mighty throng.

This principled angel earlier attracted
Evangelical hearts, their admiration
He extracted
His principles, though, his fixation.

Why did he persist with vengeance?
Why not cross that political isthmus
With spiritual transcendence
To heal with God’s forgiveness?

Rafael, O Rafael
You should have lived up to your name.
Your principles so dearly held,
Withholding Godly healing became shame.

Monday, July 18, 2016

White Man, Black Man, and the Cross (in Dallas)

William Wilson, a bishop, and Stephen Manyama, a transitional deacon, both ministers in the Anglican Diocese of the South of the Anglican Church in  North America, traveled from Birmingham, Alabama to Dallas, Texas after the deadly shootings of police. I reproduce an article here from +William's The Spiritual Well communication newsletter.

+  +  +  +  + 

Dear Friends,

            On Friday, July 8th about 9:00 AM, I was driving to our poor congregation in East Lake, Family Worship Center. My purpose was to work with Pastor Stephen, on some liturgical matters. Stephen is a Tanzanian by birth. He and I have become very close friends during the last decade.

            While driving, I was filled with a '9/11' kind of shock and pain over the massacre that had taken place hours before in Dallas. Suddenly, I had a conviction. It arose within me without mental or emotional process. It was simple, clear, and absolute:  "Go with Stephen to Dallas. Carry a cross together in solidarity with the afflicted praying for racial peace and healing of wounds in Dallas and in the nation."

            Upon greeting Stephen, I told this to him. He immediately responded: "We must go!" We dropped everything and prepared to leave.  We had no material means to accomplish this.  I made one phone call to a family I love. The couple told me they were in sorrow all morning over the Dallas tragedy. They said, "We want you to go. This is of the Lord. We will supply whatever you need."

            We got the first flight available and arrived in Dallas at 10:00 am on Saturday.  We needed a truck to transport the 12 ft cross we intended to construct. There was no adequate pickup available at any of the rental offices at the DFW airport.  While we were trying to figure out our next move my cell phone rang.  It was a friend of mine from the 1970ies, George Getschow.  He heard from a mutual friend that I was to be in Dallas.  Immediately he told us: I will bring my pickup truck for you can use, adding that he wanted us to stay at his home the two nights we were in Dallas.  It felt as though the sea was parting to make a way for us. 

            We drove to the nearest Home Depot, bought boards, 2" by 6" and set to work constructing our 12 ft by 6 ft cross. Remarkably, the staff let us use all the tools we needed to complete our task.
            We drove to Dealey Plaza, as George had suggested. Once we parked, I felt a chill in my blood as I recognized the grassy knoll and the book warehouse...we were at the very location where President John F Kennedy was assassinated by another terrorist in 1963. We began praying for peace and healing right there and proceeded to carry the cross to the place where the officers were the five officers were murdered. The crime scene was a large cordoned off area of some six square blocks. We decided to walk the entire perimeter. As we marched, we stopped to pray with police officers.  Many, very many, people came up to us, some to thank or take pictures or even to pray with us. Some begged us to let them help carry the cross.  There was much emotion in many prayers. One man came up to us with this comment: "You have no idea how moving it us for us to see you, a black man and a white man carrying the cross together."

            Toward evening, tired but very happy, we drove to George's home where we were received with extraordinary hospitality.  That very night the police, already feeling under siege, had to lock down the police station because of a bomb threat.  Learning this, we decided that on the next day, Sunday, we would carry the cross to that police station. 

            We began our trek by carrying the cross around the entire police installation.  We ended at the front entrance to the police station. Hundreds of people were there milling around the make-ship memorial while individuals paid respects to a large group of police officers gathered near the door.  As we approached, all eyes turned to the sight of the cross being carried by a black man and a white man.  The police asked our what is our intention. "We are here because we love you. We have come only to pray with you, to pray for you, to be in solidarity with you at this time of tragedy."

            Spontaneously, the officers took our hands and formed a circle of prayer.  I suddenly spoke this unprepared word, "The Lord Jesus Christ declares from heaven: 'My black children, love my white children. My white children, love my black children. I was crucified for all of you equally. You are all one just as I and my Father are One."

            Pastor Stephen began praying with inspired intensity and with the gift of tears. All in that circle wept as Stephen prayed for comfort and healing for the fallen, their loved ones, and for Dallas and the nation.

            We laid our cross there at the memorial, knowing that we had now completed the work for which we had been sent to Dallas.

George Getschow, our host in Dallas, is a noted author and professor of journalism. After we left, he composed a beautiful expression of what our mission to Dallas meant to him. To see his short piece, click here..

+William Wilson 
+ + + + ++

William Wilson's latest book is Pathways to Union with Jesus

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Exodus Experience of the Other


The Israelite experience in the wilderness
Was haunted by the likes of a skeptic.
In each traveler, there lived a villainous
Scandal of chaos, an annihilation epic.

In the wilderness they did not trust
The foundation for knowledge of the Other.
Even at brother and sister scandal brushed
Aside the Trust to be discovered.

God commanded a census
At the wilderness journey’s start
Even though Israel was contentious
Of any other their scandal might thwart.

The accounting imposed on each traveler
An acknowledgement of one another.
It was of a presence or absence character,
Something skeptics do not bother.

Only in the wilderness place
Skepticism undermines experience.
The census, though, gave ordered weights
To their trustworthy trip, not luxuriant.

The Israelite experience of 40 years,
Their return to ancient Egypt crushed.
That wilderness journey with all its tears
Was precisely a gesture of Trust.

This is a versed paraphrase taken from a paragraph in the book
Bewilderments: Reflections on the Book of Numbers
Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg
Schocken Books - Random House LLC

Monday, July 11, 2016

Food Court

Food Court

Mall retailers open at ten.
Walkers earlier stepped here in their stride.
An aroma from Starbuck’s then
Attracts eight old men inside.

With their Cups of Joe
They gather at a rectangle table
In chairs set high ready to watch a show
Of incoming shoppers ready and able.

Not long do they watch.
They’d rather talk with each other.
At their ages there’s no time to botch
Or lose precious minutes with a brother.

The best of their day
Is having memory
While chatting the morning away,
Recalling past things held exemplary.

One good hour of conversation,
Sixty minutes of friendship to soak,
They end their daily libation
Parting with handshakes of the folk.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Judicial Pendulum

Judicial Pendulum

As the pendulum is influenced by gravity,
So Anthony rode his swing.
As culture descended into depravity
To pop influence, not law, did he cling.

Ephemeral and lusty love his standard,
Not the family, nor created order.
To the libertine he then pandered,
Swinging over a 5,000 year border.

His swing, though, is not the issue,
It is his arrogance toward created grace;
An act that widened existing social fissure,
An act cosmically out of place.

This judicial interpretation
Created positive law.
Of the natural it was an abjuration
Of the Holy One we hold in awe.

A mere mortal of the court
Transformed the meaning of life.
With debasement of the sacred did he cavort,
Cutting divine attachment with his judicial knife.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

James and John

James and John

The Holy Apostles James and John,
Ambassadors of the Most Holy One,
Jesus’ message they carried on
For souls to be won.

James to believers, he saith
“No partiality should you show
To sisters and brothers in the faith,”
God’s law in love you should already know.

But if you show partiality,
A sin is what you commit in disgust
At your poorer brother’s reality.
So saith James the Just.

“The beloved” was how John was known
By his Savior and his Lord.
In long life John had grown
To understand Caesar’s sword.

In John’s apocalypse
He exposed the harlot and beast.
Oppression and exploitation were Rome’s scripts,
From her own people it stole and fleeced.

John clearly saw the future
And warned of Rome’s heavy hand.
Government’s grip on mankind would soon suture
That oppressive attachment through God’s command.

John has opened our eyes
To existential civil threats from within,
Exposing the beast’s promises in guise
So that we avoid the harlot’s din.

Now we see in our own day,
Secular Apostles James and John,
Each in their own personal way
Consider the people a pawn.

James the Director overstepped his charge
Rendering a final decision.
He missed the mark by and large,
With the people he had a collision.

John the Justice was placed in a position
Of being the judicial tipping point
For or against a leader with a mission.
An emperor did the Chief anoint.

The author of Revelation
Through God’s angel did receive
A full understanding of any nation
Whose government when corrupt deceives.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Ark and the Encounter with its Underlying Theology

Christians, particularly "evangelical" Christians, should take note of the underlying belief system of Ken Ham and the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) movement that produced this new amusement park in Kentucky.

The theological and ecclesiastical gap between the YEC and orthodox Christianity is wide and deep.

A full explanation and comparison of the differing beliefs is found in the book The Heresy of Ham: What Every Evangelical Needs to Know About the Creation-Evolution Controversy by Joel Anderson.

This is the Kindle eBook version
The paperback version to be released by August 1, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Stand By Your Man, Hillary Or The Fix Is In

Stand By Your Man, Hillary
The Fix Is In

(a la, Rocky & Bullwinkle)

In 1992 she came to Bill’s defense
Despite his questionable behavior.
No Tammy Wynette was she then, and hence
In 2016, Hillary needed a savior.

Shrewd Bill, the efficient political operative,
Planned an “unscheduled” tarmac meeting by the book,
Thinking no-one looking and the AG quite cooperative,
Slick Willie arranged to get Hillary off the hook.

On July 2, Hillary met with investigative agents
Asking questions about her irresponsible acts.
She gave them her truthful statements,
Most of them contrary to the facts.

Three days later the Director to the press
Cited various Hillary statutory violations.
Assuming roles of judge and jury, the Director stressed
That in his opinion any prosecutor had weak foundations.

It’s over, it’s settled. The Director caved.
Though justice not served, the FBI did not snow me.
Cultural government’s new roads are now paved
And hardened by Director James Comey.

You gotta hand it to Bill,
He knows how to please and circumvent
The “right” leaders with no will.
America's government is his sweet rose to scent.

So Hillary wants to be top commander,
But has already said she’ll hire Bill
To run the economy and to other nations pander
While she loiters in the White House bereft of any skill.

Wake up, America!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New book - The Heresy of Ham

ARCHDEACON BOOKS, a publishing imprint of Woody Norman LLC, this week released a new book by Joel Edmund Anderson. The book - The Heresy of Ham - is available currently as a Kindle eBook. The paperback version will be available by August 1, 2016.

Dr. Anderson is an adjunct professor in Religious Studies at the University of North Alabama, where he teaches various courses on the Old Testament. Before that, he taught for 16 years at various Evangelical Christian high schools in California, Arkansas, and Alabama, teaching English Literature, Bible, Church History, and Worldview. He has written a number of articles for Biblical Theology Bulletin, Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, and Currents in Biblical Research. He also maintains a blog, resurrecting orthodoxy (at, where he writes on a variety of topics, from Biblical Studies, Church History, the New Atheist Movement, Young Earth Creationism, and other topics related to Christianity.

Anderson holds a B.S. Ed. in English from Northwest Missouri State University, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Regent College, an M.A. in Old Testament Studies from Trinity Western University, and a Ph.D. in Old Testament from University of Pretoria. 

Dr. Anderson challenges the claims of the Young Earth Creationist movement, Ken Ham in particular, by comparing the movement with orthodox, creedal Christianity.