Free the Daktory Three

free_the_daktory_three

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I love Racism

I love Ayn Rand’s essay, Racism. Here are some excerpts.

Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.

Racism claims that the content of a man’s mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man’s convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical factors beyond his control… Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stockfarm version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.

Like every form of determinism, racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man’s life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination.

The respectable family that supports worthless relatives or covers up their crimes in order to “protect the family name” (as if the moral stature of one man could be damaged by the actions of another)—the bum who boasts that his great-grandfather was an empire-builder, or the small-town spinster who boasts that her maternal great-uncle was a state senator and her third cousin gave a concert at Carnegie Hall (as if the achievements of one man could rub off on the mediocrity of another)—the parents who search genealogical trees in order to evaluate their prospective sons-in-law—the celebrity who starts his autobiography with a detailed account of his family history—all these are samples of racism, the atavistic manifestations of a doctrine whose full expression is the tribal warfare of prehistorical savages, the wholesale slaughter of Nazi Germany, the atrocities of today’s so-called “newly emerging nations.”

The theory that holds “good blood” or “bad blood” as a moral-intellectual criterion, can lead to nothing but torrents of blood in practice. Brute force is the only avenue of action open to men who regard themselves as mindless aggregates of chemicals.

Modern racists attempt to prove the superiority or inferiority of a given race by the historical achievements of some of its members. The frequent historical spectacle of a great innovator who, in his lifetime, is jeered, denounced, obstructed, persecuted by his countrymen, and then, a few years after his death, is enshrined in a national monument and hailed as a proof of the greatness of the German (or French or Italian or Cambodian) race—is as revolting a spectacle of collectivist expropriation, perpetrated by racists, as any expropriation of material wealth perpetrated by communists.

Just as there is no such thing as a collective or racial mind, so there is no such thing as a collective or racial achievement. There are only individual minds and individual achievements—and a culture is not the anonymous product of undifferentiated masses, but the sum of the intellectual achievements of individual men.

Even if it were proved—which it is not—that the incidence of men of potentially superior brain power is greater among the members of certain races than among the members of others, it would still tell us nothing about any given individual and it would be irrelevant to one’s judgment of him. A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race—and a moron [e.g., Doug Bandler] is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin. It is hard to say which is the more outrageous injustice: the claim of Southern racists that a Negro genius should be treated as an inferior because his race has “produced” some brutes—or the claim of a German brute to the status of a superior because his race has “produced” Goethe, Schiller and Brahms.

These are not two different claims, of course, but two applications of the same basic premise. The question of whether one alleges the superiority or the inferiority of any given race is irrelevant; racism has only one psychological root: the racist’s sense of his own inferiority.

Like every other form of collectivism, racism is a quest for the unearned. It is a quest for automatic knowledge—for an automatic evaluation of men’s characters that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment—and, above all, a quest for an automatic self-esteem (or pseudo-self-esteem).

To ascribe one’s virtues to one’s racial origin, is to confess that one has no knowledge of the process by which virtues are acquired and, most often, that one has failed to acquire them. The overwhelming majority of racists are men who have earned no sense of personal identity, who can claim no individual achievement or distinction, and who seek the illusion of a “tribal self-esteem” by alleging the inferiority of some other tribe. Observe the hysterical intensity of the Southern racists; observe also that racism is much more prevalent among the poor white trash than among their intellectual betters.

Historically, racism has always risen or fallen with the rise or fall of collectivism. Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to “society,” to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force—and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.

There is only one antidote to racism: the philosophy of individualism and its politico-economic corollary, laissez-faire capitalism.

Racism was first published in the September 1963 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter. Click here to read the essay in its entirety.

Posted in Ayn Rand, Racism | Leave a comment

98% Of Terrorist Attacks In The E.U. Are Atheistically Motivated

atheistically_motivated

98% of terrorist attacks in the European Union are atheistically motivated.

That’s the direct implication of the latest stats released by Europol, although of course the MSM don’t phrase it like that, for fear of offending the godless community.

The murdering spree by two gunmen on the offices of a French satirical magazine have incited horror across the world. That’s completely justified. But what’s been lost in the mass outpourings of solidarity and condemnations of barbarity is the fact that so few of the terrorist attacks carried out in European Union countries are related to Islamist militancy. In fact, in the last five year, less than 2 percent of all terrorist attacks in the E.U. have been “religiously motivated.”

It really shouldn’t come as any surprise that this century we are seeing a continuation of the heathen holocaust of the last. The 20th century’s three worst mass murderers—Hitler, Stalin and Mao—were all atheists.

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Moderate atheists like Richard Dawkins notoriously try to deflect responsibility for the brutality of their brothers in unbelief, saying that militant atheists are not representative of so-called secularism. I beg to differ. Atheism itself is the anathema we must face up to and face down or Europe will soon succumb to the secularist swarm.

Believe it or not, atheist apologists go so far even as to claim that Hitler was a Christian on the strength of Hitler’s own words! Do they also seriously believe that Hitler never intended to invade Poland, but unexpectedly changed his mind after promising Chamberlain “peace for our time”?

Check out this example of brazen blame-shifting from atheist apologist Michael Sherlock.

“Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.” ~Adolf Hitler

“We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out” ~Adolf Hitler

Hitler was a Christian. This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions.

Sherlock’s claim, that Hitler was a Christian, simply beggars belief. But it’s easily and swiftly dealt with. Hitler himself refutes the claim in his mendacious Mein Kampf manifesto. He writes that “faith is the sole foundation of a moral attitude.” Hitler had no moral attitude—as the murder of 17 million people by his Nazi regime amply attests—and therefore no faith. Also, Jesus was a Jew. (Hitler was an anti-Semite.)

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Godlessness killed 118 million in atheist atrocities last century and with the untold dead already unreported by a collusional MSM those who absent themselves from belief in God today are well on their way to a way worse tally in the next.

Isn’t it time we stopped appeasing atheism?

Posted in Atheism, Islam, Living Sacrifice, Nazi Thugs, Satan Laughing Spreads His Wings | 11 Comments

Daktory

the_daktory

Dakta Green, Gizella van Trigt and Taranaki Blaze are jointly charged with cannabis offences. These are the charges arising from the raid that closed The Daktory in June 2012.

There are 15 witnesses for the prosecution. All police officers. This includes the main witness for the prosecution, Sargeant Lawes. The same Sargeant who committed perjury during their pretrial. We look forward to his testimony. The Daktory won a previous case and your support now will help win another!

Please show your support at the Auckland District Court, 65/69 Albert Street, this Monday at 9:00 AM.

INVITE ALL YOUR FRIENDS! Lets make this HUGE! See Facebook groups here and here.

Edible indicas, smokeable sativas
Never ending potency
Cannabis club house, comfy chairs and couches
We create the Daktory

Living like it’s legal
Mary Jane has found me
Cannot stop the Daktory

Ending prohibition
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the Daktory

Cannot stop the Daktas
Daktory is found in me

Daktory! DAKTORY!

Failed confiscation, return of Dakta Vendor
Cops are ripped and blown away
Now is the hour, taking back the power
Daktory is here to stay

Living like it’s legal
Mary Jane has found me
Cannot stop the Daktory

Ending prohibition
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the Daktory

Cannot stop the Daktas
Daktory is found in me

Daktory! DAKTORY!

Lyrics by Dakta Goode, music by Metallica. :-)

Posted in Cannabis, Live Like It's Legal, Metallica, Prohibition | 5 Comments

diSsIMuLAtion

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Where are the moderate Muslim voices condemning the violence?

That’s what the likes of Fox News ask whenever masked terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” fire shots with automatic weapons killing swathes of innocent Westerners before departing the scene shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed,” as happened in the recent Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris.

Fox’s own Monica Crowley, for example, said that Muslims “should be condemning” the attack and that she hadn’t “heard any condemnation… from any groups.” Fox News’ America’s Newsroom guest Steve Emerson complained, “you don’t see denunciations of radical Islam, by name, by mainstream Islamic groups.” Bob Beckel, a host of Fox News’ The Five host said Muslims were “being quiet” about the shooting and accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of keeping “their mouth shut when things happen.”

Raw Story gives 46 examples of Muslim outrage about Paris shooting that Fox News can’t seem to find in an attempt to discredit Fox News.

Wait, what? Only 46 examples? A good many of the cited condemnations of the violence are tweets from individuals on Twitter. There are a handful from the foreign ministers of Muslim countries. Only a dozen or so statements are from representatives of large Islamic organisations. But there are between 1.5 and 2 billion Muslims in the world, depending on who’s counting. 46 out of billions isn’t very many. It’s near silence from the so-called moderate Muslim majority over this outrage!

Or so it might seem to someone predisposed to blame Islam, rather than Islamic extremism, for the all-too-frequent acts of Islam-related terrorism in today’s world. But the sad truth of the matter is that we simply don’t know how many moderate Muslims condemn durka durka Mohammed jihad. And we don’t know whether they’d be reported doing so by the MSM if they did.

I posted a couple of pictures of moderate Muslims demonstrating for peace before. Clearly one of them is photoshopped, but which one? (Perhaps they both are. I forget.)

Will the real Islam please stand up? Are the masked homicidal gunmen who stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo the true representatives of Islam? Or is the hard-working and law-abiding Muslim family who own and run your corner store the true faces of the religion of peace?

Seriously, folks. Can’t you see that there’s an epistemic problem here? Is Islam the root cause of the problem? Or something else? I don’t really know and, may I respectively suggest, neither do you.

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Credit where it’s due says blogger Brendan McNeill, upon whom I rely to keep tabs on what Mohammed’s followers are up to.

I have previously reflected that nothing short of a reformation of Islam will ever allow its followers to co-exist peacefully with other faith communities. It seems the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is himself a Muslim, agrees and is apparently unafraid to say so.

Speaking before Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year’s Day, 2015, and in connection to Prophet Muhammad’s upcoming birthday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam, made what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date on the subject.

McNeill then quotes from al-Sisi’s speech in which the Egyptian President declares that Islam “is in need of a religious revolution,” before concluding

President Sisi is a brave man. Normally, to utter these words would be an automatic death sentence. It may still prove to be.

Is al-Sisi’s speech a reason for optimism? Perhaps, but there’s a bigger problem than that which already makes al-Sisi’s future assassination a very real possibility. A further epistemic problem to exacerbate the one we already have.

I’ve previously blogged on tawriya which is the Muslim doctrine of double entendre.

Now here’s Wikipedia to say a few words about taqiyya, the Muslim doctrine that allows lying in certain circumstances—primarily when Muslim minorities live under infidel authority.

In Shi’a Islam, taqiyya (تقیة taqiyyah/taqīyah) is a form of religious dissimulation, or a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are in fear or at risk of significant persecution. The corresponding concept in Sunni Islam is known as idtirar (إضطرار) “coercion”. A related concept is known as kitman “concealment; dissimulation by omission”. Also related is the concept of ḥiyal, legalistic deception practiced not necessarily in a religious context but to gain political or legalistic advantage.

Can we trust any of the moderate Muslims condemning violent jihad? Can we even trust al-Sisi? A friend on Facebook thinks we can’t. He says

be in no doubt it was a very brave thing for Sisi to say unless of course he is practicing Taquiyya which is the islamic doctrine of being able to lie or decieve to protect or further islam.

I don’t know if we can trust al-Sisi or not. How could I know? (He’s a politician, after all.)

Christianity does not permit lying. Not even white lies. We are called to worship God in spirit and in truth. The fact that Islam does permit lying in certain circumstances and even has a name for the practice is of the utmost concern.

Not least because it gives anti-Islamic factions in Western society a free pass to practise a modern-day form of medieval witch dunking, also known as ordeal by water.

Ordeal by water was associated with the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries: an accused who sank was considered innocent, while floating indicated witchcraft.

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Innocent accused who sank drowned. Guilty accused who floated were executed for witchcraft. So the accused was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. (See also the Biblical test for an unfaithful wife.)

Muslims who don’t protest the violence of their extremist co-religionists are accused of condoning terrorism by not speaking out. Muslims who do protest are accused of committing taqiyya. Thus, in the eyes of many, there are no moderate Muslims, just as there were none left living among those women of medieval times accused, rightly or wrongly, of witchcraft.

(Point illustrated. In fact, with respect to dunking, “the notion that the ordeal was flatly devised as a situation without any possibility of live acquittal, even if the outcome was ‘innocent’, is a modern elaboration.”)

Lying is wrong. And the fate of all habitual liars is that eventually no one believes them. That Muslims are so widely regarded with suspicion is a fate that Islam has wrought upon itself.

Posted in Epistemology, Islam, Jihad, John, Semantics | Leave a comment

The Hobbit is a Biblically Inspired Story

[Guest post by Julian Crawford, Leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.]

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It is well known that J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Christian, who attended church daily and was responsible for bringing fellow author C.S. Lewis to faith.

What is less well known are the vast parallels between The Hobbit and The Bible, particularly the Old Testament.

While the Hobbits were based on English people and Elves speak a Celtic language, the Dwarves resemble the Jewish people. “The Dwarves… wouldn’t you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic,” Tolkien said in a 1971 interview.

In The Hobbit the company of Thorin Oakenshield travel to the Lonely Mountain of Erebor to reclaim their homeland and its vast gold reserves from the dragon Smaug. The Lonely Mountain shares many similarities to Mt Zion in Jerusalem, otherwise known as the Temple Mount.

The Dwarves had been driven out of their homeland and forced to “wander the wilderness” following Smaug’s capture of the mountain. The Jewish people were also forced into exile from their holy land.

The Dwarves lived in a grand cavern where their king’s throne was located while Mt Zion became the site of King David’s palace. His son Solomon build the temple there, which was the throne room of God.

Erebor is full of vast treasures particularly massive amounts of gold, just as the Jewish temple was full of gold ornaments.

The most precious treasure of the Dwarves was the Arkenstone, known as the King’s Jewel which was kept above the throne. The holy of holies in the Jewish temple was the site of the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark were two sapphire stone tablets with the ten commandments written on them.

“He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord there.” – 1 Kings 6:19.

“Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.” – 1 Kings 6:21-22.

The Lonely Mountain and other dwarf kingdoms feature huge mines where the precious stones and metals were mined, while King Solomon also commissioned massive mines, known as King Solomon’s mines.

The vast wealth of the mountain corrupted the Dwarvish kings just as Jewish kings also became corrupted following the establishment of monarchy.

Five armies surround Erebor just as armies have often surrounded Jerusalem to try and capture the Temple Mount.

When the dragon drove the Dwarves out he become king under the mountain. In The Bible Satan is described as a dragon. Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman and Islamic empires have all conquered Jerusalem and are represented in the bible as beasts.

Babylon captured vast amounts of the gold in the Jewish temple and took it for itself until it was returned by the King of Persia, who allowed the destroyed temple to be rebuilt.

The Hobbit is an epic battle between the forces of good and evil involving many armies. It is apparent that an epic battle has also been raging for millennia to control Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. That battle continues right up until the present day, with Islamic groups such as ISIL and Hamas determined to make it the capital of their Islamic Caliphate. While Zionists are equally determined to rebuild Solomon’s Temple on the same site and solidify Jewish control of the Old City.

Posted in 1 Kings, 1 Samuel, 2 Kings, Antisemitism, C S Lewis, Catholicism, Corruption, Daniel, Dinosaurs, Economics, Islam, King James Bible, Materialism, New Inklings, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms, Riddles, Satan Laughing Spreads His Wings, Song of Songs | Leave a comment

Salvation is by works (Part 1)

love-god

Here’s the preamble to the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” (NIV)

Jesus makes it abundantly clear that salvation is by works.

How do you read it?

Posted in Gospel music, Luke, Salvation, Slechtvalk | 8 Comments

Libertarian Hatchet. Peter Davies. Mayor of Doncaster.

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Why this Pic?….. Bloody Internet would not give me a Pic of Pete!

From Stuff…. Would you vote for Peter Davies – if you were given the opportunity?

He’s a maverick English mayor elected after promising to slash council spending, clear the streets of yobs and ditch politically correct services – the torchbearer for how towns should be run.

On his first morning as mayor of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, Peter Davies cut his salary from 73,000 to 30,000 then closed the council’s newspaper for “peddling politics on the rates”.

Three weeks into his job Mr Davies pressed ahead with plans he hopes will see the town councillors cut from 63 to 21, saving taxpayers 800,000.

Mr Davies said: “If 100 senators can run the United States of America, I can’t see how 63 councillors are needed to run Doncaster.”

He’s withdrawn Doncaster from the Local Government Association and the Local Government Information Unit, saving another 200,000.

“Doncaster is in for some serious untwining. We are twinned with probably nine cities around the world and they are just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense.”

The mayor’s chauffeur-driven car has also been axed by Mr Davies and the driver given another job. Mr Davies swept to power in the May election with 24,244 votes as a candidate for the English Democrats, a party that wants tight immigration curbs, an English Parliament and a law forcing every public building to fly the flag of St George.

He’s promised to end council funding for Doncaster’s International Women’s Day, Black History Month and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.

He said: “We need to cut costs. I want to pass on some savings I make in reduced taxes and use the rest for things we really need like improved children’s services.

“Politicians have got completely out of touch with what people want.”

– These facts are from reader Ian Sprott

Does that quote “completely out of touch with what people want” sound familiar?

Would he have okayed hundreds of thousands of dollars on a brochure telling ratepayers what clever people he and the councillors are – ignoring specialist staff warnings about the cost?

Would he have allowed yet another expensive switch on Auckland’s logo – after $329,000 was spent on a design in 2007?

How would he have reacted to the shambles on the first night of the world cup?

The mailbag reveals other drums being beaten in Auckland’s far-flung suburbs:…. read more..

Davies Reforms mirror my own campaign policies that I have represented in Local body elections over the last decade.

Google this guy and you will see how his reforms are met by seething hatred by those whom parasite off Heavy rates Big spending Busy Body Councils.
The Devils wail and gnash their teeth… yet it is their own Vampire which has brought them to ruin!
Their Victims have had enough.

Read about my personal efforts to halt Socialist Tyranny and Bankruptcy below…

‘Revolution At The Roots’ Making Hamilton’s City Council smaller,better, and more conducive towards Prosperity. Tim Wikiriwhi.

Posted in Affordable City, Financial Collapse, Hope, Libertarianz, Local Government, Revolution, Slashing Bureaucracy, Thomas Jefferson, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Once a libertarian, always a libertarian

Here’s a letter to the editor I wrote that was published in the Evening Post back in December 1983.

fnord

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. :-)

Posted in Cannabis, From The Annals, Jihad on Drugs™ | Leave a comment

Christianity is Not About Salvation

frhopkoOne of my favourite things to do these days while going about my day job is to listen to Ancient Faith Radio podcasts on my phone as I work.  Probably my favourite podcasts are by Father Thomas Hopko, a former Dean of St Vladimir’s Academy – an Orthodox Seminary.  He has an amazing knowledge of Church history and Orthodox theology which has been a great help to my journey of faith.

One of the podcasts I listened to recently was one in a series on the names of Jesus, where he makes the astonishing claim that “[Christian] faith is not about salvation…”  I have to say this blew my mind, and caused me to look at my faith in a completely new way.  In fact, I think what he had to say is so important, I am just going to quote a large chunk of the transcript for you verbatim:

What does it mean that Jesus is named the Savior? What does it mean that he saves us?

We know that he does. We confess that he does. Our whole faith is that he does, and he’s the only one who does. What is this salvation? What is the content of it? What makes salvation, salvation?

When I was a seminary student, I was sitting in a class of dogmatic theology with my beloved professor, Professor Serge S. Verhovskoy. I discussed this issue countless hours with Professor Verhovskoy about salvation. What is it, how do you understand it? How does it work? Once in class, he said “my dears.” (He always called us my dears). “…we must, we must, he used to say, avoid, this abominable preoccupation with salvation.”

Well, that blew me away, and after I fell off my chair and got up again, I raised my hand, and I said “Professor, why can you say such a thing? Isn’t it all about salvation? Isn’t Jesus our Savior? Doesn’t he save the world? Isn’t salvation what it’s all about?”

And he looked and smiled and said, “Of course.” But what I would like to say is this. There are many Christians who are hardly interested in God at all. They’re really not interested in Christ. They’re not interested in life. They’re not interested in the beauty of creation. They’re not interested in their fellow man and their neighbor. They’re not really interested in just about anything except salvation. Translated, meaning: How to get to go to heaven when you die.

baptismscarlettBecause a lot of Christians think of salvation meaning: Do you get to go to heaven? And so, Christians will go around saying “Are you saved?” And then they’ll even claim that to say “I’m saved” means I know for sure that I have my place cut out in the age to come, and I’m certainly going to heaven and anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved, and I believe, and I’m baptized, so I’ll be saved, and I’m saved by grace and not by works, and all this kind of stuff. But then they’ll start arguing about what do you need to do to be saved? Do you need to believe? Do you need only to believe? Do you need to do works too? And then what about pietistic actions? You may not need to be circumcised, I mean that might be agreed upon, but Christians might argue and say well, you got to go to church to be saved. You got to be a member of the church to be saved. Some people might even say, you’ve got to be baptized, but that’s a spiritual reality. You don’t need to be baptized in water to be saved. And even some people who are baptized into water, they’re pretty ugly, miserable, horrible creatures, so you know, baptism doesn’t save you. And just going to church and standing there and singing hymns doesn’t save you. Baking a cake for the cake sale doesn’t save you. Knowing the Nicene Creed doesn’t save you. Or maybe it does save you? Maybe you’ve got to never eat any meat, milk products, or anything on any Wednesday or Friday or you’re going to go to hell? And other people say no, that’s nonsense.

So there becomes a huge debate that split Christians up into literally thousands of churches, and many of those churches are the churches that claim salvation through faith and belief in the Bible and belief in Jesus, but then they argue about how does it work? There are some who will say, I must accept Jesus as my Savior or I’m not saved. There are others of a more Calvinistic, Augustinian line who would say, oh no no, God chooses you. You don’t choose God. There’s predestination. God decides who is saved. God is sovereign. If he wants to save you, he’ll save you, and if he doesn’t, you’re going to hell. And you have no case to make whatsoever, because God does whatever he wants. He’ll save whom he wants to save, and he’ll damn whom he wants to damn, and you’re nothing but clay, and he’s the maker, and you’re the earth, and he’s the potter: so forget about it. So there’s a big debate about that. Then there’s a big debate about all the sacraments and do you need to have Holy Communion? It’s written in the Scripture, if you don’t eat body and drink his blood, you have no life in you, no eternal life in you. So some people say well, unless you’ve gone to communion, you can’t be saved. Anyone who is not baptized in water can’t be saved.

pope-francis-600So there’s so many different kinds of arguments. And what my professor that day wanted to tell us and has stuck with me forever just to this very day is that the faith is not about salvation in that sense. It’s not like figuring out “what do you got to do to be saved minimally” like do you have to go to church or don’t you? Do you have to believe in Jesus or don’t you? Do you have to participate in sacraments, or don’t you? Do you have to be in some particular church and not another or don’t you? Do you have to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome who is the Pope or don’t you? And there are times when people said if you’re not in one or another particular church, you are simply not saved. You are just simply going to hell. And there’s plenty of folks around that think that we Orthodox Christians are going to hell because our understanding of Christianity is so weird.

Now, Professor Verhovskoy taught us: you can’t look at it that way. You can’t begin with what you need to do to be saved. No. In fact, in that sense, it is an abomination, almost a blasphemy, even to be interested, if not obsessed, with the issue of salvation and start trying to figure out who’s saved and who’s not and telling who’s saved and who isn’t saved, and why it’s so. Real authentic Christians should never, ever get involved in that kind of thing. Never. That is my deepest conviction. It’s not according to Jesus. It’s not according to Christ. It’s not according to Scripture.

gloryofgodBut what is? What is? What is, is that there is God. Beautiful, marvelous, magnificent, splendid, glorious God Almighty. And his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, born of a virgin on earth, the all-holy, life-creating Spirit that proceeds from God, dwells in the Son, is breathed upon us. There’s life, there’s world, there’s reality; there is truth. There is peace. There is joy. There is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. There is God himself. And what we have to realize is that we’ve got to be interested in the God who saves us, not in salvation as such. We’ve got to be interested in loving God, not salvation. God. Life is about God. The Bible is about God. Church is about God. Sacraments are about God and being about God they’re about Christ, and if they’re about Christ they’re about crucifixion and resurrection and glorification and humility and love and mercy and meekness. Jesus says learn from me, I am meek and lowly of heart. You will find rest for your soul.

It’s about the grace of God coming in us and being manifested for our salvation. The grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people. God desires all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the Church. God is the Savior of all human beings, especially those who believe. So, our confession has to be that God, in Christ, has already, on the Cross, saved everyone and everything. That’s the gospel. That’s the glad tidings: that he has come for Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slave and free, whoever we are upon the earth, and even the whole earth, and even all the galaxies and the stars and the sun and the moon. God, who created all of that, is saving all of that, and he’s saving it all in Jesus Christ. And that’s what we have to be thrilled about. That’s what we have to confess. That’s what we have to live by.

pantocratorNow, if we do, then we will glorify God, and we will try to keep his commandments because we will love him. And we will try to love him with all our mind, all our soul, all our heart, all our strength. We’ll try to love our neighbor, even our worst enemy as ourselves. We will not judge anyone for anything. Our holy fathers teach us that we judge no one for nothing. Who are we to judge? God who is the Savior is the judge, and guess what? He judges us by saving us. He came to save the world, not to condemn it. So the judgment of the world as we just heard from St. John’s gospel is his salvific act in Jesus. It’s that salvation that judges the world. But what is that salvation? That salvation is God. You can put it this way, quickly. It’s God acting to destroy everything that is ungodly, everything that is not according to God’s good creation, everything that he does not want.

So we are saved first of all, from. The salvation is a salvation “from”. We are saved from ignorance, from darkness, because he gives us the truth, and he is the truth, and gives us the spirit of truth. We are saved from our sins. We are saved from our madness our insanity, from our diseases, from our transgressions. We are saved from our own self, from the vain imaginations of our own heart and mind. We are saved from everything that destroys and ultimately the last enemy to be destroyed is the destroyer itself which is death. So we are saved from death. So you can speak about being saved from. And so we’re saved from everything that is no good. Everything that is not true. Everything that is not beautiful, everything that is ugly, everything that is diseased, everything that is corrupted, everything that is just plain rotten and no good. Everything that is morbid and dead and demonic. We’re saved from the power of the devils. It says that in I John, the reason for the epiphania, the appearance of the son of God is to deliver us from the works of the devil. So we’re saved from the works of the devil. Whatever they are, that’s what we are saved from by God.

christbridegroomAnd then we are saved for. Not only from, but “for”. We are saved for life. What makes life, life? According to the Holy Scripture, what makes life life is the glorification of God. Not trying to figure out who gets saved and who is not saved, and what you got to do to get to go to heaven and then do the minimal amount of things that you need. Professor Verhovskoy would say it would be like saying how often do I have to be with my wife? Do I have to see her every day? Can I see her every other day? Can I see her just on Sunday mornings for two hours? What do I have to do with her? What do I have to give to her so that I can be quote, unquote “in good standing” with her? That’s an abomination. That’s a blasphemy. Human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God do not act that way. In fact, we do everything to be in communion all the time, to love all the time, give everything, to share everything, to enjoy everything. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about some kind of minimal standards or rules that if we fulfill them externally, we get to go to heaven.

And it’s very interesting that many Christians who claim to be saved by faith alone and not by works, they’re still very interested in what works you need to do to be saved. And I would even suggest let’s strike once and for all from our life this question: what do I need to do to be saved? The answer is: everything and nothing because there’s nothing I can do to be saved if God doesn’t save me. But once God saves me, then I have to do the works that he does, and that means I can never rest assured of my salvation. Oh yes, I can say and I must say the gospel of God in Jesus Christ is that we are all saved. I’m saved, you’re saved. Joseph Stalin is saved. Osama bin Laden is saved. Whoever you want to think of is saved, as far as God is concerned. And then the question is, do we accept that salvation? Do we live by that salvation?

phariseepublicanAnd here the teaching of Scripture and the saints would be that nobody could claim to do it. Nobody is righteous, no, not one, even after baptism. And we’re always sinners saying God be merciful to me, a sinner. We’re always saying, I am not worthy, I am not worthy. I am not deserving. Certainly I am not deserving of the grace of the Holy Spirit, and the fire of God, and the broken body and the spilled blood of Jesus. I am not worthy of salvation. It’s a gift. But once I realize that there is that gift, then I have to take that gift, and I have to repent every time I don’t take it. I have to repent every time I neglect it, forget it, and worse, that I would just refuse it and live by my own standards and my own life. That’s hell. That is hell. Hell is being and doing what you want to be, not according to what God wants, which is salvation.

So once I know that I am saved by Jesus, then what I do is that I pray without ceasing. I give thanks in all circumstances. I rejoice in all things. I try to share everything I have. I try to do everything as well as I can, and I know that even if I do that, I am not deserving of salvation. And I know there’s nothing I can externally do. I could go 100 Divine Liturgies and give all my body to be burned and everything, even as St. Paul says, but if I have not the love of God in me, if I’m doing out of arrogance and pride or trying to get to go to heaven when I die, and earn my salvation, then I’m still in the hands of the devil. My life is still an abomination. I have not yet understood salvation. Why? Because I have not yet understood God. So to understand salvation and to receive salvation, you have to understand and receive and love God. We love God, not salvation. God. We love God. And therefore, we are saved for loving God, glorifying God, praising God with every breath, more than we breathe the holy fathers say. We are saved for work. We are saved for activity. We are saved for rejoicing in one another. We are saved for serving each other. We are saved for repenting, in fact. We can only repent because we’re saved, because that salvation is always available to us.

Symeon_the_New_TheologianFor as often as we sin, when we get up again, that very salvation once and for all accomplished on the cross by God with his son Jesus, God our Savior, and Christ our Savior, that allows me to repent. That’s one of the elements of salvation, the ability to repent daily. And the holy fathers would even say, we are saved for tears. We are saved for weeping over our sins and the sins of the world. We are saved for weeping over how we have ruined our world and corrupted our planet, and destroyed our universe and killed our economy, and how our greed and how our competition, and how our, I don’t know what, racisms and all kinds of have stuff have created a hell on the planet Earth. Well, God has saved us in Christ from that hell, but it’s not only from the hell, it’s for the paradise. And that’s why St. Simeon the New Theologian said, we are saved so that each day we can become a fresh paradise to everyone around us, including our most horrible hated enemy. We are saved to be by grace everything that God in Christ is by nature. That’s what we’re saved for.

And so a person who knows that, that person is no longer interested or obsessed in salvation as such. They are totally devoted to God as the Savior, to Christ who is the Savior, to the eternal life to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fire into which they are baptized into which they are saved by the Savior Jesus, by his broken body and spilled blood. They’re not looking around, figuring out salvation. In fact, a saved person who is not interested paradoxically in salvation anymore at all, a saved person is not trying to figure anything out. A saved person is just praying to be illumined by God to testify to the fact that we are saved, that salvation is here, eternal life is here. Joy is here. Peace is here. God is with us. Emmanuel is Christ’s name also. God with us, that everything has been redeemed, saved, delivered, protected, purified. All the enemies have been destroyed. All of God’s enemies have withered up and are like smoke vanishing in the fire, and nothing over stands against God anymore. And to be saved is to be in that reality, and even more modestly, to want to be in that reality. To struggle to be in that reality, to confess with tears that we are not in that reality, and to confess that we have no claim on salvation. We cannot name anything, we can’t claim anything.

And we certainly cannot dare to claim, there’s my place in heaven, made for me because I accept Jesus as my Savior. Because the question would be, do you really accept Jesus as your Savior? Then your works will show it. That’s the teaching of Holy Scripture. Your deeds will show it. What do you do? Oh, no. We come before the face of God always as penitents and sinners until he comes again in glory, and we say, “Save me, O Lord.” We pray all the time in church, help us, save us, have mercy on us, keep us, oh God, by your grace. And what we will see is that the content of salvation is the outpouring of the divine chesed, the divine mercy, the divine love upon us, and we bask in that as our salvation. And to the measure that we are in that, to that measure we are saved. But it isn’t over until it’s over.

st-macariusThere’s a wonderful story of St. Macarius of Egypt, who when his life was over was entering into paradise. According to the story, he had one foot into paradise, he heard a voice saying, Macarius you have conquered. Actually, the voice should have said, Macarius, Christ has conquered in you, Christ is the victor. He’s the Savior. But when the voice said, Macarius, you have conquered, Macarius turned around and looked, and it was the devil. And Macarius looked at the devil, and he said to him, not yet. Until both feet are safely in, not yet. We presume nothing, while at the same time we confess that everyone and everything in all of creation has been saved by God in the blood of Jesus. It’s our task to receive that salvation and to re-receive it, take it again, and again, and again, every moment of every day with every breath to be again loving God and loving our neighbor and trying to keep the commandments.

And if we do that, then God will save us if he wishes, and he will know how. But we won’t be interested in salvation anymore. We will be interested solely in pleasing, glorifying, worshipping, and loving God, who is love, who has loved us so much that he sent his beloved Son into the world to save us and to pour his saving power and love of the Holy Spirit into us, even now while we live in this fallen and corrupted world. So every day we say to the Lord, Lord have mercy, Lord save me, Lord be with me. And then we say Lord let me be worthy of your great salvation. Lord, let me be an instrument of your salvation, your love, your truth, your reconciliation, your victory over death and the devil to every single person around me. And when I fail in that, oh Lord, have mercy on me, and I know that you will. Why? Because you have saved me, and you have saved everyone and everything.

So this should serve as a sufficient rebuttal to Ayn Rand’s view that “The first duty of a Christian is the salvation of his own soul”.  To be a Christian and merely seek salvation is a bit like buying a girl flowers and dinner just so you can have sex with her.  When what we should really be interested in is getting to know the girl and loving her with a view to spending the rest of our lives with her.  The sex, like our salvation, will happen naturally if we put love and the relationship first.

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