crossing the Rubicon toward the black hole of culture

“[death]…the abyss from where no traveler is permitted to return”
George Washington

Men willingly believe what they wish.
Julius Caesar


(image courtesy NASA)

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the direction our world seems to be headed.
Not a fan of the current demands made by the culture gods.

And my discontent only grows by the minute.
We are being rapidly sucked into the black hole of a culture gone mad.

Black holes are seemingly endless voids that suck in and gobble up everything and
anything that happens to wander into their paths…a merciless vacuum to nothingness…
a seemingly never-ending emptiness where there is no light, no escape, no hope.

If allowed to stay on this current path of cultural madness, we will be swallowed whole,
never to be heard from again…as in no escape, no hope.

And I’ve been reminded of this perilous race of ours toward the black hole of hopelessness
several times this past week.

I had the opportunity of sitting in on a court hearing this past week–
not as a participant mind you, but more or less as an observing supporter.

It’s a long story but we all know that in most court proceedings,
things are not always as they seem.

It’s an odd dance of the legal tit for tat for truth.

Sitting, listening and observing, I found my mouth falling open when I heard the opposing
side’s lawyer feed off of the latest #metoo movement frenzie.

He was describing to the judge the behavior of a now three and a half-year-long deceased
92-year-old man.
Deceased before we had even heard of #metoo.

And yet this latest example of cultural madness was being surreally applied
to a person who was no longer here to defend his reputation which was currently
being tried in a public forum of culture in a courtroom.

Not really sure how a 92-year-old feeble man on a walker, a man who had Parkinson’s disease
and the energy level of a newborn child could aggressively push himself on a couple
of youthful female caregivers, but this is now sadly the times in which we live.

Yet what I was watching was a gross and obvious desperation grab by a lawyer…
all because our culture has gone off the skids of sanity.
And thus a shark hungry lawyer saw an opportunity to feed off the hypersensitivity
of the times.

All because we have cast ourselves outward toward the merciless vacuum of hopelessness…
and the thing is, no one seems to “get it.”
No one seems to grasp that we are creating our own rapid demise as a civilized society.

And thus the reputation of a deceased man was just one more of the latest casualties
of victimization by the black hole created by a culture out of control.

The next incident came later in the week.
I found myself reading a story that I found being repeated on many blog posts.
They were posts referencing a particular story about a young man who had once been a rising
star and prominent Christian in the public forum of culture.

The story is that this young man, who is now a bit older but still one I consider younger,
had written a book that became very popular within the youthful
Chrisitan circuit…basically a how-to-live sort of proclamation and manual to and for
young Christians.

He later went on to become a popular minister–be that self-proclaimed or
theologically trained, I do not know.

Yet sadly this past week, this same young man announced,
in the very public forum of all things social media,
that he was recanting his faith and his Christianity.

He apologized for hurting anyone who had ever worshiped (my word), at his feet,
read his books, listened to his teachings and his preachings…as well as apologized
to those, he may have offended by his ‘narrow-minded’ faith.

And so it was now high time for him to set the record straight…
He had been wrong about everything and oh, by the way, he was also getting divorced.

He was wrong…

Wrong about Jesus.
Wrong about his faith.
Wrong about his marriage.
And thus he was wrong about the Word of God.

He was wrong about sex, marriage, and all the spin-offs found entrenched in our counter-culture’s
obsession with all things anacronyms—LBGTQ_ _ _ _
(add in all the other letters you care to add)

He was, however, lauded for his “confession.”
He was embraced for his “beautiful” apologies as he
eloquently waxed and waned about the need for a new spiritual quest.
He had crossed over the Rubicon and the culture gods were now embracing him.

My friend Shara ( https://scasefamily.com/2019/07/26/kissing-jesus-goodbye/)
responded that “There’s nothing beautiful about denouncing Christ to the world.
Ever.”

My friend IB (https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/deconstructing-josh-harris/)
wondered aloud, whether or not in the wake of his fall, how many others had fallen simply for
their blind following of a fellow Chrisitan rather than following Christ and Christ alone.

I suddenly had a vision of a sinking Peter in a stormy sea when he had diverted his eyes
from his Lord and turned his vision rather to all that was around him.

And so I noted that here was simply another victim to the black hole that our culture
is busily creating.
A black abyss sucking up all that is right and decent and Holy.

Not being familiar with this particular one-time Christian advocate now lost young man,
I thought the story to be just another sad tale of the victimization of our times.

But isn’t that what all of this current culture is all about?
Victimizing, apologizing, recanting and accusing?!

That’s what we’re supposed to do and what the culture gods command us to do, is it not?
Apologize for everything while we accuse everyone of crimes against the Culture.
For culture is no longer a little c but is now the big C of all importance.

And that my friends is the black hole of hopelessness.
Our brave new world of a politically correct society that has no tolerance
for Judaeo /Christian values, morals let alone the word of God.

And so we have a choice…we can either keep our eyes on Culture or we can keep
our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.
But the thing is, we cannot do both.

It’s all pretty simple really, but obviously not as easy as it sounds.
In part because the insidious lies of ‘the Culture’ strive to undermind
what we once thought and lived—

All the while we can find ourselves inching ever closer to the
Culture’s black hole…we just need to finish crossing the Rubicon first.

If God had merely saved us from sins, it would be enough.
In fact, it would be the greatest gift imaginable.
Instead, however, he chose to surpass the limits of our imagination when he came down
from heaven” to save us. Not only did he make himself like us — but he made us like himself.

Leila Miller
from Raising Chaste Catholic Men

Be not dismayed

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!
Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated),
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

DSCN3370
(jellyfish on the beach / Santa Rosa, Fla / Julie Cook / 2016)

We are currently living in a boiling tempestuous sea.
A time of grave moral unrest.
A troubling time…

Some merely observe that it’s been bad before and it’ll be bad again…
Others note that it’s just a part of life…
an ebbing and flowing…
a swinging of the proverbial pendulum…

And it is true…
In my lifetime I have seen, as well as experienced first hand,
the upheaval of perilous unrest in this brave Nation of ours…

I have seen the continued growth and birthing pains of an ever evolving democracy.
I have seen the colliding of old verses new.
Young verses the elderly

I have lived under the dread and worry of nuclear annihilation for all my life…
beginning with the tuck and cover drills of elementary school…

I have sadly seen…
flags being burned
draft cards being burned
bras being burned
and politicians burned in effigy

I have seen protests…
sit ins
die ins
marches
hunger strikes
picket lines

I have seen clashes of ideologies, religions and beliefs…

Yet I cannot recall such a dangerously contemptuous time in my near 60 years.

We are perched on the precipice of what seems to be the death of life as we once knew it.
As a delusional group of “politicians” vie for control and power…of my life and of your life,
and of the life which we have known.

This Nation, united under the benevolent eye of the very God our pilgrim settlers and founding fathers each paid homage to,
is transforming and morphing under the cloak of a sinister shape shifting blanket,
that is barley detectable to the naked eye…

Some believe this is all for the good…
While other believe this is all for the bad.

Throwing the baby out with the bath water is never a good idea…
and yet that is what is slowing taking place.

Those of us of a certain age watch, as a deer in headlights, the daily news feeds…
wondering if there is anything left that is recognizable…
While others simply ignore the melee as they reach for another cocktail or numbing agent of choice.

The moral Judaeo/ Christian sector of this Nation has idly watched a slow yet deadly erosion…
an erosion of such catastrophic proportions, that shoring things up…is now nearly impossible…
As the very traditional family nucleus, the core center which has served as the lynchpin and underpinning of the history of humankind, is now ominously ready to cascade into a dark abyss.

So is it any wonder that so many of those who cleave to the belief in an Omnipotent God,
stand jumbled up and cast off to the side, in udder bewilderment and dismay….
as they are left wondering and shuddering at the strangeness now taking hold to all that they have known….

‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not rejected you
[even though you are exiled].

‘Do not fear [anything],
for I am with you;
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you;
I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand
[a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’
Isaiah 41:9-10

Dreams, mysticism and God’s heart

I used unexpectedly to experience a consciousness of the presence of God, or such a kind that I could not possibly doubt that He was within me or that I was wholly engulfed in Him. This was in no sense a vision: I believe it is called mystical theology. The soul is suspended in such a way that it seems to be completely outside itself. The will loves; the memory, I think, is almost lost; while the understanding, I believe, thought it is not lost, does not reason—I mean that it does not work, but is amazed at the extent of all it can understand; for God wills it to realize that it understands nothing of what His Majesty represents to it.”
― Teresa of Ávila

DSCN8886

DSCN8816
(anthurium / Julie Cook / 2014)

I believe that there are those who’s relationship with God is on a different level then the rest of us.
Those who have a more mystical relationship.
Those who experience visions.

Like Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century German mystic nun, I have suffered most of my life from migraine headaches. Whereas historians have noted that Hidegard suffered from terrible headaches, as well as other certain “aliments,” which were often associated with her visions. . . my headaches have only come with the stop you in your tracks blinding strobe light auras coupled with excruciating pain and nausea. There was never any voices, visions or outer body experiences—despite my wishing I was out of my body at the onset of the headaches, no one ever spoke to me from the great beyond.

I have also been known to have rather vivid dreams during my sleep—and lest I remind you, woman my age are not known for sleeping—-however when I am fortunate enough to be asleep and experiencing my odd subconscious form of entertainment, there have never been any visions or divine visits of such, just very real palpable bizarre dreams.
I often wake from these dreams with very real and very intense emotions of both joy or sorrow, depending on the dream.

I also have a bad tendency to “talk” in my sleep during the bad dreams—more like mutter and groan as I am attempting to scream in my dreams— yet in the real world, the world of conscious husbands who have been woken up from sound asleep wives who are having outer body experiences, as I innocently lay there like a gyrating possessed clump totally immersed under the covers, there is a power play between the subconscious and the reality of the conscious raging in the stillness of a silent night.

On one such occasion, my poor husband tired of listening to these alienesque noises coming from his supposedly sleeping wife, attempted to shake me. I was so thankful that he did. In my dream I was in a dire predicament and so frustrated that I was unable to speak and/ or yell for help during the dreaming crisis that when he pushed me, waking me up, I finally let out a blood curdling scream. I never did understand why he got so upset. . .there I was finally happy to be out of danger and feeling so much better and relieved and he was upset, go figure—–
Such is the dilemma of the sleeping and the awake.

Night before last I was having the most lifelike dream fraught with a great deal of anguish.
An odd crazy dream yet most troubling.
It was a dream concerning our 26 year old son as a little boy. Some bad people who I know not, as I never actually saw them or him, had kidnapped him. It’s just one of those oddities about dreams. . .one doesn’t often “see” the situation at hand but yet is keenly aware of what has obviously transpired.
And I know that there are those out there who would love to get ahold of this dream—picking it, as well as me, apart explaining what in the heck it all means. . .but trust me, I have a few of my own ideas.

In my dream I had begged and pleaded with these bad people, whoever they were. I was a mother who was rife with grief, fear and sorrow. It was all so real and I was certainly in a terribly bad place. However as luck would have it, I was “shoved” back to reality by a sleep deprived annoyed husband who had no idea that with his shaking of his dreaming wife, he had saved the day by ending the grave drama playing out in my subconscious.

I had tears streaming down my face and I was visibly upset.
I laid there a long time afterwards thankful I had been woken up and wondering what in the heck that dream was all about.
Oh I’m sure it has something to do with the frustration of my son’s being in a tough spot in his life right now and with me, as his mom, helpless to “fix things”—only as mothers so often feel they must do.

As I wondered, staring out in the dark, as to what sort of lesson I was to be learning from just one in a litany of life’s good and bad dreams, the thought of God as parent came to the forefront of my thoughts.
There I was in my dream—a desperate mom battling to save my child. I was besides myself with frustration and grief of the heart that I was unable to stop the bad things from happening to my child—when the thought occurred to me of how frustrated and sorrowful God must often be with us His children.

I was overcome thinking of the sorrow shed by a Father who loves with a love beyond my own comprehension of what love truly is, such that He must shed many tears over us.
There are those who argue that God, if He is God and is this all powerful entity that so many of us say He is, that He should just be able to do a little of that abracadabra business of His and poof, we’re all good. There are those who see the bad things happen, for no apparent reason, and therefore proclaim that if He is God and if He is really up there then He could indeed do something to stop the badness down here. . .and since He does not nor chooses not to do so, then He much not exist.

A long time ago, humankind severed a life line
A link, or more like a major artery, between life and death had been destroyed.
The bond was broken.
The separation was set in motion.
The world became void of Hope.
God, the Omnipotent, the Alpha and the Omega, watched Love fall into an abyss.

And yet, God knew, in order to save humankind, to be able to allow the continuum to the link of everlasting Love, He would have to allow and then watch His own Son, fall into that same empty black abyss.
A torn heart which was a swirling elixir of emotions of pain and sorrow on a scale not grasped by man, blanketed all of creation.
Raw grief and pain unimaginable yet given freely to offer us a bridge back home.

Life is much greater than what we know here on this Earth. Most of us do not possess the ability to grasp the extent of God’s true abiding love, yet in the dark, reeling from a dream so strong and real, I had a tiny glimpse of the enormity of God’s own heart.