Tuesday, October 30, 2007

University of Delaware Sets a New Low in Indoctrination Methods

In a recent WorldNetDaily article, I read about a frightening occurrence within the University of Delaware residence hall system. It is well worth informing yourself about. Delaware is acting out what many other universities would love to do, and some will likely try. It seems that Delaware is (not surprisingly) attempting to claim the minds of the students for the secular left, feeding them propaganda from the very moment they set foot on campus.

Resident assistants (RAs) are sent to "diversity facilitation training sessions", and are taught that the white supremacists (actually referring to anyone of European decent) are the originators and perpetuators of racism. The issue is not with quelling racism, as this is a noble endeavor. The danger lies with the definitions they are using. To quote the definition directly from the Office of Residence Life Diversity Education Training documents:

"A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. 'The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination….'"

They are then required to meet with residents to transfer this "knowledge". Delaware RAs are also to teach residents that "reverse racism" is a term concocted by the manipulative and over-privileged white male and does not exist.

Students are expected to develop "competencies" such as “Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society,” “Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression,” and “Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality” (these are directly from a Townhall.com article on the same thing). This is shockingly outside the realm of academics, and worldview manipulation should certainly be outside the realm of residence hall "bonding" activities in a public university. Teaching Socialism 101 is a far cry from holding a swing-dancing night.

Very few college students are intellectually equipped to handle such a barrage; they swallow the attached worldview hook, line, and sinker. Who will be affected? Anyone who had little to no training in true critical thinking (i.e. not the equivalent to chronic antagonism, as commonly believed) and who has an aversion to reading. Sadly, this is a large majority of young people. I pray that the University of Delaware is forced to cease this program. In the meantime, we need to be preparing students to resist "collegiate worldview brainwashing", as it is happening in less blatant but equally potent forms in universities around the country.

*Update as of 11/02/07:
Delaware has dropped the plan! However, they withdrew with the president of the university citing a cop-out, "there are reasons for concern that the actual purpose is not being fulfilled." This screams that the plan will reemerge once the waters have calmed a bit (if not here then at another school..). If it does resurface, pray for an upheaval from the opposition. This plan must not be resurrected, though some will keep trying to in the hopes of the opposition giving in.

Christ, The Solid Rock

This hymn about the stability of Christ provides a much needed illumination of truth in the midst of the inherent darkness of Halloween- the day most explicitly antithetical to Christianity on the United States’ calendar. More important, however, is meditation on and the study of Scripture.

The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

—Edward Mote (1797-1874)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Colorado Rockies: Baseball's Breath of Fresh Air

Charles Colson wrote an article about what makes the Colorado Rockies so different from other teams. One factor of significance is the fact that the Rockies organization is run specifically on Christian principles. This is not a story about steroids, betting or any other scandal; it is about genuinely humble and appreciative people getting to play in or be involved in the series of a lifetime (that would be the World Series).

While Colson is a Red Sox fan, he admits he will be happy however the series turns out. I concur (without being a Red Sox fan) with Colson. Regardless of how the series turns out, congratulations Rockies!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Come As You Are, Stay As You Are: The Emerging Emergency

This is the atheist's dream: Christianity rendered obsolete through its own ambivalence about Biblical truth.

In the evangelical community, there is a tendency to expend great (and nearly exclusive) effort at bringing in greater numbers of people. While this goal is not intrinsically wrong, “mere outreach” carries with it a danger that is both silent and potent. When the "numbers game" wins out over Biblical cultivation of spiritual maturity within the community of believers, a tendency to lower the proverbial bar “emerges” (pun intended). The most imminent form of this danger lies within a movement called the emerging/Emergent church (“Emergent” is the title of an actual entity within the emerging movement).

The emerging (also sometimes known as “missional”) movement (a blanket term including many related theological variations) is largely well-intentioned in that those of this persuasion strive to recover an element of effective outreach lost to some in the evangelical community. The trend under the emerging umbrella is, however, is that of making concessions to postmodernism (in varying degrees) in the name of appearing attractive to non-believers. By "concede to postmodernism", I mean Christians who "soften" God's truth for the sake of building better relationships, hence attempting to make the Gospel "culturally relevant" to the non-Christian. This produces a "come as you are, stay as you are" mentality. This emerging mentality incubates an illness which is highly contagious, even infiltrating churches who believe that they are keeping their boundaries well defined. The threatening illness of which I speak is called relativism.

Consciously in its logical extreme, or subconsciously in its infancy, truth is considered to be unknowable, subjective, and sometimes irrelevant to the emerging adherent. Relationships then become so important that the desire to love the person chokes out the mandate to speak truth, if truth can even be deciphered. What happens when one intends to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) but has also foolishly eliminated Biblical absolute truth from the equation? Practically, one can deduce that there is nothing to speak, and thus, no standard is ever vocalized and defined. The equation becomes: speak [nothing and/or relativism] in love. When we strive to have the non-believer respond favorably to the church at the expense of truth itself, it would be beneficial to consider the words Jesus spoke in Luke 6:26,
“Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.

Paul was not sympathetic to bending truth in order to increase favor among non-believers.

2 Cor 4:2 But we have rejected shameful hidden deeds, not behaving with deceptiveness or distorting the word of God, but by open proclamation of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience before God.

Galatians 2:5
But we did not surrender to them even for a moment, in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.

While Paul was familiar with the cultures of those he engaged, he never bended or softened his message and continually spoke the truth in love.

The church must recognize this emerging emergency, take a stand or be assimilated.

All verses are from the NET Bible.

I give credit to my friend Jeff Miller for the catchy "Emerging Emergency" title. One example of the many benefits of a trip to Dallas!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Few Ways to Increase Your Chances of Attaining a Nobel Peace Prize

Write a book tugging at the heartstrings of those concerned about slightly warm polar bears everywhere. Try to shed a tear or two when asked about it.

Create a documentary with pretty pictures, a sobering musical score and whatever you do, keep research low and emotion high!

Fraternize regularly with the UN.

Participate in a crusade against global warming and monitor the globe's status by taking your jet-fuel powered personal aircraft.

Avoid rational dialogue with those in disagreement.

Show passionate concern about diminishing natural resources. Proceed to fill up jet-fuel powered personal aircraft to attend global warming conference with UN officials.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Exhortation From Ephesians

Ephesians 5:6-11 (NET Bible)

Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God's wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 5:8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light- 5:9 for all the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth- 5:10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dennis Prager Responds to The Intellectual Train Wreck That is the CSU Newspaper

My wonderful mother has alerted me to an article on WorldNetDaily.com by Dennis Prager called The fools of Colorado State, in which he responds to the journalistic debacle my school has taken part in (I explained the occurrence in a previous post). As if one black mark on the institution's record wasn't enough, the school has decided to give the editor-in-chief a slight grimace as punishment, and are keeping him on board. Goodbye, potential alumni dollars. May the Lord help us.

Musings On a Christmas Sighting in October

I just read an advertisement exhorting us to begin Christmas shopping. What the ad did not succeed in doing was mobilizing my shopping self (this is a self which I am not in contact with often). Why does this holiday consistently pursue my money (previously my parents' money) earlier and earlier in the year? While strategic shoppers may appreciate this "friendly reminder", I feel nagged; it as if someone is trying to convince me that money is burning a hole in my pocket and must leap out and buy something (this falsely implies that there is, in fact, money in my pocket).

My Christmas shopping usually takes place within 3 days of Christmas itself. This is partly because I do not like shopping and therefore put it off, and partly because the "Christmas Spirit" has a tendency to lose its luster when it has been parading around assaulting people's bank accounts for a month or more. I therefore try to personally avoid much of the Christmas hullabaloo for as long as possible in order to theoretically make Christmas eve and day more enjoyable. The jury is still out on whether this works, but I like to tell myself that it does. I would most certainly like to enjoy the fall in its glory before the hectic Christmas season begins. (back home in Texas, Christmas is its own season along with the other seasons of "almost summer", "summer", and "still summer")

Year after year, when one of my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving: no gifts necessary, only a delicious culinary escapade) rolls around, Christmas decorations and festivities strive to upstage this wonderful cuisine conglomeration. This year, it is ridiculous. Thanksgiving is still in the distance, and Christmas is already arriving, greedily eyeballing money and reaching for credit cards. I suppose, however, I am grateful that the word "Christmas" was used in the advertisement.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Exile of Brilliance and Profundity in Music

This is a redo of my old post. I will deal again with the nature of beauty in a later post.

The average ear no longer respects epic masterpieces filled with grand complexity, nor a pure and technically correct voice (though complexity and technicality alone do not automatically bring beauty to the table, but they can be factors), nor lyrics to a hymn which attempt to convey the awesome (that is, full of awe, not surfer lingo) truth the Christian is grounded in. Tragically, these have been exiled out of mainstream popularity.

Here are three examples of largely ignored (especially in the young adult generation) brilliance:

1) Beethoven's Erocia symphony #3 lasts around 50 minutes for an orchestra to complete. Even at the time it was written when attention spans were much longer, the symphony was played at the beginning of concerts in order to not play a lengthy piece to a tired audience. However, it was still adored. Today, even the movements (a.k.a. sections) are considered too long to be paid attention to, and the entire symphony is relegated to sound bites if ever listened to at all. Beauty in the technicality and finesse (when performed well) of this work is not seen I believe because it takes concentration. Concentration and listening to this piece takes time and time is no where to be found this day in age (that is, unless one were to actually look).

2) Luciano Pavarotti is my second example. His voice is one of the most, if not the most, technically correct and absolutely stunning ones in recent history. There is no question that his voice is beautiful. However, with as much greatness as Pavarotti achieved, he still was not nearly as popular or as well known as younger "classical/popular music crossover" artists who were technically and tonally inferior singers. In the media, Britney Spears having a terrible performance received more attention than the loss of the great Pavarotti. This is tragic.

3) Hymns are generally no longer appreciated. They are often seen as "boring" and "outdated". Instead of glorifying Him who gives perfect grace and reflecting on the profound lyrical words of spiritual giants, we worship (generally) with songs that were not only never intended for corporate worship, but are so devoid of truth that beauty is either not present or is in a distorted form. There is an overwhelming presence of the first person in modern worship songs. Use of the first person is not in itself wrong, but when it is paired with weak or non-existent dealings with truth, creed, and the attributes of the Lord, the song turns toward us. How can we truly worship God in such a narcissistic fashion devoid of the purpose of worship? Life is not about us; it is about glorifying our gracious Lord and furthering His kingdom. These hymns posses an abounding beauty through their gravity and depth which is largely not present in most modern worship songs. (This is not to say that there are not some good ones, I am however speaking of the trend)

Does this mean that there is no recent-era musical brilliance? Absolutely not! However, it does mean that most music fans are simply listening for what is catchy (in itself, this is not a bad thing, however, it usually ends here). Also, I am not advocating only listening to classical music. There are many other sources of fantastic and beautiful music out there, and preference does play a role in what one spends most of their time listening to.

I do argue, however, that generally, popular musical taste in postmodernity is a reflection (as my friend Anthony said in my deleted post) of intellectual laziness. We are, indeed, allergic to profundity.

On Second Thought- Deletion

I have removed my previous post because I don't believe that it was as well written or explained as it could have been. I still maintain the points that I made, I just feel that they were not articulated as adeptly as needed. For those who commented, thank you. I may try to redo it and re-post.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Could James Dobson's Threat of a Third Party Throw America Onto the Fast Track to Socialism?

Recently, Dr. James Dobson and other evangelical leaders have made comments that they would support a third party candidate instead of voting for Hillary or Guliani (read about it here). The problem is that this will only split the conservative vote while the liberal (socialist...yes Hillary is a socialist) camp remains unified. This will be essentially handing the White House to Hillary (or Obama, who is frightening for similar reasons). I am no fan of Guliani, so I pray that someone who is pro-life gets the nomination. However the Dobson criteria that the president be an evangelical Christian may be one that is out of reach. We must decide what we hold to be important and act accordingly.

Pray that Dobson either reconsiders (if he hasn't already), or that his third party idea will pull most of the conservative party with it. He has a massive amount of influence on the evangelical right.

It is entirely too early for this kind of talk.