Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Hope, it’s the Christian Thing to Do.

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, in times like these it is hard not to despair, but we are called as Christians to hope. Hope is a self interested act because once hope is lost, the game has ended, but where hope clings to life, there is always a possibility of victory. I see so many of us libertarians and conservatives loosing hope, at the obviously gigantic problems we as a human race face, the coming religious wars, potential nuclear war, the utter disconnection from our Constitution, growing oppression, the undermining of our foundational principles, the loss of free speech, the loss of freedom of religion, coming world tyranny and in many places people are not even allowed to defend themselves from attackers! We are surrounded by absurdity called consensus piled upon insanity labeled reason. Today the elite insist, war is peace, freedom is slavery and false news is real news and real news is false news. The moral ground we trod has been plowed up and frozen, we have to walk across the jagged ankle wrenching ground of, changing morality, immorality called morality and the hegemonic culture… post modernism questions even physics itself. Yes, there is much to despair over, but hope is more powerful than despair, hope seizes victory from the jaws of failure, and it is hope that begets the miracles that Christians still to this day experience.

J RR Tolkien’s books The Lord of the Rings series was based on this aspect of Christian doctrine. No matter that their quest was doomed from the start they persevered on. In the end, it was a villain who was spared, that saved the day. Each laboring as far and long as he could until the next would pick up the burden and carry it as far as they could. The whole story is one of hope in the face of rational despair. This is a basic Christian doctrine. Christians have hope because, God may at any time step in and save us, if he doesn’t then he has called us home to heaven, and what loss is there in that? Hope for a Christian is a win win situation then. If we hope to be saved from certain death, and we are not, we win by going to heaven, if we are saved, then we get to live on, either way a Christian always has hope, because a Christian always wins. What do you suppose happens to the soul of a Christian martyr? What does the Holy Bible say?

Hope is a rational self interested choice. Often, reason will tell us there is no hope and that we might as well give up in the face of overwhelming odds, when in fact that is the least rational action we could take. There is a reason methodical serial killers don’t kill mothers with their children around. A mother who is protecting her children has no thought of loosing, their only thought is of victory, hope. Whether she is a black bear, a feral cat or a human being, no one and nothing wants to go against a mother fighting for her babies. Lions understand this logic, as do wolves and I suppose even T Rexes did, so how much better should we, as self aware rational beings? This seems counter intuitive though doesn’t it? A female is usually much weaker than a male of her own species and how much weaker a female of a prey species then? What is the magic that makes this truth factual? Hope, the female has nothing but hope in her mind and heart when she is fighting for her babies, a hope that cannot be extinguished unless she is, hope is the secret ingredient.

We are surrounded by evil, and people unwilling to lift a finger to help us stop it, we have voted over and over to change direction but those we vote in speed it up, rather than turn the wheel, in our hearts we know the media’s relentless attacks on our President is in truth, attacks on us, our intelligence and our attitudes. The very air we breathe is saturated with despair. We are told daily, in any number of ways to sit down and shut up, else we will be ground under the tires of the New World Order. “You can’t fight city hall so you might as well get used to it,” has become the mantra of our age. Those of us who look forward, at what will likely happen if trends continue the way they are going, see human suffering on a munificent scale coming, and the elite judging by their actions, not their words, they must want it to come. There is plenty to despair about… but so was there in 1941, hope won the day then as it will today, if only we cling to hope and reject despair.

Victory is always possible it only depends on who gives up first. It looks like the majority are progressive globalists, it looks like the Islamists will inevitably win, it looks like our legal systems are against us, it looks like a lot of things, none of them necessarily true, all we need do is hope. God is working behind the scenes. Evil must struggle, all day and all night every day and every night, because it doesn’t have a loving God working behind the scenes for it. Everything evil accomplishes, it must accomplish itself, by the sweat of it’s own brow, while we are able to relax after a day work, in the warm knowledge that, in the end, God has it in hand. Remember, evil is ugly and sooner or later people will turn away from it, it’s only hope is to gain enough power before that happens, then even the consent of it’s own adherents is irrelevant, but in the end that level of power is impossible to maintain for long, so in reality evil can only loose, so it is evil that has no hope.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Hope

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, of all the things Christians are called to do, hope is one of the hardest but the most rewarding. Some of us live in the past, where all our failures and misfortunes drag us down. Others live in the future, a future that promises great things that always seem to be just out of reach, but to actually have hope one must live in the present. The past tells us where we have been, and the future shows us where we can go, but it is in the present that we have the power to make the future. That power is based on hope. It is human nature to see a looming problem, like war, famine or tyranny, and to loose hope. We are overwhelmed by the magnitude of our problems, and to hang onto hope seems childish in the face of such overwhelming odds, but it only through hope that we have a chance at a better future. We as Christians, are called to have hope against all odds, put our problems in God’s hands and work in the present to save the future.

Our pasts have a great deal to teach us about what works and what doesn’t. It is the past that allows us to enjoy today and succeed tomorrow. Our past is full of lessons on how to have relationships, how to navigate the world, what gives us happiness and what takes that happiness away. The past is a terrific resource for us, but it can also be a bog that we get caught in, holding us fast and dragging us down. If we dwell on our past mistakes, instead of learning from them, we get stuck in a morass of self pity. Those who are stuck in their past mistakes or misfortunes cannot get past them and stagnate. Hope allows us to move beyond our failures to a better future where we can use those lessons to improve our lives.

Those who live in the future are never happy today. Their minds are filled with all the good things that will happen tomorrow and as such they miss all the good in their lives today. Often the future is a place to escape those things we find overwhelming today. We retreat into our Utopian vision of a future where we are smarter, richer, wiser and more attractive. But in doing that we undermine our ability to get wiser, smarter, richer and more attractive, because to get those things tomorrow, we must work for them today. The future is a great place to plan for but living there undermines that future. It is only in living today that we can effect our futures in a positive way.

Today, we may not be the the smartest man or the richest woman, but if we work to improve ourselves we can get there… powered by hope. It is the lack of hope that discourages us and stymies our efforts. Why struggle if there is no hope? The reality however, bolstered by the entire history of the human race, is that there is always hope. People miraculously go into remission from deadly cancers, tyrants fall at unexpected times and our loved ones get off drugs. There was no possible way Timoleon could have singlehandedly overthrown the tyrant of Syracuse, but he did. The problems facing Athens when Solon was elected were insurmountable, threatening the very existence of Athens, but Solon solved them. When Rome itself was burned to the ground and occupied by the Gauls, there was no possibility Rome could be retaken, but it was. The history of the human race is a story of hope against all odds. Even our very existence is a story of hope.

Those who don’t believe must do everything themselves. As the quintessential American Philosopher, William James taught, the philosophy of Christianity allows people to be calm in the knowledge that in the end God will sort it all out, but the atheist has no such hope. The poor atheist must take all the responsibility upon him or herself while a Christian can rely on God. To the atheist there is no hope, only struggle and pain, then a dirt bath. To choose hope over despair is not a cop out, it is the definition of wisdom. It is pragmatic to choose hope, and impractical to choose hopelessness, because it is hope that improves our lives and hopelessness that diminishes them. Regardless, God gave us free will, to choose hope or hopelessness.

The Christmas season is the time for hope. Christ came to save us from our own sins giving every one of us hope we can transcend them. He didn’t hang out with the Pharisees, he hung out with Prostitutes, Tax collectors and laborers. His message of hope was for everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful. Those with temporal power usually don’t lack hope what they lack is humility. Those of us who make up the mass of humanity however need hope. We are humbled every day by our demons. There is not a soul among us without some demon or two hounding him or her. It is through hope and the diligence that hope allows that we escape them and move to a better place. To a Christian there is even hope in death, the hope that we are saved by the actions of Jesus, hope that his life, death and resurrection brought into the world.

On Christmas eve, it is essential that we understand the message of hope that Jesus taught, accept the gift of hope he gave and live in that hope. Of course we fall now and then, what child has learned to walk without a bruised knee? It isn’t in giving up that we succeed, it is in giving in, to the hope Jesus gave us, and using that hope by working to make our lives and the world a better place, while relying on God to get the details we can’t, that is how we advance as human beings. The message of the Christmas season is one of hope, not every problem we face will be solved, nor that every tyrant will be overthrown, but that in our personal lives, even in death, Christians have hope. It is the legacy of our Savior.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

Glittering Lies and Ugly Truths

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that people are easily deceived and difficult to enlighten. We are surrounded by this reality yet are mostly blind to it. People fall into traps every day and no one is immune. Not only are we constantly deceived but there is not a one among us who can deny it. This is the normal state of affairs when it comes to human beings. Our lives and our children’s lives are profoundly negatively affected by this truth.

The primary means a scammer uses to deceive us is by telling us a lie that we want to believe. It may be so attractive that we want it to be true to the point of warping our underlying sense of disbelief. The effective cheat will use this propensity against us. They know that we have this weak spot in us and they use it like a wedge to separate us from whatever they seek to gain. We willingly bite the bait like a fish a lure.

Reality is, more often than not, unattractive. In our ignorance we hope that reality is not true and so we disbelieve it. This is the reason enlightenment is so hard for us to grasp. True enlightenment is not soft or attractive it is hard and repulsive. We want to have goods without working for them, we want to be enlightened without embracing the spiny truth, we want respect without giving it and we want fame without consequence. This is the other side of the coin of how easily we can be deceived

Mankind has grown powerful by the scientific method yet we eschew it’s use in matters of humanity. We instead turn to false hopes given to us by scammers and con artists. We are deceived not by others as much as by ourselves. It is not the con artist that fools us, he only facilitates the process, we fool ourselves. We fail to use the scientific method when we weigh good and bad. Yet if we applied the scientific method we would quickly discern the truth and we would laugh in the liar’s face.

The scientific method uses trial and error, applies the law of reproducibility and disregards the possibility of magic, having anything to do with the outcome of a certain chemical reaction or physical process. When we apply the scientific method to our investigations of the world around us… we are enlightened. Our material welfare has been greatly enhanced by this method, which has uses other than exploring the world we live in, however.

Economics, social interactions, governmental processes, and law, are a few of the things we should be applying the scientific method to… but never do. We hate to look at the reality of the world when it comes to our personal lives and decisions. Take law for example, we never look at the logical outcome of a law, we only look at the behavior we seek to curtail when it is passed. As a result, we are constantly bombarded with unintended consequences, which require more laws to rectify, which have more unintended consequences… and so on. Leading to the overgrowing of our garden by the kudzu vine of law.

Economics is another area of human existence we fear the use of the scientific method. We have empirical evidence of what works, and what leads to human suffering, yet we usually choose the path to want and need. Moreover, it is those that claim to be scientifically minded, who espouse the means to poverty instead of the means to societal wealth. As I have shown, it is not out of evil that we do this, it is because we believe what we want to believe… and disbelieve that which we want to disbelieve. In the case of economics it is a result of what we mischaracterize as a sense of moral outrage and indignation, that we must allow freedom for those who have merit, to become wealthy, and thus we all gain a measure of wealth. It is more attractive to believe, against all historical and empirical evidence, that we can simply proclaim the poor into a state of wealth. Even though history shows us the misery and human suffering this results in… every time it is tried.

Attractive lies are more believable than ugly truth. Until we understand this fact we are doomed to visit want, misery and need on those we love most.

Sincerely,

John Pepin