Sunday, April 13, 2014


Now I understand better where some of our converts (although not completely) from Calvinism are coming from. This is a good article from Catholic World Report:

April 11, 2014
You can’t purge an outsider. Scapegoating fury is reserved for an insider.
Long ago, I wrote a piece on Truth Cancer and the Redemption of Rebellion. Its point was that heresy tends to mutate into its opposite over time. So we find, for instance, a student writing for the Harvard Crimson who demands that free speech and academic liberty be ruthlessly crushed—in order to protect liberalism

Likewise, righties somehow manage to go from small government libertarianism to support for making the US an Orwellian national security torture state without noticing the contradiction. And nobody is more certain to become a bullying thug than some Professionally Aggrieved Grievance Professional whose life is built around Stopping Bullying

Now here in America, we live in the Land of Calvinist culture and Calvinism—being a particularly potent form of heresy—has mutated into its opposite with peculiarly potent force. It retains its joylessness and icy fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time as it turns everything fun into an exercise in moralism, even when it kills off God and replaces him with social do-goodism. So instead of preachments on observing the Sabbath, we get homilies on having a green vacation. My favorite of these was on NPR a decade or so ago, in which the canon law for obtaining carbon credit indulgences while vacationing was laid out in Talmudic granular detail along with this final buzz-killing caveat: “But can we ever really justify taking vacation at all so long as there is ecological damage happening anywhere in the world?” Love that. 

Likewise, the Calvinist missionary impulse and the Calvinist work ethic continue unabated in our culture long after the Calvinist belief in God is dead. Only now the mission is to export hedonistic democratic capitalism with an entirely different Madonna as our icon, preaching an unholy trinity of Mammon, Moloch, and Venus to the world. 

Chesterton once remarked that in America we have a feast to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and in England they should have a feast to celebrate their departure. As the English were to discover under Cromwell, Calvinism is famously on the lookout for impurity and tends to seize on those sacrificial victims (such as Charles I) upon whom scorn can be heaped as the group periodically purges itself of shame by means of a scapegoat. 

Calvinism did not, of course, invent this deeply human habit. In ancient Greece a cripple or beggar or criminal was cast out of the community in response to a natural disaster or other crisis. In Leviticus 16, a rite for literally laying the sins of the community on a scapegoat is prescribed. In Catholic Europe, Jews were themselves periodically scapegoated by the Gentile majority, as for instance, when the Jews of York were massacred in 1190 as the age-old pattern was played out. 

America’s Puritan heritage and its various mutated descendents have done a bang-up job of continuing the periodic human itch to isolate somebody in American culture and exile them, whether from the community or from the ranks of the living. Catholics have been on the receiving end of this as often as not, what with various Know Nothing, KKK, and Nativist movements. But such thinking did not die in the 19th century and remains with us today in various expressions. 

The habit of scapegoating is traditionally done by finding somebody within the group who is deemed insufficiently pure—and then suddenly transforming them into a foreign threat to be expelled or killed. Thereby the sins of the community are placed on their head and the community is protected by sacralized violence that purifies from sin. 

We’d really like to believe that we left that sort of thing behind in the smoldering ashes of the Tower in York where 150 Jews were suddenly transformed by a mob from “fellow Englishmen” into foreign contagion that needed to be extirpated. But we still are quite capable of this stuff in all kinds of major and minor ways. The greatest major outbreak of this sort of thinking in the past century was, of course, the Holocaust, when the German Jewish community found, to their astonishment, that they were suddenly transformed from being seen as “fellow Germans” to being seen as a foreign bacteria infecting the Reich. The slaughter which followed astonished Jews no less than non-Germans—in no small part because German Jews saw themselves as Germans who shared 99 things out of 100 with their countrymen. Similarly, the European Jewry that followed German Jewry into the camps saw itself primarily as sharing in European civilization and could not comprehend its sudden transformation into a gigantic scapegoat for the ills of Germany. 

Of course, not all incidents of scapegoating involve mass murder, but they do generally involve some form of metaphorical death or exile (or attempt at it). So, for instance, we see the same pattern played out in an extremely minor key as Stephen Colbert, who obviously is no racist, does a sketch making fun of racism and is met with the ridiculous spectacle of people in dire need of Insensitivity Training striving to overcome the stereotype that Asians are all highly intelligent.  This obvious man of the Left who would not think of seriously engaging in racism is picked, out of a world of Internet and media examples of racism, for outraged opprobrium.  Not Pat Robertson (who recently bestowed upon the world the intelligence that Jews don’t fix their cars or mow their lawns because they are too busy polishing their diamonds). Nope. It’s gotta be Colbert, plucked from within the tribe of the Left, who is singled out for sudden declaration as an enemy—despite the bleedin’ obvious fact that he was, in fact, mocking racism.  Humor is not a strong suit among the New Puritans any more than among the old.  And like the old, they are far more obsessed with finding the Enemy Within than with opposing the obvious opponent without. In Colbert’s case, however, the scapegoating attempt appears to have backfired rather spectacularly

Another example of a similar dynamic: Alec Baldwin. 

Here is a guy who, again, is obviously a huge supporter of LGBT community—a clear insider on the Left. But unfortunately for him, he is a) personally dislikeable and abrasive; b) has made enemies and c) has not grasped a crucial double standard. 

The double standard is this: gay people can use the charge of homosexuality as an insult, but nobody else can.  Recall Dan Savage calling high schoolers “pansy asses.” Or recall Andrew Sullivan’s strange insistence the Pope Emeritus Benedict is gay as though that’s a bad thing. But let an obnoxious hetero male lefty like Baldwin toss around epithets like “toxic queen” and he runs the grave risk that the scapegoating mob will suddenly target him as foreign contagion when the fever is on. 

So to his everlasting confusion and astonishment, Baldwin suddenly found himself the object of a pogrom as the “liberal” LGBT community suddenly turned on him for doing, well, exactly what Dan Savage does when he calls somebody a pansy ass or Andrew Sullivan accuses Benedict of being gay. Baldwin is as hard left as they make ’em, including on all LGBT matters of piety—and yet none of that could save him. He was selected for the anti-sacrament of mercilessness and his sins shall not be forgiven, for he is the Scapegoat. And to drive home the fact that it is the Calvinist Purifying Impulse behind it all, the theological language from the Gay Legion of Menacing Visigoths for Tolerance helpfully casts Baldwin in the role of Satan himself

Note that. The devil is not, say, Pope Francis (who does, after all, actually teach that gay sex is sinful, despite what the NY Times deludes itself to believe). Nor is he any given GOP candidate, or Pat Buchanan, or even that beloved bogeywoman Sarah Palin, who seems to have finally relaxed her terrifying grip on the mind and viscera of the Left

Nope. Alec Baldwin of all people, is declared the devil because he hails from within the community and is therefore the ideal scapegoat upon which the community can heap its sins and purge itself in a violent orgy of Righteousness. 

Of course, it isn’t just LGBT Paladins of Tolerance who indulge in this sort of Puritan pogrom. Reactionaries on the right, both secular and religious, have more in common with progressive extremists than they care to realize, and also are on constant watch for signs of impurity. Here, for instance, is the Breitbart Inquisition ginning up the troops for a heresy verdict against pot-smoking hippie liberal Bill O’Reilly. His crime: not hating Barack Obama with sufficient intensity. 

It seems O’Reilly does not think that the president of the United States is part of a secret cabal that actively wants to destroy the Republic but instead, retaining some sanity, believes that Obama understands himself to be an American who imagines that “American” maps to his set of liberal values. Therefore O’Reilly regards Obama as a patriot—that is, as a lover of the US of A, and not its sworn enemy. He does not think that Obama is right in his judgments about what is good for America, but he does not doubt that Obama thinks he is trying to do good by America and does not subscribe to the fever swamp vision painting the president as a monstrous IslamoAtheistNaziCommunist hater of America willfully bent on its destruction. In short, he strongly disagrees with the president, but is not filled with unreasoning hatred of every atom of his being. 

For this act of impurity, O’Reilly might as well be a communist as far as Breitbart’s audience of inquisitors is concerned, and their responses in the comboxes generally run in the “He is dead to me!” vein from people who would agree with O’Reilly on 99 subjects out of 100. Again, it is precisely because he is not Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or Rahm Emmanuel or some other tribal outsider, but an insider, that the fury directed at him over such a triviality is so intense. Because you can’t purge an outsider. Scapegoating fury is reserved for an insider

Real Outsiders, looking in, often have difficulty even understanding the nitnoid and granular nature of the quarrel that consumes Insiders bent on a purge. And so outsiders look on in amazement as a man with whom the average Breitbart Combox Inquisitor shares 99 out of 100 things in common is declared a traitor and expelled.  Their mouths open and close and nothing comes out as a lefty like Alec Baldwin is suddenly stoned to death by the very people he once urged to stone Henry Hyde.
Catholics, and particularly Reactionary Catholics these days, are not immune from this either. Case in point: The Reactionaries vs. Michael Voris. Here again, on 99 subjects out of 100, Voris and the Reactionaries are on the same page—with one notable exception: Voris steadfastly refuses to indulge in criticism of Pope Francis. I regard this as a very hopeful sign and I sincerely commend him for publicly refusing to join the ranks of the self-appointed saviors of the Church who have fallen under the powerful delusion that God died and designated them to defend the Church against the pope.
But the Reactionaries who loathe and fear Francis with now nearly unbridled hysteria are increasingly bringing pressure against (and ginning up hostility toward) Voris, of all people, in the attempt to get him to fall in line and start ripping the pope as the evil monster they have convinced themselves he is. Whether it is just applying overbearing muscle in the effort to suggest Voris is a bad Catholic for his heretical submission to the pope, or flat out denouncing him for the grave sin of charity toward Francis, the Reactionaries are making it clearer and clearer that even the slightest variation from absolute purity of hatred toward Francis will not be tolerated. Once again it is the insider—the person perceived as hailing from within the tribe of Real Catholics[TM]—who is singled out as the scapegoat in need of punishment and (if no repentance from the grave sins of faith, hope, and charity toward Francis is shown) expulsion. “Neo-Catholics,” us ordinary slobs who actually like Vatican II and find the Paul VI rite of the Mass suits us just fine, don’t even merit consideration for such a bull of excommunication because, again, you can’t kick out an outsider. Novus Ordo riff-raff don’t even count as real Catholics for that subculture. 

All of this reminds me of the brilliance and insight of Rene Girard, whose thought about the strange human impulse to create scapegoats eventually wound up bringing him back to the Church when he realized that precisely what God did was enter the human race, not to join the mob of Inquisitors, but to take on the role of the scapegoat. And He did it, not merely for one tribe, but for the whole human race. In doing so non-violently—in letting the whole of human and demonic hatred, viciousness, spite, and sin wash over Him and, as it were, drown Him—Jesus undergoes the baptism in death that His baptism in the Jordan prefigures. He is “made sin for us” as Paul put it (2 Corinthians 5:21) and thereby opens the way for our baptism into His death and our participation in His resurrection.
Small wonder then that Jesus begins His ministry first with that baptism and then with a sojourn in the desert, which is exactly where the scapegoat was driven after the priest placed the sins of the people on it. Likewise, in the sacrificial rites of Moses, the cattle, sheep, and goat offered in the Tabernacle prefigured the sacrifice of Christ: 

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. (Heb 13:11–14)

It is therefore properly the place of the Christian to find himself, from time to time, scapegoated, betrayed, exiled, and even killed. When Christians take the role of the persecutor they betray Christ. When they are persecuted, conversely, Christ reserves a blessing for them: 

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12) 

And that blessing need not be limited merely to those who are visible members of the Christian community. The prophets have, so far as we can tell, no conscious knowledge of Christ, yet share in his blessedness—and in his martyrdom. So might any other person.  Why? Because they did the right thing even when punished for it by the world. We are free to hope that any person who obeys his conscience is likewise liable to be rewarded for it through the Holy Spirit.  As the parable of the sheep and the goats makes clear, some of the saved are going to be surprised: “Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, in prison?” (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). 

This does not mean that anybody unjustly persecuted is therefore bound for heaven. Horst Wessel, the Nazi stormtrooper who became the basis of the Nazi anthem “The Horst Wessel Song” was unjustly murdered, but that doesn’t make him a hero. Just because you are a victim doesn’t mean you can’t be a jerk too. But still and all, in the ordinary run of things, a blessing is pronounced by Christ, not only on those who are persecuted for his sake, but on people who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.  As our culture continues to de-Christianize and turn an ever more hostile face, not only to followers of Jesus Christ, but to the weak, the marginalized, the innocent, the vulnerable, the poor, the reviled, and the despised, let us go to our despised Lord outside the camp and welcome in his train every loser, oddball, factory reject, sinner, screwup, failure, jack and jill who tries, however, feebly, to do what is right.  It will probably mean going, or even being driven, outside the camp.  But that’s where Jesus is.


Anonymous said...

I rarely read anything by Mark Shea but, when I do, I never fail to something of his fevered anti-EF obsession. Here, in discussing the subculture of "Francis critics" he says

"Novus Ordo riff-raff don’t even count as real Catholics for that subculture."

As though all Francis critics were Novus Ordo critics. But in listening to real Catholics, I note no correlation between Francis critics and OF critics. Most EF Catholics are not Francis critics, but many OF Catholics are Francis critics. Speaking for the moment as though EF and OF Catholics were mutually exclusive. Whereas most EF Catholics I know also attend the OF (but not conversely).

WSquared said...

Thank you for posting Mark Shea's piece, Father.

What is quite striking and interesting is the reaction to Colbert-- second-generation Asian Americans who want to preserve the dream of assimilation, and who don't like people reflecting badly on them. Except, given the larger thrust of Shea's piece, have any of them asked themselves what they need to be cautious of assimilating into, while at the same time not thinking that they can form idealized versions of "home" on American soil, even as the culture of the "home" that their parents or grandparents left changes also?

Questions like this should also stand out for Catholics (and it does for Shea), not least because as Catholics in the United States, we've been there before and are still there in many respects. There is also a tendency of many American Catholics to see Catholicism more as ethnic thing and as "family heritage"-- "I'm Catholic because my devout Italian Catholic grandma prayed the Rosary every day and makes the best spaghetti sauce; how dare you tell me that I'm not a practicing Catholic (despite the fact that I oppose almost everything the Catholic Church teaches)!!!"

Moreover, the Colbert kerfuffle reminds me of the reaction to a film called Better Luck Tomorrow, which is about young, suburban Asian American highschool whiz kids who, upon finding themselves utterly bored, decided to run a racket stealing and selling answers to the SAT's. A good many Asian Americans responded with outrage, but Roger Ebert praised the film. Perhaps it's telling that Ebert was raised Catholic, even though he was no longer practicing by the end of his life: (to use Shea's words) Horst Wessel being murdered unjustly does not make him a hero, just as being a victim does not mean that you can't be a jerk. Likewise, just because you are a minority, and a "model minority" at that, does not mean that you can do no wrong.

Any and all of that is quite (painfully) obvious to anyone with a true sense of sin, and indeed any sense of Original Sin-- as opposed to what tends to result when any subculture decides to make up new sins for other people.

Also worth reading is Romano Guardini-- "What Jesus Found in the Holy City":

A blessed Palm Sunday to you.

George said...

"And that blessing need not be limited merely to those who are visible members of the Christian community. The prophets have, so far as we can tell, no conscious knowledge of Christ, yet share in his blessedness—and in his martyrdom. So might any other person. Why? Because they did the right thing even when punished for it by the world. We are free to hope that any person who obeys his conscience is likewise liable to be rewarded for it through the Holy Spirit."

What is Mr. Shea saying here? That Stephen Colbert, Alec Baldwin and Bill O'Reilly will be rewarded for some sort of "persecution" because they are not extremists in their social and political philosophies? Would that Mr Shea would discourse on the reality that many in our country today characterize anyone who is pro-life as an extremist. In fact, devout Catholics and other Christians are coming to to be marginalized as extremists and haters.

Mr Shea goes on: "O'Reilly...believes that Obama understands himself to be an American who imagines that “American” maps to his set of liberal values. Therefore O’Reilly regards Obama as a patriot—that is, as a lover of the US of A, and not its sworn enemy. He does not think that Obama is right in his judgments about what is good for America, but he does not doubt that Obama thinks he is trying to do good by America."

Mr. O'Reilly may indeed believe that about Mr Obama. It is indeed a problem that too many Americans do 'map" their values to the President. Mr Obama is an unabashed supporter of abortion,embryonic stem-cell research and same-sex marriage among other things. Are Mr Obama's positions on these issues the ones that make one a modern American" patriot and lover of the USA?" It matters not to me that Mr Obama "thinks he is trying to do good by America." This is a man who after all called down God's blessing on Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States I know there are some out there who hate the President.As a Catholic and christian I cannot do that (and never have).

We as Catholics should abhor, detest, and disdain the philosophy that Mr. Obama operates from and fight against it with all the spiritual weapons we have at our disposal.

rcg said...

What I gleaned from this is that people hold their harshest punishments for those who betray from within. I do not think that is a bad thing. What the article does not clearly address is that these sharp goads to the flanks are from the heterodox commissars who are enforcing uniformity of thought to their way of seeing things. The four exemplars in the article are tiresome examples of the Peter Principle; if you have seen any of their stuff, you have seen it all. Shea is a puzzle to me: what editor thins his mind is worth displaying in print?

None of my opinion is based on my desire for uniformity with these people, it is only my vie of their act. Except for Shea who may simply be poorly educated.

Anonymous said...

rcg - You agree with Dante who placed the treacherous - those who betray from within, if you will - in the 9th circle of the Inferno.

They include in the first Round, Cain, who killed his own brother, in the second Round, Atenor(a) of Troy who betrayed his city to the Greeks, in the third Round, Fra Alberigo, who had armed soldiers kill his brother at a banquet, and, in the fourth Round, Judecca, after Judas Iscariot, Biblical betrayer of Christ.

Rood Screen said...

Mark Shea's pieces are useful as conversation starters, but he should never be the last word.

Henry, I too have noticed that the antagonism of some Catholics towards EF-loving Catholics is based less upon liturgical critique, and more upon prejudicial fear of what the EF crowd thinks of the non-EF crowd. Where is the truth, charity and fraternity?

Gene said...

Shea and O'Reilly are both full of it.

Dan Z said...

Somewhat off topic, since the article does mention Stephen Colbert, he was named the replacement for David Letterman on CBS' Late Show. So now we have three Catholics hosting the three late night talk shows. Colbert is a practicing Catholic who is also his parish's Faith Formation director (or at least a teacher... not really sure), but he is a post-Vatican II liberal cafeteria Catholic who believes firmly you can dissent from Church teaching and still be a valid Catholic not in mortal sin.

Jimmy Fallon, as you have posted a couple times, is a fallen (or is it fallon) away Catholic who no longer attends Mass, yet laments for the traditional "old style, straight up Mass-Mass".

Then there is Jimmy Kimmell. He attends Mass on a semi-regular basis, but is also of the post-Vatican II liberal cafeteria mind set.

It would be a fascinating article for you to analyze these three gents.

It also brings up the question, "is it better to be a cafeteria Catholic on your own terms (Kimmell and Colbert) than to walk away from the Church (Fallon) or to be not Catholic at all?"

non-anoymous said...

I would think Colbert is the most dangerous of the three because he is so active in his parish. I can imagine him indoctrinating the kids he teaches to reject and rebel against the new English translation of the Mass. Pandering to the kids that its OK to use condoms and to have gay sex and pre-marital sex and solo sex, and not be in sin, because it's all love and love cannot be sinful (or some such hippie pablum).

rcg said...

DanZ, that would fall under the 'lukewarm' category. Those guys are the hardest for me tolerate. Their only saving grace, pun intended, is that unlike the traitor you know from the start you can't trust them when you need them.

Gene said...

Dan Z, A cafeteria Catholic IS no Catholic at all.

Rood Screen said...

Dan Z,

I like your question about "cafeteria Catholics". I suggest we must first distinguish between genuinely confused Catholics, on one hand, and well-informed but dissident Catholics, on the other.

As for the dissident Catholics, the difference between those who stay "on their own terms" and those who leave entirely is the difference between heresy and apostasy. I suspect the heretic does more harm to the Church than the apostate, because the heretic communicates a false gospel to his neighbors.

Anonymous 2 said...

Whenever a post addresses this sort of topic I reach for my Spengler because I want to go deeper and ask: What explains Calvinism and Puritanism? Could it be something to do with the following (quoted on this Blog for the third time):

“Western mankind, without exception, is under the influence of an immense optical illusion. Everyone_demands_something of the rest. . . . In the ethics of the West everything is direction, claim to power, and the will to affect the distant. Here Luther is completely at one with Nietzsche, Popes with Darwinians, Socialists with Jesuits; for one and all, the beginning of morale is a claim to general and permanent validity. It is a necessity of the Faustian soul that this should be so. He who thinks or teaches “otherwise” is sinful, a back-slider, a_foe_, and he is fought down without mercy. You “shall,” the State “shall,” society “shall” – this form of morale is to us self-evident; it represents the only real meaning we can attach to the word. But it was not so in the Classical, or in India, or in China . . .
What we have completely failed to observe is the peculiarity of moral_dynamic_. If we allow that Socialism (in the ethical, not the economic, sense) is that world-feeling which seeks to carry out its own views on behalf of all, then we are all without exception, wittingly or no, Socialists. . . . .”

O. Spengler, “Decline of the West” (1928; 1991 Werner Abridged Edition, at pages 176-77).

Of course, none of us, not me, not you, can escape being like this. It is, according to Spengler, simply who we are. It includes Shea (is he not, after all, trying to convert us to his point of view, even to impose it on us?), and it includes me in this comment (am I not seeking to do the same?).

Spengler famously contrasts this sensibility with “He who hath ears to hear let him hear.”

Regarding the relevance of this for our Faith, I do not take Spengler’s observations to be a challenge to Roman Catholic teaching so much as to how it is presented and perhaps as suggesting our need to “move over” and “get out of the way” to allow God’s grace to operate on hearts and minds. Assuming, of course, that we can ever learn how to do this!

Gene said...

Spengler was a socialist, a German National Socialist to be exact and, though he did not like Hitler, the Nazis drew many of their ideas from Spengler. He was some kind of mystical pessimist, believing that optimism was some kind of cowardice or disease, and
he kind of passed as a misguided fad back in the 40's. Is this the Spengler you like so much, Anon 2?

Anonymous 2 said...

Ah, so now we can dismiss Spengler by finding the appropriate dismissive label or box. Of course, “socialist” is always a good one, and “national socialist” is even better. But how about “German” or “bald man,” while you are at it, or even: “bald German”?

Even assuming that your characterization of Spengler is correct (highly questionable, by the way), so what? The characteristics of Spengler you articulate, and criticize, are only relevant to the argument in the quoted passage if the argument is a manifestation of those characteristics. If you believe this, please make your case. Otherwise you might just as well indeed say Spengler was German or bald.

Of course even if those characteristics are relevant to the argument in the passage, it still doesn’t mean the argument is not sound.

So, please give relevant and sound reasons, not labels (short cuts for thought), for refuting the argument in the quoted passage.

Gene said...

Bald and German do not indicate an agenda. Socialist does.

George said...

I sense a kind of pessimism,cynicism and even a philosophical relativism in the above quote.
The impression I get from reading the above is that Spengler is concluding a false equivalence between philosophies in that "in the ethics of the West everything is direction, claim to power, and the will to affect the distant".
I happen to think that what follows the "shall" is important. I don't mind someone trying to convert to their point of
view or belief. What someone is trying to convert me to is another matter. Is the problem for too many today not so much in the delivery (when it come to Catholicism,say) as in the message itself?

Anonymous 2 said...


Even if that is the case, your answer is non-responsive. You have taken the discussion no further. You too have an agenda in your comments here on the blog. I suspect we all do. So, your point merely resolves again into the allegation that Spengler was a socialist.

You have to demonstrate that Spengler’s alleged socialism/socialist agenda is relevant to and influenced the argument in the passage and also that, even if it did, that the argument is unsound.

Anonymous 2 said...

George: I suspect that what Spengler is most concerned about is how the libido dominandi gets all caught up in efforts to convert and that Faustian man is not exactly lacking in the libido dominandi department.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I will agree that we all have a bit of Faust in us, but I do not agree that we all are socialists.
PS I actually preferred Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" to Faust…"come, Helen, make me immortal with a kiss…" OH,YEAH!!

rcg said...

Oh. All this time I thought he said "immoral".

Gene said...

RCG, I expect that is typical of your thought processes…LOL!

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene: It seems you have RCG down to a T.

George said...

Libido dominandi? I'm thinking St Paul would have loved to have a go at that one. Isn't it Freud, modern psychology, pornography that man is (and has become) a slave to (or under the spell of)? Too many are nothing if not addicted to something these days. The good man cannot compete with these adversaries from whatever resources within himself he can bring to bear. At times out of desperation he over compensates in the fever of rebuttal and persuasion, I agree. The one who knows the lay of the land so to speak knows that not in his words alone, no matter how erudite and convincing, can he convert.

Gene said...

Anon 2, That was very clever. Although you make me angry, I have always enjoyed your wit.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thanks, Gene. The next time I am getting ready to make you angry I will try to sweeten the pot with a little humor. It may even make you more willing to accept some of my positions -- A spoonful of humor helps the hesitance go down . . .

Steve Finnell said...


Matthew 22:14 For many are called , but few are chosen."

Definition of called: Invited or summoned.

Definition of chosen: Those who are eligible or suited for election. Elected and chosen are synonymous.


Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Every person who has heard the gospel has been called. The call is not limited to a select few who have been predestined for salvation.


The chosen are the ones who are obedient to the call of the gospel.
The chosen are those who have 1. Faith: John 3:16

The chosen are those who 2. Repent: Acts 3:19 (Repent means to make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God).

The chosen are those who 3. Confess: Roman 10:9-10

The chosen are those who are 4. Baptized in water: Acts 2:38

The chosen are not those who were supposedly, unconditionally selected for salvation. The chosen have to be suited for election.


Matthew 22:2-3 "the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

Many have had the gospel preached to them, but of their own free-will have rejected the call. If men reject the gift of eternal life by rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior; then they have been called, but not chosen.

Matthew 22:11-14 "But when the king came to look over the dinner quests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?" 13 Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 For many are called but few are chosen."

This wedding quest was disinvited. He was called but not chosen ; because he was not suitable to be chosen. Improper clothing was a big deal.

Galatalians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.