Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Vic Biorseth, Sunday, May
This is written more as a question than a statement of any kind. It is, primarily, a theological question, and I am no theologian. It has to do with Love, properly applied, and specifically to love of neighbor. Are there "levels" of love, like the steps on a ladder or staircase, and are there levels of who-is-your-neighbor, and are there levels of who-is-your-enemy?
If not, then, should we love Satan?
We who live our lives in the practical world need to know if the "New Commandment" of Jesus is a blanket Commandment with no exceptions in any direction, or not. And if not, what, exactly, are the exceptions? What do most Catholics hear from the Pulpit?
Mostly, I think, Big Blanket Love, without reservation, of the worst of our enemies, including our mortal enemies and our spiritual enemies. But that doesn't make sense to me. We are called, in our Baptismal Vows, to reject Satan and all his evil works. That does not sound like love.
Are there "levels" of love, and "levels" of neighbors, and "levels" of enemies? Or are there no sins to be condemned, and no sinners to be admonished, and no evil to be avoided? What we mostly hear today from even high ranking Catholic clerics involves seeking out or going to the worst of sinners, because that's where Jesus went. What isn't said, or is rarely said, is that Jesus didn't go to the sinners to leave them in their sin, but to call them to conversion from it.
That's not what the heads of the Churches are doing in New York, or Washington DC, or Boston, or a host of other dioceses and archdioceses. No. What the worst of the open, public mortal sinners hear from them is "Good for them" and God bless them" and "More power to them" as they continue in their public mortally sinful behavior as welcomed, fully practicing, sacrament-participating Eucharist-consuming Catholics.
Perhaps you see my quandary, and the reason for my questioning.
When Bishops bless rather than admonish sinners I am confused.
Let's look at pertinent Scripture, to see if there are "levels" at which someone might be more or less loved, more or less a neighbor, more or less of an enemy. These first ones, I think, pertain mostly, but not exclusively, to political enemies, business enemies, gossip enemies, etc., but not necessarily the barbarian outside the city gates seeking to kill everyone and burn the Temple. Among these "enemies" were included Roman Soldiers, who were dangerous pagans, but, who kept the peace in society as it existed, and acted as the Police of the day. In other words, they weren't there, and in authority, to rob or kill everyone, but to maintain some semblance of social order. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Then, we see Jesus teaching about our "neighbors" - the ones to be loved.
So, if my lay understanding is correct, we see here multiple levels of "neighbor". The correct answer - who is the neighbor - was the Samaritan. That means that the Priest and the Levite were less neighborly, and perhaps less among neighbors. And we have the Robber in the story - was the Robber a neighbor at all? Is an enemy of good and an enemy of society also properly held to be a neighbor?
Now, in these next verses, Jesus is talking to His chosen Apostles and His closest Disciples; His Followers, and that is to say, His Church. The first Christians. He was giving them, specifically and particularly, His new Commandment, and by their obedience to this new Commandment would the rest of the world know that they were His Followers.
So, if I'm reading this right, we Christians are to love one another as He loves us, and by this love we are to be recognized by others as Christians. We love each other, as we love ourselves, first. The first "level" of neighborliness. The Church and the Members.
Then we can worry about the possibility of loving others into the Church.
The real difficulty, then, begins when we step outside the Church; the farther outside the Church we walk in our daily lives the farther away from Love we go, and the more Hate we encounter. In fact, in common American Culture today, you don't have to walk very far before you are already entering enemy territory.
Believe me, I encounter real visceral hate that comes in to this website on a regular basis. You don't see it because I don't publish that kind of disgusting garbage, but I'm telling you, it's out there, big time.
The foundational ideology behind all forms of Marxism aims at the destruction of the Church, the destruction of Governments, the destruction of Constitutions, of Liberty, of Private Property, of the Family, and all social orders and institutions. Marxism, therefore, is our mortal enemy.
The foundational ideology behind all Islam aims at the destruction of the Church, the destruction of Governments, the destruction of Constitutions, of Liberty, of Private Property, of the Family, and all social orders and institutions. Islam, therefore, is our mortal enemy.
Are we to love and welcome even the destroyers of faith as our beloved neighbors? That's an honest question.
The reason for this article, and the reason for my concern, is that our whole culture is crumbling around our ears. It started with quiet acquiescence to sinful behavior, and then graduated sinful behavior began roaring at us and beginning to order us about. And I believe this trend started in the Church. If that is right, then the place to begin to turn it all around is also in the Church.
Where else, on earth, are we to find Truth?
Is there a man in the Church so bold as to speak it?
When my Social Concern Light began to steadily glow in warning, I wrote the Balance page, talking about the apparent third of us that had gone evil, the third who were not even paying attention, and the remaining third that didn't seem to be too particularly alarmed.
When the Light began to blink brilliantly, I wrote the Faux Classes page to warn of the internal political attempts to ignite Class Warfare even where real Classes didn't exist. Like right here.
Then the Klaxon Horn sounded and I wrote the Treachery page, highlighting how Freedom of Speech is now being used to elect people who restrict Freedom of Speech, and likewise Religion, and likewise Press. etc.
Once Battle Stations were called, I wrote the Delusion page, to inform everyone that nearly everything we've been taught and believe about the known world, human beings and nature are false; because we have been subjected to purposefully delusional indoctrination and propaganda. We are now a delusional people.
And so now I speak commandingly into the sound system
"Dive; Dive; All Dive; Take this Aircraft Carrier down to 2,000 Feet."
And I begin to wonder if I'm the right guy to be issuing these orders.
America needs one good Bishop; or Two; or Ten. Someone who knows what they're doing had damned well better stand up, speak up, and take the helm, or this ship is lost.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Sun May 10 20:36:26 2015
Location: Wyoming, PA
Vic, be comforted. Christ gave us three great promises that we can take to the bank.
The Promise to Protect: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
The Promise to Dwell Within: “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28:18-20. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” John 14:16
The Promise to return: “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.” John 14:3
Will you pray with me?
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Date: Sun May 10 21:01:51 2015
From: Andrew Maggard
Location: Port Haywood Virginia, USA
Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. If that axiom is construed as love then let it be such, but never let him get outside of effective pistol range.
Date: Sun May 10 21:55:33 2015
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Love definitions should be separated between religion(Christian)and the world. The dictionaries of the world define love in terms different than religion. Religion leans strongly upon revealed truth. God is love, http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-8.htm
Love is an operation of the will; Divine Will generates Divine Love. So, should we love the devil? The devil is the epitome of evil and we must not love evil. However, the devil is a creature of God and as such we should respect what God has created.
Date: Mon May 11 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you all for your input, but, where are the Bishops? Just where the hell is the Church leading us, no pun intended. See Evangelizing for World Communism, Vic Interview re Pope Francis and Communist Pope, to see where this ship may be headed. Lots and lots of Bishops are of that political delusion, or persuasion, in their deluded opinions.
At this point in my life, I am not worried about me or mine. I am not afraid of death, or very worried about my soul. But that is not what we are here to be concerned about. What is our purpose?
"Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"--Luke 18:8
We are supposed to be leading the world to Truth, not away from Him.
Marxism, despite appearances, intends the destruction of the Church.
Date: Mon May 11 07:21:50 2015
From: Dale Crowe
Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Tough question to answer sometimes. What is the love of God and how can we love our enemies? Dealing with all the religions I encounter in prison; I learned a long time ago to model the perfect love of Christ which for me is telling the truth. Whether I encounter Muslims, Odinists, Hebrew-Israelites, Jehovah witnesses or others; I tell the truth in love. I save my harshest words for the ones who claim to be a brother in Christ and yet are living as enemies of Christ. Jesus used some stout names in dealing with the Pharisees. Vipers, and hypocrites were words that accurately described them so truth and accuracy equate to love; at least in my interpretation. And I could be wrong but that is how I deal with the issue. Anyway, you give us all a reason to examine the scriptures you used. I've been provoked to study this a little more to be sure of how I'm to love Christ's enemies. Thanks for the nudge, Vic.
Date: Thu Mar 31 21:06:41 2016
From: Ed McConkie
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Sen. Ted Cruz:
With all due respect to your critical position as United States Senator, your above article wrests the clear meaning of the scriptures to the same ridiculous lengths as the absolutists of LGBT. You, unintentionally I believe, align yourselves with those who edit, twist, stretch, constrict, and hugely oversimplify Christ's Gospel almost beyond recognition. Analytically, spiritually, and politically, your article (and I therefore presume your ideology) on these matters mirrors those who simply see Christ's commandment of loving one another as absolute license to live virtually any manner desired. They, like you, confuse Christ's perfect love and our commandment to do likewise as pre-approval to justify politics and party ideology.
Your conclusion that Christ only meant "Christians" when he used the term "neighbors" would be comical if it was not so dangerous. Christ's comprehensive teachings and those of his disciples, especially Paul, again and again discount your fanaticism.
As a quick example, you opine Christ did not mean the Romans when He commanded to love thy neighbor. Yet, He commands us to love as He loved ("As I have loved you, love one another"). Even while being tortured and crucified He petitions His Father to forgive these very Romans. As the Master Teacher, He gives us a hard lesson on how we are to love. He conspicuously healed the Roman commander's child. That is another powerful lesson, Senator Cruz, as to who is our neighbor. The parable of the Good Samaritan's entire lesson is opposite of your interpretation. You have turned it on its head.
We ARE to love our enemies, all of them, not just the ones that follow Christ (or follow Christ and many different ways). That is one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity. We don't need to love their sins, rather we are to condemn them: love the sinner and condemn the sin. No, this does not mean we acquiesce before terrorists or others who seek to destroy us, because we are commanded not to kill, but to love. However, we are absolutely not to simply label huge populations as terrorists or threats to liberty. It likewise never gives us automatic or unconditional license to sweepingly destroy others we deem our enemy and “to see if sand glows.” Muslims are not terrorists simply because there exist Islamic terrorists. That is the exact same type of logic of those who you, ironically, criticize in your political article.
I am not able to define what exact actions to take, where the "line" should be drawn, or who deserves to die to or not under a given scenario, individual or international. I have too many sins and trespasses of my own to start judging exactly who God allows or even wants us to kill. He separates individuals from their actions. Otherwise His eternal and everlasting atonement and its requirement to repent become as naught. Perhaps, self defense and the killing of legitimate threats does not mean we axiomatically hate them. I don't know. Perhaps we can still love our enemies while protecting the innocent (of all races and ethnicities). Of course we have a commandment to love those who would be victimized in all manner of degrees and hence protect them. How do we love the murderer and the victim?
I have worked in criminal and juvenile justice policy all my professional life. I see family members kill (justifiably and not) other family members. Many love the ones they killed. A faithful wife who kills her husband to protect imminent serious harm to their child often still loves the man. Brothers on different sides of our Civil War, having vastly conflicting ideologies, killed each other even while loving them. We all know many war stories of enemies receiving succor and love even while our armies collide. I believe we can “love” our enemies without giving them aid and comfort in violations of law. Christ says to pray for and “do good” to them that harm us. I have personally seen loved ones recommend life imprisonment or even execution for everyone’s (including the offender’s) sake. Christ’s crying repentance has always been out of love. Can we obliterate ISIS without hating the individual? Or even loving them?! I don’t know. I do know God does not give us a commandments we cannot keep. Nothing, as you know, is impossible with Him.
Christ is not commanding to "coddle" terrorists. But, perhaps we need to be very, very careful when we determine who needs to die (either at our direct hand controlling a drone over Iraq or via long term starvation of already victimized refugees.) To entirely exclude duty to love everyone unless they are Christian is, itself, "anti-Christian." That sophistry is of man, not God. It approaches the absurdities of “Trumpisms” calling for war against entire peoples, religions, and nations. Such twisted view of the Lord’s doctrine goes hand in hand with interpretations that require no duty to repent because God's love is unconditional whether we "eat drink and be merry" and live and marry however we want. I am accountable if I do not love, serve, and protect my gay neighbor. I am also accountable if I “re-write” God’s commandments and accept LGBT lifestyles that are sinful. Of course, that is not easy. It’s not supposed to be.
Whether we are supposed to love Satan, frankly, is a stupid question in this context because its intent is to oversimplify and support a wrongful absolutist’s view. There is no question we are to flee evil and come unto Christ. As much as possible, we are to offend Satan. We are to love God and hate mammon. However, Christ's entire ministry as well as His governance today asks a smart question: Whether and how are we to love ALL others in a very complex, dangerous, and beautiful world.
Senator, I adamantly disagree with you on very many things. That does not make me right on all things. And--it does not exempt me from loving you. I can honestly say you are my brother, Senator Cruz, (just as Hillary Clinton is my sister) under our common Father in Heaven, the same Father of our brothers and sisters we deem as enemies. With the Lord's help and mercy and with my daily struggling to be better, the seed of love (in honesty, quite a small seed) I have for you or anyone I strongly disagree with, will grow "here a little and there a little."
With my genuine effort to love,
Ed McConkie, Sr.
Date: Fri Apr 01 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Perhaps you need to work a bit on your reading comprehension.
First, I am not Senator Ted Cruz.
Second, you twist my words. For one example, go back and re-read what I said about Roman Soldiers, a little more slowly and carefully.
Third, I am not stating, defining or quoting any doctrine, or the theology of love, but simply asking an important question.
Do you reject Satan, and all his evil works?
Yes or no.
If your answer is yes, then, where, exactly, is the settling point between rejecting Satan and all his evil works, and loving your enemies?
Read it again a little more slowly, Ed, and then give it another shot.
Absolutely Catholic Vic
Date: Fri Apr 01 18:27:14 2016
Location: Salt Lake City, UT USA
Despite your condescending tone, "Absolutely Catholic Vic, I appreciate you reading my reply carefully enough to give me legitimate instruction to READ YOURS MORE CAREFULLY. Point taken. Thank you. I will do so. I obviously was hasty in viewing the picture and your endorsement of Sen. Cruz and wrongly concluded you are an extension from him and his campaign or, at a minimum, arriving at your many statements in light of him. (In all honesty, I was probably also looking through a filter of searching for anti-Cruz material.) Dumb mistakes. Again, I am sorry.
Having said all that, it is still my opinion having heard Sen. Cruz talk of Christ and Christians and examining his policies, he would concur with you. His platform is largely based on dramatically limiting the Lord's command and example to love all as well as imaginatively constructing "levels" of neighbors. For example, I work in homeland security and cannot fathom the so-called threats these refugees present. To the contrary, de-humanizing them to justify perpetuating cruelty to the innocent, we actually further endanger ourselves as we are doing exactly what ISIS claims we would. That is another discussion for another day.
As you recommended, I have read and re-read your post, especially your use of Roman occupation in the meridian of time. I stick with my response above--even more so now.
To varying degrees, we all respond to others (verbally or in written form) without truly listening. Often we are formulating our next response in our heads when we should be listening much more carefully before formulating our response. I do that. You do that. None of us are exempt from this weakness. Think on how much truth we may be missing given our prejudice and non-teachability. So, I strongly encourage you to do what you instruct me to do: read more carefully.
On this note, I must assume you have read, even studied the Koran because of your sweeping conclusion of Islam's priority to destroy us. I am reading and studying the Koran. Its doctrine to kill all the infidels is very similar to Jehovah's commands in the Old Testament to the House of Israel to slaughter every and all gentiles in several cases (sometimes even including the destruction of their animals and crops).
Like the Bible, the Koran also has beautiful doctrine concerning love, including loving the weak and taking them in for care, regardless of their adherence to Allah. I also know and currently have students who are life-long faithful Muslims and quite expert on the Koran. They love America. They treasure freedom of religion. They seek to be constructive and complying citizens. Massive generalizations about Islam's goal to destroy us result from not really listening or not reading more carefully.
Finally, on the topic of reading carefully, I close with an invitation. Read the Book of Mormon. Read parts of the Book of Mormon. I'll even make you this promise: if you do so with an open mind, with a heart sincerely searching for more truth as christians are commanded, you will be very, very glad you invested the time in this book. It is companion to the Bible. I know, because the Holy Ghost has pierced my heart numberless times while searching, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon.
Please excuse my wordiness (another of my many weaknesses).
Date: Fri Apr 01 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
I have nothing to do with Senator Cruz other than supporting him and fully intending to vote for him at this moment in time. I see no other Constitutionalist candidate in sight. Trump is my second choice, but certainly not because of his theology or morality or even ability to understand the Declaration and the Constitution.
You have not studied Islam fully enough to understand the principle of abrogation. All of the "love the Christians and the Jews" lines were written in Mecca. All of the "Kill the Christians and the Jews" lines were written later, after Mohammed's flight to Medina and the birth of Islam. The doctrine of abrogation says that whatever Mohammed said last that contradicted anything he had said previously abrogated the previous statements. All of the murderous lines stand; all of the peaceful lines are abrogated.
Nor have you learned of the doctrine of Taqiyya, which instructs Moslems to lie to unbelievers about their intentions toward them until they are strong enough to act on them. "Islam is peace" is the typical Taqiyya lie. The word Islam means Submission.
See The Islam Pages. See, especially, the recent Civil Jihad page, and pay particular attention to the little video of how all of those poor, helpless, starving refugees are behaving in Europe. That is coming here, now. On purpose.
As far as the Book of Mormon goes, I'm sorry, but I am a Christian, and the only Scripture I recognize is the Bible written by the Church Christ founded. Every bit of the New Testament was inspired by God and written by the Apostles or their assistants and scribes. The whole of the Divine Revelation was permanently closed with the death of the last of His chosen Apostles. Anything new is false. Paul said as much, as we see in this:
So, even if he, Paul, preached it; even if an angel from heaven preached it; let him be accursed. That's the inspired Word of God. What was originally preached is absolutely final.
Don't look now, Ed, but the Book of Mormon is a New Gospel.
And there is also this:
Date: Sat Apr 02 07:31:24 2016
Vic,I have been to St. George in Utah and visited the Mormon temple and you can only go to the visitor center, not into the temple itself as this is strictly reserved for Mormons only. Before a temple is dedicated non Mormons can visit, but once dedicated no way, no how. The way that they control this is each practicing Mormon has a ward pass issued by the ward bishop and if you do not have a valid one you do not get in. I was especially concerned that if it is Sacred why is it secret? Sacred is always open and accessible to humans. I was so curious that I read everything I could about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and was shocked by what I found. Plural marriage was hidden from most members except the elders. Joseph Smith believed in Free Masonary and in a certain way Mormomism is a form of Freemasonary. Mormoms are good people, family oriented and kind. They would make great Catholics if only we could convert them. Let's all pray for them.
If you want to establish, launch and maintain an independent personally owned actual WebSite like this one, go to SBI! They will make a Web-Master out of you at the very least, and make you into an entrepreneur with your own business if that's your goal. You don't need any special skills or special knowledge, other than the topic of whatever your WebSite will be about.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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