Thursday, June 9, 2011

Adoption Meditation

I have been meditating on Isaiah 44, one of my new favorite chapters of the Bible. One of the symbols the prophet has been implementing over the last few chapters is that of God flowing water into the desert. This use reaches a high point in Chapter 44:

3"...For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5 This one will say, 'I am the LORD’s,'
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, 'The LORD’s,'
and name himself by the name of Israel."

This passage caused me to look backward, to God's dual promise to Abraham:

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

In Genesis 26, God confirmed it to Isaac thusly:

"...For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

Then I looked ahead at the Jesus' Great Commission to His disciples in Matthew 28:

"...Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Next, consider what the Holy Spirit did to the disciples at Pentecost, in Acts 2:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God–fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!"

Consider that God gave the disciples this miraculous power so they could fulfill this central mission: to reach the ends of the earth. God poured out His spirit at Pentecost in a way that Isaiah prophesied: the disciples would take the Good News to lands which were dead to the knowledge of God. This is how God planned to fulfill His promise to Abraham and Isaac: through their descendents He would pour His spirit and bless the entire earth.

So on one hand the Great Commission is a command to get to work, but on the other hand it is a great comfort to know the reason for that is to share God's blessing which was originally given just to Abraham and the Jews, with the purpose to enrich the world. Comforted are we to be God's chosen people in adoption!

Postscript meditation, on Paul's letter to the Galatians, chapter 3:

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On the 4th, SWAT, and Guerena

Very informative piece if you want to understand how SWAT works, what's the deal with "no knock warrants," and former Marine Jose Guerena:

"Note the Navy SEAL who took out Osama Bin Laden with two rounds and two rounds only, one to the chest, one to the head. This is a classic example of cool, perfect shot placement under stress, and is precisely the sort of thing SWAT troops are supposed to be able to do. After all, if they are no better at this sort of thing than the average street cop, all that has been done is to give average street cops more destructive, longer ranged weapons.

"UPDATE 052911, 1329 CT: According to a more recent local news story, the medical examiner has reported that Guerena was hit not 60 times as originally suggested by doctors, but only 22 times. This is far more in line with common results of police shootings where most rounds fired do not hit their intended targets. This is also far more in line with what would be expected of the wild and uncontrolled fire of the SWAT shooters in this particular incident, particularly those firing on full-auto. Highly skilled operators can control fully automatic fire in a submachine gun or light carbine such as the AR-15, untrained operators cannot. In any case, carefully controlled and aimed short bursts are always preferred. Police officers are directly responsible for each and every bullet they fire. In this case, nearly 70% of the rounds fired by the police missed. This might make more likely my contention that the officer's vision was compromised and that at least some of them had no real idea of their target or why they were shooting at it, other than the knowledge that one of their number was initially shooting at something. As shocking as all of this might be, the hit rate is about average for police shootings. SWAT teams should do much better. Knowing this, it is even more incredible that the officers did not shoot Mrs. Guerena, her child, themselves, or anyone else in the neighborhood.

"Notice that there is no information to indicate that any drugs or money were found in Guerena’s home, or that Guerena or his home, were in any way directly related to criminal activity. In fact, the police have, to date, not released the search warrant affidavit, warrant and return for Guerena’s home. However, there is no evidence to indicate that they found anything at all illegal in Guerena’s home. If they had, considering the public and Internet attention this case is generating, they surely would have made it public. Any drug case they were working has long been blown. Secrecy is no longer an issue.

"None of the items listed as having been found in Guerena’s home are illegal, or indeed, unusual, particularly for a former Marine who had served two combat tours. One reason that the warrant information has not been released is likely that it was non-specific. In other words, the grounds for searching Guerena’s home may have been shaky at best."

Oh, and of course consider all of this in light of my post on the 4th Amendment just a few days's feeling eerily like the editor's first cut from John Ross's "Unintended Consequences," to keep that now out-of-print 20th century alternate reality under 1,000 pages.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's Next?

At this pace, I seriously wonder how many Rights will be legal within a generation.

KENTUCKY v . KING just found that police can knock and enter without gaining the property owner's permission. Buh-bye 4th Amendment.

Six years ago Kelo v. New London found that municipalties can take someone's property if they feel it is in the community's best to add a shopping center, not to expand an easement for the interstate as we traditionally thought. Buh-bye 5th.

Hmm, what about "life and liberty?" Yeah, the Declaration of Independence. Well first ya gotta get through the birthing process...thanks Roe v. Wade of 1973.

And what about common knowledge, that you should be able to keep and bear arms, and that right not being infringed? O.K. as long as the government can register you, decide how long the gun barrel is, and if the stock is adjustable, and restricting the attempt to quiet it down so you don't get tinnitus, and a waiting period, and and... Hello, 2nd Amendment?

Enter Health Care, AKA anti-capitalist, anti-rule-of-law movement of 2010:

"The danger of waiver power is that it will be used differentially, giving one private entity a competitive advantage over another."

Well thank God for the 10th, and our recent attention to it...

And "Teach you children well
Your father's hell did slowly go by..."

But by gum, don't simply look at them and sigh and let them know you love them...

But rather teach them to be patriots and defend this land where my fathers died.

Let freedom ring!