A quote for discussion

This evening I finished the book “Jim and Casper Go To Church.” The book relates the insights and observations of an atheist as he and a former pastor visit 10 churches in America. Good read. A quote from the book stood out to me, so I wanted to throw it out there for discussion.

“…what do you think this enlightened, impassioned, and above all, humble carpenter from Galilee would say about Plexiglass dunking tanks, millionaire pastors, camera cranes, and music coming straight out of Branson? Is this what Jesus had in mind for the church?” – Casper, p. 46. Casper later asks Jim a similar question, “Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?”

What do you think?

The Warrior’s Virtue

One of my Martial Arts teachers and good friend sent me a blog post today from An-Shu Stephen K. Hayes. Hayes is regarded as the original American ninja. He is the founder of To-Shin Do Kasumi-An Ninja Martial Arts, and a Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee. There’s a lot about the man to respect. His blog post for today drives right to the heart of a topic that many close friends and I have been talking about. Although probably not a believer, there is great truth to be gleaned from his post. Here it is, just as he published it on his blog site: http://www.skhquest.com/the-densho/

“My perception is that we are in the midst of one of the lowest points we have ever experienced in the world when it comes to demonstrated noble big-vision leadership. When I say “we” I mean all of us alive now, from the newest baby to the seniormost life veteran.

Whatever happened to ethics? Whatever happened to statesmanship? Whatever happened to noble ideals?

Politically, we see time and again bitter divisiveness as the rule of the day. Despite popular talk of “bipartisanship”, stopping the other team seems to be the goal, regardless of outcome, based on evidence I see. Bolsheviks align from the left to punish productive earners through odious levels of taxation and regulation, and Fatcats out on the right lure pitiful wage slaves into helplessly providing egregious profits.
Popular gods of the times – multi-millionaire sports figures – cause us to gasp and wince at scandalous betrayals of trust. Betrayal of family (wild tigers), betrayal of sportsmanship ideals (shrieking profanity at officials), betrayal of humane living (dogfight investors), and betrayal of healthy living (ballplayer dopers) cannot fail to sadden any idealist.

How ‘bout those bankers and money movers? CEO paid 385 million dollars for the few years it took to destroy Lehman Brothers, devastating the financial security of countless hard-working Americans but providing for a full lifetime of over-the-top luxury for one heartless former CEO now sipping drinks with fellow killers at private beachfront palaces. And that’s only one; there are plenty more like him in the private and government sectors.
Anyway, you get my point. I do not see much heroic behavior these days. I see a lot of selfish taking with little regard for the grander welfare of all.
So what would it take for things to change?

Most will not like this because it is so undramatic and so middle of the path, but…  We need balance, heroic big visioned big brained big hearted big shovel and big stick balance.  Where does balance start?

We have an ideal – warrior protector virtue, in the real original meaning of the word virtue as “manly valor perfected through taking care of all”.
We have a vision of what blocks such an ideal from blossoming – imitation of warrior strength, in the sense of confusing manliness with “mean little boy” taking whatever desired by beating anyone who might get in the way.

We cultivate that balance by becoming as strong as possible through training and becoming as ethical as possible through study.
I have been saying it since the 1980s. The ethical warrior winner gets everything he or she needs, and the world is a better place as a result of it.
Want to see what that kind of training looks like?

Join me and my friend Jack Hoban for a full day of ethical warrior preparation March 13 in Newark, NJ. Enroll at RGI and become part of our revitalization of the responsible warrior leader taking ground in a long overdue battle.”

What An-Shu Hayes calls “ethical warrior preparation” is what I’ve been thinking and writing about of late.  Although I don’t think he means Christian Warrior Prep., thats where I would take it.  True ethics begin in Christ, and so must each warrior.