"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."
--Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles
People who read this blog know that I am a Christian, a believer in a literal six day creation event, a young earth, the necessity to be born again to know God...that I am conservative politically, that I believe anthropomorphic global warming is a dangerous hoax that kills people in combination with tree-hugging green-brained regulations such as those that have led to the massive fires in Australia. I am a traditionalist with a twist. I am not orthodox. I adhere to most traditional values for a reason and reject those which do not make sense to me.
Merriam-Webster online gives us the first definition of orthodox.
- Middle English orthodoxe, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French orthodoxe, from Late Latin orthodoxus, from Late Greek orthodoxos, from Greek orth- + doxa opinion — more at doxology
- 15th century
"Fundamentalism isn't about religion. It's about power." --Salman Rushdie
Ortho means "straight" as in forward or upright, or it can be translated as "true."
Dox means "belief" or "opinion."
Cliff Notes Online says it thusly:
orthodox: conforming to established doctrines and practices, from the prefix ortho- (meaning right or true) and the root dox (meaning opinion or belief)
However the word has originated, it far too often is synonymous with "politically correct." While technically the orthodox opinion should be the truth, it will tend to be the popular opinion instead, where "right" is used as it might be used in society; one must commune with the right people and avoid the riff-raff.
Orthodoxy, then, is the tendency to fall in lock-step with the majority and stand your ground against all reason. No matter what commenters may say, it is important to me (and my lovely and talented wife) to think about positions on important issues and have a reason for your beliefs other than that those beliefs agree with the majority opinion....or the majority opinion of your own subset of people who are otherwise in the minority...or one particular teacher or scientist or preacher or politician or philosopher.
This tendency has put me at odds with the majority concerning origins.
It has put me at odds with the majority concerning climate change.
It has put me at odds with the majority-within-the-Christian-subset concerning eschatology.
I have completely changed my position on all three of these subjects over the course of time, by the way. I was once a dedicated Darwinist, I was initially willing to believe in man-made global warming (that lasted about two weeks), and I was once a dispensationalist Biblically.
If you let a hypocrite get between you and God, the hypocrite is closer to God than *you* are.
This is a side note especially for Christians, from a Mark Copeland (a religious man who may or may not be a Christian, but has some wisdom in this excerpt from a recent online message):
1. Jesus did not refuse to worship in the synagogues though the religious leaders were hypocrites. 2. Peter, James, John and the rest of the apostles did not leave Jesus because Judas was a hypocrite! 3. If you let the hypocrite come in between you and God... a. You let the hypocrite become bigger than God! b. You can't see God for the hypocrite! How tragic!
In the spirit of the exception makes the rule: If any of you gets their Christianity from television preachers, that is like getting your food from a dumpster out behind a fine restaurant. Yes, there is a chance that a wonderful meal will be tossed out there. But the vast majority of it will be garbage!
The wise man accepts wisdom even if he is in general disagreement with the source. I like this quote very much, have it on the bottom of the blog in fact:
"The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity. " Francis Maitland Balfour
Balfour, who died at age 30 while climbing Mont Blanc, was a scientist who largely agreed with Darwin and was vigorously researching and publishing on various subjects in the field of biology at a young age. That he could express such a conviction that was so Christlike and yet agree with Darwin is, in part, a function of the days in which he lived and the upbringing he received. That he and I were not on the same page in the matter of origins doesn't diminish the beauty of the thoughts he expressed concisely and well.
I often post information from sources that I am not entirely in agreement with and find commenters hazing me for the practice. Is not truth truth whether it is uttered in a courtroom by a judge or on the sidewalk by a kid zipping by on a skateboard? Pretty much anyone with a basically honest nature and a good mind may have information worthy of consideration.
The wise man does not say that he is absolutely and unshakably right, he rather comes to a thoughtfully considered position on an issue and then maintains it unless and until more information or reasonable argument is presented to him that causes him to reconsider that position. If he will not even consider evidence that may cause him to change his position, he is not wise. Just because he holds to the orthodox point of view does not make him right, it simply makes him numerous, so to speak.
One Exceptional Exception
I am willing to change my position on any issue but one. Christianity. I am helpless to change even would I care to do so. You see, once a man agrees with God and asks Jesus Christ to forgive his sins and come in to his heart and life, a permanent change happens. Just as a butterfly cannot go back within a chrysalis and once again take on the form of a caterpillar, I cannot undo being born again. As a born-again believer, I would be foolish not to adhere to the Bible to the best of my ability, and therefore by faith I took the Bible to be God's Word and by choice now screen all information through the filter that is God by means of that Word. God is absolutely and unshakably right and I am simply a mortal and fallible man trying to approach to within shouting distance of that standard.
Christians disagree all the time on various issues but we must agree that Jesus is the Christ or we are no Christian at all. We must agree that the Bible is the Word of God or we are not wise. It doesn't mean I cannot listen to Queen on my media player or watch 24 on television every Monday. Some of us have preferences that allow for drinking alcohol in moderation and some of us believe drinking alcohol is wrong.
My belief in the Word of God means that I now have a predisposition to disbelieve Darwinist teachings and be skeptical of their claims. Thus far I have been proven to be wise in this, for no proof of evolution has ever been shown to me and thousands of generations of bacteria and fruit flies have made macroevolution a testable thesis that has been thus far a failure. But I tell you this, in any matter in which the absolute authority of God has not expressly spoken I will consider any idea presented to me in honesty and honestly consider it.
Since the Hebrew word, yom, means "day", I therefore believe that God created in six days because the Bible asserts that is what happened. "And the evening and the morning was the first day" is pretty clear. Yom is rarely used for anything other than a simple 24 hour day and it is found in the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures over 2,000 times. Only when there is a prophetic passage when the author is speaking poetically does that word mean anything other than a simple day. Jesus Christ also asserted that the Earth was made in six days when he stated that Moses' writings were true. Moses asserted in Exodus that the Earth was made in six days, backing up the Genesis account as being a description of six literal days.
From Exodus 20:11- "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day."
You will find in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 that Jesus mentions Noah and the flood as factual events. You will find that Bible geneologies cannot be stretched to number much beyond 6,000 years (and a backwards extrapolation of the population of the current Earth human population back to a single family fits in nicely with the approximate time of the flood). "HUMAN POPULATION: The human population can be extrapolated backwards to see how long it would have taken to achieve present-day numbers. Using even conservative growth figures of one-half percent per year, earth’s population would have been eight people about 5,000 years ago. That compares nicely with the number of people on Noah’s Ark. Starting with evolution’s claim for the origin of man, and using the same ½ percent growth figure for the human race, we calculate a huge present day population that can not be justified by the fossil record or current statistics. "
There is a huge amount of tangible evidence for a young Earth, a world-wide flood, dinosaurs co-existing with mankind, the rock record being one of cataclysmic activities and plenty of measurables that put an upper limit to the planet and the atmosphere at around 20,000 years at the very most. Okay, I will stop before this becomes another long treatise on one subject because it is supposed to be a general post on Orthodoxy.
So please do not be boringly orthodox with your comments, strive for wit and veracity if you can?
So don't bother with ad hominem attacks on me or my sources. It will not convince me of anything nor will it convince any reasonable readers, it will just make you look bad in comparison. Rarely does the source have anything to do with the truthfulness of information unless it is someone who has been shown to deliberately post falsehoods such as Dr. Dino or TalkOrigins. (See, I was nice and mentioned one on both sides).
Don't tell me something is true because "everyone knows" because, no, they don't and even if most of them "know", they can be mistaken. If you are a lemming, why tell the world?
Don't use a string of curse words, because I will delete your comment altogether. While it is up there, again, it makes you look bad. But there are kids and teens who sometimes read this blog so cussing and pornographic stuff is out!
Do please quit asking for something to be explained that was already explained and then complain that your comment was never addressed. It gets boring. I do not care to waste any more time on prison populations, Hartnett's notational errors or one of the multitudes of opinions concerning the ways and means of trying to date ice cores. My best guess was just that and no one has a better one (prison), Hartnett was sloppy and who cares, since his postulation is almost certainly wrong and most definitely speculative anyway, a sidebar and finally (I hope) no one can date ice cores with certainty beyond the certain dates we have for specific volcanic eruptions, period. That means we can learn some things about the last maybe around three thousand years from ice cores and after that it is too speculative and various pressures and systems make the readings far too unreliable anyway. Okay, end of subjects. Good grief!
I almost hate to say this, but both creeper and taxandrian made very good observations recently and their comments inspired an entire series of posts on information that is likely going to have at least a part three coming soon. I know they disagree with me in many ways but they were able to say something that absolutely sat up and begged to be answered. (Sometimes they say stuff that makes me want to groan out loud, but wheat comes with chaff). Disagreements are fun when they lead to discussions. I like an "atta boy" occasionally, don't get me wrong. But disagreements can fuel good posting.
Orthodoxy is the comfort zone of the lazy and uninformed. That doesn't mean it cannot be right, it simply means it can certainly be wrong and it is up to you to think for yourself, my friend!
It is nice to know that I am not alone in this: Over 30,000 scientists have doubts that global warming is man-made
Scientists by the thousands reject the idea of human-caused global warming
Posted by Ron Masek, Strongsville February 13, 2009 04:07AM
In response to "O'Brien still frosty to global warming" (Letters, Sunday):
Kevin O'Brien wrote in his Feb. 5 column "Global warming? Foiled again" that "plenty of scientists have proclaimed . . . that man-made climate change is nonsense . . . and they've picked up some defectors."
In fact, the U.S. Senate Minority Report, released Dec. 11, lists more than 400 prominent scientists who dispute man-made global warming claims. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine Petition Project of 2001 has now 32,000 signatures of scientists who reject the concept of man-made climate change. And Joanne Nova, a Ph.D. in meteorology, believed in man-made global warming by carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 to 2007. But not anymore. She is now convinced that the evidence is conclusive: Carbon dioxide is a bit player in temperature changes, responding to them rather than driving them.
The sun, not man, drives climate change and caused the melting of the glaciers.