Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Not Alone/Order vs Chaos

I guess others on Blogger are also dealing with this paragraph crunching monster. I've had several suggestions and am going to try one today.

One of the overviews of the Order vs Chaos thinking within the church that I want to look at is the Puritan view. The Puritans and other like groups are rigid and structured and lean heavily on the need for order and light. They shun any disorder and unorthodox creativity as devious and dangerous. The witch trials would be and extreme example.

There is a reason the term Puritanical was coined. This way of thinking is so rigid and so oppressive that people wilted under it until they could handle it no more, then they rebelled, either internally or externally. Those that rebel are looked upon as evil, dark.

The order and structure becomes the god and is cemented as God's divine order.
Women are particularly feared in these systems by the men in charge because women often approach things differently. And instead of being given space for this, the men of these systems are threatened by this because it doesn't line up with their view of God's order. So anything different than the rigid structure is viewed as apostate. Any form of freedom, even freedom inspired by the Holy Spirit, is squashed.

I heard the story of a Mennonite woman who began to seek God and find freedom in her own home. She did nothing out of order concerning her sect, she just started getting happy in the Spirit and in the knowledge of Jesus. After a while the elders of the church became uncomfortable and went to the woman's husband and ordered him to bring his wife back into submission.

The good news to this story was that it was too late. The husband could see that what his wife was pursuing was of God and in fact had benefited from this freedom himself. He left that Mennonite church and took his family to one that was experiencing a revival.

Here is a post on No Longer Quivering about a gal who suffered from a marriage to a mentally unstable, rigid-structure thinker. The paragraph I'd like people to note is tenth from the bottom (believe me, it was easier to count that way).
[Also note that the husband in this story, with all his rigid structuring upon structure was really hiding a dark secret that he ultimately would not be able to hide or defeat with all his complicated structures.]


Monday, March 28, 2011

What I Said Was...

Since my last Blogger post is all messed up, I thought I'd repeat something here that is at the end of the previous crunched together post.

Apollonian is always about light, structure, order, and is always portrayed as male. Dionysian can be chaos and negative. Or it can be freedom from over structured repression making it good. And even though Dionysian is a man, he had some 'feminine qualities.

I've seen people claiming that anarchy is good and believe what they mean is freedom from oppressive rule. Dionysian can also be portrayed as nature loving and happy dancing out in the forest with flower garlands on their heads. This is also generally viewed as positive but can also be viewed as negative.

I'm saying all this to point out that Apollonian/Dionysian can be portrayed as order/chaos or oppression/freedom or structured/freestyle or stiff/creative or any other number of things. It really is all quite squishy and mailable in the hands of whoever wants to tell the story or use it for their own purposes.

And again, for the sake of labeling and understanding our world, these constructs aren't necessarily bad. But they are not suitable foundations for building doctrine. And this is what I want to get into in future posts.

Order vs Chaos Recap

We've talked about order vs chaos here and I'd like to move on to more specific and general examples, but first feel the need to pull a couple things together and clarify something in particular.

We mentioned in the March 4th post the story of Job and how his friends tried to make sense of a situation that doesn't make sense and pointed out that it is human nature to try to do this. The story of Job happened long before the Greeks came along with their Apollo and Dionysus and even longer ago than when the terms and philosophy of Apollonian and Dionysian were coined by Nietzsche in the late 1800s.

Nietzsche was only labeling what he saw as the push and pull of the opposing forces that people have always seen like in Job's case. (We talked about the Philosophy in the March 7th post.)

We also compare the Apollonian and Dionysian concept to the concept of yin and yang in our March 12 th post. We talked about how sometimes good and bad are attributed to Apollonian or Dionysian or both or how they can just sort of balance each other and how this is pretty arbitrary and left to the discretion of the one who applies it.

One other thing I want to bring up is that, whereas Apollonian is nearly always about light and structure, Dionysian can be about either chaos and somewhat negative, or about freedom from restriction and even tyranny and this is always good. I've seen some people claim that anarchy is good, and it appears that what those people want is freedom from oppression.

Dionysian is also portrayed as nature loving, peace loving, all happy and dancing out in the forest with garlands on their heads. This is also viewed, generally, as positive. But just as much, it can be viewed as negative. I guess what I'm saying is that is it a bit mixed up. Apollonian/Dionysian can be viewed as, order/chaos or oppression/freedom or structure/freestyle or any other number of things. And again, for the sake of labeling and understanding our world, these things don't have to be viewed as anything more than description or light categorizing. But these thought processes are not a foundation on which to build doctrine. And this is what I'm wanting to deal with a bit in future posts.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Another Honorable Mention

Retha has been tearing it up, lately, over at her blog. I've enjoyed her wit, humor, and blatant logic.

I have a feeling her blog and kbonikowsky's blog are going to end up on my blog roll in the near future.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Two New Blogs Added to Blog Roll

That is, two new blog plus an honorable mention.
I hope to get back to Apollonian and Dionysian and its infiltration within the church soon. But for now, let me direct your attention to these new blogs.

I've already linked comments from the two new blogs in previous posts and have decided it's high time for them to join my blog roll.

Elizabeth Esther's blog is about her journey to emotional and spiritual well-being after being raised in a strict, abusive, fundamentalist church. She's honest about the hard road she's on, nothing plastic about her. Sometimes it's one step forward and two steps back.

The Wartburg Watch is hosted by a couple of ladies, Deb and Dee, who are commenting on unhealthy trends working their way into mainstream Christianity.

Now for the honorable mention.
The Happy Surprise blog has a review on a very interesting book called, "The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage." The info in that book more or less blows the legs out from under the teachings of such men and John Piper and Mark Driscoll.


And while we're at it, Cindy K. and Jocelyn Anderson had a blog radio program last Sunday on John Piper invading the bedroom and the obsession the comps have with sex and roles.


They didn't get into everything they wanted, but I believe they will next Sunday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Mourning Japan

I need my on-line friends to help me keep in mind the big picture. I need their openness and honesty in how they deal with different things.

I finally cried for Japan today. I finally watched a news clip and cried.

We all cope with tragedy differently. And some of us cope better than others. The reason I talk about coping so much is because of how crazy things can get within ourselves just trying to take in (or ignore) the magnitude of some tragedies. And sometimes we aren't even conscious of our coping strategies.

Last night, I watched a children's cartoon, an anime that originated in Japan. It's crazy, but I didn't connect it to today's events until this morning.

In the anime, Earth is being bombarded with radiation by aliens. Life on earth was forced underground and the heroes had one year to complete a quest to a distant planet and back or all life would be extinguished.

This morning, I realized it was my subconscious mind's way of getting around to dealing with this. It helped me connect to the human tragedy and Japan's present fight with time and their damaged nuclear reactor.

The U.S. and Japan are deeply connected, first in conflict, then in peace. Starting from Pearl Harbor, moving through Hiroshima and Nagasaki and into a close friendship.

My personal connections with Japan are the fact that my brother was stationed there with his wife a few years back and my husband's brother's wife was a missionary there. And I couldn't even think of these connections until I watch a children's cartoon. I openly admit, my coping systems aren't the best.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Word is Getting Out

The gig is up, the news it out, they finally found it.
The renegade (video) The evidence.
The slick little cover up.

Sorry. I couldn't resist.
I know, I know. For most of you this is OLD news we have been over before. But a blog much bigger than mine is running the Piper video again. And it needs to be run again and again until Piper publicly admits his error in this.

Just admit it Piper. You kinda really blew it on this one. Just make a public service announcement that you didn't have all your facts and research straight. I totally get that it was probably an honest mistake on your part. Really. Most people don't get abuse. And when you said this, I could see that, at the time, you didn't get abuse. Now, if you still haven't researched the facts on abuse, please research it and publicly renounce what you said in your video.

The Wartburg Watch is now running it and they have far more followers than my dinky blog of no consequence. And they aren't done talking about it over there. They have more posts forth coming.


Also, at this time, I MUST credit my friend Hannah, who blogged about this clear back in September of 2009 AND who had the presence of mind to post it on youtube herself, since the original version from Desiring God had been taken down. And it was taken down for good reason because it is an embarrassment. But now I'm waiting for the integrity at Desiring God to rise up and renounce the terrible advice Piper gives in this video.

Here's the link to Hannah's original September 2009 post:


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Little Off Topic

Jane and I have been talking about what the Bible says and about how much of it really does come across as misogynic (and it does. I cannot deny it) and whether or not it is worth cutting through the misogyny to see if there be any gold in them thar hills.

I believe it's worth it. And if I'm reading Jane right, the jury is still deliberating on it in her mind.

Anyway, here's a link coming at it from a different perspective.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Order/Chaos vs Yin/Yang

There are both differences and similarities between Apollonian/Dionysian and Yin/Yang. They both deal with opposing forces and are methods of trying to explain how this world works.

But the differences are bigger than the similarities, in my opinion.

First of all, the definition or concept of Apollonian/Dionysian is far more squishy than Yin/Yang. Whereas Apollonian/Dionysian can work in harmony, it often doesn't. Yin/Yang always does.

Second, in Yin/Yang, Yang is seen as active and Yin is seen as passive. But in Apollonian/Dionysian, neither is passive, both are very active forces.

The reason I bring this up is because our culture is influenced by both and they may overlap, but they are not the same. In my opinion, Yin/Yang is the more honest and steady of the two with very specific and stable definitions.

But even so, my main point of going down this road is to point out that these are HUMAN constructs and thought patterns. They are systems created by flawed humans to help them deal with a fallen world. They are not biblical. They are shifting sands offering no solid foothold.

Though we can acknowledge the thought patterns and even appreciate art and music concerning the human condition that use these elements to paint a picture, as Christians, we are not to place our trust in these elements.

We have a solid Rock, Jesus Christ, on which to built our spiritual home. All other ground is sinking sand.

Knowing this and seeing the Apollonian and Dionysian infiltrate church thinking is what has prompted me to bring this to the attention of others which is what I hope to do in the next few weeks.

(Link to Wikipedia for definition of Yin/Yang just FYI)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Order vs Chaos in Pop Culture, part 2

Just a brief note on Apollonian and Dionysus in Pop culture. The opposing forces are often looked upon as left brain vs right brain. The left brainer being logical and good at math. The right brainer is artistic and sensitive. This is a common view of the opposing forces. And trust me, there is a reason I'm pointing all of this out. I am leading up to a point, if you can't guess it. But some of this is stuff people have never thought of before even though it is a strong under currant in our culture. Therefore I think it is worth it to lay the ground work for what is to come.

One band that sang about this back in the 70s was Rush.

Here is a link to a description of their song on Wikipedia.

NOTE: If you hate prog rock or don't give a flip about the 70s, skip this link and read about something more modern below.


If you think I'm making a big deal about this then let me give you a very stark, very modern example. Natalie Portman was given an Oscar for her portrayal of a ballerina in, wait for it, "The Black Swan". I know of few better examples of our culture's obsession with the dueling forces of Apollonian and Dionysian.

Mary Kassian has written about this on her blog and about how damaging this view of women and female sexuality really is.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Order vs Chaos in Pop Culture

The funny thing about order vs chaos and the human condition is how much it pops up in entertainment. The opposing forces of Apollonian and Dionysian fighting for power and/or balance crop up all over the place.

The girls and I were just watching Jurassic park the other night and sure enough, there it was. Though I was somewhat aware of it before, only after thinking about it for this blog did I realize how blatant it really was.

John Hammond, the creator of Jurassic Park, represents the Apollonian side. He's dressed in white and has complete control (or so he thinks) of this amusement park with electric fences and safety precautions.

Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician and dressed in black, is spokes person for the Dionysus side which is actually represented by the Dinosaurs. He is the one who keeps talking about the chaos theory.

In this scenario, the Dionysian is not necessarily bad. It is just nature doing what nature does. And when that nature is as big and unpredictable as dinosaurs, it is the Apollonian that comes off as in the wrong for trying to create and control what cannot be controlled so easily.

Another obvious place that speaks of the struggle between chaos and control is the TV series and movie "Get Smart". The opposing forces actually bear the names. The good guys work for "Control" and the bad guys work for "Kaos". And in this scenario control is obviously good while chaos is obviously bad.

Remember the old Star Trek from the 60s or at least have you seen a few reruns? Did you know that Captain Kirk had Apollonian and Dionysian advisers. Dr. McCoy was Dionysian and ran on emotion and intuition, whereas Mr. Spock was strictly Apollonian in nature always concerned with logic and reason. And Kirk was always trying to find the balance between them. In this case, then, there are no good guys or bad guys, only a striving for balance between the two poles.

Others who were influenced by the concept of Apollonian vs Dionysian include Stephan King, Ayn Rand, Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, and the band Rush

The point of this post is to make people aware of how our culture is influenced by this thinking and how WE are influenced by this thinking and how we may apply it to our lives whether we are aware of it or not. Again remember Job and how his friends worked so hard to Apollonize or use Apollonianisms to order and explain Job's unexplainable chaos. It is human nature to do this. But we must remember, our nature is flawed and fallen and we are but finite living in a universe much bigger than we are. We must take care and not use Apollonianisms when really we ought to be seeking God.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Seeking Order in a Chaotic World

I love talking to my friend, Jane. She stimulates my thinking beyond where I would normally go. Under my "Men Defining Sweet for Women" post we had a lively discussion about Greek myths and how we have inherited some of the ways they think and some of their attitudes in Western culture and how some of that thinking has infiltrated the church.

She brought up the Greek god, Dionysus and some of the debasing rituals that women had to go through to become part of this cult and how that relates today to the porn industry and porn entering the church via preachers who preach on sex and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in the marriage bed. She also brought up the link between porn, debasing women, and the teaching of strict gender roles and hierarchy within marriage and church. You can see her comments and her two links under that February 21 post.

And as I said, her comments and connections starts my brain up and I begin to make connections of my own. Because once a person brings up Dionysus, the Greek god of "wine, music, ecstasy, and intoxication," the first thing that jumps into my head is Dionysus's brother, Apollo, the Greek god of the "sun, dreams, reason, and plastic visual arts."

And the reason I associate these two gods together is because of a college course that I took back in the 80s on Aesthetics that used these two gods as opposing forces in the movements of art and music.

Here is a short Wiki explanation of this philosophy:


Now, I actually have more to say on the push and pull of these opposing forces and how they relate to art, music, and literature. But before I get into any of that, if I ever get into that, let me point out how much this thinking affects us.

If Dionysus represents chaos and lack of order, then Apollo represents structure and order. And we humans have a tendency to crave order. Chaos and being unsure of things or not understanding things stresses us out. We always have to come up with reasons for things. And I've noted that Art, Science, Religion, and Literature are all means of making sense out of a world that doesn't always makes sense.

Let's look back at Job whom we talked about last Friday, March 4th. Job's friends suffered from an intense desire to make sense out of a situation that made no sense. From their limited understanding of God and our fallen world, they tried to superimpose reason or order on the chaos that Job suffered. But their reason and order were terribly inadequate and faulty. We can learn from their mistake and not jump to conclusions about situations that don't make sense. That is one of the things that prayer is for. It is finite and limited us reaching out to the infinite and unlimited God who knows the end from the beginning.

The infinite God did eventually answer Job. We can learn this from Job's story as well. There is an answer. One that we may not be able to see but that God sees plainly. This is what faith is for. Knowing that there is a God and that there is One who is in control and Who can answer and Who will answer. And it is God who can bring order to our chaos. But we must make sure that we are actually seeking God's answers and not what finite men with a Western Civilization Apollonian drive say that the answers are.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Stark Example of Creating False Structures

Here is an example of preachers creating false structures and prescribing false solutions. In this particular case it is a mother/daughter dynamic. And as we often see in these situations, the mom is ill advised, then blamed when the bad advice makes the situations worse.

The preacher, whatever his intentions, is a false comforter, like Job's comforters.
This man, if he is like many other Evangelicals and/or Fundamentalist, blames Feminism. But Feminism plays no part in this. He is the one who is destroying the home.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Creating False Structures

We have talked about Job here before.


But I want to point out something else we can learn from his story.

Not only did he give full vent to his bitterness, the Bible said that he did not sin with his mouth, which Steve Scott points out so well in his post here:


But even though Job gave full vent to his bitterness he didn't sin with his mouth. And his comforters did sin with their mouths to such an extent that at the end of the story, Job had to offer up sacrifices for his friends.

Please note that Job's friends were very well meaning and sat with him in silence for seven days and seven nights before they opened their mouths. They really wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery. They wanted to find a reason for the horrible things that Job went through. And they decided that since God was just, no matter what, that the fault must be with Job.

At least Job's wife knew that Job was not at fault. She lived with him and saw his righteousness. She never blamed him. She told him to curse God and die. And in this, she probably did sin with her mouth. But strangely, when all is said and done, God never told Job to offer sacrifices for her sins.

So why offer sacrifices for the sins of Job's comforters? What did they do? All they were trying to do was make sense out of a situation that made absolutely no sense to any human being. Yet, in all their explaining of the way things work, or how they thought things worked, and how they thought it could be solved, they sinned with their mouths.

They created a false structure, a false reason, a false cause-and-effect situation that had nothing to do with what was really going on. And then they came up with solutions or formulas that they were sure would work if only Job would follow their advice.

In their minds, surely Job had sinned. He must have sinned. And then, to add insult to injury, they told him he was proud for not admitting his sin. Their simple solution was that if he would just repent, the evil that plagued his house and his body would end. And they kept after it and after it and after it scolding Job for justifying himself rather than ever taking into account that perhaps Job actually did not sin and bring this upon himself.

I see this creating of false structures and cause-and-effect situations going on in the church today. Marriages are failing in the church at the same rate as they are in the world. And well meaning men, comforters are calling on Christians to follow their formulas and programs and solutions in order to save the marriages. They claim that it is feminism that is destroying all marriages, including Christian ones.

What they refuse to face is that their formulas have been around for a long time, back in the seventies and perhaps even before then. And these formulas have morphed into terrible monsters in the form of Vision Forum and the Quiverfull movement. They have instructed women to submit and keep sweet and have been false comforter of these women telling them that if they would just repent from their self-will and obstinate behavior, their marriages would be saved. And they have formed rigid molds for the daughters to follow that destroys their souls and creates learned helplessness.

Their formulas have failed and have become worse destroyers of Christian marriages than the third wave feminist could have ever dreamed of. The third wave feminist can sit back and watch and laugh as Christians destroy their own marriages with false structures and formulas.

When will people wise up and see the formulas for what they are, false comforters and false solutions to misunderstood problems? Going back to the fifties, to Little House on the Prairie, to the Golden Age of the South, to the Victorian Age will not solve today's problems. Trying to do so only creates new problems. We cannot go back. We must go forward and face today's problems with a fresh vision, a fresh understanding from God of what is really wrong and how it can really be solved.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Women as Risk Takers

My friend Suzanne has given a rebuttal to three men, an Englishman, an Australian, and an American who want to push Canadian women down into sweet little boxes after a rich heritage of pioneering for the gospel's sake.

As a daughter of homesteaders in the U.S. with family living in Wyoming, the first state to give women the vote, I enjoy immensely the points she brings to light. Men in churches are all fine and dandy with women being risk takers and pioneers and taking hits for the team in establishing the work. But once it's establish, men want to take the work away from the women and lift themselves up to the seats of honor and prestige.


Ladies and gentlemen. Let us not forget the contributions of our men AND women in the past. And let us not let high sounding words rob us of seeing injustice for what it is. Injustice is injustice. Someone being female doesn't give men the right to treat her the way they would never treat a man.