Archive for September, 2010

Advice to Young Men

I recently gave some advice to a young man who shares my Kinist convictions.  I told him that if a marginalized group wants to become mainstream, it needs to avoid any incidental weirdness to its core values.  The psychological warfare perpetrated by the SPLC and others sometimes makes one reactionary, which ends up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of nationalists as angry, strange men to be avoided.

This is particularly important for any young man seeking a mate.  Women are not naturally political like men for the most part, so anyone who expresses a non-mainstream opinion on an issue as touchy as race is automatically suspect.  You don’t want to exacerbate this disadvantage by being quirky and strange in other ways, for example, like displaying flags associated with low status, using the “n” word, etc.  Here’s why:

Women aren’t really interested in your politics per-se (and if they love you and come from a Christian anti-feminist background, will come to agree with you naturally as God created them to be a helpmeet).  Women have a problem: strange, creepy men.  The male sex has more genetic variance in expression, and one of the roles women perform is to weed genetically unworthy males from the gene pool so that their defective genes are not further propagated.  I believe many of these instincts are biological, and what seems to particularly bother women is any hint of an autism spectrum disorder, which is why women generally find men of above average intelligence but with normal social skills more attractive than highly intelligent men with a semi-autistic “geeky” demeanor.

This is important, as the autism spectrum disorders, while an offshoot of high intelligence, also have high liabilities: lack of normal emotional behavior, obsessive tendencies that may threaten the man’s ability to focus on provision for the family and/or developing the relationships within the family, lack of social skills and tact (which hurt social status and since so much is who you know, also one’s earning power).  Intelligence is subject to a declining returns curve; a man of 120 IQ and normal social skills is a better mate (and will produce healthier, more normal children, and likely earn more) than an awkward geek with an IQ of 140.

Let me give you an example of what women have to watch out for.  Recently, I visited my parents’ home.  In retirement, my father has become somewhat of a Ford Mustang aficionado, joining the local club and attending car shows.  In my dad’s case (besides the fact he’s already married), this is not anything that really interests a woman but also fairly normal for a man of his age; it’s a hobby he enjoys but he doesn’t take it seriously.  As part of his hobby, he subscribes to Mustang Monthly.  Featured in this month’s issue is a spread about a strange man from Pennsylvania who has spent all of his money his entire adult life on Mustangs and Mustang paraphernalia, and even went to the extreme of building a custom home to house his cars, such that he can live among and with the Mustangs.  Here’s a picture of this interesting male specimen:

The self-written article provides more details:

In the automotive world, most vehicles get relegated to a garage or carport. The special ones gain entrance into museums, dealership displays, or private warehouses. I wanted something different. Mine were to come into a house with me so I could actually live with them. It wasn’t a question of “why?” but “why not?”

By that time, there was a small problem. I was buying collector cars and having to pay rent for both their storage and my own personal living space. It was getting expensive, but as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

In late 1999, I put down a deposit on an ’00 Cobra R, but the dealership lost out in the lottery to get one. It was a blessing in disguise. Instead, that money went into a three-acre parcel of land. I then hired an architect to help me design a simple, efficient ranch home to enclose both me and my cars.

Things didn’t happen overnight or come easily. Opposition came from neighboring property owners who feared I’d litter my yard with old parts or rusty, rotting hulks. They envisioned loud exhaust rumblings at all hours of the night and frequent trailers coming up the lane. In other words, they saw a hot-rod bachelor who was going to lower property values.

Truth be told, many people, including my parents, thought I was a little south of sanity for pursuing this. My father, an interior designer for 52 years, never partook in a project like this. My mother knew early on that I marched to the beat of a different drum, but even this seemed “over the top” in her book.

I’ll admit the first night there, I sat on the porch past midnight staring at the stars and thinking back on all the sacrifices I made to make this “dream” happen-the 80-hour work weeks working three jobs; no fancy vacations; skipped or simple brown bag lunches; no cable television, computer, or cell phone; and no wife, kids, or pets (women can be much more expensive than any car). Please note: I’m not a surgeon, stockbroker, CEO, or lottery winner. I’m just a dedicated, hard-working guy who loves cars and sets goals to achieve them.

More crucial though, they need to know that going your own way in life is more important than following the herd. I have a Porsche brochure that sums up my mantra: “It’s only when you don’t try to conform that you can be the one thing that really matters-yourself.”

God has programmed women to automatically reject males like this.  This is why it’s so important to be as normal as possible in every area of your life outside of your core values.  Don’t pigeon-hole yourself as a freak.  Unlike this guy, who definitely has some variant of Asperger syndrome, you can help it!

Jane Austen nailed it.  Women seek men with “liberal” personalities because it is these men they feel will do the best job at loving them, providing for their families and not abandoning these first responsibilities in pursuit of obsessions, political or otherwise.  I happen to think women are right; their pre-rational instincts lead them to the right conclusions in a normal, healthy society.  Don’t be so reactionary to the defects of our society that you end up alienating this female instinct.  Be a normal, friendly clubbable guy who just happens to want his grandkids to look like his grandparents, in possession of the same country.

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A theoretical engineering calculation: the cheapest Koran / Qur’an on Amazon sells for $7.77 and weighs 6.4 ounces.  An ounce of paper contains 209 BTU’s.  So each Koran contains 1338 or so BTU’s, or about 6 tenths of a cent per BTU, assuming you have prime shipping.  According to the Department of Energy, electrical heating costs somewhere around 3 tenths of a cent per BTU.  I’m sure we could get the cost of Korans down if printed in bulk, maybe on cheap newsprint, making it somewhat competitive with electric heat, especially if combined with some kind of Koran-burning tax credit.  Just a modest policy proposal for energy independence…

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Family Catechisms

One of the things I most appreciate about the Reformed tradition is its high level of literacy and drive to define what it is exactly we believe.  The catechisms in particular help impart a Biblical worldview to our children, organized in a logical and orderly fashion.  To the extent they are based on Scripture, they are for this limited basis (developing a comprehensive worldview) better than unfiltered Scripture.

Yet while bringing one’s children to a saving knowledge of Christ is the first objective (and the end of catechism training), I have not seen a similar use of the tool to impart wisdom.  To explore this possibility, I have written a series of family catechisms for my family addressing issues relating to Biblical wisdom, including subjects such as wealth, charity and marriage.  Over the next few weeks, I will release sections of this for your perusal.  You may not agree with everything I teach my children, but maybe it could be a starting point for teaching wisdom for your family.  I continue to refine it, editing it in a Google Doc whenever I have an update or tweak to make.  I’m sure some of you can offer constructive criticism to help me.  My children are still fairly young so there is yet hope to undo any damage 🙂

Generally what we find in Christianity today are antinomians and legalists.  Both miss the point: most of the important decisions in life are not between sin and non-sin, but between wise and unwise.  The antinomian denies there is such a thing as wisdom (often pursuing whatever feels good to them, and thinking they’re acting at the prompting of the Holy Spirit), whereas the legalist wants to make everything a black-and-white sin issue.  Wisdom is subtle and to some extent situational.

So here I present the first section of my family catechism, dealing with wealth.  There are four major sections, and once I have endured all of the critiques, I will post a final version in PDF form, similar to my essay on interracial marriage.

The Generation5 Family Catechism

Finance, Wealth and Money
What is wealth?

Wealth is stewardship over assets and resources of God’s Creation for which one is entitled, before men, all income and enjoyment.

Should Christians seek wealth?

Yes, wealth is a blessing of God for Christians and is a fulfillment of the Dominion Mandate.

What is the Dominion Mandate?

The Dominion Mandate is God’s command for His people to multiply in number, subdue the earth and disciple all nations in Christ’s name.

How do we answer people who say Christians should not seek wealth?

The notion that Christians should not seek wealth is usually an error of pietism.

What is the error of pietism in regards to wealth?

Pietism makes an idol of spirituality, when God makes no such distinction and has declared of all of Creation good, including those parts of Creation that constitute wealth.

Why is the pietist rejection of wealth particularly harmful to Christ’s Kingdom?

The pietist rejection of wealth accumulation has resulted in Christians surrendering significant portions of Christ’s Kingdom in the economic sphere to unbelievers.

The following three questions are from the Westminster Shorter Catechism to emphasize the pietist error in regards to wealth.

Which is the eighth commandment?

The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.

What is required in the eighth commandment?

The eighth commandment requires the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.

What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?

The eighth commandment forbids whatever does, or may, unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor’s wealth or outward estate.

In what primary way can we improve the wealth of ourselves and others?

We improve our wealth and that of others through the free market exchange of lawful goods and services.

Why is a free market exchange a net increase in wealth for both parties?

The value of goods is relative for each buyer in the market, and a willing free market exchange means both parties enjoy an increase in wealth for the transaction.

Is wealth always a blessing?

No. Wealth can be a curse for Christians and non-Christians who make it an idol.

How can one avoid making wealth an idol?

Since idolatry of any kind is a sin, the primary means of victory is through prayer, reading Scripture and hearing the preached Word of God in a Bible-centered Church.

What view of wealth should a Christian have to avoid idolatry?

Christians should see their wealth as belonging to God and as a blessing of God for which they are mere trustees for God and future generations.

What should Christians seek to do with their wealth?

Christians should seek to grow their wealth for the benefit of their descendants and the work of the Kingdom.

Why should Christians seek to create wealth for the benefit of their descendants?

The Bible says that a righteous man leaves his children an inheritance.  Part of this inheritance is material and rightly includes wealth.

How has pietist error distorted this Biblical command to leave an inheritance?

The pietist error in regards to wealth has caused many wealthy Christians to abdicate their responsibility to raise up their children to be stewards of wealth after them.

How do wealthy Christians abdicate their responsibility in response to pietist error?

Many are convinced they must deny their children an inheritance out of a false sense of spirituality and simply give the money away to various ministries and nonprofits.  Giving should always be made on the basis of increase and not significantly impact the principal of wealth, the preservation of which is the chief responsibility of a Biblical family trustee of wealth.

Why should a wealthy Christian not donate a large portion of his wealth to a ministry or nonprofit?

First, the management of wealth is a specialized skill, and ministries and nonprofits do not have the skillset to properly steward wealth, otherwise they would generate the wealth themselves and not need assistance.  Second, with significant resources, due to man’s depravity, nearly all ministries and nonprofits become bureaucratic organizations run for the benefit of management and employees.  Third, well-funded organizations tend to attract the attention of Christ’s enemies, who actively organize to control and pervert the original mission of the organization.  Fourth, nonprofits and ministries are subject to unstable and changing government regulations, which limit the impact of general giving not directed to specific projects.

How, then, should a Christian provide for the management of his wealth after his death?

By ensuring that the wealth remains as private property where it is less likely to be dissipated, and raising Godly, responsible children to be stewards after them.

What types of Kingdom work may be supported by a Christian’s wealth?

The work of Christ’s Kingdom extends into every sphere of life and includes support of one’s family, support of the local church, and support for efforts to restore individuals and institutions of our society in ecclesiastical, domestic and political contexts.

What ways of earning and growing wealth are permissible for a Christian?

Christians may earn and grow their wealth through the free market exchange of any legal good or service that is not inherently sinful and is not sold through false witness.

What is money?

Money is the most desirable and marketable good for which all other goods can be traded.

Is money the same as wealth?

Money is an important form of wealth but not all wealth is comprised of money.

What is materialism?

Materialism is idolatry of money as the means of acquiring material goods to provide meaning for one’s life.

What is the end of materialism?

Materialism is a dead end spiritually, because material goods never satisfy man’s sinful nature.

What is debt?

Debt is money owed to another, usually paid back with interest.

What is interest?

Interest is money paid in addition to paying back debt to compensate the lender.

What does the Bible say about debt?

The Bible says that debt is slavery.

Is debt necessary is some situations?

Yes, debt can be necessary to provide for needful things, such as shelter, food, clothing and transportation.

When is debt most dangerous?

Debt is most dangerous when combined with the idolatry of materialism, because the debtor enters unnecessarily into a form of slavery.

What is our family’s opinion of debt?

Our family’s goal is to avoid debt if at all possible, and use it at most to acquire a home.

Is it permissible for our family to enter into debt for a business enterprise?

Our family holds as a matter of principle that debt is unacceptable and any business or investment requiring recoursable debt should be avoided.  Non-recoursable debt tied to a specific income-producing asset may be acceptable in certain circumstances.

When purchasing a home, what level of debt is reasonable?

A reasonable amount of debt for a home is the least amount possible, but in no case should the total payment exceed 25% of gross income on a 15-year note.

How much may one reasonably own of transportation consumption property, such as cars, boats or recreational vehicles?

The total value of all vehicles owned should not exceed half of one’s yearly income.

What is thrift?

Thrift is the practice of minimizing unnecessary expenditures and seeking the highest value in necessary expenditures.

Why is thrift a particular virtue?

Thrift indicates a three-fold blessing of God: lasting wealth, self-control and intelligent faculties.

Does thrift always mean spending the least amount of money?

No, thrift seeks the highest value over the long term regardless of initial cost.

Does thrift only apply to money?

No, thrift also applies to time.

Why do we seek to be good stewards of time as well as wealth and money?

Time is an asset, just like money, and should be treated as such.

Why is time a particularly valuable asset?

Time is the only asset of which it is impossible to acquire more.

Who gives us time?

Every day and every breath in our life is a gift of God, just like wealth and money are gifts of God.

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