Monday, June 30, 2014

Irrationality in Regeneration: A Source of Relief

Lemme explain some terms before I start:
  • Something irrational is something that can’t be explained, for which there can’t be discovered a reducible reason WHY something is the case/is happening, by using logic. (Something is reducible if it can be broken down into parts—a bike can be reduced to a collection of gears, bolts, chains, wires, metal frames etc;  abstract reasoning is broken down the same way, just with premises, reasoning mechanisms, etc)
  • Regeneration is the phenomenon that occurs when God initially “changes a person’s heart,” as only He can do, that alters their instinctive desires and motivations. I’m not more than a lay theologian of 3-4 years going, but in my understanding it would be inappropriate to refer to regeneration as a continual process after a person’s saved—that would be sanctification. But regeneration’s effects are felt continually, and become more pronounced the longer a person is sanctified. But there’s an initial period that the affected person can point to as the moment when things changed. That’s when God ‘regenerated’ their soul, awakening them to receive the gift of salvation by faith in Christ.

To the point: when I began my investigation into Biblical Christianity (having had a nominal belief, at least, for as much of my life as I can remember up to that point) in early 2010, I came upon a philosophical challenge: is my motivation pure? Specifically, the motivation to do good. Consider the materialistic-reductionist view: everything you do to help others, which appears to be altruistic, is ultimately done for a selfish reason on some level. And if you can’t figure out what that reason is, it’s still reducible to a conditioning of your brain from previous behavior. You help others because you want to feel good from helping them—and therefore, your actions are not unconditional, they are self-serving. Your act of helping someone else is merely the way through which you satisfy your own selfish desires to feel good about yourself by riding the boost you get when you do something nice for someone else. You never help someone just to help them. You’re merely using them to get to your real goal.
‘Probably something the atheist economist-philosopher Ayn Rand would be all on-board with, since she held that people were utterly selfish, no exception—although she considered that a good thing. Selfishness (or as likeminded libertarians would put it, self-interest) is held up as the highest good in various areas of modern thought. Can you think of anything more anti-Gospel at the core? Selfishness is good, and nobody is truly altruistic; doing good for others is fundamentally selfish in itself?

AWPATT V: June 24-30 (Thoughts 24-30)

24 If you celebrate something, there has to be a meaning to it. And if there is a meaning to it, you ought to understand it. If someone mindlessly follows traditions, that’s an enormous turn-off. I can’t be in a relationship with someone without an independent mind.

25 For that matter, doing anything without a good reason for it is a big red flag. Do you put as much thought into your life as I do mine? I’ve thought my life through thoroughly because it matters to me. If you haven’t, then you essentially express by your actions that it doesn’t matter to you. So then, I wouldn’t matter to you—because what I value is a part of my identity. And you can’t have a functioning relationship where one person doesn’t matter to the other

26 There seems to be a fair amount of pleasantly fit women at the gym. Hardly a revelation there. But after a couple met gazes and smiles extended, it makes me wonder where I’ll meet my SO. Could it be at the gym? In a supermarket checkout? At church? On the street? How my future will play out is a tantalizing mystery, and keeps me motivated to stay in it and find out.

27 While someone who’s out of shape is unappealing, someone who has battled weight and adopted a physically active lifestyle is a more hopeful investment than someone who’s skinny but never came within a mile of a pair of running shoes. As an interesting side note, a demonstrated determination to lose weight may be more valuable than I previously recognized, considering the effects of [multiple] pregnancy[ies]

28 There’s different ways to be acquainted with lousy people. One way is to keep them at arm’s length, and make nearly every encounter about witnessing to them. Another way is to pal around with them like you’re buddy-buddy with them. If a lady does the latter with people who are worse influences on her than she is a good influence on them, it will show me she’s either got poor judgment or is ‘of the wrong social stock’ to begin with and I will be wise to keep her at arm’s length and avoid engaging with her personally.

29 It feels really good to flirt. But perhaps this is a side effect of it being the deepest intimacy level with strangers I’ll allow myself to have. Others might like hugging, holding hands, dancing, kissing, or sex. I imagine I’ll be less flirtatious when I find that one person to pour all my romantic energy into. On the other hand, perhaps it’ll be such a big part of my personality and so ingrained at that point, that I’ll always talk that way. Of course, whether you come off as flirtatious depends mostly on whether someone likes you.

30 I want someone who’s confident—just not via being self-absorbed or having an inflated view of self. Failing that, if I’m able to build up her confidence because she receives words of encouragement from me gladly, that would be enjoyable to do. But someone who denies and refuses to accept positive comments is expressing a form of pride that relishes a low view of self. This is a turn-off and it’s offensive to be called a liar with regard to your personal feelings of what’s nice, beautiful, etc. More than a few girls have fallen out of my interest this way. The quickest route to offend somebody is to disagree with them over what is or is not their benevolent opinion and to imply they have no right to encourage or help you.

~ Rak Chazak

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Fallacy of Approaching Faith from a Purely Philosophical Angle

I'm trying something different with this post. This is a segment of a journal entry I wrote at home. In a short page, I managed to carve out a concise criticism of the "Philosophy Alone" approach to theology. Many modern atheists and other nonChristians tend to say they're open to the idea of a God but can't be sure. There's a reason they can't be sure, and it's because they've decided to keep God in a box--the box of philosophy. Philosophy can be a great tool, but the world is more than abstract concepts. It is a world of material objects, and a world with a history in time. Philosophy is important but an analysis of history and the material realm cannot be ignored if the truth is to be discovered. People are generally unwilling to consider that historical facts and scientific evidence could confirm Biblical Christianity. This is nothing but foolishness.

Did it make you think?

~ Rak Chazak

Intimacy in Heaven

I had a dream about Taylor Swift.  And it was lovely. Let me explain.
Article rambles about the presumably non-sexual nature of future relationships, touching on the subject of sex, by comparison, as necessary.

In the late fall, when I first ran into an old high school classmate who was pregnant, I remember her offering as a prayer request some relief from bad dreams. Apparently she too has active dreams, and something to do with hormonal surges while pregnant--or even perhaps spiritual attacks on account of being recently joined in Christian marriage--had been giving her very vivid, upsetting dreams. That stuck out to me, because I too have, on occasion, very vivid dreams. It is rare that I remember dreaming but can't quite describe what I dreamed about. More often, my brain will give me a detailed exposition or adventurous plot and as long as I remain lying prone when I wake up and recall it, I'm able to remember it afterwards. For some reason, sitting up makes it harder to remember what you were just dreaming and then *poof* off it goes into a memory black-hole and you lose the chance to recall it.

In the last year or two, I've had dreams where I was jumping 30 feet in the air, escaping a rampaging dinosaur; saving people from a burning building while an enormous walrus shot lazers at it; fighting the xenomorph from the Aliens franchise with explosive coloring pastels; catching an airplane's landing gear with one arm while holding my dog in the other, to escape a roiling sea of sharks; floating down the Nile and eventually waking up right before becoming crashed into by a wide-eyed hippo riding a tsunami a la Poseidon in this clip from the Odyssey....

And those are the good dreams. Immersive adventures, plenty of imaginary exercise and heroism.

Then there are the bad dreams. I felt a bit reassured when I heard that young woman talk about bad dreams, without going into details. From that, I got an anecdote to support my reasoning that the kinds of things I sometimes see in dreams are not necessarily reflective on my character, or thought process. I don't really have "night-mares," in terms of things that frighten me, anymore. If I wake up wanting to forget it happened, and relieved that nothing I saw was real, it's invariably because I've had extremely explicit dreams of a sexual nature. You see yourself doing certain things with certain people that you just wouldn't ever want to or consciously choose to, in real life. The upsetting part is the reconciliation--while asleep, trying to deal with the cognitive dissonance; coming to grips with the psychological aftermath of what you've committed. In the midst of the dream, I'm having a personal crisis and trying to stop freaking out about "what I've done." Waking up is a sweet relief when you recall that you actually never went against your conscience. Even so, I never remember getting a choice. In bad dreams like those, I'm always launched into the middle of it, where my deeds have been scripted and I don't even have the privilege of exercising refusal. It is absolutely cringe-worthy on every conceivable level.

That's why my dream about Taylor Swift was so refreshing. It was nothing like that.

Which is Despicabler?

I fell far behind on my Wretched-listening over the course of December and January, when I spent several hours each day walking to and from work in anywhere from 9-60-degree weather (crazy extremes this year), before I finally acquired a vehicle at the end of January. But now, I've made a good run of keeping up with the podcast uploads since June. I'm going to download some before I leave my wi-fi location for the night. One of the recent podcasts opened with the question, "which is more despicable?" And offered audio clips or descriptions of recent events for consideration.
To choose from, you had:

  • Barack Obama, at a commencement address, jokingly claims he blacked out and couldn't remember his graduation ceremony or even the 'after-party.' To many laughs from the crowd.
  • A pedophile priest answers the prosecutor by saying he "wasn't sure when he learned" that having sex with minors was illegal. Todd added, what about that it was homosexual? And out of wedlock?
  • Denmark is now forcing churches to allow anyone who wants to be married in their church (read: gay couples) to be married there. Tolerate it or face punishment.
  • Planned Parenthood instructs a 15-year old on S&M and asphyxiation, and how to get her 17-year-old boyfriend to buy condoms for her without her parents' consent, when he turns 18. Todd added, but won't he be in a sexual relationship with a minor, then? The New Morality is nothing if not consistently inconsistent!
  • A Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple has been ordered to take sensitivity training.

On an individual level, I think the pedophile priest "courtroom defense" takes the cake in demonstrating the depravity of thinking at play in the minds of people we sadly share this planet with. It only very narrowly beats out Planned Parenthood, only because they aren't also a hospital and orphanage. You have to actually go to Planned Parenthood, and that requires some choice on your part, and therefore some minute consciousness about what you're doing. But a church leader, regardless of the false nature of the RCatholic religion, is supposed to be a trusted person who will protect and lead young people in the paths of righteousness. This case is more akin to a paramedic "rescuing" someone from a brutal assault, only to take them to a dungeon somewhere and forcibly sterilize them. Like, what happened to 'Do No Harm?' When people who are in the business of promoting promiscuity so they can profit off of murder are trying to give you sex advice, that's nasty but expected. When someone you're supposed to be able to trust and rely violates your confidence in them and takes advantage of you, there's more of an element of deceit in that. And maybe now that I think about it, that's why I find it more revolting. Since lies are the things I hate the most, it's only reasonable that the thing which is most like a lie is the thing that I find the most despicable.

If what bothers you most is government infringement on individual liberties, I suppose you'd find the court-ordered sensitivity training to be the most offensive, with churches being forced to hold gay weddings coming in second because it isn't directly attacking the individual, but a group.

I was surprised that Todd and Tony (the show's co-host) thought that Obama's speech was so terrible. I agree, it shows his lack of good discernment very aptly. But for a video that shows his moral depravity, I think the "God Bless you Planned Parenthood" one is a far more effective sound-bite.

With regard to the Colorado baker, he avoided the issue by choosing to not offer wedding cakes. A good idea in the short run, but one could see the slippery slope where Christian businesses, if they were to take the "scorched-earth" route, would eventually be elbowed out of the wedding industry altogether, and presumably later on also anything having to do with the American flag or advertising on television. I just think it looks a little too much like giving up. Which is why I really liked the suggestions Todd read from a facebook user:

  1. Say "I want you to know that I love you and because of that, it is against my deeply held religious convictions to offer you this wedding cake. But, the US government is forcing me to, so here you go! But before you pay, I want you to know that as a token of appreciation for your business, I will donate 100% of the price of this cake to the Family Research Council or other organizations for the purpose of addressing homosexuality in the culture from a Biblical approach. May God bless you, but not your marriage, and I hope you repent and believe the Gospel before it's too late. Thank you for your business."
  2. Alter your company logo, especially if you're a photographer, to include 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in every iteration thereof. On your cakes, on your photographs, on your stationery, on your advertising, etc. Wait, you don't know what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says? Let me read it for you. You won't forget it.
I'm a much bigger fan of those approaches. The first one negates the promotional effect that your business would have on their sin, at least to the people you directly do business with. And the second would negate the promotional effect on anyone who does not do business with you, but observes the business you have done with others. I would suggest that since letting people be deceived into thinking God is approving of their sin is the central reason for refusing to partake in certain acts, that if you are totally forced to do it and there's no way to avoid it, ("eating food sacrificed to idols," if you imagine living in an all-muslim society where everything is to Halal standards and you can either starve to death or eat food that's been slaughtered while a chant was said to Allah), doing it while actively educating anyone who sees you do it that your conscience will not rest unless you warn them that this is sin and that they must repent--hey, that would seem to address the issue, wouldn't it? Why would we have to quietly submit, anyway? Of course, if they start killing us, we'll have to keep adapting our approach. But these suggestions (I forget who the person was) show us that there is more than one way to go about being persecuted without violating your own conscience or dishonoring God.

~ Rak Chazak

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Always Worth Reposting: Charles Haddon Spurgeon on Calvinism

These are two quotations from different sermons (or parts of the same sermon, I can't recall for certain), separated by the ellipsis I inserted.

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again....... If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, "He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord." I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock-truth, "God is my rock and my salvation."  What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ—the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor."—C. H. Spurgeon

~ Rak Chazak

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Big Education Blame-Game Irony

I’ve recognized this for a long time, and I was gratified to see Ken Ham tackle the issue in almost exactly the same way I’ve “put it” in my own mind when thinking about it. It’s just sheer logic. What is the issue? It is the accusation against Christians, in particular home schoolers and young earth creationists, that these people, by perpetuating their beliefs, are somehow the cause for America’s lackluster showing in educational pursuits, among the general public especially. But the problem with the accusation is that the vast majority of people are not influenced by these teachings—creation, conservative homeschooling, Christian theology. How can minority beliefs be to blame when most people in the country receive 6 hours a day, 5 days a week of government-approved education? Obviously if anything has the most influence, it is this. So if America is poorly represented, wouldn’t the biggest influence in education have the biggest share of the ‘blame’ for whatever the result is? Logic would dictate that to be the case. Anecdotally, the home schooled kids I ran into at college were invariably the best-performing and composed a larger proportion of honors programs and scholarships than anyone else. And then there are fascinating tidbits of information like this: subsequent to the impositionof mandatory public education, literacy rates in Massachusetts dropped and have never recovered. But this is unacceptable to those who want to believe that the government provides for the people, and that Christianity is a net negative force in culture. Why would they want to believe this? It’s simply that having to admit the alternative would suggest the intolerable: that there is a Creator, and if there is a Creator, there is a Lawmaker, who sets the rules of earthly conduct, and if there is a Lawmaker, there is a Judge, who will punish those who break His law, and that means that people have to choose between undesirable punishment and undesirable denial of the things they want to do (sin)—and so the bottom line reason of why anybody refuses to acknowledge that Christian teaching is a good thing, or even that it is not a negative thing, is that they are in rebellion against the Creator. Unsurprising then, that the foundation of the recognition, as I laid out the steps to above, the doctrine of creation, is the most-targeted doctrine of Christianity among academics and pundits who promote government education and secular indoctrination. One such person who recently targeted Creation was dealt with succinctly and wisely by Mr. Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis: through constructive mockery. Here’s the link to the article, followed by an excerpt:

Ken Ham:

Percy also states, “When we wonder why America is falling behind in science education, it is because places like this are allowed to exist.”

I had to laugh when I read this ridiculous, unfounded outburst. Think about it—the majority of kids in the culture (including 90 percent of kids from church homes) attend the public education system. This system threw out the Bible, prayer, and the teaching of creation years ago. Evolution and millions of years is taught as fact in the public schools. Public school textbooks arbitrarily define science to not allow the supernatural from having anything to do with the universe but insist the universe came about only by natural processes: naturalism is atheism.

The point is, if America is falling behind in science education, how could it be the result of a place like the Creation Museum, the only major such museum of its kind in the world (though there are a few small creationist museums)? The majority of kids are educated by the public education system, and there are numerous secular museums across the country that teach evolution and millions of years as fact. Most science programs and documentaries on secular television (e.g., Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS, etc.) present evolution as fact over and over again. And Percy thinks biblical Christians are responsible for the nation falling behind in science education? His statement is laughable.


“Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment. They try to believe it is false and useless, because they don’t like to believe it is true. An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this book. Men question the truth of Christianity because they hate the practice of it.” – J. C. Ryle

~ Rak Chazak

AWPATT IV: June 20-23 (Thoughts 20-23)

20 1 Cor 11:15a “For if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her.” Long hair is better than short hair. Neither is de facto unfeminine or sinful, and it’s certainly fine for it to be trimmed at the ends. But there is something magnificent about a woman for whom her hair is at once both her primary article of clothing and jewelry.

21 She shouldn’t be ambivalent or friendly toward people who are enemies of mine. This falls under a larger umbrella point of not having the attitude that “it’s no big deal” toward things that are a really big deal to me. You need to approach the same subjects with the same degree of seriousness, to connect with one another.

22 I’ve only recently (really, this year) wrestled with the idea of even considering marrying someone more than a year or two younger than me. But it would be far easier to tolerate this proposition if it could be said about her that “she’s wise beyond her years.”

23 If I say something ambiguous, interpreting it in the best possible way is a sign of a generous heart. A charitable view of the other person’s tone & intentions is an absolute necessity.

~ Rak Chazak

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Poem Hub: All My Original Poems, Linked From One Place

This is for my convenience as well as anyone else. I've uploaded a number of original poems I've created, from time to time (and a few from others that I appreciate). I determined that it would be worth it to place a permanent link to a hub page for those poems on the sidebar of the blog.

Poems Original to "Single Christian Guy"
Ode to An Outdoorsy Wife
Of June
What's Wrong
What About the Jews?
Dove to Serpent
Preach Unto Death
Who Can Find?
The Bible for Girls
It's A Virtue

Poems by others
A Rolling Stone by Robert William Service
The Gods of the Copybook Headings by Rudyard Kipling

If you need a suggestion, my favorite short poem is Awe, and the one I'm most pleased with for the theological content I managed to work into it is What About the Jews, which explores the question of whether praying for Jesus to return could be in opposition to praying for the safety and salvation of other people, in particular the Jews. You might be surprised at the answer.

~ Rak Chazak

I'll eventually update this hub with a short description of each poem, I figure. But for now, I'm fine with how clean and crisp it looks with just the links themselves.

AWPATT III: June 11-19 (Thoughts 11-19)

11 I can daydream of any hair color. But I most often imagine my wife as brunette. It’s statistics, partly. All else equal, there’s a 10x greater chance of meeting someone with black or brown hair than with blond, in this area of the world. But perhaps due to some bottle-blondes’ immature belief that hair color matters more than character (“blondes have more fun,” anyone?), brunettes come across as more mature. That doesn’t mean I think there’s a scientific distinction, just that it’s the first image to pop up in my mind when I imagine a mature, respectable woman. I’m talking about introspecting about my subconscious, here, not epistemic beliefs I hold.

12 Does it matter to me that my wife be a virgin? Yes. But it’s not the unpardonable sin. It too can be forgiven. Medical science can determine that a person is clean. That there is no risk of disease transmission because of past risky behavior. What matters more than the physical, though, are the lasting effects on the conscience and character of someone with that in their background. It causes you to be unable to connect in the same way that you would/could if you were coming to the relationship from the same place in your own lives. It’s personal for me. Accepting someone as a Christian sister is a different kind/level of consideration than deciding to become one flesh with another person.

13 If she works out, especially if she’s a runner, that’s appealing. We immediately have a shared interest, but also the joy of knowing, other things being equal, that we’ll stay healthy and fit for a long time and look good for each other.

14 In my younger days, I might not have cared very much whether she be a Christian or not. Now it’s an easy thing to conclude—she can’t not be. Theology matters immensely to the kind of person you are, and how you relate to others.

15 I’m hardly ever touched by anyone day by day, and I’ve gotten very used to feeling like an isolated bubble. I see people, but I don’t come into contact. For this reason, something so simple as touch has become a special experience. I can experience someone’s affection in two ways: through words, but primarily through touch. I’ll know she loves me through our commitment. But I’ll feel that she loves me through knowing that she wants to reach out and touch me.

16 There are differences in personality, but someone who bursts into tears from an encounter with a rude stranger is not emotionally stable enough to handle life on their own, let alone with someone else, when there are more temptations to worry.

17 I was musing about what might initially attract me to her, and the thought came to me that what would alert me most to whether she’s interested in me is the sort of eye contact she makes with me. Since desire is desirable, observing a certain look in her eye is bound to awaken me to her.

18 I won’t tolerate someone wanting to leave a relationship they’re in because they like me. “Stealing someone’s girlfriend,” or ‘being a rebound guy,’ is a tactic bound to shoot yourself in the foot, because now you’ve conditioned them to abandon relationships when they think there’s something better to be had.

19 There are many diverse body types that appeal, and for different reasons. There’s no real way to define the ideal beauty or form of beauty, because there are multiple extrema, both among diverse minds and within individual minds. I’m intrigued at the thought that God could be ordaining my destiny, with respect to whom I marry, via my subconscious desires. It is through the unexplainable that God secretly accomplishes Providence.

~ Rak Chazak

Thursday, June 12, 2014

About that Scarlet Thread.

I flipped on the radio as I drove up to the YMCA parking lot yesterday, and someone on one of the Christian-radio stations I get in my area was reading from Genesis, specifically the scene where Joseph ultimately reveals himself to his brothers. But first, he tests them.

For those who don't know, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, out of envious anger because he was their father's favorite son. They then deceived Jacob, their father, into believing that Joseph was dead. Benjamin was Joseph's brother by the same mother (the 12 tribes of Israel being born from 4 different women), and the youngest and most cherished of Jacob's children after the loss of Joseph. Joseph, now a governor in Egypt, hid a silver chalice in Benjamin's rucksack and then pretended that Benjamin had stolen it, in order to demand that Benjamin would remain behind as the other brothers returned to Jacob.

It was a clever plan. It would ensure that Jacob would come to Egypt, so that Joseph could be reunited with his father. And even if not, he now had his only immediate brother with him, either way.

Then this happened:
Judah Intercedes for Benjamin18 Then Judah came near to him and said: “O my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s hearing, and do not let your anger burn against your servant; for you are even like Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age,who is young; his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 And we said to my lord, ‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, his father would die.’ 23 But you said to your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall see my face no more.’24 “So it was, when we went up to your servant my father, that we told him the words of my lord. 25 And our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down; for we may not see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons; 28 and the one went out from me, and I said, “Surely he is torn to pieces”; and I have not seen him since. 29 But if you take this one also from me, and calamity befalls him, you shall bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.’30 “Now therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the lad is not with us, since his life is bound up in the lad’s life, 31 it will happen, when he sees that the lad is not with us, that he will die. So your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father with sorrow to the grave. 32 For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad as a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers. 34 For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me, lest perhaps I see the evil that would come upon my father?”
I highlighted verse 33 for a very particular reason.
As the above link reveals, the "Scarlet Thread" is a reference first used in a mid-20th-century sermon, and it refers to the existence of a "Story within the stories" of the Old Testament--that the story of Redemption, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is interwoven and echoed or paralleled in the vast majority if not every major Old Testament account. I had heard of this before and accepted the concept, but I hadn't realized its relevance to Judah the patriarch of the tribe of Israel by the same name.

"Now therefore, please let [Me] remain instead of [the one who you have determined is guilty] as a slave to my lord, and let the lad [be free to] go up with his brothers." What is this but the essence of substitutionary atonement and the kinsman-redeemer concept? Judah is revealing to Joseph--unknowingly, since he's unaware that Joseph is his long-lost brother--a drastic internal change, from a man who put himself first at the expense of his brother and his father's joy, to a man who puts his brother and father first, and willingly offers himself to take the punishment he doesn't deserve. Judah has become an illustration of Jesus Christ** in this passage.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Personal Life Update: Forward Double-Time

  1. I've gotten a credit card now. Yesterday I received a complimentary note from the bank advising me of my credit score (Equifax only) and explaining what considerations 'adversely impacted the credit score.' One of those was stated "proportion of loan balance to loan amount is too high." This was perplexing. I had to think about it for a bit, because I couldn't figure out what specific financial meaning the word "amount" has...until I realized it was the original loan amount. The balance is just how much I owe, that part was crystal clear. Well, since I'm eligible to pay $0 per month and have only been paying down interest since entering the repayment period, the loan balance is nearly identical to the original loan amount--probably higher, given the unsubsidized loans that accumulated interest while I was in school. So because the principal isn't decreasing at a fast enough rate, that negatively impacts your ability to get additional future loans (basically what you need a good credit score for), since whether a bank wants to give you a loan is conditioned on whether you'll pay it back, naturally. So this all seems pretty logical.
  2. I'm getting around to doing tricep and lat workouts now at the gym, in addition to the usual routine of biceps and traps. I can really feel the impact it has on the back muscles. Pulling anything toward you, especially if you're rotating your shoulders, is bound to contract these muscles. The improvement is appetizing--it's making me eager to keep it up and do more. I still haven't been able to get up early enough for morning runs, however. I know that when the weather gets hotter in the summer, if I don't run before sunrise, the sun will kill my energy level and ruin a large part of the benefit of the workout. To accomplish waking earlier, I'm going to have to attempt going to bed much earlier, and to accomplish that, I should try to avoid taking in any caffeine after 4 pm, or 3 even, so that I don't forcibly remain awake when I go to bed.
  3. I paid off one small loan this month, which only had two more installments left, so it should be taken care of totally now, and I can focus singlemindedly on the loan servicer for my Department of Education-owed loans. 'Keeps things simpler.
  4. I'm gonna start working on more poems, and Topical Bible Study content for the blog. I've got a real backlog to work through. And it's been far too long since the last time I posted much of that nature.
  5. I'm beginning to apply to degree-related work, with an eye out for post-baccalaureate programs. On days off, I have a tendency to want to take it very slowly and not stress out. But when I walk into work, now, I'm almost immediately struck with the thought that I shouldn't be there, and need to get moving to do something more with my life. Almost one year should be quite enough, no? So I'm trying to harness that motivation and make it carry over to my days off, to goad me on and make progress during my downtime. Laziness in this area has a very direct effect in terms of dragging out how long it takes to get anywhere. 

~ Rak Chazak

AWPATT II: June 5-10 (Thoughts 5-10)

5 On more than one occasion, I’ve attended or been attended by someone as one or the other of us tried on clothes. This ought to be a natural and comfortable thing for us to do (not saying we would both be in the dressing room). And we ought to give deference to each other’s opinions. There’s a sense in which professional attire isn’t necessarily the other’s prerogative to determine, but in terms of modesty and appeal, since we want to look good for each other and not fundamentally for anyone else, our significant other’s opinion on our casual day-to-day wear would logically seem to bear the most importance.

6 I’m not even moderately attracted to someone with a loose lifestyle. Somebody with a history of partying, getting drunk/high is unappealing because of the level of cognitive stupidity required to be that way.

7 I don’t understand what could be appealing to girls about guys who misbehave or speak rudely to them. Those who tolerate it or even act charmed by it, I personally find myself very suspicious of. It’s a turn-off.

8 I certainly have ethnic preferences in beauty, but no one could call someone racist for thinking some people are more attractive – TO THEM – What is racially supremacist is when you say “black/white/asian/etc women are the most beautiful women in the world.” Now you’re not just speaking your opinion about personal preference, you’re insulting everybody by jumping from specific observations to generalities, and by making truth claims when the vast majority of what you’re speaking about is outside of your personal experience.
                It’s neat when I notice attraction to a very different looking person, but chances are cultural differences will prevent me from being able to marry “outside.” It’s not about how you look, it’s about what traditions (a culture of constant boozing every weekend such as where I live is counted as a tradition because it’s culturally transmitted) inform your identity and aspirations. The fact that how people look happens to overlap with how they behave is mere coincidence, and value judgments on the behavior don’t translate to value judgments on people who look more like that person than like you.
                In case you didn’t realize I was getting at this, I’m saying that most white people are uninteresting to me for cultural reasons, because of how much the things they value clashes with what I value. The difference between racism and being thoughtful is whether there’s the element of prejudice. Pre-judging something before having the facts is always stupid. Making an educated judgment about whether you approve of a person’s behavior (and in context, find them attractive as a potential partner) is never wrong. It’s common sense. It’s what people do, in every other arena of life.

9 She ought to keep a Journal. it’s good for several reasons, most importantly to work out/develop your thoughts, to reason through things and know yourself, and to be better able to be known.

10 If she doesn’t appreciate my efforts to be thoughtful and romantic, I don’t know how we’ll work out. If she has a “meh” reaction to my poems posted on this blog, for example, that’s pretty much a red flag. It’s just logic. If you don’t “speak the same romantic language,” you’re not going to connect on a personal level and you won’t be able to demonstrate love to each other in a meaningful way.

~ Rak Chazak

Random Thought: An Ad Absurdiam Reason Why God is not Female

I was singing a line to a hymn in my head when I stumbled upon an obvious realization. “When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found.” If it’s easy for people to mock true religion now, for “things hard to understand,” just imagine the fodder for immature minds that would be provided if God had in fact revealed Himself as a woman, or having a “female” nature. “When She shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Her be found.” Can we agree that the imagery connoted by saying that you’re “inside” a female God is at best problematic, and at worst, so tied to sexual euphemisms that it seriously gets in the way of properly thinking about God—even if it was the case, in this alternate reality we’re envisioning, that He revealed Himself as a Heavenly Mother? God is a woman, and we want to be in Her…inside Her? So many wrongs. Take the phrase, 
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
~ John 14:10-11
, which would if God revealed Himself in feminine terms be rendered, "My mother is in Me and I am in My Mother"], as a ridiculous example. Though a female God would probably have shown up as a female Jesus, but still. Something about the language of being “in Him” excludes a sexual context from consideration, so it’s just transparently easier to understand than the alternative. Here’s my parting thought: God is transcendent, which means that though He is so great as to be unable to be understood completely, He is fundamentally able to be understood rightly, on multiple different levels, no matter your knowledge or intelligence. This seems to me like a satisfactorily simple example of just one more reason why God could have validly chosen to reveal Himself in masculine terms. And indeed, probably something that in actual fact crossed His mind in making that decision, since it crossed mine and He created me and knows my thoughts…just saying.

~ Rak Chazak

Thursday, June 5, 2014

John MacArthur and AiG Take No Prisoners With Review of "Heaven Is For Real"

John MacArthur has a strong criticism of 'heaven and hell tourism' (credit for the term here) which is published on Answers in Genesis, here.

There was no soft-pedalling in this article. With refreshing harshness (I can almost imagine JMac pounding his fists on a table, though anger is an emotion you're unlikely to see this man display, even when he's at his most animated!), the paragraphs begin with lines like these:

"Stories like Colton’s are as dangerous as they are seductive."

"We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven."

"Sadly, undiscerning readers abound, and they take these postmodern accounts of heaven altogether seriously."

"There is simply no reason to believe anyone who claims to have gone to heaven and returned."

"Far too much of the present interest in heaven, angels, and the afterlife stems from carnal curiosity."

"Scripture never indulges that desire."

"Those who demand to know more than Scripture tells us about heaven are sinning"
and he backs it up.

I really appreciated that he fleshed out the concept of comparing actual Biblical people's encounters with heaven to the modern-day nonsense, even more than I or Elizabeth Prata did. He adds Micaiah, Stephen and Lazarus (plus some others) to the list of people who we know must have seen something, but if they ever told anyone more than what we have recorded in the Bible, we're not told of it. JMac also emphasizes the fact that none of these were near-death experiences. With the exception of Lazarus, all of the men saw waking visions. And Lazarus wasn't near death. He was dead. JMac points out "They also mentioned their own fear and shame in the presence of such glory." His is more scholarly and authoritative (in a credibility sense, because he's a theologian, not because he has the prerogative to determine doctrine) than my post on this, but I'm fascinated that we've touched on similar themes. This continues to be encouraging to me, because as I wrote in my preface to "Compare the Uncertain to the Certain,"
It's fun when I realize that an idea I had, or very nearly had, shows up in other's writings, be it from blogs, pastors, or long-dead theologians, to name a few. Clearly, nothing I wrote influenced them. But I can't recall having read the particular production of theirs before, so it seems rather that our thoughts were trending down a common path, to individually arrive at a common conclusion.
That's one of the things that encourages me in my faith: that other believers invariably arrive at the same beliefs over time. The similarities are in many cases extremely specific, and it is awe-inspiring to recognize that it can't be by chance, but because we are mentally led along by the same Influence, namely, the Illumination provided to each saint by the Holy Spirit. It just makes me happy. It's hard to express it any other way. 
There's a fine line between promoting oneself and expressing glee over what one has discovered. God knows which is the case when I compare myself to others, and at other times. It is my hope that when I share something out of a motivation of joy, that it doesn't give anyone a cause to stumble.

~ Rak Chazak

Personal Life Update: Mailing Checks

I FINALLY got around to mailing my Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan request to my loan servicer. They needed a month's worth of paystubs to provide proof of income, so now all of that is headed over via the postal service. Up to now, my loans have been on administrative forbearance, but by doing this, it'll finally be official that I don't have to pay the standard repayment (about $350/mo.) for the duration of the year. I'll be eligible to pay $0, because my yearly income is less than my total loan debt.

Nevertheless, I did some searching yesterday and it still seems that I can deduct the sheer dollar value of the interest I pay on my loans, not a smaller proportion of what I actually paid. I dearly hope this is correct. I'm continuing to pay the interest in the hopes that when I do my taxes in 2015 I can get $2500 back for my federal tax refund (one imagines the standard deduction for the state taxes would still be redeemable) by deducting that student loan interest.

I'm paying myself in the future.

~ Rak Chazak 

The Overpopulation Question Applied to Eternity: Will There Be Room for All the People that Ever Lived?

Some initial scribbling:
- background: since Thomas Malthus began proposing city planning intended to stimulate disease proliferation, voices throughout the last few centuries have raised up to proclaim that the birth rate is too high and the death rates are too low, and the growth rate of population is too much for the earth to support. 
- his alarmism was obviously way off. why? His view was technologically myopic. Various revolutions resulted in increased crop yields and now a far smaller proportion of farmers can feed a far larger sheer number of people.
- the same applies to now. “climate change” is predicted to reduce yields as well, but the net yield predictions actually show growth, based on expectation of alternate effects of climate change, as well as as-yet-uninvented technologies
Bottom line: if the world can’t hold people, the population can’t increase. But it’s increasing, which, despite undoubtedly low-quality-of-life contexts for many, demonstrates that the carrying capacity hasn’t been reached. Environmental biology flashback: die-off occurs after CC is reached, so that’s what we should notice if and when the earth reaches this point. But the population stabilizes after this point, not catastrophically continuing a decline, so there’s no fear regarding this.
ALL OF THAT SAID, I was interested in calculating if there was physically enough room for people to live comfortably on earth, without considering food supplies, since it’s fair to assume that since we can’t die in eternity, farming will likely be for the sheer enjoyment of a variety among foods, rather than a necessity.

The New Jerusalem is an enormous [castle?]-like building also called “the heavenly city,” and if my theological understanding is correct, this is also referred to as Zion. Is the State of Israel a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy? Undoubtedly yes, in at least one sense—that political entities are Biblically recognized in prophecy. But demographics matters more. Merely naming something doesn’t make it the historical entity you’ve named it. Egypt, for example. The country exists by name, but Biblical-prophecy-wise, Egypt no longer exists as a kingdom, having been conquered and subdued. So modern Egypt is not Biblical Egypt. Is modern Israel Biblical Israel? No, and there’s a very particular, compelling reason why not: it’s not a theocracy. Biblical Israel was. The Levitical laws were the law of the land and sacrifices were observed at the Temple. Right now there isn’t a temple, there aren’t any sacrifices, and the nation isn’t observing the Levitical code as a nation. Right now, just like how there are Christians in America but America isn’t a Christian nation, there are practicing Jews in Israel but Israel doesn’t practice Judaism—much less Christianity. So while the Jews are, we know from prophecy, still a special group of people (though not in an eternal sense any different—salvation for all is by grace alone through faithalone in Jesus Christ alone, whether Jew or Gentile), the political entity itself isn’t necessarily. We may or may not be observing great blessings on and through modern Israel, but these may well be incidental, since these blessings (assuming that it isn’t mere coincidence as a result of Jewish cultural chutzpah) have been notable since before the creation of modern Israel. No, the future holy city is still future. When you see how it’s described, you realize it can’t be anything but.
Revelation 21Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundationwas jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
 A study Bible I came across helpfully noted that the references to 'furlongs' in the Greek are using the word 'stadia.'

12,000 stadia in length, width and height. A stadia(um?) is c. 185 meters. That makes the city 10.9 billion cubic kilometers. Imagine owning a plot of land a kilometer square. Imagine you had a house on that land that reached 1,000 meters in height. That would be the case if there are just that many believers entering eternity, namely 11 billion. If you give everyone a 10x10x10 meter room, that would house 1 million people per cubic km, or 11 trillion inhabitants. So there’s a lot of room, and just how spacious it will be depends on how many people there are to fit inside it. This raises the interesting question, how high is the number of people who have ever lived.
I'm going to experiment with putting a jump break right here, to see if it works. If it does, click the title of the post to see the whole post on a separate page.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Adultification I: Credit Cards

I was thinking of a term to mean "the making of someone into an adult," and whereas just now as I was writing this, the word 'adolescence' came to mind, that doesn't convey the continual nature of what I'm thinking of, and it's already associated with something else. Likewise, 'adultery' is taken. So I made up my own word, adultification, to refer to the continuing process of gaining practical wisdom. I'll periodically post these as a theme. They'll probably be short, and they'll simply share what I've learned as I go along.

My first one will be about credit cards. I just ordered one from my bank, and for the simple reason that, as someone recently said to me, "no credit is worse than bad credit." You don't acquire a credit history with a debit card, that's the big downer. Without credit, you can't get loans easily, and you may pay higher interest rates if you do. That's a practical reason to make the effort to care. And so I have. 

I also thought that there was better security on credit cards, but was corrected by the bank president when I thought to ask. In fact, using a credit card or debit card online is not any safer than doing the alternative. Debit cards now come with fraud monitoring, and if you quickly alert the bank when your debit card has been stolen, they'll see to it that your money is returned and issue you a new card. The difference, then, between the debit and credit cards is that if you've set up various payments to do automatic withdrawals from your checking account, if the thief cleans out your account and charges to it cause it to be overdrawn in the meantime, it can cause you all sorts of trouble. Your car could become uninsured, you could get fines for not paying balances on time, all sorts of unnecessary trouble. That's the benefit of using a credit card. It will build your credit, and if it gets stolen, it doesn't sap your checking account. 

Now I feel like I have a much better understanding of that aspect of why having the two different cards is useful. Not being versed in Economics, however, I still am not completely sure of why using a debit card has no impact on your credit rating. If anyone knows the mechanics and wants to explain, please leave a comment, I'd love to learn more.

~ Rak Chazak

AWPATT 1: June 1-4 (Thoughts 1-4)

What's AWPATT? An acronym for the idea that A Woman Provokes A Thousand Thoughts.

 June 1-4, 2014. AWPATT #1-4

1 Looks aren’t most important. But looks are important. They should never overrule bad character in choosing yes, but can still disqualify if good character is present. In other words, it can’t be a priority in making a decision for initiating a relationship, but can be a limiting factor in a decision against beginning a relationship. You don’t go looking for the ugliest person you can find, as if looks don’t matter at all. There needs to be attraction between the two of you. But you still have to deal with the character and personality when the outer beauty fades away, so it’s wise to make sure that the condition of those are such that you won't find yourself in an intolerable situation down the road.

2 I want someone who has good work sense. Who fits in when things need to be done and takes direction well. Who understands that requests for help are not done out of laziness but actually recognize her ability and importance. Someone who doesn’t cop an attitude about having to put in effort to do something—ever. This was provoked in reflecting on coworkers. Certainly the above is applicable to me, too, but I don’t need to be told. When I know I have a job to do, you’re not going to find me snottily saying “you can say please” or “say excuse me!” Formalities are beyond unimportant when work needs to be done. Do soldiers in a war zone or rescuers during a humanitarian crisis ask politely and say thank you when they need something? No, they shout that they need it and someone tosses it to them. People who demand formalities in a busy work environment are really displaying self-righteousness. If someone does this, it’ll be a huge red flag to me and I will be very strongly turned off. My spouse will have to have work ethic. And they will have to be okay with not being praised, or shown formalities just for existing.

3 I have an idea that her name has to sound right. Jessica, Rebecca and Sarah are my most common go-to “wife names,” if I’m daydreaming. Some names sound more adult-like, and some sound fringy. Ashley sounds young and immature, whereas Shirley sounds old. I wonder how I’ll be surprised. What strange – or entirely not – name will my future love interest turned fiancĂ©e possess?

4 I won’t marry a divorced woman lest her husband cheated. A woman who has had a no-fault divorce and her husband remarries, I still would probably avoid. You don’t know what’ll happen in the future. What if the husband divorces that woman and comes back, humbly and repentant, to his first wife to seek forgiveness? You don’t know that they won’t get back together. Don’t interfere in a relationship where two people ‘gave up’ because ‘it got hard.’ It’s not your place, and in strictly Biblical terms, it sure seems like it’s a sin. A once-it’s-done, it’s done sort of sin, but a sin nonetheless. I’m resistant to single moms also.

~ Rak Chazak

What's This I've Got in My Inbox?

I'm usually very resistant to jumping on bandwagons for things that I don't fully understand the mechanism of the operation of. In this case, I know 'what' it's all about, what I opened from a Google mailing list (presumably all people with Gmail got one), but because it has to do with internet security and I don't fully grasp the 'how,' I'm going to personally hold off from doing anything. Just because I'm a scaredy cat.

Here's what I got: 
Coverage of the event:

It's an effort to encrypt internet communications to make snooping through wire taps and intercepted broadcasts less easy for government hacks. (double entendre!)

Most of the important stuff is and can only be done by the big companies, so I'm wary about downloading stuff just because I'm told. But in time to come, it'll become clearer whether or not it's as useful and safe as it's touted to be, and maybe then I'll shuffle my slow feet over to a site to download new software. Note, I'm not superstitious about electronic software. I'm only advancing the notion that the wiser thing to do when you recognize your own ignorance is to not stake out a position just yet, but to wait until you have had time to be educated.

I wonder if this is 'history being made.' Another blog title idea would be "Watching Life Happen." It's certainly true that we can know so much about things that we aren't directly personally individually interacting with, in this day and age, that most of our lives constitute observing the world, rather than doing something to alter its course. Just a thought. 

~ Rak Chazak

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How To Be A Jerk When Visiting A Fast-Food Restaurant

 This post is not meant to imply that I have animosity toward "customers" in general. No, I enjoy the day-to-day of work and interacting with people, for the most part. I'm certainly not bitter or resentful toward the people who sign my paycheck. Instead, what I'm offering here is a bit of humor, and also education. I myself have learned a lot of 'small things' about how my actions can affect others, by being on the receiving end of the behavior of thoughtless individuals from time to time. It's made me more conscious of self. Self-aware. I'm definitely going to do things very differently in the future whenever I visit restaurants, be they fast-food or sit-down ones, and for that matter anywhere I go that has to do with customer service. Here is some of what I've learned. In most cases, the stuff below can more or less happen to anyone, and it doesn't mean that they're being a jerk or mean; it's just an accident. But suppose you were to do it intentionally, or out of purposed carelessness--now you're getting into jerk territory. So you can read this as a "what not to do" or as a "how to" article, depending on what you'd rather do. That's your character, and you're the one who has to sleep with it at night. So just be mindful.

If you want to know of ways to be a thoughtful customer, you can read this post and just ensure that you avoid doing things that could be problematic for those who work hard to make you oblivious to the difficulty. All you really need to do is to think first. You'll be well appreciated for it.
If you didn't know how to cause trouble for employees but wanted to, rest assured, when you have finished reading this primer, you will know all you need, and you too can be a jerk!
  • Look like you’re ordering, and then wait. You can sit in the car for a few minutes before coming in, you can walk in and go to the bathroom for five minutes before ordering, or for max efficiency, stand a few feet behind the register looking at the menu board for a few minutes, especially if the register operator is standing there waiting for you.
  • Leave your wallet in the car.
  • Don’t bring enough money for what you order. Subcategory: order with an overdrawn credit card.
  • Order LARGE orders (more than two combos) in the drive through. Most places are timed to get orders put out quickly, about 1:30 or 3:00 minutes, depending on the place, and if you take that long just to place your order, you’re a jerk.
  • Drive off in the drive through. This will keep the timer counting but it won’t stop, so the crew members will either have to “delete the car” in the system or get a metallic object to trigger the magnetic sensor so the counter by the pick-up window stops.
  • Say “give me a minute” or “I don’t know what I want” in the drive-through, or in the restaurant with a line behind you, and mean it. A minute is a lot of time when the average time to make a sandwich is 30 seconds and the order is supposed to be ready for you as soon as you’ve paid for it.
  • Order the wrong item and then ask them to fix your mistake. They have to, and you just wasted product.
  • Eat half your food, (for max jerkiness do this with fries, which cool off quickly) and then come back, say it’s cold, and get a whole new item to eat again.
  • Ask why it costs so much. No one there sets the prices, much less decides what you have to order, so displaying an attitude that punishes them for things outside of their control is the epitome of jerk.
  • Bring your kids through the drivethrough and ask them, while you’re sitting there, what they want.
  • Ask if they have X item for Y $, and when they say no, walk out.
  • Ask for the register operator to describe an item for you, then buy a completely different item in the next breath.
  • Change your $30+ order to “to go” after everything’s been handed to you on trays. Especially if there’s a line of 20 people behind you that you’re keeping the reg. op. from serving by making them bag all your food.
  • Pop the lid and tell them to “top off” your drink that’s full to within ¼“ from the top.
  • Try to pay for a $2 order within a half hour of store open with a $50 or $100 bill. Registers usually start with just $50 to $100 in them, total, in $5 and $1 bills only.