Due North In A World Lost

(Letter From Editor)

Here we stand—in 2021—already facing turmoil. That is not a joyous remark by any means, it is only as I feared. I took time away from Truth In Focus and my other writing responsibilities to reflect and regroup. I watched in horror as the Capital was quickly ransacked my QAnon radicals devoted to President Trump all the while radicals of the left scheme their socialist ways forward as they subjugate the House, the Senate, and soon the White House. And I witnessed “Big Tech” eroding free speech under the guise of privatized policies. Failing to see, or accept, that the present public spaces are digital with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube as platforms of speech, economic activity, religious worship, and more. Everything we forewarned in our November Issue (2020) that tyranny is coming in multiple forms all at the service of globalism and the global economy has come. History has witnessed a paradigm shift soon to be completed as the new neoliberal order turns into a monstrous corporatized quasi-socialist beast.  

Now that the four horseman 1) Wokism 2) Socialism 3) Corporatism and 4) Globalism have arrived it is only appropriate to speak against them.

TIF has never been political, but rooted in principles. And this year will be no different. Now is the time to begin the process of renewal for generations to come. Imagination will play a fundamental role as we uncover the requirements for rebuilding society after its collapse in values, family, law, faith, and morality. Together we will embark on a journey just as the pre-socratic philosopher Anaximander who mapped the black sea and lead a colony to Apollonia (modern-day Albania). Transverse the lands as the Apostle Paul establishing the truth of the Gospel throughout the eastern and western worlds. And write as Plato in his Seventh Epistle concerning Italy and the political deluge he witnessed that left him with a revelation, “Wherefore the classes of mankind (I said) will have no cessation from evils until either the class of those  who are right and true philosophers attains political supremacy, or else the class of those who hold power in the States becomes, by some dispensation of Heaven, really philosophic.”

A true Christians and Conservatives it is clear that nothing perfect exists in the physical world, and even if it should, it will eventually collapse under its own weight. Mankind is left with a constant preparation for a New Eden while upholding the past including the dead who sacrificed to make the future possible. Indeed, no real eden will come from whence it first arose, but to imagine new beginnings is as American as it is human. Whether they are called colonies or city-states their purposes are designed to bring forth light and hope; justice and peace; law and order to a people. 

Presently the United States of America no longer represents that land of hope. It is therefore paramount to process present discourses in order to learn from failures and successes. This is not a call to rebellion. Rather the opposite. It is a call to dream again a better homeland for our children and grandchildren. Rarely in human history are the opportunity to recreate such a situation. A paradigm such as we have been witnessing, however, allows us to move beyond circumstances as a necessity to preserving sacred liberties and divine freedoms. 

Articles written by me will be focused on specific issues not just people and never on gossip. While there will be political coverage from writers like Kimberly Hagen concerning the Biden Presidency; my focus as the editor in chief is to bring theology and philosophy to the practical world concerning global concerns. 

Digital liberty, Corporate Tyranny, Food Politics, Climate Change, Sustainability, Abortion, Religious Freedom, Free Speech are all matters requiring redress. This year, I will personally be bringing forth concerns from around the world in order to build a coalition in the name of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. 

Virtue is required. Faith in God is a necessity. Truth and justice must be directives for us to obtain liberty. Rediscovering the meaning of education beyond the laptop are as important as defining a true Republic away from broken democracies. Our goal is to accomplish peace, goodness, and morality as means of transcendence for a society desperate for life and purpose; hope and meaning. 

Truth In Focus (TIF), All Things Veritas (ATV), MereBeautyInTruth (MBIT), EKR Report, and the newest to the network, Philosophers Rex, will all be receiving much needed care. In doing so I must split up my time wisely and productively. TIF specifically will become a weekly report minus specials that I shall continue such as my monthly Visual Philosophy series. ATV will turn to monthly posting as well with a TIF podcast and Christ the Coffee series returning. Apologies but I am a one man show still. It takes time. Yet, there is much to be done and added. Lastly, the Substack EKR Report will return to some normalcy as continue to share more of my personal life and thoughts with the world outside of TIF and ATV networks. As Philosophsarus Rex (also Substack), I am proudly beginning this journey with Thomas Doane as we enter a philosophy program together. There are still kinks for us to work out, but expect at least weekly posting to begin tonight.

There is no ship too large for this journey. Join us in helping make a better world for the future. 

Sincerely, 

Edward Kyle Richey

A Word To The Wise

(Theology/Scripture)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:10, ESV).

Ancient Greece had a maxim, “Know Thyself” most famously attributed to the philosopher Socrates. This aphorism serves a great and worthy purpose of encouraging self-examination. How often do we stop and reflect on our own nature? Not just asking, who and what we are, but truly trying to know ones personal faults and then seeking to improve, learn, and grow. Philosophy, philo meaning love and sophos meaning wisdom, is the love of wisdom and the seeking of truth. I attribute a great deal to philosophy and would defend her ideals as much as liberty and freedom, but I submit to you that as Christians we are called to first submit to God and His wisdom.

More Than Self-Care

Fearing the Lord in an age of fear and distrust of authority is not an easy sale for Millennials (my generation), Gen Z, and Gen Alpha who are sincerely seeking to make a difference; “our” maxim being “Change the World.” Our youthfulness and wishful thinking is far too often excused as merely laziness, naiveness, and narcissism; a fair criticism but hardly the whole picture of several generations being swept under a complex globalized world that has rapidly materialized more wealth, more goods, and more services than all of human history combined while simultaneously fragmenting “old” methods, standards, traditions, and opportunities. But let’s step away from the cultural and the political towards the Scriptural and Christ Centeredness.

Within the context of fearing the Lord, yir’ah, is a form of piety, respect, or reverence for God. John Gill’s, English pastor and theologian, explains that the converted state is a state of wisdom, a place of recognition of the Most High God and the active working of grace. Christ says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). Abiding, menō , a place in which the person is to be kept or to remain. That place is a place of salvation by which only though faith and grace can one be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9), but also that place is a place of wisdom that arises from that saving grace and faith. A working grace, a working faith that continues past the state of salvation. Our works matter in the eyes of God, for faith is active (James 2:14-26). Grace never ceases once salvation is accomplished (Romans 5:20-21) meaning a true believer seeks God and seeks to obey His command over their lives even when the Christian will falter, run, and even fall away for a time. Yet those of the vine will remain on the vine and Christ the Shepherd always brings His sheep back to the flock.

Today the term “self care” i.e. a place of spiritual, mental, and physical health focused entirely on ones well-being, is a central tenet of the age. Granted a great deal of narcissism can quickly overtake a person who focuses so much on themselves and never others; a place of complete aversion to hardship or sacrifice or pain is the roots of hedonism. However, ignoring your wellbeing is equally problematic when taken to the extreme of Asceticism which is also unbiblical. God cares about all of His creation. He desires goodness and wellness over them. Christianity needs to refrain from going to extremes when God condones a time for work and a time for rest. One of my favorite examples comes from the Prophet Elijah in Chapter 19 of 1 Kings verses 1-8:

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.  But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”  And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

Over and over again in the Bible the people of the Lord in the Old and New Testament are sinners and saints who fail completely on their own, yet find success in their complete reliance on God. Saint Paul states clearly concerning “a thorn in his flesh” that:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

Do not ever feel “bad” when you need to rest and to take some time to “decompress” from the world and life’s situations. Know the difference between laziness and weakness, purposely forgoing for selfish reasons and a needed time to sleep or focus in preparation. Death is always with us from the moment of conception til the moment we die. The human body is eventually weakened to the point of death. There is no escaping our weakened estate. While the world ignores reality, Christians must learn to find joy in their weakness and eventual death.

Everything I have explained to you is a place of God’s wisdom, not my own. God’s word is a place of refuge, of hope, and of ultimate good. It is the responsibility of the Church to help all “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6: 33) or to say it differently, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever” which the Church is equipped to do. All of which is not “up to us” that is to say Christian’s are not capable of doing the work without the grace of God by which wisdom is birthed.

If Christ is not seeking sinners, humanity is doomed. And if the Church is not speaking to sinners then it has failed the Great Commission. There will always be issues that the Church must uphold and push back against, but no person is without sin nor should go without the hope of Christ and that means having a church full of saints and sinners. And having them over for dinner or going to them whenever and wherever in need. Love, Christ said, love God and love your neighbor as yourself are the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:36-40).

Knowing thy self will never be accomplished to its fullest extent without first knowing God. He will take you to the deepest and hardest of places but for your good and for His glory.

To my generation and the generations after me, if you want to change the world, then seek after God, His wisdom, and His kingdom first and foremost. Never allow differences to get in between you and that person at the sake of forgoing the Gospel which includes loving your neighbor. Christ died so that we may live! Do not mistake His sacrifice for a life without a true cause. Seek Him, Fear Him, and See Him work in your life and the lives of others. But also know, the God loves you and takes you wherever you are at in life. No person in all of human history has ever been “too dirty” or “too unclean” to be made anew. To be forgiven. To be loved. To be recognized as worthy. Christ can redeem all souls. Lastly, you can go forth in life sick and tired and broken and even get lost on your way, but like Elijah, Christ will find you and feed you and care for you without chastisement. Never fear your weakness. Know that your weakness was never the problem. All are weak, none are strong. The problem was and remains the placement of our weakness in relation to our reliance for the strength we seek. Placed properly in God first and you will be in the highest of strong towers. Seek His refuge, Know His Wisdom, and have His love pour over you like the finest oils and perfumes.

May God Bless You and Keep You Now and Forever. Amen.