Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Corny Quaker Humor

Today, let’s take a break from all the spiritual reflection, historical commentary, and theological analysis, and instead tell a few jokes.

But I can’t until the Spirit moves me;-) Besides we haven’t formed at least 7 committees to discuss it. Then give us a ‘minute’ to write it all out and pass it on? Whatever happened to “Be still and know”?)

Yes, I do have my corny side. In junior high, joking was my first name. You see, I’m from Nebraska—“Shucks, yah, I’m a cornhusker from way back. Lots of corn…


‘Herd about’ the Quaker cowgirl, Patty, who got caught and surrounded in a stampede?


Or what about that young Quaker girl who didn’t want to move from Philadelphia to Erie, Pennsylvania on Halloween.

She started crying and blubbering, “But, Dad, it will be too eerie!”


Consider the case of the Quaker student about to take a test on William Penn. He turned around in his desk and asked the girl behind him, “Got a ‘pencil, Vania’?”

This is a long one like so many teachers' lectures;-):

Or how about the 2 college freshmen? Their professor was lecturing, “When William Penn founded a colony in America, he chose the name Sylvania (forest or woods in Latin). But King Charles II chose otherwise and named it Pennsylvania for William’s father.”

“Even though Penn was of British aristocratic heritage, his conversion to faith in Christ, led him to seek to live a humble, altruistic life. Because of his honesty and respect toward the Indians, there was peace in Pennsylvania between the Indians and European immigrants for about 50 years!”

“But then came the next generation of Quakers. They didn’t live in the Light of God, but instead focused on themselves and cheated the Indians of much land. Then they worried about the various tribes attacking.”

Finally, the professor asked the class, “Do you see how the colony changed for the worse when the colonists turned from the Way of God?”

“Yes,” piped up a freshman, the later Quakers were “pensive-vain--

Yah” butted in another student.

Did you hear the one about the Quaker who raised ducks but didn’t like how they kept saying “Quack, quack.”

So he gave them crackers each time he got them to stop saying “quack, quack.” But then they started padding about his yard squawking, “Quacker, Quacker!”

Finally, he switched to feeding them with oats but wouldn't you know it, they squawked, “‘Quacker’ Oats!”

There is an old Quaker joke about a stranger who came into a Quaker meeting. Nothing was happening, so the man leaned over and asked one of the Friends, "When is the service going to start?"

The Friend whispered back, "The service will start outside after the end of worship."

What are the only 2 musical instruments that Quakers disapprove of? ‘Sax and violins.’

Heard about the Friendly little kitty who came into meeting, but got stepped on, and screeched, “Me-Owie”?

"Shhh," said the clerk. "This isn't a Pentecostal meeting!"


There was this elderly Quaker man who had constipation troubles. When he took his young pup out for a walk in the neighborhood, the puppy suddenly squatted, then turned and looked and barked, “Bow-el, wow!”


Lastly, there’s the Quaker store manager who refused to sell liquor, at least he said, not until he was in the “Spirits.”

Instead, he sold tea—and sold so much of that he loved totaling up his earnings!

Because you see, he was a ‘tea-totaler.’


Daniel Wilcox

Friday, September 13, 2013


Giving equal weight to every verse in the Bible drowns us all. Treating the Bible like a flat legal book leads to death for others and for oneself.

Doing so is to become like the condemned man cast overboard with heavy weights on his ankles, destined to asphyxiate in the depths of the raging sea. A raging sea which has created despair and intolerance and killed millions in human history. Christians wielding the sword and the whip and the torture chamber.

Drawing of the 30 Years War (between Roman Catholic and Reformed Christians)

For instance, which of these verses is true?

Psalms 137:9 “How blessed will be the one who grabs your babies and smashes them on a rock!”
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Current Christian leaders often base their despairing/twisted/aberrant theology on relatively obscure/minor verses in the Hebrew Bible and a few confusing verses in the New Testament.

The writer of 2nd Peter could have been referring to such baffling verses when he wrote,
“There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist…”
2 Peter 3:16b

The leaders then proceed to misinterpret key biblical verses like John 3:16 because the latter contradict their own version of Christianity.

Then even worse, the Christians leaders claim that all human infants at conception and birth are "sinful," "in essence, evil," and "totally depraved."

That’s the bad news.

Here’s the Good News:

“We need to read the Bible over the whole of its range, and exercise judgment and discrimination to discover what teachings are sublated, and why...the Bible resolves none of our perplexities...What it does is to challenge our thinking about these matters, leading us to see matters from different perspectives, and to explore them ourselves.

This generates an important insight into the nature of Biblical revelation.
The Bible gives no systematic doctrine...
What then does the Bible DO?”

“[The Bible] upsets our preconceived ideas, puts in question our over-neat systems of doctrine, presents paradoxes and conflicting viewpoints (compare the stark pessimism of Ecclesiastes with the easy optimism of some of the Psalms).”

“But above all, it turns our mind to God, in reverence and praise rather than in comprehension and explanation. What it reveals is mystery beyond human comprehension…”

“[The Bible] is more like a great work of art, opening the human mind to transcendence, than like a textbook…”

Dr. Keith Ward, philosophy professor, retired Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford U.,
From his book, What the Bible Really Teaches
Also has written many other books of philosophy, ethics, and the relationship
between spirituality, transcendence, theism, and science including God: A Guide for the Perplexed.

I’ll say an "Amen" to that.

When we read the Bible, if understood through loving concern
like Jesus displayed/lived/taught, we have the opportunity to ask the BIG Questions,

To step 'beyond' our brief selves...

To step outside our limited finite ego, our twisted culture and society,
and encounter the Divine.

BUT tragically, we can also, if wrongly understanding
the words of Scripture,
meet the ethically demonic--

like Christian Nazi Germany did
as 17th century Christian France and Germany did...

like the 19th century U.S. Civil War, where millions
of Christians persecuted, slaughtered, and destroyed
in the name of Christ and God,

Millions of Christians have done so, descending into twisted thinking and horrific actions--persecutions, attacks, and crusades.

Much of Christian history is a deathful bloody sea because Christians wrongly interpreted Scripture!

Instead, seek the Good, the True, and the Loving.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Contact Your Congress Members! Vote "No" on War Attack on Syria.

Dear Congress Members and Senators:

Please vote "no" on the request for an attack on Syria.

This isn't meant as a blanket "no," because later a defensive action might be necessary. But first the Administration needs to think out a 30 year strategy and figure out the logistics of how to work for a democratic, non-Sharia-Law Syria. For all sides in the current conflict in Syria are bad. Assad has murdered many, many people. The Rebels have murdered many, many people.

Furthermore, many of the Rebels are already imposing Sharia Law and persecuting Christians and other Muslims who disagree with them. At least Assad's secular regime protected everyone in Syria from Islamic killers.

We ought to consider whether the attack should instead be conducted by Islamic countries near Syria such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, rather than a non-Islamic country such as the U.S.

Lesser points to consider are whether with our current debt crisis, our failed involvement in Afghanistan, the crisis in Egypt, etc., Muslim distrust, we shouldn't delay.

I've lived for a short time in the Middle East. The situation is very complicated! A quick attack, especially by a non-Islamic government now seems like a very unwise choice.

Lastly, isn't it sort of ironic that we have basically ignored the death of over 100,000 people, killed in many horrendous ways, but now with the death of 1,500, we suddenly think we ought to act quickly?

I suggest rather that you vote "no" and instead seek to form a long range U.S. policy toward the Islamic world. For Nigeria is getting worse and elsewhere. And so much right now needs to be done to help Americans suffering loss of their homes, etc.

Thanks for all the great work you've done as our senator.


Daniel Wilcox

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Remember, Syrians Aren't Our Enemies. Evil Is. Fight the Spiritual Battle Now.

Remember, Syrians aren't our enemies! Not even the killer Assad and his henchmen or the Sunni jihadist murderers (including the one who cut out the heart of a Syrian soldier and ate it!:-(

They are like the evil Romans soldiers who tortured and crucified Jesus--the ones that Jesus prayed for from his cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

They all have been duped and led into evil by Satan. Satan is the evil one we work against by the power of the Spirit of God....

Fight evil, deliver those in subjection to it, protect the innocent, and spread Jesus' Good News, God's Love for Everyone, for every single human being.

"Keep Your Guard Up"
by Michael Shamblin and the Praise Band


To download this song in iTunes, click here - http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/keep-your-guard-up/id522372850?i=522372866&uo=4 Keep Your Guard Up Music & Lyr...
Like · · Share · Promote · about a minute ago near Santa Maria ·

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Syria, the Romans, General Douglas Macarthur, and a Peacemaker

Politicians are stridently arguing for various responses to Syria’s use of chemical weapons which slaughtered 1,500 people. What a tragedy! But where were all of these voices for the last several years when over 100,000 Syrians got slaughtered by guns and bombs?

There are at least 3 ways to respond to the horrific killing:

#1 The Way of Half Measures: This nearly always fails. Look at any historical war effort, especially American foreign policy of the last 50 years. Consider Afghanistan where many, many thousands of innocent Afghans have been slaughtered by Islamic militants, several thousand American servicemen and women have died for nothing, Afghan women are oppressed, Christians killed or banned--- because the Muslim leaders we support are corrupt and/or advocate a form of Sharia Law and they (and we) let Afghan farmers still flood the world market with heroin! Furthermore, many Afghans we are trying to help actually oppose “our ways” and instead empower the Taliban even now!

And all of this horror continues after we Americans have been there for over 11 years trying to bring change and have spent billions of dollars in the process! We even executed Ben Laden (and Saddam Hussein in Iraq). But notice Islamic fundamentalism has gotten worse not better. Islamic schools and mullahs continue to inspire millions of followers.

Half measures almost never work when it comes to changing people and eliminating evil governments and evil societies.

#2 The Way of the Juggernaut (or the Roman Way): This where you roll in like a steam-roller and stay in the enemy country for hundreds of years. The British only stayed in Islamic lands for one hundred years. It didn’t work. The Russians were harsher but only stayed 25 years. It didn’t work.

But try the Roman way of the juggernaut. It works. Of course it is ruthless and cruel and millions of innocent suffer, but it often works if you stay for many years. Consider that after the slaughter of the Jewish zealots by the Roman legions, no Jewish military attack happened for 900 years!

But at what a cost:-( to millions of people.

Or consider the Islamic juggernaut. It conquered more land than the Roman Empire and lasted in various forms for about 1,000 years! From 700 C.E. to 1917 C.E.—the end of WW1. With a few exceptions such as the violent Crusaders, all Christians were overwhelmed and subjugated in Muslim held countries for centuries.

This is the way, too, of America and General Douglas Macarthur at the end of WW2. It’s the approach to conquering another country which says as he did to the Japanese, “You’ll do it our way!” There is little in the way of half measures. The enemy society isn’t allowed to continue promulgating its evils like we have done in Afghanistan. No. People are forced to change to the ways of the conqueror. Of course half a million civilians were killed, but the juggernaut always does that—kill many. But it does bring change.

So should the United States invade the Middle East again, only this time take the Roman way, the Roman road? That means spending billions, locking down the country, eliminating Islam, telling the Syrians, “You’ll do it our way.”

However the Middle East isn’t Japan, not by any stretch of the imagination an ordered somewhat homogenous society like Japan. I lived in the Middle East for the most part of a year. All the people I knew who believed in God, hated each other and wanted to kill each other. On the Jewish kibbutz farm where I worked, everyone was an Atheist, but they, too, were willing to kill their enemies in the name of no god.

Places in the Middle East like Syria are volatile cauldrons of intense religious intolerance that have been only held in check by secular dictators, for decades through murder and intimidation. But at least if you didn’t cross the Assad family (or Saddam, Kaddafi) and his political/ethnic minority, you were somewhat protected. That is why, as bad as Assad is, most Christians have not opposed him. Notice now with the rise of Islamic rebels, how Christians are suffering and being driven out and killed by these Muslim jihadists.

In the case of Syria, if we Americans want to go the route of the juggernaut, we will need to think of hundreds of years of controlling and killing people in Syria. It might even take 1,000 years to get rid of the Sharia-Law-form-of-Islam consciousness out of the populace!

And at what cost in humans lives and Life.


#3 The Way of the Cross: Jesus’ way isn’t popular, not even with most Christians who would rather kill their political enemies than love them.

But if you have doubts about #1 or #2, please check out this 3rd way.

This is the way of Jesus-followers such as Elie Chacour and Martin Luther King Jr.

One way to get started is to read the true story of Elie Chacour’s Palestinian family—how they followed Jesus in the midst of war and suffering. Read Blood Brothers.


And how it has made all the difference for thousands of Palestinian Christians, Jews, and Muslims ever since.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox