The Bard’s Call
The Mission of thetonedeafbard
It has been my conviction for quite some time now that America, and the world, are in desperate need of the return of the bards. I suppose the idea first took root in reading Stephen R. Lawhead’s King Raven Trilogy, but whatever the case, it quickly took root. The bards of old were not merely singers or minstrels, which is how we have tended to think of them as we quickly brush past the notion. Rather, they were their cultures primary protectors. They maintained their people’s history, cultural significance, and spiritual vitality in an oral format that was available to all. For this reason they were valued highly by those they chose to serve.
Our culture, here in the United States, has been deteriorating pretty quickly the last 60 years or so, and the only thing that will ultimately put an end to this deterioration is for us to return back the way we came. The trouble is, both in our churches and in our culture, we are quickly losing the old path. For this reason, I call on anyone reading this to take up the role of bard in your community. Like me, you probably can’t sing like the bards of old; in fact the best I can do is the odd bit of prose or poetry. You can, however, relearn the things that are slipping away, and then translate them into and easily taught oral form so that you can pass them on. It is my hope that as you do, I will be able to provide you with some thoughts and resources to guide you in your journey. In doing this I will pin the key topics of discussion into the three larger categories of Faith, Liberty, and Sustainability; but much of the time all of the categories will run together. In doing so my focus will be, not on the problems that all American’s are increasingly aware of, but rather on solutions both in terms of practical application as well as worldview changes.
Without a return to a Biblical Faith, the United States of America will most certainly fall never to rise again. The call to repentance needs to be going forth even now as instead the promise of prosperity is offered again and again. The following are the most important aspects of Faith I will cover:
Mission: A Biblical Faith recognizes the heart of God for the nations as revealed in Scripture. It refuses to be absorbed in itself or its own culture and broadens its perspective to the advance of God’s Kingdom among every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Scripture: It is not possible to have true, Biblical Faith without placing full authority in the Word of God as revealed in the book we usually call the Bible. Biblical Faith allows the reader to be challenged to fresh obedience by the Holy Scriptures each day, rather than attempting to conform the precepts of scripture to his or her existing lifestyle.
Holiness: God’s people are called to be set apart from the world around them, as such a Biblical Faith challenges all the preconceptions of the culture it is set in. In particular, practical holiness in the United States today will largely require a rejection of the values and priorities of the materialistic American culture.
History: A faithful bard is able not only to teach the essentials of faith from his or her own knowledge of scripture, but studies diligently the writings of the saints of old. In particular it is wise to know the teachings of those who most intimately knew and studied the apostles teachings. In addition, the Apostles Creed sums up the core belief system necessary for all believers in all ages past, present, and future.
Prayer: Many American’s are deeply concerned about the fact that prayer has largely been removed from America’s public life, particularly her schools. I am much more deeply concerned by the lack of prayer in American homes. We have been come an increasingly prayerless people. In order to to see a change in our nation, we must each take up the call to prayer in our homes, carrying the cry for revival before God for both ourselves and our nation.
Our nation was founded on the belief that “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain rights”. Lately, this essential human liberty has come more and more under attack. In order to preserve it there are several areas I believe we must focus our discussion on:
Constitutional Government: The Constitution of the United States represents the best form of government ever attempted. It is by no means perfect, being a work of mankind; but by nature of its being the first government ever attempted that would simultaneously recognize the divine rights possessed by each man at birth and the tendency of man’s sinful nature to corrupt the government, it has served as the best vanguard human happiness and liberty has ever had. In order to return to the state of liberty envisioned by our founding fathers, together we must know and learn to interpret the Constitution for ourselves. This includes enforcing Constitutional controls on our elected representatives. The time to begin restoring our Republic is now!
Firearms Freedom: Men who are unable to defend themselves are defacto slaves to those who defend them. The second amendment of the Constitution has lately been under constant attack. If we lose this battle, then any hope of restoring our liberty will be gone with it. For this reason we need to be actively discussing not just the Constitutional protection for our firearms ownership, but also the reasons why it exists.
Food Freedom: Like men without arms, men who can no longer feed themselves are servants to those who feed them. They cannot revolt for fear of starvation. America’s small farms, and recently even home gardens, have come more and more under attack from government at all levels and from the big corporations that largely run our government. This discussion, like the fight that it represents, must be two fold: We must relearn the ways our ancestors cooked, ate, and provided their own food, and secondly we must resist both legislatively and through civil disobedience all attacks on our right to grow and consume food of our choice.
History and Civics: Studying just the Constitution will be inadequate to preserve our liberty. The American people need to be reminded of who they are. We have become more and more a nation of cowards who turns to the government every time we see something that needs to be changed. Only in relearning and retelling the stories that make us who we are, in restudying the events that birthed our nation, the men who founded it and their writings, and the actions of countless ordinary Americans that made it what it was and will be again; can we recapture our sense of who we are. As the old stories begin to take root, Americans will begin to think and act like Americans again; and when they do no force will be able to keep them from restoring this nation to liberty and godliness.
The pillars of American society today are largely built on lies. We dwell in times of extreme false security. In order to survive we must recognize that our society has drifted too far from the norms of human existence that have been divinely instituted for our protection and move to go back towards more normal behavior. This will involve the process of recognize and rejected the lies we have told ourselves as a society and then taking positive action to be prepared for the time when this house of cards ultimately comes down. Theres are several areas that stand out more than the others:
Agriculture: More than just a liberty issue, the issue of food in our nation must be resolved. The system as it is cannot stand and will ultimately result in widespread famine if it is not corrected in time. As people of faith, and lovers of liberty, we must be an active part of the solution to this problem and not just unwilling participants in a failing system.
Energy Independence: For all the talk of national energy independence, personal energy independence is a much easier place to start. Together lets begin looking for small ways to decrease our need for outside energy sources, as well as ways to produce or store as much of the energy that we require as possible. A multitude of small changes is the only way to create a larger change.
Spirit-Sufficiency: I use this phrase to poorly worded phrase “self-sufficiency”. Clearly no one can actually be self sufficient. Instead the struggle should be in finding a community of people where you can be relationally dependent on one another and Divine Providence, without requiring constant outside help in the form of food, income, etc. This not only represents a more safe and healthy way to live as people, but it reactivates our recognition of the need for God’s on going grace in our lives.
I hope that, together, we can begin to stop dreaming about things being different than they are and instead begin to be the change that is needed.