By Jaime Nava

Some forty years ago, a bank in Sweden was the scene of a hostage situation. Four bankers were held for six days and covered in explosives by a couple of longtime criminals. After the captors were themselves captured by police, the four victims did something unusual. They defended the two men who held them against their will. Some say one victim was engaged to one of the criminals while another started a fund to boost their defense in court. They all had kind things to say about the two criminals in interviews that followed. Although it had been happening long before that year (see abusive relationships), the term “Stockholm Syndrome” was coined.

By Jaime Nava

I had the crazy awesome privilege to baptize my daughter recently. I love baptisms in general. When it is my own kid, I’m over the moon. We had a number of visitors from both sides of the family to witness. It was awesome. Some of the members of the family come from different denominational backgrounds. Some are Roman Catholic. Others are Non-Denominational. I think there may be a Pentecostal in there somewhere.

By Jaime Nava

“So natural, it would even deceive.” Filostrato spoke with passion in C. S. Lewis’ final novel in his space trilogy. To have aluminum trees that looked as real as an organic one, that would be magical in its own way. Once we discovered a way to clean the air chemically, we wouldn’t need organic trees anymore. We could create clean aluminum trees that looked real. We could move them wherever we wanted. What about the birds? Get rid of them too. “Consider again the improvement. No feathers dropped out, no nests, no eggs, no dirt.” He goes on to say that eliminating organic life is “simple hygiene.”

By Jaime Nava

I was reading a comic. It was something like Tales from the Darkside. Although the endings of these things could be a bit gruesome, there was also a dark comedy to it. One in particular is actually fitting. There is this couple, the Robinsons. The wife would watch down the street toward the neighbor’s place. They’d get new stuff delivered, like a couch or a huge TV. She had to have it. She makes her husband miserable with all the stuff she demanded. She would keep saying she wanted whatever Mrs. Jones got. They didn’t really have the money, but the husband kept buying these things while growing equally miserable with the stuff they kept getting. One day, the wife demands whatever it is that Mrs. Jones has. The husband looks out the window and grins.

By Jaime Nava

God made husband and wife. The devil tempted the wife. She went outside her programming. Her work (and her husband not doing crap to stop her and also going out of his programming) caused a virus to enter into the program of creation. Now there’s lag. Now there are crashes. Now there are blue screens of death upon humanity. The Scripter could have wiped the drive and started over. He didn’t.

By Jaime Nava

Growing up playing games on a PC, you learn certain tricks. Some games have console commands you usually access by hitting the “~” key (called a tilde, if you didn’t know). If you’re savvy enough, you can use these console commands in single-player games to give yourself all kinds of goodies. You can add millions of gold to your stash. You can give yourself that item you needed to get past the hurdle in the game. One thing I recall doing in my younger days is playing in god mode. What does this mean? It means that you never get hurt and never run out of resources. You are invincible. You become godlike.

By Jaime Nava

For the forgiveness of sins: that’s why we Lutherans have the Sacraments. We’re not talking man-made ordinances, either, like we’re accused of. Peter twice says that Baptism saves us (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21). Paul says that we are buried with Christ in Baptism and will also have His resurrection (Romans 6:4-7). He says that Baptism is now circumcision (you know, the thing babies didn’t choose at eight days old), not of the flesh but of the heart, not by man but by Christ Himself (Colossians 2:11-12). Confession and Absolution is also clear in the Bible. Whatever those men placed into the Pastoral Office forgive or don’t forgive has the same effect in heaven (John 20:21-23). This means you can expect to hear that you are forgiven the moment you confess your sins. We are also taught that we have koinonia in the cup we drink and bread we partake of in the Lord’s Supper. We have the forgiveness of sins, as Jesus said (Matthew 26:26-28). So let’s be clear. God gives tangible things that provide forgiveness that is felt, tasted, heard and not some floating mystical holy “maybeness” of emotion.