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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

23. On Personal Relationships




It was in ancient Greece that Epictetus perceived that, 'We are disturbed not by events, but by the views we take of them.'    (101 Great Philosophers, Madsen Pirie, MJF Books, page 41).

Doing the right thing the wrong way gets the thing accomplished, but leaves an indelible, negative, lasting impression that is not soon forgotten.

The perceived immaturity of another person beckons for the same. If I respond to another's immaturity (ie., their out of order behavior) with immaturity, I then cease to be God in the earth in the moment. The situation then becomes rather worldly, flesh eating flesh, as opposed to iron sharpening iron. It is the Christ in me, the hope of glory, that the other person so desperately needs, as I do myself. It is His glory that should rise within me, rather than some vain response of self-protection, or a worse self-aggrandizement of believing that I know something that I actually do not.

Pride and arrogance believe that they can displace true authority. I have to be completely denied for the true authority to be revealed in a time of response to a less than holy situation. It is no longer I, then, but the Christ living in me that brings reality to fruition. The other person should have the opportunity to be responded to by the Holy Spirit, Himself, even as the archangel Michael, "...in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" 
(Jude 9). We often tread where angels dare not.


Oftentimes a response should not be rendered as to give way to a lower road.


It is again, through the denial of self that our Lord Jesus taught us,

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.             Isaiah 53:7


This leads us to an errant religious teaching that you simply let people run over you because you think you're acting like Jesus. This is not scriptural. Jesus knew who He was and He walked in that authority. He knew what He had to do and that was to suffer and die on a cross. He did so in obedience. By not opening His mouth, He was essentially saying that He did not worry, complain, murmur, or speak ill of His Father for His Divine purpose. His destiny was to be the atonement for our sin by dying on a cross. That was HIS purpose. Our purpose in Him is wrapped in the swaddling clothes of desiring Him, denying the Self, taking up our cross, and following Him. His purpose was specific and NO ONE else could have, nor could ever perform His particular purpose, it's already done. God had to do it Himself.



If my cross takes me to a place of circumstance wherein my circumstances require me to respond to darkness, I find that I cannot respond on a human level in a godly manner. I can't, but He can. He has proven that. And I have proven that I am humanly incapable of responding from the heavenlies as God, but He can and does. He does the responding through me. I've seen it. I've experienced Him responding to darkness through me in some extremely grave situations.

What a dreadful soul I am if all I have is me to respond to the dark forces in varying opportunities of distress and baited temptation. However, it is the abandonment to the Spirit of God that beckons me to Him, His love will not let me go, nor will it allow me to continue in my self as my self. I am abandoned to Him. It is this denial and the presenting of the true self as a living sacrifice that He makes holy...that He makes righteous...that He lives and moves and breathes and in Him I find Life.


For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.    (Matthew 16:25)


This life that we are to find is the life of who we were before the beginning.



For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.    (Psalm 139:13-16)




If we will always be, then we have always been. But we will not always be as we have always been.



What I am after by continually submitting to Him is for the Divine Nature to be revealed. Paul said, "Therefore since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art or man's devising." (Acts 17:29).

You cannot shape God into a cross, or put Him in a box. You cannot act like, or be like Jesus. The Divine Nature is absolute. There is only one God and He must be Himself in me. If I try to act like Him, I fail. I attempt the temptation of usurpation. I am not He. He Is. He Is One. The best that I could be is a miserable substitute; that's what religion is...a miserable substitute.

Religion sets itself up to be an idol unto itself with its own laws and traditions. Religion is a false substitute for the Divine Nature. And if I continue to believe that 'I' can do the work, then my pride will steal the very best that God has for me through my own willful persuasion into an abyss of what does not matter.


I cannot transform myself into the Divine Nature, but I can transform myself into the work of transgressing. (2 Corinthians 11:10-15).


I have to go through the Door of the Kingdom of God and stay there. There is hidden treasure there, but it is His hidden treasure that has to be shared with the people I come in contact with. That is how I am to respond in my circumstance, no matter what circumstance that presents itself to me in any given moment. I am in all things tried.

The church, too, is in all things tried and has fallen short from the Truth. It is, perhaps, why the description of a 'hate' crime has been created as it has today because, over a period of many years, the world's view of the church's love is that of hate from the church's response being so despicable towards other humans. 

Will I follow the legions of men who have gone before me and proclaimed the cross of Christ through a vessel of hate, or will I be True to the Truth that I know to be True in me?










Tuesday, May 15, 2012

21. Who Instituted Marriage?

Matthew 19:4-6 says,
And He answered and said to them, Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'
And said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
"So then, they are no longer two but one flesh, therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

Malachi 2:13-17 says,
And this is the second thing you do:
You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying;
So He does not regard the offering anymore,
Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
Yet you say, "For what reason?"
Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one? He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously
With the wife of his youth.
"For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce,
For it covers one's garment with violence," says the Lord of hosts.
"Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously."
You have wearied the Lord with your words; Yet you say,
"In what way have we wearied Him?" In that you say,
"Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord,
And He delights in them,"
Or, "Where is the God of justice?"
Matthew Henry's commentary on Malachi 2:10-17, best illuminates this scripture passage. I find it most difficult to add to his words:


Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. In contempt of the marriage covenant which God instituted, the Jews put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives. They made their lives bitter to them, yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife, thy own; the nearest of the relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their live's end, in holy love and peace.Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam. Yet God could have made another Eve.
Wherefore did He make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve Him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that He hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins.
Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs forth from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people to justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront Him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, where is the God of judgement? But the day of the Lord will come."
(Matthew Henry's Commentary, Malachi 2:10-17, taken from Biblos.com)
  
   





  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

20. Led By Convictions

When in the course of human events we find ourselves being offended by others, it has been brought to my attention that offense is two-fold, the one being offended by the striking of their internal beliefs by another and the offender, who has presupposed their belief system onto the other. This is not the totality of being offensive, or of taking offense, but it is the due course of the day.

The angst that occurs through offense can be over in a moment, or it can create catastrophic and debilitating stress on the internal parts of the offended and for some, last forever due to unforgiveness. The internal stresses from being offended are also related to the level of maturity that one possesses. Some folk, who have absolutely no care whatsoever about what other people think about their opinions are are oblivious to the common care and sense of decency regarding another's feelings, or thoughts. On the other hand, we still have some folk who live to be offended at just about anything because they dwell from anywhere to self-pity to wearing every bit of their emotion on their sleeves.

This does, however, bring us to our own personal convictions, how we relate those convictions, and how we respond when someone else does the same.

If you believe what I believe, then most convictions shared become agreed upon and readily accepted, with the exception of a few nuances, all can be well between the two shared beliefs.

If you do not believe in the same things I believe in, then when one of us shares their convictions, there is this angst that begins to rise within us that, depending on how deep the differences are in the belief system, the anxiety can roll into frustration, or even anger in moments.

Thus our convictions and the sharing of the same are important, not only to us, but to the ones we share them with. They are important, because this is how we discover our commonality of beliefs with another, and conversely begin to see where others are in their beliefs and just how strongly they believe them.

It is in offense that drives many to the threshold of destructive anxiety and anger over the sharing of convictions as it also drives people in these United States to the voting booth. We need to know what our leaders believe whether we want to hear it, or not.

I find myself so terribly offended by our President and our Vice-President by their convictions, but why should I be offended, it is after all, what the liberal agenda believes and it is the liberal agenda they live and profess every day.
But here, here in America? Why speak this now, after all the years of placating the public with their fluctuating opinions; why now, who does it serve to make a stance now?

If I have personally believed that 'my time is now to speak up and say something, say what I believe, and that this is my opportunity to speak...', then certainly it is everyone else's time as well, equality seems to be the timely notion. But what is it about what their beliefs that have me so compelled to stand up and say 'NO' to what they have to say?

I would tend to think that it is how deeply their beliefs go with me, to the core of Truth, I presume, because I have been taught that sex outside of marriage is a sin, and that a male having sex with another male is a sin and that a female having sex with another female is a sin. It is not the natural order of things. It is the foundation of morality, otherwise, there is no morality if there is no morality. The foundational set of beliefs and principles in morality include, do they not, a guard against sexual sins. If one is able to change the foundation of a thing, doesn't that change the make-up of the building you have erected. If you pull a building block from the foundation, what will be the end result of what you have built?

And so it is that the leaders of 300,000,000 people have professed their convictions to their populace because they are of a social liberal or socialist conception. "A man with a socialist conception of life cannot resist. The aim of his life is his personal welfare. It is better for his personal welfare for him to submit, and he submits." (Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You, page 134). The man in this belief system has to submit to the system, just as I attempt to submit to the One that I profess as my Lord.

But we are talking about our president and vice-president, aren't we? Are they so lowly as to submit to the exasperating liberal agenda, or are they the leaders of it? I believe that I am confused because the president should be the leader, but he did 'bat last in the line up' when it came to professing beliefs. And, most problematic of all is that it seemed to me that the president of the United States was the leader of the nation and not specifically just the leader of the people of his beliefs. His level of respect for his office is not as deep as his predecessor.

 And, as strangely as it may seem, the sun came up this morning, people got up and went to work, or some people did, just like the usual, and life has gone on... or, has it?

Could real change be coming? Because if real change does not occur, the changes in our nation that our president professes will continue to take all of us on the road to his convictions.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

18. Change

My son took me to a garden on the college campus where he had completed his undergraduate work in art and oil painting. In the garden, he showed me a  pagoda that he had painted a painting of a few years ago. I immediately recognized the structure because the oil painting rests on a wall in the breakfast area in our home.

As I observed the painting again this morning, I was enlightened by my son's viewpoint at the time of the painting. The garden, at the time, was young as was his brush. The plants and the greenery surrounding the pagoda were short in stature, being that a lot of the growth was new. Thus was the vantage point of a young artist in training. His eyes saw newness, clean lines, and a strong structure.

As he took me along the trails of the garden, though, he showed me, the current view of the pagoda from the original vantage point. His first observance was of the plants and the greenery having had grown up along the trail obscuring the view of the pagoda. We stood where he had stood those few years back, he and I, we stood together, to get the view from the same vantage point at the time of the painting. I could easily make out the roof of the structure and only a bit of the right side. The garden had matured and, actually, we could not see the structure from the old vantage point.

Although the eyes of the painter have matured, the garden had done so as well. Change had taken place both in the garden and in the artist. Both had changed in growth and maturity, so much so, that anyone could see the changes and that they were good. The maturity and growth changes had purpose for the garden had grown in strength, depth, beauty, and in color. My son, the artist, had equally grown and the heights at which he is excelling continue to exude maturing change. 

Time is irrevocable. Change is constant. I am older now.

When your leader talks of change, he should be speaking in regards to purpose, maturity, growth, and depth. It is most unfortunate that change also refers to debilitating destruction and death. Ignorance doesn't understand the difference.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

17. Speaking in Truth on Marriage

Is truth in variation truth, or is it only senses, appearances, and perceptions?

To speak on that which is true, or to speak on that which you perceive to be true, is to speak from your personal inclination to that which you believe to be true, or, hope to be true. To speak from truth is to speak from authority is to speak from a judgement seat. One's personal inclination, otherwise known as an opinion, is arbitrarily viewed, by the person speaking, as something far greater than it is in reality.

If you believe that what you say is true, it is true for you in that moment; is it therefore the truth because you say it is?

If someone speaks from truth, one speaks from a position of authority; does what you have to say speak from the weightiness of that position when you declare a thing about someones health, for example, even though you are not his doctor? If you are not his doctor and you speak that which you believe to be true regarding his health, are you speaking life, or death, into the ears of the one whose health you have made yourself the authority over?

Aristotle arrived at the following conclusion:
If, then, it is impossible truthfully to assert and to deny anything at the same time, it is also impossible for contraries to belong to anything at the same time; either both must belong to it only in a way, or one must belong to it in a way, and the other absolutely.
(The Philosophy of Aristotle, Signet Classics, page 55)
Through his proof development he argued his case to this conclusion. And, if it is true that two contraries cannot belong to anything at the same time, how can one speak truth when one vacillates between the ideal and the real?

If your presentation of the ideal is delivered as reality in truth, then what you are speaking is only what you hope to be true, but not true at all. Do you understand with the intellect that there is truth and that there is falsehood?
...it is not possible, either, for there to be any intermediate between  contradictory assertions; any one thing must be either asserted or denied of any other. This will become clear if we first of all define truth and falsehood. To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false, and to say that what is is, or that what is not is not, is true; so that the man who says that anything either is or is not will be speaking either truly or falsely; but where there is an intermediate assertion, neither what is nor what is not is being said either to be or not to be. (ibid, page 55).
Aristotle goes on to say that in order for one to hold a view regarding these things, we must start with a definition and the definition will fit the name, or term, of that which we speak.

If there is a known definition of truth, and a known definition of falsehood, but you do not hold to the asserted definitions, but create your own definition(s) to those terms, or any other terms, there is, therefore the impossibility of argument between the two sides of an opinion, because you have changed the basic foundation of the naming of terms by your re-writing of the definition(s) by your prescribed views.

In this case, your ideal is your perceived real by your classification of your re-defined terms and statements. It then becomes implausible to argue the points because what is is not and what is not is.

This is, perhaps, an explanation of why the reflexive domain of the insurgent and the cult is complimented by its loudness and its largeness, because the ideal dwells in the perception of truth and can make of itself whatever it says it is, whether it is, or is not. 

By creating new definitions for terms, such as truth, falsehood, or marriage, the reflexive domain removes the foundation of what is with the flow of change.

Truth is and must remain in a stated foundation of definition just as marriage is and must remain constant rather than having change as the authority in lieu of truth. Perceptions are perceptions and are as a river, ever changing. Truth is what is and is found in Jesus Christ. Marriage is the bond between one man and one woman. It is, has always been, and will always be.
  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

16. Defying Ubiquity

We have the idea that God has only to do with the spiritual, and if the devil can succeed in keeping us with that idea, he will have a great deal of his own way; but Paul pushes the battle-line into every domain - "whatsoever things are honest, . . . think on these things, " because behind them all is God.     (Oswald Chambers, page 719)
Why is it that that we are not told the Truth? The world wants to keep religion in a box for a number of reasons. Religionists believe that God is kept in a sanctuary and it is there that the masses should go and worship Him. Whether a true Christian believes this, or not, has become irrelevant, it has been and has increasingly become the behavior irregardless of the belief.

If the so-called Christians go to worship their God in the church, the sanctuary, the chapel, the hall, the place. . . then they go to the box and leave Him there in the box so that they can get on with the rest of their lives. Is this a perception, or, reality? Is this type of behavior the true belief of the Christian, or is it only what is seen from the outside? Why is there an 'outside'?

There is definitely an 'outside' to the Christian life, I have seen it, and lived it.
It is the lifestyle of the one who does not clearly understand the omnipresence of an omnipresent God. If the Christian does not understand the Jesus Who said, 'I will never leave you, not forsake you...', then it would seem that that Christian could perceivably leave God where he last worshipped Him.

It is through the teaching of the church leaders and through the living out of the teachings of the Christians that non-believers have seen with their own eyes that God is 'at church' because this 'guy doesn't act like Jesus', or, 'God is love and this guy is not loving', or, 'this guy is worse off than I am, why do I need to go and listen to that stuff?'

There are a myriad of thousands of sights and sounds that non-believers have seen of us, the ones that call themselves Christians here in America, and they have heard with their own ears and seen with their own eyes that 'this thing doesn't work because I don't see anything different, except the possibility of spewing hatred where I thought there was to be love'.

It is what the spirit of religion has done to the church, that is...go to the box, give your worship and money there, leave, and we hope to see you next week, or next Easter. If there is a Christian who would like to deny that this occurs, please continue to live in denial at your childrens' demise.

After all, once again, it is the heart of the children that the adversary desires, nothing more, nothing less.

This is what I have to say to the Christian church:

We are not one because the love of God is not shed abroad in our hearts. We are separate out of choice and convenience, not culture. There is no love in choice and convenience, those have to do with what we want rather than what He wants. He, Jesus, learned obedience through suffering. He first loved and He first gave. Though He was God in the flesh, He submitted to earthly authority.

As long as the word of God is taught, the people will listen and walk in it. When the traditions of men are taught, the people begin to have a doubt. The doubt raises questions, and the questions go unasked and unanswered resulting in mistrust. 'I don't really have a reason not to trust, but because I don't get to ask my questions, or, get the answers that I expect and understand, I am led by my doubt rather than the Truth'. There is no unity in doubt. Hence, there is no real love.

Perhaps the reason why we do not have unity in Holy Love is that we do not believe the same thing. The diversity in the church is the derision of the adversary. There is the power of an Almighty God in unity and agreement. Yesterday and today's church has chosen the lesser, more convenient road to tranquility. . . the road of tradition. 

Someone on the outside, an example would be the reflexive domain of the homosexual, looks at that road and knows that he has seen that road before and laughs. They come together and unify in whatever the belief of the day is and construct a road of their own. Their road is being built and advancing in agreement, unity, and derision while the Christians pity themselves for being persecuted. Self-pity is a most egregious thing before an Almighty God.

The antichrist spirit looks at the church and says to 'keep your God in the box'. They defy ubiquity. They have not seen the omnipresent God in the flesh, of late, and teach so that their ideas become ubiquitous, rather than the Truth.
The spirit of condemnation they have seen in us, and as a result, have turned that spirit back on us.

God Is. God will prevail. It is through the Christians of today that He will use. Wake up! Teach what is pure, what is right, what is holy to your children, teach your children well. Cover them in loving prayer. . . today.