Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Faith Blog

A wise pastor recently said "the choice is to submit myself to the living God or submit myself to myself."

Which is it for you?  And how does it work to submit yourself only to yourself?
And, by the way, maybe you'll tell us how it feels to submit yourself to God....maybe you could explain what Christian submission is, in your view.


"In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."  Mark 7:7

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."   Proverbs 3: 5-6

Have a beautiful Sunday.

(Addition: as usual, I wrote this four days ago and yesterday, I found THIS ARTICLE on how believing in something outside yourself helps patients with mental illness, according to a Harvard Study.)

Z

87 comments:

FreeThinke said...

"Man does not live by bread alone ..."

No one could believe that more strongly than I.

Thank you, Z, for anther beautiful Sunday post.

Ed Bonderenka said...

"the choice is to submit myself to the living God or submit myself to myself."
This includes not making up rules for living and calling them "Christian" even as they contradict the bible.
ie: gay marriage.

Z said...

you're so welcome, FT.

Ed....well said. It's that weakness that is weakening the church, though we do know the end of that story.

Sam Huntington said...

There are very few caveats in the Ten Commandments, Z. For example, it does not say, “Ye shall have no other gods before me, except on every other Thursday.” So I think submitting to the living God means obeying God’s laws, especially when society pressures us to break those rules. To use Ed’s example, there is nothing “natural” about homosexuality, even if it is true that such behaviors have always been with us. But I believe God wanted us to have free will; I do not think he wanted us running around bashing people who exercised free will, and I think that people who chose sin over God’s laws will be made to pay for those decisions.

Thersites said...

the choice is to submit myself to the living God or submit myself to myself."

Nope. THAT isn't the choice. If only it were. The choice is to submit myself to the living God or submit myself to the opinions of others..."

Z said...

Sam, so wisely said..thanks for that.

The Free Will point is an important one that people forget... and they forget what their choices will bring on them.
And, I don't believe God said "but in 2013, when your children are about ruined by the debauchery they see all around them, that's okay...it's a new century!" :-)

Z said...

I also believe that many feel that their sins are so bad from the past that they must ignore the fact that they are sins; when repentance is such a simple thing and what He died for us to be able to do!
"I am sorry for what I did", we're told, is a mighty admission (in both senses of that word now that I think of it) to God.
Eternal life seems worth it to me :-)

Sue said...

Off topic...but with EVERYTHING going on in the world...just HAD to share, Z.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXJSnmZqsm8

Robert Sinclair said...

My understanding of Mosaic Law is that it was easily applied to people living in small population groups. The early tribes punished people, I suppose, according to the severity of their crimes; from shunning those who acted contrary to the interests of the group, to stoning women for adultery. It is interesting that only women were punished for crimes of prostitution and adultery, and although one can see how adultery would destroy the harmony in a small or medium sized village, why was it always the woman’s fault?

Over time, populations vastly increased, and I think it became much easier to conceal such sins … and given the size of our cities today, it is almost seems that except for Dr. Phil, no one really cares what sins other people do. Now, instead of communities policing the population, it is up to individuals to police their own behavior. These days, I think it is much easier to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle. I actually laugh whenever I see someone with a filthy expression tattooed on their foreheads … and they wonder why they can’t find a job.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Thersites: My pastor is preaching that very message.

sue hanes said...


Z - I like to think that I submit myself to God and follow Proberbs 3:5-6 - but I know better.

I pray for submission every day and every day I have to start over again.

For a Christian submission means giving up to Christ - giving up myself and everything I am and have. Not an easy thing to do.

Have a good Sunday - Z.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Sam - "To use Ed’s example, there is nothing “natural” about homosexuality, even if it is true that such behaviors have always been with us."

I disagree. If something is found in nature [and including beyond homo sapiens], is it not natural? The framework of aberrance applied to homosexuality is based on Levitical law......but so are a host if other items that have been discarded by man. Does submission to Christ allow for selective comportment?

Mustang said...

Hmmm. So if humans do something, anything at all, its part of the natural order?

Constitutional Insurgent said...

I'm not talking about actions. I'm talking about the biology and chemistry,the genetic makeup of humans...and animals.

Elmers Brother said...

I'm not talking about actions. I'm talking about the biology and chemistry,the genetic makeup of humans..

but has homosexuality been found to be biological?...psychological perhaps.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

EB - Nope. It's origin hasn't been conclusively identified. Homosexuality is found in lower order creatures, where it could be argued, do not possess the faculties for physiological phenomena.

Elmers Brother said...

Alfred Edershiem - (via Ravi Zacharias)concerning Rome:

It would be unsavoury to describe how far the worship of indecency was carried; how public morals were corrupted by the mimic representations of everything that was vile, and even by the pandering of a corrupt art. The personation of gods, oracles, divination, dreams, astrology, magic, necromancy, all contributed to the general decay. It has been rightly said, that the idea of conscience, as we understand it, was unknown to heathenism. Absolute right did not exist. Might was right. The social relations exhibited, if possible, even deeper corruption. The sanctity of marriage had ceased. Female dissipation and the general dissoluteness led at last to an almost entire cessation of marriage. Abortion, and the exposure and murder of newly-born children, were common and tolerated; unnatural vices, which even the greatest philosophers practised, if not advocated, attained proportions which defy description. As regarded politics, philosophy, religion, and society, the utmost limits had been reached.

Beyond them lay, as only alternatives, ruin or regeneration.

Religion, philosophy, and society had passed through every stage, to that of despair. Without tracing the various phases of ancient thought, it may be generally said that, in Rome at least, the issue lay between Stoicism and Epicureanism. The one flattered its pride, the other gratified its sensuality; the one was in accordance with the original national character, the other with its later decay and corruption. Both ultimately led to atheism and despair - the one, by turning all higher aspirations self-ward, the other, by quenching them in the enjoyment of the moment; the one, by making the extinction of all feeling and self-deification, the other, the indulgence of every passion and the worship of matter, its ideal.


An aesthetic life is one in which someone chooses to live for themselves and for pleasure. Someone who chooses to live this way has no control over their lives, they flit from one pleasure to another, lives for the moment and relies upon the external. Such a person expects everything from without. He relies upon things beyond the control of his will. An aesthetic life is contingent upon the "accidental". An Aesthetic eventually realizes he has no control over his life and this leads to despair. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. He may repress it or forget it, to cope with it. Sometimes this despair becomes the meaning of his life, he is fated by "nature" to despair. The flaw in this fatalism is a renouncement of freedom. By accepting their "fate" they disavow responsibility and believe they are no longer accountable. The despair is a profound condition. If an individual loses his faith in God, ones very existence is threatened by determinist psychology, mass culture, totalitarianism and even science. To escape one has "to will "deeply and sincerely".

Elmers Brother said...

The only scientific studies I've seen trying to link biology to human homosexuality have all been flawed.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

That all makes perfect sense, provided one believes in an omnipotent, invisible deity....sans proof.

Thankfully, the rights inherent in citizenship do not rely on philosophy and faith.

Elmers Brother said...

of course if you want to throw your lot in with animals...

It is in vain, oh men, that you seek within yourselves the cure for all your miseries. All your insight has led to the knowledge that it is not in yourselves that you discover the true and the good. The philosophers promised them to you, but they were not able to keep that promise. They do not know what your true good is or what your nature is. How should they have provided you with a cure for ills which they have not even understood? Your principal maladies are pride, which cuts you off from God, and sensuality, which binds you to the earth. And they have done nothing but foster at least one of these maladies. If they have given you God for your object, it has been to pander to your pride. They have made you think you were like him and resemble him by your nature. And those who have grasped the vanity of such a pretension have cast you down in the other abyss by making you believe that your nature is like that of the beast of the field and have led you to seek your good in lust, which is the lot of animals

Pascal

Constitutional Insurgent said...

No less flawed than studies attempting to link homosexuality with a 'lifestyle choice'.

Elmers Brother said...

Thankfully, the rights inherent in citizenship do not rely on philosophy and faith.

funny that, considering the Constitution seems to state that we're endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Elmers Brother said...

and the wisdom of Nature and materialism devalue a person to happenstance and chance...No I'll take my chances with a God who understood my "nature" and value from the beginning...the alternative being the whims of man

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Absolutely......life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rights not dependent on a religious belief system.

Elmers Brother said...

That all makes perfect sense, provided one believes in an omnipotent, invisible deity....sans proof.

It is the Sunday Faith post.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"It is the Sunday Faith post."

It is, and apologies to Z. I don't mean to take it wildly off track.

Z said...

C.I...what was meant by "endowed by our Creator"?

Z said...

and thanks for this discussion; it's a big reason why I have this Sunday faith blot.



Sue Hanes: I don't think it's giving everything up that we are or have. I think that's part of the 'understanding' in the excellent Proverb you mention.
If we gave up everything we are, we wouldn't be the individual he loves, who he created.
if we gave up everything we have, we would be begging on the streets.
This is a good discussion, too, and I hope you come back and let's talk about this :-)
I think we are in submission to Him in Scripture and that we can take great joy in that submission because his 'advice' is so good.

Elmers Brother said...

Thankfully, the rights inherent in citizenship do not rely on philosophy and faith.

I am curious, from what worldview or philosophy do you believe they come from?

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"....what was meant by "endowed by our Creator"?

It seems to be the compromise by the Founders [of varying beliefs] in drafting the Constitution, to be an encompassing state of nature, whether by God, Gods, divine providence, etc...

Z said...

Sue (not Hanes)...I sure didn't expect that last part of that video! Got kind of emotional here; thanks SO MUCH for linking that at geeeZ...wonderful stuff. Just wonderful...corny, but WONDERFUL :-)


C.I...that's what "it seems" to you? It's not clear all of them believed in God? And that so much of their writings included Him except NEVER to the point of inserting him into the Government lest it become a theocracy of any kind?

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Z - It's not merely me that it seems so. You asked what was meant by 'creator'. I explained that the term is an encompassment of tolerance by the Founders that includes all belief systems. They knew that it was illogical to craft the guidelines for national unity and jurisprudence on an unprovable belief system. They were striving for a new model.

As Ben Franklin stated: "When a Religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its Professors are obliged to call for help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."

And Tom Jefferson: "Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

Elmers Brother said...

what provable "belief" system did they base it on?

Did they ignore the political tensions between what Augustine called the city of God and the city of Man? Did they apply principles of Christian theology and tradition, politics and the philosophical claims of Augustine, Aquinas, Dante, Luther, Calvin and others?

Z said...

C.I...I can't do years of telling you what I've learned.
Pretty good religion to last 2000 years on one book, isn't it.

I wrote and wrote here and just deleted it.
All the best in your beliefs.

z

Z said...

and, by the way, I felt like you did.
That's the part I can't write here...because it can't be put into words.

I will always wish you the best, CI.

Elmers Brother said...

Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

Yes but eventually Rome converted to Christianity.

Religion is a contrivance of man, but God transcends that. I do believe He ordains and delegates to government, which in part I think Franklin was alluding. Romans chapter 13 and others.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

EB - "what provable "belief" system did they base it on?"

None, that's why it's referred to as a belief system and not fact. The Founders relied heavily on the debates and formulations pertaining to Christianity, since the time it rose as a religion. I haven't discounted that a bit. They were forward thinking enough to know that one shouldn't base a system of governance on adhering to that belief system, but rather, a system where the rights and liberty of the citizenry were respected and protected. Which is why we have a completely secular Constitution, requiring no religious test to partake in the rights of citizenship.

Z - Please understand, I'm not an atheist...but thank you for the well wishes.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

EB - No disagreement on Ben. He's a conundrum at times. Was he playing both sides, hedging his bets, toying with us all? Hard to say.

Elmers Brother said...

I haven't discounted that a bit.

This is what I was wondering about.

You used the word belief...which raised the question in my mind that there was some worldview that they held, maybe not entirely a Christian one, I understand but without doubt influence by it.



I never assumed you were an atheist nor do I believe that our government was established with merely Christian principles. Hence, the questions.

While I know Franklin would not have described himself as a Christian one could also note that on occasions he did think it wise to call on God. Alfred Owen Aldridge has described Franklin as a confirmed Deist, who, in contrast to more militant Deists like Tom Paine, did not attempt to "wither Christianity by ridicule or bludgeon it to death by argument."

Benjamin Franklin, the delegate to the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. He has frequently been used as a source for positive "God" talk. It is often noted that Franklin made a motion at the Constitutional convention that they should bring in a clergyman to pray for their deliberations:
In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when present to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings?... I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. (Catherine Drinker Bowen. Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787. New York: Book-of-the-Month Club, 1966, pp. 125-126)



Constitutional Insurgent said...

No disagreement on Ben. He was a conundrum. Was he hedging his bets, playing both sides, just toying with us all? Hard to say.

In a letter to Ezra Stiles, he writes:

"You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavour in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render Him is doing good to His other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in His government of the world with any particular marks of His displeasure.

"I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having experienced the goodness of that Being in conducting me prosperously through a long life, I have no doubt of its continuance in the next, without the smallest conceit of meriting it... I confide that you will not expose me to criticism and censure by publishing any part of this communication to you. I have ever let others enjoy their religious sentiments, without reflecting on them for those that appeared to me unsupportable and even absurd. All sects here, and we have a great variety, have experienced my good will in assisting them with subscriptions for building their new places of worship; and, as I never opposed any of their doctrines, I hope to go out of the world in peace with them all."

Elmers Brother said...

The Founders relied heavily on the debates and formulations pertaining to Christianity, since the time it rose as a religion. I haven't discounted that a bit. They were forward thinking enough to know that one shouldn't base a system of governance on adhering to that belief system, but rather, a system where the rights and liberty of the citizenry were respected and protected.

Nonetheless based on an amalgamation of belief systems.

Elmers Brother said...

Ben summarized essentially what Christ said...that the Law can be distilled into this...

Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind AND love your neighbor as yourself.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"Nonetheless based on an amalgamation of belief systems."

Sure, and from that came a guideline for governance that held as much secular value as religious, and required no test nor practicing of any belief system to partake in citizenship or to be protected by the above.

I'm not saying that Christian principles are invalid or unworthy to be considered in legislation.....but rather that if there is no secular value, they ought not be the basis.

Elmers Brother said...

I'm not saying that Christian principles are invalid or unworthy to be considered in legislation.....but rather that if there is no secular value, they ought not be the basis.

So you're not suggesting that Christian principles have no secular value, merely that not all
Biblical principles carry over into secular government. Gotcha.

Elmers Brother said...

I also happen to believe that based on the history of Rome and other cultures, the nature of secularism and materialism and Pascal's quotation above, our secularly based government will eventually implode.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"So you're not suggesting that Christian principles have no secular value, merely that not all
Biblical principles carry over into secular government."

That's a fair statement.

I'm not sure your example of Rome is apt; Christianity was the official religion when it fell.....and it's fall can be attributed to a host of pressures, both internal and external. But a society that bases itself on state religion is also antithetical to liberty and free will....and no less immune to implosion.

Elmers Brother said...

Sure, and from that came a guideline for governance that held as much secular value as religious, and required no test nor practicing of any belief system to partake in citizenship or to be protected by the above

Providing it keeps an equilibrium. If unbalanced as we both know a strictly secular government does not guarantee a free society. If the pendulum were to swing in either direction to the extreme, there will be consequences.

Augustine's book presents human history as being a conflict between what Augustine calls the City of Man and the City of God, a conflict that is destined to end in victory of the latter. The City of God is marked by people who forgot earthly pleasure to dedicate themselves to the eternal truths of God, now revealed fully in the Christian faith. The City of Man, on the other hand, consists of people who have immersed themselves in the cares and pleasures of the present, passing world.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"If unbalanced as we both know a strictly secular government does not guarantee a free society."

If a society maintains secular jurisprudence and an equally fervent protection of religious liberty, is that not an acceptable equilibrium?

Ducky's here said...

If it's going to implode (and capitalism will implode not the secular state) what replaces it Elmo?

How will it implode?
No matter how bad it gets you're supposed to be a good little boy and take it. That's what your guiding light, Luther, said of the Peasant Wars.

Elmers Brother said...

Augustine advocated a separation.

Augustine wrote the treatise to explain Christianity's relationship with competing religions and philosophies, as well as its relationship with the Roman government, with which it was increasingly intertwined. It was written soon after Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410. This event left Romans in a deep state of shock, and many saw it as punishment for abandoning traditional Roman religion for Catholic Christianity. The Romans thought of themselves as highly religious, and attributed their success as a world power to their collective piety (pietas) in maintaining good relations with the gods. According to legendary history, most of Rome's religious institutions could be traced to its founders, particularly Numa Pompilius, the Sabine second king of Rome, who negotiated directly with the gods. This archaic religion was the foundation of the mos maiorum, "the way of the ancestors" or simply "tradition", viewed as central to Roman identity. Even the most skeptical among Rome's intellectual elite such as Cicero, who was an augur, saw religion as a source of social order.The events of the decline were a subject of debate at the time, often with a strongly religious flavor.

Though I know it's complicated and I don't wish to simplify to any large extent Roman society as I understand, it lost it's equilibrium, it's moral compass. They abandoned their Roman religious piety. It was considered admirable to practice your sexuality (albeit with male or female) in moderation for e.g. until much later in it's history and though Christianity had become the "official" religion the early Christians were split on it's practice. Constantine's convocation that led to the Nicene Creed was still relatively recent. In the Western Empire some Christians continued to be persecuted after Constantine.

Elmers Brother said...

If a society maintains secular jurisprudence and an equally fervent protection of religious liberty, is that not an acceptable equilibrium?

Yes. The question is will it?

Elmers Brother said...

it's going to implode (and capitalism will implode not the secular state) what replaces it Elmo?

Shifting sand duhkkky. The whims of men, another Hitler, or Marx's historical dialectic is any indicator your precious socialism/communism. ...we have seen the results of that...

No matter how bad it gets you're supposed to be a good little boy and take it. That's what your guiding light, Luther, said of the Peasant Wars.

I'm sure you'll be laughing with me all the way to the reeducation camps.

Elmers Brother said...

and stop with the straw man argument

Constitutional Insurgent said...

EB - There's probably not enough bandwidth to cover the various schisms in early Christianity [notably against Arianism], but I would proffer that Rome's fall had much to do with the continual devaluation of currency, the 'barbarization' of it's legions, unassimilated immigrants, and other factors as well. The lack of a moral compass can certianly be a part of that, but also illustrates that having a professed adherence to a belief system on behalf of the state, is no guarantor of civil success.

"The question is will it?"

I believe it's the best possible model. We must always be vigilant to ward off both usurpation of the the equilibrium and false charges of it's tilt.

Elmers Brother said...

what replaces it Elmo?

if Augustine is an indicator perhaps a just war.

Augustine of Hippo, generally considered one of the first and greatest Christian theologians, was one of the first to assert that a Christian could be a soldier and serve God and country honorably. He claimed that, while individuals should not resort immediately to violence, God has given the sword to government for good reason. Christians as part of government should not be ashamed to protect peace and punish wickedness.

Z said...

Ducky, versus what..? Arm and become civilian militia? :-)

Luther pretty much synopsized there in that phrase what most Christian understand. With great faith, yes, we are told "to take it". And Christians have had to take a lot and are facing much, much more...as predicted.

Exactly right...Luther, as usual.

Z said...

Cons. Ins.; I'm glad.

Elmers Brother said...

I'm not making this assertion about Rome in a vacuum as Edersheim was an historian and the Romans believed this was partially to blame as well.

The government can tilt if the social and cultural mores of a society are usurped. Do I think this is happening now? Not to a large extent but I think eventually there will be a moral and cultural divide. I don't place much faith in government as it too is a contrivance of man, though ordained of God. Duhkkkky may poo poo capitalism but his alternatives leave a lot to be desired.

Elmers Brother said...

or as Luther said...the Church may be a whore but she's still my mother.

Elmers Brother said...

..the 'barbarization' of it's legions, unassimilated immigrants, and other factors as well. The lack of a moral compass can certianly be a part of that, but also illustrates that having a professed adherence to a belief system on behalf of the state, is no guarantor of civil success.

One can also make a case that an abandonment of it's fundamental cultural mores lead to those factors....

Constitutional Insurgent said...

"I'm not making this assertion about Rome in a vacuum as Edersheim was an historian and the Romans believed this was partially to blame as well."

No doubt as to the inclusion in blame, though a failing moral compass is nearly impossible to quantify as an cause resulting in an effect. It's also not unfair to argue that Edersheim might not have been completely objective in his analysis. It's relatively easy to make a case that he began his assessment with a bias.

"The government can tilt if the social and cultural mores of a society are usurped."

True, but this has not always been a negative. Throughout history, we have had social and cultural mores that are now viewed anathemas, where it regarded the treatment of religious minorities/heretics, women, children and racial minorities.

"I don't place much faith in government as it too is a contrivance of man, though ordained of God."

I think the same can also be said of religion.

Elmers Brother said...

I think the same can also be said of religion

of which we agree and I have said many times, as long as the distinction is made between religion and God. As God transcends that of religion.

It's also not unfair to argue that Edersheim might not have been completely objective in his analysis.

I've no doubt like most historians.

True, but this has not always been a negative.

It doesn't have to be always.

Kid said...

To be sane, you have to believe you are a part of a larger entity. Community, country, culture, planet, universe.
If you do believe that then in my opinion, you must accept the responsibility for maintaining that environment - whatever that means to you and your own conscience.
For me that means opposing evil at every opportunity.

Maybe that equates to submitting yourself to God. I don't know, but I'm happy being on this side of the constant struggle between good and evil.
Evil may kill me someday but I'll never be afraid of it. It doesn't deserve the drama.

Kid said...

In response to other comments, ie Ed. Yes sir. God's greatest gift to mankind is free will and it is not up to us to judge everything that people do. Only when it impacts others in a negative way do we gather at a court of law and judge. Otherwise, none of my business.

Elmers Brother said...

though correlation does not necessarily mean causation, our government tries to quantify it all the time...e.g. poverty rates, divorce rates etc.

Kid said...

"Endowed by our Creator"
Regardless if you believe Our Creator is a God - an individual entity - or a concept of nature, or even a bio-electrical instance that occurred in a collection of chemicals, Endowed by Oor Creator means that Each of us has certain unalienable rights.

The right to protect our life and those others we choose. The right to operate within a legal communal framework that gives us the right to achieve what anyone else can achieve or not but cannot be tread upon by others with powers taken by or given to them.

Idealistic? yes. But also realistic. Who gives up their responsibility for self-protection? I don't. Not in the sense of dealing with other individuals on the personal level, or dealing with the evil from other cultures or countries on the national/world level. For that I pay taxes to support a militia capable of dealing with those threats.
Before I get to far off the point, the point is I don't personally need or wish to have the protection of a local police force. To give up that level of responsibility is the first step to giving up all such responsibility and therefore passing it over to "Others" who now have the precedent to claim they need to do X in order to step in and take over Your Own responsibility for protection.

You're screwed now. You've given up your rights endowed by your creator by giving up the responsibilities that come with those rights.

The consequences are and will become more and more a part of your daily life. This is not an abstract. This is the stuff that knocks on your front door and stops you on the road as you travel from point A to point B.

Ducky's here said...

Well, Elmo, I still don't know why you expect the secular state to implode. Marx's "withering away" of the state sounds a good deal less traumatic.

You don't seem to accept the influx of mercenaries into the Roman army (much like our Middle East experience) as a cause for the fall.
Well, let's just blame the homos. That seems a handy catch all.

Still, the question of what it means to "submit to God" hasn't been explained. It has to be more than the Ten Commandments since much of the Commandments are present in other early legal systems. Some predate the Commandments and some developed later but without contact.

No, it has to be more and an description without the usual homosexuality screed would be useful witness. There really isn't anyplace to go with this obsession over controlling people's sexuality.

Calvinistic predestination? Dogma.
Justification by faith (justification by a little internal conversation)? Dogma.

No it has to come down to acts and a good deal more than narrowly prescribed sex acts.

Elmers Brother said...

Well duhkkky if Edersheim had only mentioned homosexuality you might have a point, but he also brought up abortion, marriage, the use of slaves, the degradation of those who were not of the elite class...etc...

the mercenaries bit is a straw man, because I didn't mention it doesn't mean I don't think it could have contributed.

As for submitting to God if you'd care to read past the Sermon on the Mount you might find you're answer. The Ten Commandments as I mentioned in a comment here were summarized by Christ in to two...

Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul, mind and strength.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

If it were just acts duhkkky Christ came for nothing, as the Pharisees performed all the right 'acts'.

I used no such homosexual screed.

Interesting that you mentioned justification by faith...it dominates Paul's writings to the Romans.

Do you know what justification means?

Justification is the legal act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his or her sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is "declared" sinless. This declaration of righteousness is being justified before God. This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, "...having now been justified by His blood..." (Rom. 5:9) where Jesus was crucified, died, was buried, and rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-4). God imputed (reckoned to our account) the righteousness of Christ at the same time our sins were imputed to Christ when he was on the cross. That is why it says in 1 Pet. 2:24, "and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." Also, 2 Cor. 5:21 says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Additionally, we are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1) apart from works of the Law (Rom. 3:28).

As for your moral relativism, I dare say it's getting quite old. Casting pearls before swine gets old.

Elmers Brother said...

your not you're

Waylon said...

Apparently Ducky believes that Karl Marx was an original thinker, an original in his evil ways. I hate to disabuse you Ducky but it seems clear that Marx and Engels had someone who got to them and provided them with his thinking which they adopted.

"Moses Hess quickly transformed young Marx into a freemason, a socialist agitator and his minion. Marx was still no communist.

He wrote in Rheinische Zeitung, which he edited during the years 1842-43:
"Attempts by masses to carry out Communist ideas can be answered by a cannon as soon as they have become dangerous..."
He then believed these ideas to be impracticable. Moses Hess essentially corrected all these opinions. He became the grey eminence behind Marx, intensively guiding and influencing his protégé's work."

"Karl Marx's worship of violence was strengthened by a Frankist communist whom he met in 1841, when he was 23 years old. This man was called Moritz Moses Hess. Moses Hess was born on the 21st of June 1812 in Bonn, the son of a wealthy Jewish industrialist. He died on the 6th of April 1875 in Paris and is buried in Israel. It can be mentioned that he founded the German Social Democratic Party."

"Engels had also expressed Christian ideas in his youth:
"I thirsted for a connection with God. My religion was and is a peaceful and blessed world and I should be pleased with it if it were to be with me also after my funeral. I have no reason to suppose God should take it away from me. Religious persuasion is a thing of the heart. I pray every day, indeed almost all day, for truth.

I seek the truth everywhere, even where I hope to find just a shadow of it. Tears are welling forth as I write this. I am moved through and through, but I feel I will not be lost. I will come to God, for whom my whole soul longs."
(Marx and Engels, "From Early Works", Moscow, 1956, p. 306.)"

From that Engels turned and became something more sinister accompanied by Marx. A devout early Zionist, Moses Hess shows some fire not only for Zionism but for "the proletariat".

"In his "Red Catechism for the German People", Moses Hess revealed:
"The socialist revolution is my religion."

"Moses Hess wrote to the Jewish socialist leader Ferdinand Lasalle:
"I use the sword against anyone who opposes the struggle of the proletariat."

""Whoever denies Jewish nationalism is not only an apostate, a renegade in the religious sense, but also a traitor to his people and to his family."
(Moses Hess, "Selected Works", Cologne, 1962.)"

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
I went to Mass with my son and daughter-in-law today. Great experience. Nothing is as good as sharing faith with your children. Happy Sunday.

Z said...

Kid! But you think a 'collection of chemicals', if that's "the creator", gives us RIGHTS?


Law and Order...bliss; you're right. I'm glad you had such a nice experience.
Different than sharing a first-run movie, or sharing a dinner in a good restaurant. I guess a question could be "WHY?" What makes it so different...just sitting there...?"

I think we know.

Kid said...

I personally don't believe in a collection of chemicals. But I just wanted to point out that regardless, every individual has these rights. They don't come from any other individual. King, butthead, whatever.

We're equal at the start.

Kid said...

PS, we're equal at the end. As in you can't take it with you.

Z said...

we're definitely equal on this earth, that is FOR SURE.

I figured you didn't mean chemicals gave us rights but wanted to make sure! :-)

Ed Bonderenka said...

Funny how when I comment from my phone it appears to take and later is not there.
If a Creator is not the guarantor of or rights, there's no appellate to protect them. Evolution seems to protect only the strongest.

Bob said...

I am not sure who Ducky was talking to when he commented, "Justification by faith (justification by a little internal conversation)? Dogma.", but it got my attention.

Of course "justification by faith" is dogma. That's the definition of religious beliefs. Where I think Ducky runs astray is that he, like many other people, don't understand Christianity. Salvation is achieved by faith, not by good works, or by flagellation. That's what Martin Luther's realization was all about when he pondered the meaning of Romans 1:17 way back in the 15th century.

Christians don't stand on street corners selling flowers and stuff to earn salvation. Salvation is a gift from God, and that fact is one of the hardest things for people to understand. My favorite quote is from Ephesians 2:8, "... it is a gift of God". Jesus explained it simply, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

The idea is so simple, it turns some people off. The trick is living the life.

Perhaps Ducky doesn't believe in a life after death. That's understandable, since we cannot show that such exists. Believing in the existence of God brings the same problem. We cannot prove it, nor can we disprove God's existence.

But, I also did not create myself, and I don't believe that life will appear from a mash-up of chance happenings. I don't even believe in randomness. I believe in a deterministic world.

If Ducky believes in Science, he has driven his ducks to a bad market. Science is forever changing, and those scientific truths we hold today, may be overturned tomorrow. Science is a fickled deity, and will turn on you.

Thanks for the Sunday faith blogs, Z. I always look forward to them.

Z said...

Bob, your excellent input is greatly appreciated and the fact that you look forward to my Sunday posts means a LOT to me, thank you.

Luther said "Only Scripture, Only Grace, Only Faith" He was so right..if ONLY all would hear :-)

Elmers Brother said...

Good points Bob, science cannot answer all our questions ...where am I going, whats the meaning if life etc

Constitutional Insurgent said...

EB - I had to duck out to go work out, but I appreciate the dialogue. It was thought provoking....good points made......and I'm definitely a sucker for any discussion involving Rome.

Elmers Brother said...

I enjoyed it too CI. I always learn something

Ed Bonderenka said...

Bob: Well said!
ElBro: Well said!

Z said...

this was terrific...thanks, All!

CI, if you like to discuss anything Roman, I wish you could sit in on the classes where I work; amazing information. That's just the history class.
Then there's the Latin class, where the kids also learn a ton.

Ducky's here said...

Well, Waylon, you're correct that Hess was an original thinker who certainly believed that mans consciousness can shape history.

Whether that is in opposition to z's theme I leave to you.

Ducky's here said...

@Bob ---
Perhaps Ducky doesn't believe in a life after death.

---
I don't particularly want to but I do believe that a religion focused on the after life and not the here and now is a false guide.

Bob said...

Ducky said, " I do believe that a religion focused on the after life and not the here and now is a false guide."

I agree in part. It gets tiresome to hear about the bye-and-bye if it is to the exclusion of our responsibilities in this life. Jesus didn't neglect this aspect, either. I don't agree that Christianity is all about going to heaven. We cannot get out of this life alive, so we might as well do for others as we can.

Have a good week.

Z said...

Bob, I agree. We're to be good stewards and not for heaven, for EARTH.
not sure what Ducky means by 'my theme'...he's known me for about 15 years and still doesn't know me.