Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Want to Fight Evil? Get Some Rest.

My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1 NASB

The NIV reads: My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.

Silently waiting on Him would be a way to describe "meditating on God." Since He is the Bread of Life, meditation or waiting on Him in silence is the feast, no?

In the New Testament there are over a hundred uses of the word evil. These translations represent nine different words in the Greek. The word in the Greek most often translated evil is poneros. (by NASB translators anyway)

Here is something to ponder (meditate upon), the translation of the poneros is
  1. full of labors, annoyances, hardships
    1. pressed and harassed by labors
    2. bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble
  2. bad, of a bad nature or condition
    1. in a physical sense: diseased or blind
    2. in an ethical sense: evil, wicked, bad.
Salvation is from the Lord. We meet Him and are renewed by resting in Him, by moments of silence before Him. (See Psalm 62:1 above.) They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

How much strain, stress, wear on our emotional and physical strength occurs as we labor for more stuff, more pay, more reputation, more recognition in this life? How much of our labor is the work the Father has called us to accomplish as compared to the efforts we take on motivated by our pride or fear or lust?

How evil are any of us anyway?

Matthew 11:25-30 reads
At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
"Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Want to conquer the evil in your fallen flesh? Rest in the Spirit of the in-dwelling Christ; figure out a way to relieve yourself of the labors associated with more gain, more fame, a better story at the water-cooler. Spend meaningful time with Him.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For a Tear-of-Joy Miracle

Click Here

Merry Christmas and may your times of celebration

include the wonder of the Lord in all your relfections.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I've Been Reading...

Why I Am a Christian, edited by Norman L. Geisler and Paul K. Hoffman. (C 2006, Baker Books. Grand Rapids, MI) In the chapter, "Why I Am Not a Moral Relativist" Francis J. Beckwith writes on page 21,

"The fact that people disagree about something does not mean that there is no truth. For example, if you and I were to disagree on the question of whether the earth is round, our disagreement would certainly not be proof that the earth has no shape. Likewise, the fact that a skinhead (a type of neo-Nazi) and I may disagree on the question of whether we should treat people equally is certainly not sufficient reason to conclude that equality is not an objective moral value. Even if individuals and cultures hold no values in common, it simply does not follow that nobody is ever right or wrong about correct values. Despite the existence of moral disagreement, it is still quite possible that an individual or an entire culture, such as Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, are simply mistaken.

If a mere fact of disagreement were sufficient to conclude that objective norms do not exist, we would then have to acknowledge that there is no objectively correct position on such issues as slavery, genocide, and child molestation, for the slave owner, genocidal maniac, and the pedophile clearly have an opinion that differs from the one held by those of us who condemn their actions.

In the end, moral disagreement is simply a sociological observation that proves nothing about the true nature of morality."

Thank you, Mr. Beckwith, for your clarity.

The next path in the Wildwood will have something to do with the nature of evil, and of course, how Jesus as the indwelling Holy Spirit is the source of our over-coming.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Are We More Depraved Than Ever?

My take on the answer:

The relatively stable political system of the US supported by expanding affluence and an emphasis on religion has accomplished over the last two centuries a whitewash, an appearance of moral progressiveness, while of course, human depravity remained hidden but active at all levels of society.

We are no more depraved today, I would say. However, in the last fifty years or so, there has been a shift. Large numbers of the upper and middle classes of Western cultures now openly embrace hedonism and various spiritual perspectives that support its flowering as a part of everyday life.

Art imitates life? The "art" of Hollywood in the early Twentieth Century indicated high levels of interest and participation in hedonism. The whitewash mentality demanded a cover-up in the late 1930's I think it was. The hedonists won an open view of lust when the movies began a rating system in the 1960's. Movies could add all manner of reality--man's depravity--as long as movie-goers were warned of content. Advancing technology and distribution to the masses now fuels a life imitates art reality.

The moral under-pinnings of the whitewash were attacked at the intellectual level through the search for "truth" in universities affecting the ruling elite, while the media has thoroughly corrupted the moral practices of the great collective, the wisdom of man has studied at the university the fallen state of man and describes all reality from within the box of human depravity. Money can made by pragmatism, or the view that we need to accept and deal with the reality of the human condition, whether you live on the street, amongst the masses or within the halls of power.

I hold the corruption has always existed; it is the illusion of morality we Boomers have watched be destroyed. People are freed in these days for the ultimate experience materially--self expression. There is a rising tide of overt sexuality, including homosexual and bisexual experience, which is a function of what has always been traditionally rationalized as only a "heterosexual" problem--lust. During the golden years of the whitewash, homosexuality could not speak its name. An irrational divide held that heterosexuality was "normal", and its associated failures of impropriety were scandalous but understandable. The whitewashed ethic rationalized homosexuality as deeply wrong from a psychological and moral stand point. The much more open homosexual experience of today appears to some as evidence of a growing decadence. I think it is simply evidence of a post-modern pragmatism.

The condition of society we now experience is the biblical "lust of the flesh" given free reign by today's openness. Love of self through sexual pleasure has always lurked in the human heart, but today's enhanced electronic media peddles, promotes and glamorizes lust across all sections of society.

It is not surprising that in reducing the meaning of life to individual fulfillment labeled as self-actualization and removing all judgments in the name of tolerance that the dark loves of the human heart are being peddled as entertainment with disturbing pervasiveness. People who are removed from the struggle of life to make the earth give up its sustenance, as in the day when life was simply agrarian, have no reality checks of dependence on the Creator. Rather, now the struggle is completely within the system, defined by the system, and relieved by the entertainments of the system, for life itself is falsely understood as material reliance on the system or the "World" in the text of Truth.

God Himself has ordained the delusion to be lived out by the dark of heart.