THE SIN OF PRIDE, COMMUNITY, GOVERNMENT, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT — PART 1

Original – Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless - In Christian teaching,  vanity is considered an example of pride, one of the seven deadly sins. The deadly sins emerged from words of the Book of Proverbs.    Proverbs 6:16-19 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) 16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (from here)

Original – Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless – In Christian teaching, vanity is considered an example of pride, one of the seven deadly sins. The deadly sins emerged from words of the Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 6:16-19 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
16 These six things doth the Lord hate:
yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 a proud look, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 a false witness that speaketh lies,
and he that soweth discord among brethren. (from here)

The Sin of Pride

Proverbs contains many sayings that address the subject of pride. I suppose that is because so many of our sins begin in pride. Hence, if we check out any blog that specializes in Bible exposition, the subject of pride is bound to come up. Consider, for example, SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 16:16-20 by Rob Barkman. Here is how he summarizes.

The “bottom line” to our study today is that living a life for Christ is ALWAYS more valuable than any material gain that can be found in this world.   But the key to living a life for Christ is  three-fold:

  1. We must trust Him with our lives knowing He will only lead us to what is beneficial for us.
  2. We must willfully choose to exercise wisdom and understanding when we are faced with the issues of life.
  3. We must carry with us a humble spirit recognizing that His Word, our wisdom, our understanding, our faith in Him, and even our spirit of humility only comes through His gracious intervention in our lives.

One the accusations against Christianity is that Christians think too much about heaven, that we don’t think enough about this world. Yet this world has no happy endings. Every single one of us dies. If there is no God…. If He does not care…. Yet if there is a God who loves us, then what is our pride to Him?

Pride, Humility and Relationship with God by Don Merritt considers a passage from the New Testament, Luke 18:9-14. Here Jesus speaks of a humble tax-collector, a man who knows he is a sinner, and a proud Pharisee, a man who thinks God owes Him. What could the Creator of all that is, including all of us, owe any of us — except what He voluntarily chooses to promise us?

Think about what  observes.

illustration for John Milton's Paradise Lost by Gustave Doré (1866).

illustration for John Milton’s Paradise Lost by Gustave Doré (1866). (from here)

It isn’t surprising that a Pharisee who came face to face with Jesus would reject Him as Messiah when He taught about mercy.  Apparently they had no understanding that they needed mercy, so wonderful was their behavior…

In a world where there are no happy endings, how could anyone not believe we don’t need our Creator’s mercy? Is it because of pride?

Can we chose what we want to believe? by I 53:5 Project doesn’t mention sin. Here the author talks about the fact that we tend to believe what we want to believe. Why? It is that matter of pride again. We reject that truth which reduces the worth of our self.

Contemplate the blindness. In a world where there are no happy endings, if there is no God who loves us, what are we worth? What is our pride worth?

Without ever mentioning the word sin, Getting Over Yourself by insanitybytes22 provides practical advice on the sin of pride. I suppose that is one thing

Building the Tower of Babel was, for Dante, an example of pride. Painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (from here)

Building the Tower of Babel was, for Dante, an example of pride. Painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (from here)

that makes See, there’s this thing called biology… a popular blog. Without sounding like it,  talks about Christian religious beliefs. It is strange how that works.  Drop the use of a few words here, add a few from the popular culture, and don’t sound preachy. Then people listen.  Still, we could not get a better sermon at way too many churches. Don’t we all need to understand the importance of getting our self out of the way and seeing the big picture?

In a world where there are no happy endings, don’t we all need to see what lies ahead, to understand and appreciate what our Creator has planned?

 

Posted in Philosophy, religion | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

AN ANSWER FOR SIRIUSBIZINUS: AN UPDATE

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin, 1852. (from here)

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin, 1852. (from here)

I got the following question from siriusbizinus as the first comment in my last post, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE.

siriusbizinus says:
May 28, 2015 at 12:21 am

Maybe you can clarify, Tom. How can Colorstorm “guarantee” that disastrous results will transpire for Ireland by legalizing same-sex marriage? Where does the underpinning in Christian thought justify that part of the simile the original author used?

My Response

I don’t claim to be a prophet. I don’t know exactly how Ireland will suffer for legalizing same-sex “marriage.” I just know that when people cannot figure out that homosexuality refers to immoral and unhealthy behavior that is a bad sign. I also know that when a people proclaims that homosexuals have a “right” to “marry” each other that is an extremely bad sign. It indicates that the people will call what is bad good and what is good bad. It indicates that the people will punish those who reject homosexual behavior as sinful.

Proverbs 17:13 Good News Translation (GNT)

13 If you repay good with evil, you will never get evil out of your house.

As far as I can tell, you think marriage is essentially whatever you want it to be. That’s absurd. If marriage can be any kind of relationship, then anything is a marriage. We can put two coconuts together, pronounce them nut and nut and call them married.

What I thought especially hypocritical in your post are the two paragraphs you placed before this subject heading: Eventually my deity will have its revenge on all of y’all.

If denying people equal access to the rights and privilege of other legally recognized couples is generous, I’d hate to see what would be considered as being miserly. In the same vein, I’m failing to see how it is compassionate to insist that someone’s rights can’t exist because an old book declares it to just be that way. That same justification has been used to promote many a social institution and injustice prior to this (slavery, coverture, and indentured servitude for starters).

This is by and large the biggest non-starter for any discussion about marriage equality. By conflating religious belief with the state of the law, people are unreasonably opposing something that doesn’t even affect them. There is literally zero harm to anyone who has access to having a relationship recognized as a marriage. Saying that it is loving doesn’t make it loving, just as claiming compassion doesn’t make it compassionate.

What you are calling a “right” is the majority’s “right” to impose your religious beliefs upon others. Since there is no such thing as same-sex “marriage,” the belief it exists qualifies as religious belief, in this case the worship of sexual pleasure.

Marriage is not a right. Traditional marriage does not exist to impose a “right to marriage” upon anyone. What baker, florist, or caterer has to be threatened to provide services for a traditional wedding?

Traditional marriage is not based upon the worship of sex or even a religious belief. The reality of traditional marriage is self-evident. Only the insane need to be convinced that when a man and a woman bond with each other the usual result is a child. Therefore, to ignore the reason for marriage, we have to blind ourselves to the obvious (the fact of life).

Traditional marriage exists to protect the right that children have to the care and protection of their mother and father. The fact you refuse to understand that is truly a pity.

AN UPDATE

Right after I posted this, I got a pingback from  at this post, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE. Mildly curious, I checked it out.  Apparently God’s Revenge Is Subtle is more of the same.

  • Supposedly, I have been tardy in replying to ‘s question.  Sorry, but I have job.
  • Supposedly, I did not did cite scripture to refute his graphic on biblical marriage. Actually, I did. What ‘s graphic lacks is scriptural support. The Bible tells a story, and it tells some stories that involve various sexual arrangements. That’s means the Bible supports all those arrangements? No. For example, the Old Testament condemns homosexuality, but Jesus clearly did not approve of stoning adulterers — because we are all sinners. The Israelites could not obey the law perfectly, and we cannot either. The best God could do for the Jews with the Mosaic Code was ameliorate some of the worse elements of their behavior.
  • Supposedly, what marriage is depends upon how the government defines it. This post already answers that tripe.
  • Supposedly, the sacred polls say the majority supports same-sex “marriage.” What that shows is the benefit of putting politicians in charge of our education system. It is difficult to imagine better proof that that is an awful idea. The problem is getting the beneficiaries of that awful education to recognize how badly they have been educated.
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WE ARE WHAT WE ARE

marriageWith apologies to Dopey is a post by ColorStorm that comments on emerald isle’s decision to legalize something that does not exist, same-sex marriage. The phrase itself is an oxymoron.  Hence  observes:

So here it is in all its colorless glory: Same sex marriage is Disneyesque, where magic and enchantment are paraded just like Snow White and her short friends. Poof! The ability to alter words and the agreement by the masses to celebrate the changing of a time-tested institution, in what was once unbelievable, is now believable and according to Ireland, has officially been made credible. (from here)

Of course, ‘s post stirred up a good discussion. That include a post on another blog. siriusbizinus tried to counter ‘s post with this misleading little volley, MY GOD WILL HAVE ITS REVENGE. I am afraid ‘s post will be effective with those who don’t bother to read ‘s post and have little familiarity with the Bible. So I will deal with it here.
Since  led with the graphic below (supposedly, it represents Biblical marriage), let’s focus on it (to read the graphic, click on it).
marriage (2)Other marriage arrangements do occur in the Bible, but the Bible — God — heartily endorses only what we traditional marriage.  One commenter on this graphic put it this way.

In one sense the graphic is “true”. The Bible does present all these, and more (some arguably worse) patterns of marriage. It is also true that God chose to work in and through many of these. Just looking at Abraham (the “father” of the three monotheistic religions) or Jacob (aka “Israel”) makes it clear that God does not turn aside from some convoluted and perverse human arrangements in choosing who to use as a channel of grace.

But, do any of these represent “a biblical view of marriage”. Hell no! It is time for some stakes in the ground. In terms of the teaching of Scripture it is clear that Gen 2 is a privileged text (Jesus and Paul both cite it when discussing marriage). This passage, and the teaching of Jesus and Paul make some basics clear:

Marriage:

  • was ordained by God
  • is the union of a man and a woman
    • produces and nurtures the next generation
    • provides necessary partnership

(from here)

Why did God permit the nontraditional marriages? Why does God permit us to divorce? As Jesus explained, the problem lies within us.

Matthew 19:3-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from 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 they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” They *said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He *said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Given the title of ‘s post, I suppose we also have to consider the subject of God’s vengeance. Did  say anything about God’s taking revenge? No. He referred to the Irish’s prime minister’s speech in support of same-sex “marriage.”

Here is what  said.

But back up to the prime ministers allegation. The giving of rights and approving same-sex marriage is proof of our ‘generosity and compassion.’ This is typical speech that hands out candy to someone who is starving, something that will never satisfy, will always leave a hunger, and is purely driven by an emotional appeal to the prurient, guaranteed to have disastrous results to individuals, as well as the island itself, (ahem, in time.)

As one commenter observed, some people cannot see what  is saying.

insanitybytes22

May 24, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Handing out candy to the starving, that’s it precisely. There is cruelty there and so many people can’t even see it.

What  is saying is that the people who show their concern for homosexuals by approving of their conduct actually do them the most harm. Homosexuals do not have a right to marry someone of the same sex. How can anyone have the right to force other people to respect a lie — to respect as real something that does not in fact exist?

Think about what it means to spoil a child. Instead of helping a child by correcting it, we let that child have its way. Thus, that child never learns self-discipline. Similarly, when we enable homosexual behavior (just to avoid childish howls of protest), we enable self-destructive behavior.  Hence, God’s revenge is what comes from a lack of self-discipline and so-called caring friends.

Posted in Culture War, Philosophy, religion, unraveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

WHY CHARACTER MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Sculptures of (left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent the first 130 years of the history of the United States.

Sculptures of (left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent the first 130 years of the history of the United States. (from here)

Yesterday I thought about posting this post, but I needed to get some sleep. So I decided upon this reblog, Due Process of Law, #1: Can a Law be Unlawful?, to introduce the subject.

Consider leaders such as those shown above. Why did men risk so much to follow them? Was it merely their good looks or their charm? That’s doubtful, I think. Read about them, and you will find that their deeds matched their words. Because they were honorable men, they walked as they talked, and they made personal sacrifices to keep their word.

Contrast that with the words of our current Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter.

Here is the crux of it.

In a scathing critique of the performance of the ISF to date, Carter said, “The Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight” in fleeing Ramadi last weekend.

In an interview with CNN’s Barbara Starr that aired Sunday, Carter said, “They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight,” abandoning their equipment, large stores of ammunition, more than a hundred U.S. Humvees and other vehicles, and several tanks — reportedly including M1A1 Abrams tanks.

(from here)

What is happening in Iraq? Whose fault is it? Why won’t the Iraqis fight? Are they cowards? What is this “will to fight” that the Iraqis apparently lack? I fear it is something we are slowly losing in this country. What the Iraqis lack is honorable men and women, people they respect and trust, to lead them. What the Iraqis lack is the wisdom to exercise honorable behavior towards each other.

Consider how Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq from 1979 to 2003. Hussein did not seek to lead men. He drove his people to obey by making them afraid for their lives. For decades Hussein taught the Iraqi people that to survive they must docilely obey the strong man.

Saddam Hussein succeeded by dividing and conquering the Iraqi people. He pitted the various factions in Iraq against each other. Thus, each Iraqi citizen learned that at best he could trust only a small circle of friends and relatives.

Consider how ISIS has behaved. Similar to Saddam Hussein, ISIS seeks to conquer by terrorizing any who would oppose it. Instead of members of the Ba’ath Party, the leaders of ISIS claim to be devout Muslims. Nevertheless, the leaders of ISIS model the behavior that tyrants have displayed since men first learned to conquer and enslave other men.

When Americans put boots on the ground and took over Iraq (following the Second Persian Gulf War), we did not know what to expect, but we soon learned the people of Iraq did not trust each other or their elected leaders. Hence, we could not simply pack up and leave. If we did, we understood opportunists would slip into Iraq and take advantage of a weak Iraqi government. Unfortunately, when President Barack Obama pulled out our troops, the inevitable happened.

Why should we have stayed in Iraq? Consider what happened when Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt. After living as slaves for centuries, the Hebrews did not know how to fight.

Israel Driven Back into the Desert (illustration by B. Barnards from the 1908 Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons) (from here)

Israel Driven Back into the Desert (illustration by B. Barnards from the 1908 Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons) (from here)

Hence, even though they knew God Himself would fight for them, the Hebrews were still afraid to enter Canaan. Therefore, God let them march in the wilderness for 40 years, waiting until all those who had refused to enter the Promised Land had died.

Honor, wisdom, self-discipline, self government….these are things we must learn, and that learning is not easy. It takes time. Like it or not, the Iraqi people cannot suddenly understand how to be good citizens. Like it or not our children will not learn just because we think that they should do so. Like it or not, if we want our government to work, we have do to what we want the Iraqis to do. We have to be good citizens. We have to make it work. If we want to be a free people, we must choose good people to lead us, and we must hold them accountable to our laws. And, with our own example, we must teach our children how to be good citizens in a free country.

Posted in Culture War, history, National Defense, Philosophy, religion, unraveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Due Process of Law, #1: Can a Law be Unlawful?

Citizen Tom:

When you read this post, consider what kind of people it takes to distinguish between lawful and unlawful laws. Consider what kind of people it takes to force their leaders to abide by lawful laws.

Ask yourself this question. Are we still that kind of people?

Originally posted on Necessary and Proper:

Lawful vs Unlawful(graphic credit)

By Jeff Rutherford

I’m often tempted to try and devise a set of questions as a litmus test to reveal whether a person leans towards Conservatism or Progressivism.  Here’s a candidate question for such an ideological litmus test:

Can a law be unlawful?

To elaborate the question:  I’m talking about laws that are passed by a state or federal Legislature, following all procedural formalities, and signed by a Governor or President.  Can such a law be unlawful?

What is your first impression?  Is lawmaking just a

View original 906 more words

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