IS IT THE CULT OF INDIVIDUALISM OR JUST THE PRICE OF SIN?

Creation of Adam
Creation of Adam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Did We Get On This Topic?

culturemonk answered another one of my questions.

How do you define individualism? Why are we individualistic? (from here)

‘s answer is in The Cult of Individualism…REALLY???. begins his post by listing a number of social disconnection issues he attributes to a “cult of individualism.” These include: drug and alcohol abuse, crime, anger management problems, and divorce.

Eventually, explained what he means by a “cult of individualism.”

Sometimes I refer to the problem as ‘the cult of individualism’ and other times I say ‘cultural imbalance’…terms like those are good because they help us to label an entire host of problems and allows us to each come to our own conclusion as to what we each believe is out-of-whack…..but what I am often really referring to is a very simple vice that we are all familiar with; selfishness.

Later, made this observation.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, Western Society is crumbling all around us; celebrities are worshipped, people pop pills, fractured relationships are commonplace, depression and loneliness run rampant……Yet instead of seeing these problems and coming together to work towards solutions….too often we have an attitude that it’s ‘every man and woman for themselves’.

What I think curious is that none of ‘s commenters, and there were a goodly number of them, took issue with ‘s observation that Western Society is crumbling. Is Western Society crumbling? Is Western Society crumbling because of selfishness? I fear the answers to both of those questions is “yes.”

What Holds America Together?

If American society is now crumbling, that suggests something was formerly holding it together. What? What is American society? Consider a fable attributed to Aesop.

The Bundle of Sticks

An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice.  He ordered his servants to bring in a faggot of sticks, and said to his eldest son: “Break it.”  The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the Bundle.  The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful.  “Untie the faggots,” said the father, “and each of you take a stick.”  When they had done so, he called out to them: “Now, break,” and each stick was easily broken. “You see my meaning,” said their father.

Union gives strength.

That wise old man wanted his sons to work together. That’s a lesson Americans once understood. Since America’s founding, we have considered families united in love the primary building block of society and it’s greatest strength. We saw ourselves as a nation of strong, healthy, God-fearing families united for one great purpose, to protect each others God-given rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Does that sound like an idealistic fairytale? Perhaps we are more comfortable approving of the American Dream, but what is that? Consider what historian and writer James Truslow Adams once called the “American Dream” in his 1931 book Epic of America:

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”  (from here)

How many times have you heard that the ”American Dream” is about fancy houses, sleek cars, stylish clothing or big screen high definition televisions? It was not always so.  What the “American Dream” once demanded is that we treat each other with mutual respect and charity, but there is a problem. How do people learn to treat each other with mutual respect and charity? Was it ever a function of government? No. That is what Americans once expected children to learn from the members of their family and trusted neighbors.

The Crumbling Family

Is our society is crumbling due to our decreasing ability to connect with each other? Considering all our newfangled communications technology, it would be ironic if we were more disconnected than ever. However, think what it would show. Isn’t what we communicate is more important than how we  communicate?

What are we communicating? If our society is crumbling, then we must be communicating our unwillingness to do anything about it, but why? Without making any effort to find a suitable replacement first, we are destroying the family, the institution that once taught Americans how to be good citizens.

  • We have attacked the integrity of the family. Check out Family structure in the United States and review the Controversies. Note the increasing number of children being raised in single parent homes.
  • We have refused to define marriage. If marriage is about children, then obviously the traditional definition, one man and one woman, still works. If marriage is about not offending pleasure-seeking adults, then no definition is needed.
  • We have not upheld the importance of fathers in child-rearing. Do children need both a father and a mother? The Bible, our traditions, and even statistical studies clearly state that children need both a father and a mother. Nonetheless, we as a society act as though children need only their mothers.
  • We have interfered with the Christian education of children. When the United States was established, with the help of their neighbors parents ensured the Christian education of their children. Since that time, we have replaced the local control of educational content with state and now Federal regulation.  We have done so at the price of removing Christian content. Acting as though calling religious content secular makes it secular, we have replaced Christianity with something that approximates Secular Humanism. Hence, what the public schools teach Christian parents too often find in conflict with their own values.

What is lost without strong families? When we do not raise our children as God intended, when they become adults our children will not know how to give someone their love. Within strong families, children learn to love their parents, their siblings, their extended families and their neighbors. Within strong families, children use their parents as role models. Moreover, if they are raised as Christians, children learn the example of Christ Jesus, how our Father in heaven expects us to love strangers, even those who would be our enemies.

What Would Lead Us To Destroy The Family?

What would lead us to destroy the family? What causes us to be selfish? Consider the difference between the sin of pride and virtue of humility. When we are selfish, we think only of our own needs, wants, and desires. That is the sin of pride. If we are humble, we think first of the needs, wants, and desires of others.

Because we are naturally prideful, we have to be taught humility. For example, we teach children to share their toys. Later, if we are Christians, we teach our children to follow the commands and the example of Christ Jesus. That is, we teach our children that whatever they have is a gift of God; they are only the steward of what God has given them. As disciples of Christ Jesus, God expects us to use our property, talents, and lives in His service.

None of us, of course, ever fully follow the example of Christ, but some do better than others.  So it is we can see there are still Christians who devote much of their lives to the service of others. Unfortunately, within our society,  Christianity has become less identified with charity. Thus, made this observation.

A couple years ago I asked two different Christian clergy (who were both close friends of mine) “Why don’t churches sponsor doctors for the poor in the community who don’t have health care?” Both minsters said, “That’s a very good idea, and in the history of the church; that is what the church did in the Medieval Ages….but it’s just something that we’re not interested in doing anymore”

In addition to suppressing Christian education by taking that over, with the creation of a costly welfare state government has suppressed Christian charity. And why? I think the answer lies in overblown egos and a desire to make “others” do the right thing.

Some years back I wrote a post on an “ideology” I call BUSYBODYISM. As a practical matter, BUSYBODYISM is an expression of selfishness. When we cannot be contented to let others run their own lives and spend their own money, we find ways to help them — whether they like it or not.

Loneliness

Dr. David Jeremiah provides an excellent discussion on this subject.

Other Views

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. — African Proverb 

28 thoughts on “IS IT THE CULT OF INDIVIDUALISM OR JUST THE PRICE OF SIN?

  1. Tom I wish to first and foremost thank you for your usage of my article. I am deeply humbled by this; more importantly I am honored to have a small presence within your blog.

    I wish to comment, in some small manner, on the issue of the “disconnect” of America and it’s citizenry. The actual problem, in my opinion, is “connectivity without intimacy”. As you so eloquently point out concerning the American Dream and How to Achieve it; families and neighbors were connected by the dream and concerns for family and friend. The marriage rate, then, was significantly high. They were connected and they became intimate as a result. In the 1950’s through 1960’s less than 12% of the population lived alone. God never intended for man to be alone.. As He stated in Genesis concerning Adam being alone. Today some 60% + of the populous dwells alone. A great disconnect.

    Additionally, in todays society we are overly connected through usage of e-mail, cell phones and other electronic device. Connected? Yes, but alone and without personal interaction with our families, friends and neighbors. We have lost the intimacy of that personal relation.

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you and yours, Tom. May He once again bless America.

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    1. It is my privilege and pleasure to connect to your blog.

      Thanks for comment. As sad I do not believe we are raising children who know how to be intimidate. Are they learning from their parents? Where is their father? Are they learning from their church? Whose bringing them? Are churches even touching upon the subject? Are they learning from the corporate mass media? That trash? Are they learning from their teachers in the public school system? No, Even if their teachers knew what to say, either they cannot say it or they are too fearful appropriately married young adults might explode the population.

      It’s is a sad state of affairs.

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      1. Either God has a sense of humor, I don’t know how to spell, or both. 😆
        correction => intimidate should be intimate

        I think I understand what the Apostle Paul meant by a thorn in the flesh. I will never come anywhere near close enough to perfect to be anything but what our Lord makes possible.

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    2. “Is it the cult of individualism or just the price of sin”

      –) If you have traveled to “third world” (non industrialized or however you refer to them) countries and interacted with the church community you’ll notice something amazing (as I found out in my travels); the things that we struggle with in the Western World aren’t as big a deal in their communities.

      The rates of depression, loneliness, and other psychological issues that permeate countries like the United States are much less in non-Western societies. Sure, they have their own problems (depending on the country it could be anything from malnutrition to poor economic systems that lead to massive unemployment and more)

      The church’s in (poorer) countries tend to thrive when it comes to taking care of their own; the attitude that it’s ‘every man and woman for themselves’ is much more rare in the poorer countries.

      Thus, I am not your typical Christian that merely wants to brush under the rug every societal problem and label it ‘sin’. Some problems in society have to do with the choices that Christians (and non-Christians) make.

      Not all the choices have to do with morality either…..

      Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to expand on this but if you want to read the authors who have greatly influenced me on this subject they would be Francis Schaefer (Presbyterian), Ronald Sider (Baptist), Martyn Lloyd Jones (Presbyterian), Neil Postman (Jewish sociologist) and Notre Dame Historian Mark Noll …..of those five authors I own all of their books and have read each of them……Obviously there are other authors that have influenced me but on this particular subject those five would be a good starting place.

      Hope that helps 🙂

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      1. Thanks for your comment and the book suggestions. I wish I could read all the books people have recommended, but there are simply too many of them. I know I will never get around to all five authors. Since you named Francis Schaefer first…

        “Is it the cult of individualism or just the price of sin”

        In a theological sense, sin is responsible responsible for that thing we call evil. When Adam sinned, his sin warped creation itself. So it is we do not have to sin for evil to come upon us. And as you say, many decisions, such as which car we want to buy, have little to with morality. But when we choose to stand apart and allow our society to crumble, that involves sin.

        When I was young, I read a series of science fictions book by Isaac Asimov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_series). Even though Asimov was a scientist, his book focused on the societal implications of invention, not invention itself.

        Imagine living alone by yourself on a planet full of robots, robots designed to serve you alone. Imagine becoming unaccustomed to the presence of other human beings. Imagine that it becomes a monumental struggle to associate with another human being, much less have sex and children. Can you imagine the depression, the loneliness, and the other psychological issues that would permeate people that choose to live that way? Yet given the opportunity to avoid the work required to build relationships with other human beings, are there not many who would choose such a life? What would it be like for such a person to join with another to have a child? Would such a person know how to properly raise a child?

        We have no robots, and each of us does not have his own planet. Yet many of us do isolate ourselves as much as we can. So I wonder. As time passes and our nation’s historic past fades into memory, I wonder what people will choose to forget. Will the history of our nation’s founding continue to morph until it has become a completely vile deed? Will those who follow us choose to erase any record that might show how the people who founded this nation were raised? Guilt ridden people have been known to do many strange things. When reminded of our sin, we can hate the one who showed it to us — even if they died two centuries ago.

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  2. There are a number of particles in this post with which I agree. The part I don’t understand, however, is the idea that we have somehow suppressed or discouraged Christian education in the United States. There is no country in the world where it is easier to live a Christian life than this one. We protect religious expression by keeping the government away from it. Christian schools proliferate everywhere, under the auspices of many denominations. I would think that the assessment of Christian education in this country is that it is flourishing.

    To be sure, we do protect religion by keeping the government’s filthy mitts off of it. That’s part of our Founders’ genius. It protects Christians and all other religions embraced by our citizens.

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    1. What part don’t you understand?

      We have interfered with the Christian education of children. When the United States was established, with the help of their neighbors parents ensured the Christian education of their children. Since that time, we have replaced the local control of educational content with state and now Federal regulation. We have done so at the price of removing Christian content. Acting as though calling religious content secular makes it secular, we have replaced Christianity with something that approximates Secular Humanism. Hence, what the public schools teach Christian parents too often find in conflict with their own values.

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  3. I thought I was clear before: the part I don’t understand is where you say that “we have interfered with the Christian education of children.” I said that it appears to me that Christian education is thriving in this country, and that I can’t imagine any country on earth where being a Christian is so readily accommodated by government. We set up a Republic that is very protective of all religions, Christianity, being the dominant religion in the country, benefits at least as much as any of them.

    As a Christian parent, I really, really don’t want government workers in the public schools teaching religion. They lack the qualifications and it is entirely too serious a subject to be dragged through the public school system.

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    1. So I explain the problem, present the bare facts, and you choose to deny there is a problem. When you choose to ignore the facts before you, how am I suppose to change your choice?

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  4. Huh?

    I think I was stating an opinion that differs from yours. Which “facts” have you advanced that I ignore? A lot of the post appears to me to be opinion. I share your views on several elements of it. I identified a portion of it in which I have a different opinion. You are not supposed to change my choice. You are supposed to think about whether there is objective evidence that we suppress Christian education in this country. My contrary view is that we have an environment where Christian education is doing rather well. Perhaps you have some data that show that the number of sectarian schools is declining over time or that the number of children in religious schools is diminishing. If so, we can look at those data and discuss the causes of the decline (government oppression or costs or whatever). I’m up for it. Try me.

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    1. So you are not aware of the existence of the public school system, the fact that most children attend it, the high cost of the system, its poor performance, and the fact that all taxpayers, even those who educate their own children, must finance the public school system? If that’s the case, what’s the point of your comment? So you can say that’s a fair use of the government’s taxation power? Shrug. You want to say such a thing? Go ahead. It’s your choice. If funding the school system for the benefit of teachers unions instead of children is the best use of taxpayer funds, then you are undoubtedly right.

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  5. You pay taxes for public schools regardless of where you send your children (or even regardless of whether you have children at all) because, as a citizen or resident, you are a consumer of those education services and their benefits. You can no more opt out of paying for public education than you can opt out of paying taxes for roads that you don’t drive on or F-16s that you don’t fly. My understanding of the uses of local property taxes for education is somewhat different from yours. I think they are used to pay for buildings, maintenance, school busses, teacher and administrator salaries and other costs of running the system. I was not aware that they were sent to the teachers’ unions. If my tax dollars are used as you think, as opposed to for the purposes that I believe they are applied to, then, yes, I would not be happy about that.

    I take it that you didn’t have any facts that you want to offer to back up your 2139 comment from 14 October.

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    1. Scout – I am not going to try to figure out what you mean by my 2139 comment from 14 October. I probably did not think you said anything that warranted a reply. Not everything anyone says does.

      You are conflating a bunch of unrelated things. Schools, roads, and F-16’s have only one thing in common. Government taxes us to pay for them.

      When we want something, we have to figure out how to go about getting it. Government is sometimes necessary, but usually it just gets in the way. If you know what you want, and you can just make it or buy it from someone, what good does it do to give your money to a government official? It is just going to cost more, and it not going to be as good as what you would have gotten if you had just paid for it yourself.

      Given that we already have private schools — in spite of government’s attempt to establish a monopoly — I think that option is perfectly feasible with respect to education. Even homeschooling works better than the public school system..

      Have you ever seriously considered the morality of taxation? We don’t pay taxes voluntarily, do we? The IRS is feared for a reason. Thus, taxes = lawful extortion, and the fact that something is lawful does not make it ethical. Give that, we should try to keep government as small as possible, but we do not. Why? Would the fact we are educated in a socialist education system have anything to do with it?

      Anyway, it is your turn. So here are a couple of questions.
      1. When is it moral (for what reasons) to force people to pay taxes?
      2. Ostensibly, to make certain every child gets an education, we have a public education system. Even if we concede there is a “right” to receive an education (Please attempt to justify this concession in your answer to the first question.), why does government have to operate a “free” school system. When only a small percentage of children need such aid, why would we want government to educate/indoctrinate all children?

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  6. I agree with you that private schools and home schooling are viable options to public education. As I have mentioned in other threads on this site, I sent one of my children to Catholic, private schools and one to public schools. Each one benefitted from the experience. If I had switched them around, the result would probably have been less happy. Much dependson the individual student. Home schooling, if done properly by parents who are competent to teach in the various subject matters, can also be very efficient. I disagree with your generalities, but do agree that home schooling and private schools can be, in some cases, better options than public schools for some students. I think where we are disagreeing is that I see no real impediment to these options in the United States. They seem to be commonplace. I had no trouble using them when I thought it in the best interests of my children. I like having that degree of freedom.

    Yes, I consider the morality of taxation frequently. Thank you for asking.

    If it is immoral to assess or pay taxes, then no tax can be justified and no government can be supported. We must live anarchically, without any pooling of resource for the public good, and each depend on our brawn and brains to eke out an existence that feeds us and our offspring. However, I agree with Mr. Justice Holmes that taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society. Tax policy is tricky, because there are points at which tax policy can be a disincentive to wealth creation. However, in a democracy, the political process ideally identifies those things that we, collectively, deem worthy of pooling our wealth to accomplish and those that do not merit collective action. Obviously, this system generates controversy, but it is a considerable improvement on an undemocratic system where these decisions are made by fiat.

    I have stated before, but will, because I believe you are one of these people who needs repetition to help you with ideas, state again that education is a public good that benefits all members of a polity. The higher the education level, the more competitive a society can be on a global level, thus enhancing the overall standard of living for all citizens. One can, quite legitimately, always question whether the overall tax amounts are efficiently deployed, but, generally, I see no moral issue with using public funds to finance education systems available to all.

    I don’t want the government to indoctrinate anyone, but I do find it valuable that as many children as possible receive a basic education.

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    1. Instead pummeling the keyboard with innumerable words and pointless repetition, why don’t you just answer plainly stated, relevant questions?

      Paragraph one. You effectively conceded government operated schools are unnecessary. For all practical purposes, you conceded government operated schools have no good reason to exist. If private schools work just as well and there is no real impediment to these options in the United States, what is the point of forcing people to pay for a massive system of government-run schools? No force is involved? No tax money is collected to operate government-run schools? To even suggest such a thing would qualify as nothing more than rank BS.

      Paragraph three. I concede it is moral to pay taxes. That is implied in my question. I concede civilization depends upon government to maintain order. I asked when is it moral (for what reasons) to force people to pay taxes? The mere observation you see nothing wrong is irrelevant to the question. That’s not a moral justification for forcing someone who does see something wrong with being forced to financing someone else’s education and/or with a government-run school system.

      It seems you have never considered how the power to tax can be abused by the majority. If you have read the Federalist Papers, then you should understand that the men who wrote our Constitution had no doubt that the majority could and would abuse the rights of the minority.

      You considered my second question not at all. Shrug. I presume you don’t have an answer.

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  7. As a conservative, I of course have given a great deal of thought to the issue of taxation and its impacts on liberty and on economic well-being (which is closely linked to liberty issues). I do not start from a position that every tax must have a moral justification. I do believe it must, in a democratic society, have a political justification and be subject to a process that provides some degree of assurance that the tax legitimately has the support of the people. I have stated my appreciation that tax issues are difficult because a poorly justified or conceived tax undermines the legitimacy of the democratic process (or reveals that there is no democratic process) and that such taxes can de-incentivize productive economic behaviour.

    I know that logic is not your strong suit, and I try to be patient with this disability. However, I really don’t see where I have “conceded” that public education is unnecessary. I group it with police and fire protection and infrastructure. These are the kinds of things that I suspect are much more efficiently provided in a populous, economically advanced state through collective action than by everyone trying to do these things on his/her own hook. My position is clear enough on that point. I guess if I am “conceding” anything, it is that a society does not have to have public education. The difficulty with that position, however, (a position you espouse) is that such a society would be weak, heavily stratified and impoverished and no one would live in it voluntarily (except, perhaps, you.)

    Actually, I did answer your second question several times here and elsewhere. I don’t know that we have to go so far as to say that education is a “right”, in a legal sense (although once a government provides it, it must be provided equally under our Constitution). I do consider it an immense public benefit. And I would reckon that the number of children who need or use public education is not a “small” percentage, as you apparently believe.

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    1. I of course have given a great deal of thought
      I do not start from a position
      I do believe it must
      I have stated my appreciation

      I know that logic
      I try to be patient
      I really don’t see where I have
      I group it
      I suspect
      My position is clear
      I guess if I am “conceding”

      I did answer
      I don’t know
      I do consider
      And I would reckon

      It is not about you. It is not about me. When we consider something objectively, we have to try to see that something as God would see it.

      I do not start from a position that every tax must have a moral justification. I do believe it must, in a democratic society, have a political justification and be subject to a process that provides some degree of assurance that the tax legitimately has the support of the people.

      Without a moral foundation, what is a political justification? If we have a particular end in mind, then whatever means gets us there most efficiently is politically justifiable? If the support of the people is all that is necessary…. Do you have any idea how many bloodthirsty, tyrannical regimes began with the support of the people?

      When the United States began, the founders rested our nation upon the moral foundation of protecting each others God-given rights. Then they wrote a Constitution with the object of protecting those God-given rights. Ever since then, each generation has found some political justification, some notion that seemed right in the eyes of the majority, to remove us just a little further from the moral foundation of protecting each others God-given rights. The fancy name for such a political justification is pragmatism.

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  8. You have more confidence than I do in your powers to look at things through God’s eyes. I am absolutely convinced that I can’t do that. I am also almost equally certain that you can’t either. Moreover, I happen to believe that there’s much that happens in a political context (accelerated depreciation in the Tax Code, just to throw out an example) that’s not sitting high on God’s to-do list.

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    1. Note verse 17.

      Luke 19:11-27 Good News Translation (GNT)
      The Parable of the Gold Coins

      11 While the people were listening to this, Jesus continued and told them a parable. He was now almost at Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God was just about to appear. 12 So he said, “There was once a man of high rank who was going to a country far away to be made king, after which he planned to come back home. 13 Before he left, he called his ten servants and gave them each a gold coin and told them, ‘See what you can earn with this while I am gone.’ 14 Now, his own people hated him, and so they sent messengers after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

      15 “The man was made king and came back. At once he ordered his servants to appear before him, in order to find out how much they had earned. 16 The first one came and said, ‘Sir, I have earned ten gold coins with the one you gave me.’ 17 ‘Well done,’ he said; ‘you are a good servant! Since you were faithful in small matters, I will put you in charge of ten cities.’ 18 The second servant came and said, ‘Sir, I have earned five gold coins with the one you gave me.’ 19 To this one he said, ‘You will be in charge of five cities.’ 20 Another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it hidden in a handkerchief. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take what is not yours and reap what you did not plant.’ 22 He said to him, ‘You bad servant! I will use your own words to condemn you! You know that I am a hard man, taking what is not mine and reaping what I have not planted. 23 Well, then, why didn’t you put my money in the bank? Then I would have received it back with interest when I returned.’ 24 Then he said to those who were standing there, ‘Take the gold coin away from him and give it to the servant who has ten coins.’ 25 But they said to him, ‘Sir, he already has ten coins!’ 26 ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘that to those who have something, even more will be given; but those who have nothing, even the little that they have will be taken away from them. 27 Now, as for those enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and kill them in my presence!’”

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  9. PS: I use the first person singular because I am only speaking for myself. The views I express here are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone else, including God. I think that statement could equally apply to you, but it’s your site, and if you want to speak imperially, or even purport to speak for God, I won’t try to stop you. I simply don’t believe you have any divine powers and that your views and mine are both only as good as the logic and analysis that underpins them.

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    1. Every Christian is an ambassador for God. When we try to live like Christ, we try to acquire the mind of Christ. Because others see our successes and failures, each Christian serves as ambassador to non-Christians.

      Whatever the faith, those who believe in it represent their conception of God.

      Because we are all God’s Creations, I also try to avoid running the lives of other people. Even when we are in the majority, we have no right to abuse the God-given rights of another human being. Government is no excuse for being a busybody.

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  10. Excellent scripture-quoting there, Tom. You’re a champ. No typos. Good translation selection. Well done.

    As to your most recent comment, I don’t disagree with any of that other than trying “to acquire the mind of Christ.” Christ is God. I cannot acquire God’s mind. I can’t even try. If you can, you’re a higher life form than I am.

    The rest of the comment is, of course, one of those commonplaces of which you are so fond and with which no one disagrees.

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    1. You will never know how much wisdom you may acquire until you ask Him.

      1 Corinthians 2:13-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

      13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,

      “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
      Who knows enough to teach him?”

      But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

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  11. I assume you mean “One will never know . . . .” etc. Otherwise, it sounds as if you are preaching at me particularly, which, of course, you could not be because you don’t know me.

    Again, excellent scripture quotation. You are very accurate in your transcriptions.

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    1. Please don’t busy yourself by feeling so insulted. It’s wasted effort. How do I compare with God? If He loves you, what difference does it make if I don’t? If I grieve God by disobeying His command to love my neighbor, does that harm you or me?

      If one has not studied the Bible, one will not understand allusions to it. To have the mind of Christ means we understand how are to serve the Father. If we are to serve God, then we must strive to see ourselves as God sees us, and we must work to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

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  12. Bravo, Tom. Quite agree. Who wouldn’t?

    Only quibble I have is that I did not say that felt “so insulted.” I know you were speaking universally. My suggestion to use “one” rather than “you”, was stylistic. I know you weren’t talking to me.

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Oh Lord, It's Monday!

Understanding The Bible In A Way That Transforms You And Your World

The Cripplegate

for a new generation of non-conformists

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

MUSINGS OF AN IMAGINARY BILLIONAIRE

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Way Online

Christian Insight Through God's Word

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Reclaim Our Republic

Knowledge Is Power

John Branyan

something funny is occurring

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Christians in Motion

Christians in Motion

SGM

Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren

The Latin Community

"You will be my witnesses." Acts 1:8

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Derecho

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

Twenty First Summer

Thoughtful. Positive. Relevant.

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Christian College Professor

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

PUMABydesign001's Blog

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.

nebraskaenergyobserver

The view from the Anglosphere

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

altruistico

People Healing People

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Silence of Mind

Where God Speaks and Creation Listens

My Daily Musing

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample our enemies. Psalms 109:13

atimetoshare.me

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Nickel Boy Graphics

Comic Strips (Some Funny, Some Serious)

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

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