A comment from insanitybytes22 left me puzzled.
I don’t think that is quite right, Tom. However, it does explain why I am so often in disagreement with you, Branyan, and SOM! I can see the roots of these ideological conflicts. First of all, Jesus never came here preaching the Christian “religion.” He actually had some choice words to say about the religious leaders of His day! Second, He never told us we could achieve happiness. In fact, the precise opposite. He said, “in the world you will have trouble.” And lastly, we don’t achieve peace and civil harmony by acquiring moral virtue. If that were what it was really all about, good people would not have suffered, martyrs would not have been executed. Wearing our own “moral virtue” is like wearing nothing but filthy rags, it has no meaning, it is woefully inadequate. Besides, most everyone usually thinks they are right in their own eyes.May 27, 2022 at 6:48 pm
What was that comment about? insanitybytes22 was reacting to a comment I had made about wisdom and virtue. Why did her comment leave me confused? I understand Christianity is not really a religion. Christianity is about forming relationship with God.
- A religion is a bunch of rules, a bunch of do’s and don’ts. If we obey the rules, we save ourselves from hell and go to heaven.
- A relationship is about loving someone. We don’t love someone to save ourselves by obeying a bunch of rules. However, if we love God, we will demonstrate our love for Him by striving to obey Him.
Why is a relationship with God important to our salvation? When we repent of our sins and turn to God and love Him, He indwells us with the Holy Spirit. What exactly does that mean? The Bible says a fair amount about the Holy Spirit, but I don’t pretend to well understand what the Holy Spirit does. I do know that the Holy Spirit gives everyone different gifts, and we are most effective when we share our gifts and help each other (see 1 Corinthians 12). I know that I understand the Bible better because of the Holy Spirit, and that most certainly is a gift, even if my understanding is not especially great.
I also know that the Bible speaks of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5). We only bear fruit if we use our gifts properly out of love for our neighbors.
So, what has all this got to do with Memorial Day? Is this earth part of the Kingdom of Heaven? As Christians we declare that we belong to Jesus Christ, but this is the domain of Satan. Here Christians are soldiers. Here our Lord calls upon us to bear His armor (see Ephesians 6:10-18). And sometimes our warfare is both spiritual and physical. Sometimes we become both spiritual warriors and actual warriors, and some have given their earthly lives in the defense of those they love. That is what this post has to do with Memorial Day. That is, the most important fruit of the Spirit is a love so strong that we risk or even give our life for another.
Years ago I wrote A Memorial Day Devotion for Christians. That post points to a better post by Rob Barkman. Please take the time to read Barkman’s post.
Back to insanitybytes22‘s comment. Why does she think that I think we can achieve peace and civil harmony by acquiring moral virtue? Well, to some extent I think we can. The Bible teaches us wisdom, and if enough of us study and believe the Bible we will achieve a higher degree of peace and civil harmony. Afterall, why would God give us His Word if He did not expect us to learn something from it? Why would men and women volunteer to risk their lives for this country if they did not see something in it worth preserving?
Of course, so long as Satan rules we cannot make the United States of America Heaven on Earth. However, previous generations have made the United States a place where most people believe that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. That important bit of wisdom is one bestowed upon us by the Bible. God loves all of us. All of us are important to Him, and that is why so many for the sake of their family friends and neighbors have risked and even given their lives to protect this country the freedoms we enjoy, especially the freedom to worship God as we each think best. And that is why we celebrate Memorial Day and take a moment to remember those dearly departed souls.