WHAT HOLDS THE BODY TOGETHER?

The Vitruvian Man (c. 1485) Accademia, Venice (from here)
The Vitruvian Man (c. 1485) Accademia, Venice (from here)

1 Corinthians 12 is a fascinating chapter in the Bible.  Here the great Apostle Paul describes how God equips us to spread the Gospel, what Christians must do when they come together and work in unity for the cause of Christ.

First the apostle gives us a sampling of the gifts God gives us through the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:7-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Then using the human body as an analogy, Paul describes our unity in the cause of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

But what holds the body together? In the 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes the greatest gift God gives us through the Holy Spirit, the gift of love. Love is what hold people — what bonds people — together in unity.

The Bible has much to say about love. Because it is so beautifully written, 1 Corinthians 13 is perhaps the most well known chapter in the Bible, and this chapter, following 1 Corinthians 12 , speaks of love, the love that holds together the body of Christ.  In this Age of Apostasy however, I fear we need to reflect upon of another passage.

Not enough of us strive to bring up our children in the Christian faith. Not enough Christians work to strengthen each others faith. We do not devote ourselves to the spread of the Gospel. We spend too little time in prayer and in the study of God’s Word. Have we forgotten that God is love, that He demands that we love each other?

1 John 4:7-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

What hold the body together? Love. For God is love, and His love is the greatest of His gifts to us. Because He loves us, He demands that we love each other for love is also the greatest gift we can give to each other.

AMBUSHED AGAIN…..SIGH!

childrenI suppose I should know better than to post comments on some blogs.  Shrug.

To prove something or other (figure it out for yourself), violetwisp posted a fragment of a comment I made on her blog. See punishing children. I suppose I could comment in some detail, but I won’t bother. Mostly, I will just post a few comments from this post: breaking news: more bible translation errors discovered also at violetwisp.

Why not say more? When I read their comments at punishing children, it quickly became obvious that the people whose opinions I care about think violetwisp is being absurd.

So here is my reply. We make choices. Then we deal with the consequences, but some people grow up thinking they are exempt from suffering the consequences of their bad choices. Those people try to shift the consequences of their bad choices onto others. The enslavement of others is an extreme example of such behavior.

Children who receive proper discipline know that it is not right to make others suffer the consequences of their bad choices. That’s the basic difference between a responsible citizen and one who isn’t. The responsible citizen accepts personal responsibility. It also seems to be a big difference between the Modern Liberal and a Conservative. Hence that is probably why Modern Liberals and Conservatives divide so predictably on this issue.

Anyway, violetwisp has given me a good excuse to post some Bible verses.

To our modern ears, the Bible can make discipline sound harsh.

Proverbs 23:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13 Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
14 You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.

Beating a child with a rod sounds awful, but consider the alternative.  The rod was for the child who would not listen.

Proverbs 29:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Moreover, the point of proverb is to encourage parents to save their children, not hurt them. The point is to get a child’s attention so they will listen.

When I was little, I was a rascal. My mother was a small woman.  Once she realized spanking me with her hand hurt her hand more than my butt, she began using a wooden brush.  Still, I was trouble and had an uncontrolled temper.  When I threw a toy gun (made with metal in those days) and hit another child, my father used his belt on my butt. After that, I finally began to understand the consequences of bad behavior.

Anyway (again), here is the first link (to my first comment in the thread) to the comments in the thread violet that violetwisp extracted a fragment of one of my comment on her post.

https://violetwisp.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/breaking-news-more-bible-translation-errors-discovered/#comment-29948

Here is the full text of the comment that the fragment violetwisp quoted came from.

@violet

We are works in progress. We each have to deal with our problems as we best know how.

Did I discipline my children as well as I should have? No. I have a temper, and the ability of my eldest when she was two to set it off scared me. So I would have been stupid to wait until I was furious. Did that once. Did not hurt the kid, but I was thoroughly ashamed that I was about to lose it. It is important to be meek.

Just the same, when my wife was home alone with two kids, she had to do something with the older child or she could not take care of the new-born. She finally conceded the necessity of punishment (spanking was not something she liked either). Mostly she just stuck the two-year old in the backyard (fenced) until the child agreed to behave. Even with a shaded patio deck, Houston, TX can be quite uncomfortable without air-conditioning. Watching that stubborn, wilful little girl cry hurt my lady more than it did my eldest. Still, it worked.

There are spankings, and then there are very disagreeable alternatives that are just as punishing. Frankly, I prefer what my wife did, but it takes more patience, and the weather has to cooperate.

Why was the oldest misbehaving? Part of the reason is that she had lost her status as the center of mommy’s attention. So mommy included her as much as she could in taking care of her sister. Still, two-year old children will act up, and sometimes the “reason” for their bad behavior is they just want to do something they know they are not suppose to do. Even a two-year old child can be a control freak, and that kid was smart. She is an MD now. (from => https://violetwisp.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/breaking-news-more-bible-translation-errors-discovered/#comment-30008)

Here is the first link in another thread on the same post that that also relates disciplining children.
https://violetwisp.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/breaking-news-more-bible-translation-errors-discovered/#comment-29896

I suspect these two comments are the ones that most irked violetwisp.

  • “she disapproves of punishing children when they do wrong”
    Absolutely! It’s all about setting good examples and providing reasons for behaving in a socialised manner that takes other people’s feelings into consideration. Children aren’t ‘bad’, they’re just clueless about social norms until they’re sufficiently exposed to them, and they have some very basic needs (food, rest, comfort) that people tend to overlook before they launch into counter-productive disciplining. And this is one of the reasons I can never accept the Christian god in the Bible – the caricature of this omniscient being punishing its puny creation is disgusting.

    • @violet

      Well, you just gave away the game.

      It was never was anything about what insanitybytes22 actually said. It was about your perception, what you believe. It was about the fact Christianity offends you. Its mere existence offends you.

      I was that way once. The notion of God dying on a cross caused me to roll up my eyes. I could not understand the idea of original sin, that we are born with an affliction that only the love of God can cure. And the idea of a God with so much power…… What was little Tommy compared to Him?

      I have watch children grow. Brothers. A sister. My own. They are not entirely clueless. They waste no time learning the word “mine”. We are born with an insatiable pride. ME FIRST!

      Only love can quench a child’s pride, but first we must get a child’s attention. Without a bit a of mild punishment that’s next to impossible. With one child? Maybe. We can hold a child until it is willing to accept direction, if you have the time. With two or more? No way. Not even the most devoted stay at home mom or dad has that kind of time.

      If you love your kids, the choice between letting them run wild and smacking them on the bottom quickly becomes obvious. At least it does for people who raise their own kids.

I don’t think violetwisp liked my explanation of her attack oninsanitybytes22, not that I said anything that was not obvious to everyone from the start.

ALTERED REALITY NEWS FLASH: EMPRESS HILLARY CLINTON DENIES THE APOSTLE PAUL A VISA

Paul the Apostle, by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn c. 1657
Paul the Apostle, by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn c. 1657 (from here)

Today Empress Hillary Clinton issued an executive order directing her State Department to deny Christians entry into the dominions of the New World Empire. Sources say the application of a religious provocateur widely known as Apostle Paul for a visa to enter her domain prompted her to issue her executive order.  The State Department cited the apostle’s writings as grounds for the denial. The apostle is a high-ranking leader of a radical atheist cult that denounces the worship of the gods, discriminates against gays, denies women equal rights, and opposes infanticide for birth control.

The Apostle Paul, previously known as Saul of Tarsus, is a follower of the founder of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth. Pontius Pilate, Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea ordered Jesus crucified on March 29, 1991.  Christians claimed that Jesus rose from the dead on March 31, 1991. Christians cite his supposed resurrection as proof Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Sensibly calling that claim blasphemy Paul joined with those Jews that both Jewish and Roman authorities directed to stamp out the seditious cult.

After relentlessly prosecuting Christians for several years, Paul claims he experienced a vision while traveling to Damascus, Syria.  Incredibly, Paul says  he saw Jesus in this vision. Immediately afterwards Paul says he spent three years in the Arabian desert. What he did there is unknown, but he apparently spent that time undergoing indoctrination in the Christian ideology.

Since his desert experience Paul has preached the seditious teachings of Jesus throughout southern Europe. Paul has mislead thousands of previously loyal citizens to adopt his atheistic Christian beliefs.

Because rumors abound that Christians drink human blood and eat human flesh, authorities have repeatedly investigated Christian churches for engaging unauthorized human sacrifices. Thus far authorities have not confirmed any of these rumors. Nevertheless, Christians make no secret of their refusal to worship the empress and the Roman gods, their opposition to the gay lifestyle and pederasty, and their insistence all women should dress and behave modestly, including those engaged in temple worship. Because of its implications for population control, the empress is especially concerned by their opposition to infanticide for birth control. She considers this a direct threat to the stability of the empire.  Therefore, the empress issued her  executive order.

2016 POST ELECTION STRATEGY AND TACTICS – PART 5

It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency. -- George Washington, in "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment" in a letter to Alexander Hamilton (2 May 1783); published in The Writings of George Washington (1938), edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, Vol. 26, p. 289. (from here)
It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency. — George Washington, in “Sentiments on a Peace Establishment” in a letter to Alexander Hamilton (2 May 1783); published in The Writings of George Washington (1938), edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, Vol. 26, p. 289. (from here)

What posts have gone before?

  • PART 1: We spoke of my personal goal for good government. Is it the same goal you might have? Perhaps.
  • PART 2: We considered the primary obstacle to good government.
  • PART 3: We reviewed the defensive components of a strategy for good government.
  • PART 4: We reviewed the offensive components of a strategy for government.

PART 5 begins a discussion of tactics. This post is the first in a series about how ordinary men and women can affect the operation of our government for the better. This posts explains why we must participate in politics. How do we get motivated?

Why We Must Participate In Politics

What’s our obligation? Consider the words of George Washington (under his picture at the beginning of this post).  Because our government protects our freedom and the freedom of our family, friends and neighbors, we have an obligation to protect it. Whereas Washington spoke of protecting the government of a free society with arms, here we speak of the peaceful duties of citizenship.

citizenship noun

  1. the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen.
  2. the character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen: an award for good citizenship.

Most of us have the odd idea that joining and participating in a political party is something only a political junkie would do.

Political Junkie
One who is obsessed with all things political, watches C-SPAN, and votes in every election. Rachel Maddow is often credited with coining this term.

Example usage: I am such a political junkie, I need to stop writing emails to Senator Feinstein and get out more.

The political junkie, however, for the most part merely seeks entertainment. Many regard politics as a blood sport and fun to watch. These vote for the one they think the winner of the contest.

Voting is important. Writing our elected representatives is also important, but more is required. Consider.

to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know. ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (from here)

To know and understand in politics, we must participate in politics. Why would we do that? If politics fascinates us — if we crave to learn about politics — then God has given us a call to participate in some way, however large or small.

The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love Him and imitate Him. — John Milton, quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 364. (from here)

Whatever calling we have, we must apply what we learn in the way we think our Lord Jesus would have us. Do we care about the freedom of our family, friends and neighbors? Don’t we innately understand the importance of being a good citizen?

We all know what the Bible says about justification by faith. In fact, the first reference goes back to the Old Testament.

Habakkuk 2:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

We demonstrate our faith with works. We know Jesus expected us to help the poor and needy. Thus, the Apostle James spoke of the relationship between faith and works.

James 2:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

What we often forget is that God made us all poor; He made us all needy. We come into this world with nothing. If we are fortunate, we have good and capable parents. Yet even the best of parents must depend upon others, including that institution we call government.

In the United States, we don’t have a king. We live in a constitutional republic.  We elect officials we constrain with laws, laws we enforce as good citizens. As good citizens, we insist that the people who rule in our name obey the law. So it is that as citizens we must be spiritual warriors, protecting our families friends, neighbors, and ourselves from Satan’s mechaniations.

Spiritual warriors? Does that sound weird? Then remember how Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world.

Matthew 4:8-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Could Satan tempt Jesus with that which he does not control? Of course not! Then Satan rules this world. To follow Jesus we must resist Satan and force him to flee (James 4:7). So let’s open our Bible and consider the meaning of Matthew 22:15-22, Romans 13:1-7, Ephesians 6:10-201 Timothy 2:1-7, and Titus 3:1-8. Let us also consider that we call the first five books of the Bible the Mosaic Code. Let us remember that in 1 Samuel 8 the Bible warns us against allowing ourselves to be governed by a king instead of God. Let us remember the alternative to good citizenship; it is slavery. If we are unwilling to take responsibility for our government, then those who govern us will enslave us.

What do warriors do? They organize, train, and equip for war.  Then, when they must, they battle their enemies.

In posts to come, we will consider how Christians can fight on that complicated field of battle we call politics. Hopefully, when we participate in politics we will mostly find our find ourselves merely in disagreement with people we call family, friends, and neighbors. Sometimes, however, our disagreements will be more serious. Then we must call upon our Lord for greater wisdom and greater strength. Then we must remember who it is we love most.

Matthew 10:34-39 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Brings Division

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[a] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.