DOES GOD HATE: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? — PART 2 WITH AN AFTERTHOUGHT

Adolf Hitler is sometimes used as a modern definition of evil.[25] Hitler's policies and orders resulted in the deaths of about 50 million people. (from here)
Adolf Hitler is sometimes used as a modern definition of evil. Hitler’s policies and orders resulted in the deaths of about 50 million people. (from here)
This post continues where DOES GOD HATE: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? — PART 1 left off.

What is the subject? God commands us to love Him and each other.  Is all sin then a failure to love as we should love, and all hate anathema to love, thus sinful? That is what some believe, but what if this belief is untrue? How are those who believe this untruth harmed? Will God punish people for loving instead of hating?

In the last post we asked How Does God Hate? and we defined the following: Children of God; Good and Evil; Grace, Mercy, Truth, Justice,….., and Holy Spirit; Love and Hate; and Sin. Here we will consider when love and hate are appropriate.

A Time To Love,
    And A Time To Hate (from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Because God is Holy, we should always love God, but what about our neighbor? When does our neighbor become as a ravening dog or swine to us, someone so vile we must rightfully abhor their presence? There is no simple answer, but we should not judge others more harshly than we wish to be judged by God.

Matthew 7:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Do Not Judge

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

When we judge another we choose to love or hate something about them. Why is whether we choose to love or hate so critical?

  • Love does not solve problems, but it does motivate us to obey God and help each other. When we love God, we study and try to obey His moral laws.  When we love each other, we strive to be patient with each other, and we help each other. We give our neighbors a helping hand. We participate in politics to protect our neighbors’ rights. We give to charity…..
  • Righteous hatred does not solve problems, but it does motivate us to minimize the harm done by evildoers. When see someone doing wrong, we try to stop them. We blow the whistle. We join the posse. When we see that a war is just, we gird ourselves for battle.

Consider for a moment that image of Adolf Hitler at the beginning of this post. Of course that picture was propaganda, but contemplate for a moment the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. Millions systematically exterminated. No big deal? Of course not.

When someone does something evil, are we suppose to love what they do? Are we suppose to be indifferent? Or are we suppose to hate evil? With unabashed fervor, that image of Hitler called for righteous anger, hatred. Was it wrong? Before you judge, consider again how many of those millions died (see Extermination camp).

If we love someone won’t we hate any evil that befalls them? If we cannot allow ourselves to hate whatever evil harms our loved ones, how can we say we love them? To not hate requires indifference. To hate requires us to love. Hatred is  another way we manifest our love.

Hatred, therefore, is not always evil. Hatred becomes a problem when we do not  love righteously. Therefore, while God will not punish people just for loving instead of hating, it is quite likely He will punish those who love or hate wrongly.

When we love wrongly, we enable bad behavior.

  • If we love our self or worship some idol of our own making more than God, we will ignore God’s moral law. Think of narcissism, the love of money, or the love of sex. Contemplate the emptiness of a soul indifferent to anyone’s welfare save his own.
  • If we love another person more than God, we enable sin. Think of a spoiled child, the leaders we give too much power because we worship the power of the state, or the sex and drug addicts we refuse to hold accountable.

When hate wrongly we destroy either ourselves or others.

  • If we hate God, we never learn from our suffering. Instead of examining our own behavior and correcting it, we blame God for our foolishness.
  • If we hate our self, we will punish our self with self-destructive behaviors. Think of despair, that lazy fool who has given up trying, or the glutton obsessed with sex, food, drugs, or….
  • If we hate our neighbors, we will destroy our relationships, and we will hurt those we should love. Think of the bigotry, the stealing, the murder, the gossip, and so forth that stems from anger, greed and envy.

The Wisdom Of The Bible

 John 14:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, keep[a] My commandments.

If we want to learn what God loves and what God hates, we need to read the Bible. The Bible provides us the commandments of God. If we wish to obey Jesus and keep His commandments, we must read the Bible.

Consider one of the passages that people cite to justify the notion that Christianity is all about love.

Matthew 22:34-40 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Footnotes:

  1.  Matthew 22:37 Deuteronomy 6:5
  2. Matthew 22:39 Leviticus 19:18

As the footnotes indicate, Jesus summarized the Mosaic Law by referring to two verses in the Old Testament.  Did Jesus say the Law did not matter any more? No. Then what was Jesus’ point? In order to obey the commandments of God, we need the motivation that comes from loving God and our neighbors.

If we truly love Jesus, then we will read His Word. We will do our best to understand our Lord, obey His commandments, and follow His example. We will strive to become wise in the ways of our Lord.

An Afterthought: Why Do Some People Insist That Hatred Is Wrong?

The Bible does contain admonitions against rage (Proverbs 15:18), and it tells us that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:35). Nevertheless, even Jesus grew angry, and He drove the money changers from the temple.

Mark 11:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?[a] But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”[b]

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.

In fact the Bible speaks approvingly of righteous hatred (Psalm 101:3, Psalm 119:128, and Proverbs 13:5 for example). So why do people have a problem with it? Well, none of us can get into another person’s mind and examine it. We can only speculate based upon what we know about ourselves and what people say.

What do I know about myself? I can be quite cowardly and lazy.  When I see someone doing something I know is wrong, I find it easier to tolerate bad behavior than to condemn it and try to stop it. That is especially true if I don’t know or care about the people involved. Don’t we all find it difficult to love a neighbor we don’t even know?

Why do people say they are willing tolerate bad behavior? We have tried to turn Truth into what we each want to believe. At the same time, we have turned tolerance into a virtue.  Therefore, what is right and what is wrong IS NOT whatever is actually right and whatever is actually wrong. More and more our society proclaims that Good and Evil are just our personal preferences, that tolerance is the only “virtue” we must publicly endorse.

So it is we find many things Americans would not have put up with just a few decades ago “tolerable.” At the same time that sort of behavior we say we want to see in each other is becoming less common.  Here are lists of both.

Galatians 5:19-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[a] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[b] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 

 

DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!

Don't feed the trolls sign, near Fløyen, Bergen, Norway.
Don’t feed the trolls sign, near Fløyen, Bergen, Norway. (from here)

This post is a sequel to CHRISTMAS AND THE GIFT OF A CIVIL SOCIETY and another post I wrote years ago, THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY. Actually, James Madison wrote most of THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY. That is, I quoted him. And the best material in CHRISTMAS AND THE GIFT OF A CIVIL SOCIETY came from the Bible. So you could say that to find my best material I troll the writings of others. However, that is not the kind of trolling we will talk about here.

The Problem With Trolls

“Don’t feed the trolls.” Don’t we all know what that means? Isn’t it a cute expression? It makes us think about feeding the wildlife, and until the wildlife starts biting and clawing, that’s fun.

Here is an example. I once had a friend with a cat who liked being petted. That sounds innocuous, and until I decided to withdraw my hand, the cat was quite friendly. Then the cat made it known that she was not yet done with being petted. My friend should have had that savage little beast declawed.

We are all like that cat. We are all trolls. We are all part of the wildlife, and we can all turn vicious. We don’t even have to be fed. We just have to be petted.

A Proper Troll? (from here)
A Proper Troll? (from here)

How does that relate to a republic? To maintain a republic, we must maintain a civil society. Can you imagine a civil troll? Therein lies the problem with a republic.

To have a civil society, we must obey the Golden Rule. On our own we cannot do that. Being what we are, we cannot even be honest about the meaning of the Golden Rule. We will bend it to suit the occasion. Somehow, someway we will make doing unto others all about what we want to do unto others, not treating others the way we want to be treated. We will hunt for nuances, craft exceptions, and most “useful” of all, use the ends to justify the means. We will lie to ourselves and to others and do what we want.

It is not that we do not know better. We create laws. We write them down. We try to fix their meaning, but laws are just words on paper. Because we lack integrity with a bit of sophistry we can make our laws say whatever we want them to say. We don’t even have to amend what is written on paper. That is why few nations have ever come close to achieving a civil society, and that is why few republics have lasted very long. Sigh.

So What Is The Point Of A Republic?

In a nation with millions of trolls, no troll by himself or herself can be a grave danger to the peace of the nation. As James Madison observed in The Federalist, Paper # 10, (see THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY) the problem resides in our ability to form gangs of trolls, that is, factions. Hence, as Madison observed, we have a choice.

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. (from here)

Since Madison could envision no method of curing the mischiefs of faction that were not worst than the disease, he argued for controlling its effects. Madison advocated a constitutional republic, a limited government designed with checks and balances to check the passions we associate with factional politics.

Even so, we remain trolls. Of what use is a constitution for trolls? Unless we each have the personal integrity to obey a law as those who wrote it meant it to be obeyed, how can the rule of law provide a solid foundation for our government? Is it not like building a house upon shifting sand?

Because most men cannot control their trollish character, most societies opt to control the passions of factions by using tyrannical force to stamp it out. To maintain their own power — their own faction — powerful, tyrannical leaders insist that every citizen voice the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

Because we are what we are, we have no personal integrity of our own. So what else can we do? How can we avoid joining a faction and abusing the rights of our neighbors? How can we avoid the necessity of condemning our family, friends and neighbors to an ironfisted tyranny? Where can we each find a rock upon which to build a foundation for our character? A proper foundation for our government?

Long ago Jesus spoke to us, and the fathers and the mothers of this nation listened.

Matthew 7:24-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

Build Your House on the Rock

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Jesus is the rock upon which they built.

Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 4 (WITH ONE LAST THOUGHT)

Resurrection of Christ by Hans Memling (from here)
Resurrection of Christ by Hans Memling (from here)

What got this series started? That is Everything is a Miracle by insanitybytes22. When violetwisp and rautakyy  asked some challenging questions in the comment trail following ‘s post, I decided to answer in posts of my own (starting here). This is the final post in that series.

The Definition Of A Miracle

In my mind, this had become a rather complicated post. What should I do with it? Then I remembered, when confused we must go back to the fundamentals (That is what I call Fundamentalism.   😉    ).

So what is fundamental? In “Ownership of the Christian Message?”, takes on a critic of Christianity. That critic played up all the divisions among Christians. Instead of  observing the flaws in human beings, the critic claimed the divisions among Christians suggests the teachings of Christ do not come from God. Nevertheless, as the Apostle Paul explained, to those who are called the Bible provides a clear message.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

So what do miracles have to do with this? Later in 1 Corinthians, Paul emphasizes the importance of the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Risen Christ, Our Hope

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ serves as the central miracle of the Christian faith.  We must accept this miracle or our faith is pointless. As I 53:5 Project observes:

Truth is, by nature, intolerant of falsehood. If Christianity is not true, then Jesus was not God, then Jesus did not do miracles, then Jesus did not heal the sick, then Jesus did not walk on water, then Jesus did not die and rise from the dead after three days. (from here)

Everything is a miracle, but we do not ordinarily call everything a miracle. Instead, what we call miracles are mysterious events for which we can perceive no immediate cause. Because God makes special use of miracles, we associate miracles with Him. Consider this definition provided by Don Merritt.

The gift of Miracles is the ability to perform supernatural acts as an instrument or agent of God which altered the expected course of nature; its purpose is to change or alter the expected course of nature in order to draw attention to God and glorify His name. (from here)

Rob Barkman has observed that God uses miracles with restraint, that over Biblical history His servants have performed miracles for short bursts of time. Then they performed sign miracles to establish their credentials as servants of God.

In each case, the “sign miracles” were in existence for approximately 70 years.  In each case, a “silent time” existed after each group of miracles, where no sign miracles and few, if any, other miracles were performed.  Why?  Once God established the validity of each of the above segments, there was no need for miracles until another segment was about to take place. (from here)

So it is that about 2,000 years ago, Jesus came, and we had a burst of “sign miracles,” the greatest of which was the resurrection. The resurrection proved the divinity of Jesus Christ, that the crucified Christ had died for our sins.

Is there proof? How can we know that this miracle, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, truly happened? altruistico has considered that issue. Here are a couple of good posts.

  • Is there proof for the inspiration of the Bible? looks at the Bible itself. Because the Bible is the inspired Work of God, it constitutes proof, our proof. The Bible itself is a sign miracle.
  • Is faith in God a crutch? considers the charge that Christianity is only crutch versus a rational choice. Contrary to the suggestions of some, belief in the Bible requires serious commitment. Before we can make such a commitment, we have to weigh the costs.

In the end, however, we don’t know anything for absolutely certain. Hence, to act upon our beliefs, even the notion that the sun will come up tomorrow, requires faith. That’s why we speak of faith. To act upon our belief in Jesus Christ, we must must have faith in the salvation He offers.

Here is how Wally Fry explains.

Not only is there the chance that faith not accompanied by works is not true saving faith, but our works are the only way believers have to illustrate to a non believing world that our faith is a real faith. Here is a quote I found in The Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible that seems to express the thought perfectly.

The proof of the pudding is still in the tasting. The only test of a man’s salvation is through his works. A silent believer may be indeed considered a saint before God, but he remains a sinner before man until he walks the walk and talks the talk of Christian service

What is the proof that matters? That is the significance of having Jesus Christ in our life. Christianity has significance — the fact the Bible is God’s Word has significance — because acting upon the teachings of Jesus Christ produces a heart change above and beyond what we can rationally explain. If the Bible is not the Word of God, then what we know about Jesus and the effect of Christianity upon our world makes very little sense. We don’t really know how to explain how one day a man can be a great sinner and then repent.

We can pretend we do understand such a change. We can speak of the supremacy of human wisdom, of Man’s ability to perfect himself, but we cannot do so with honest humility. We may want to believe that the heart of Man is naturally good, but we each know better.

Each of us knows of the depravity in our own heart. We know of some prideful, unrepentant sinner who is always doing something wrong. We know of the outbursts of temper, the twinges of greed, the delight of humbling our enemies…. We know that wayward soul may not wish to admit it, but deep down we also know just how much we need a savior to change our stony heart.

Ezekiel 36:26 New King James Version (NKJV)

26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

One Last Thought

I thought this post complete, but I was still curious to see what others think of miracles.  So I checked out BJ‘s blog. John 6:28-29 (Great Works) begins with a quote from the Book of John and a string of psalms. then asks us to contemplate something.

What was God’s greatest miracle?

Finally, he nominates his own candidate.

You see, about thirty-three years ago I was a young child sitting in a Sunday school classroom at Greece Assembly of God. The teacher was talking about one of these great moments where God displayed His awesomeness and power. Or perhaps it was one of the many, many other great things God has done that I didn’t get a chance to mention here. Then that Sunday School teacher asked a simple question. Would we like to invite Jesus to come live in us. I said yes. She had us bow our heads and I said a simple prayer that went something like this, “God, I know that I am a sinner. I have done things that have made You sad and for that I am sorry. Please forgive me. I know that You died on the cross to take my sins away. Please take them. I invite You to come live in my life. I surrender my life to You. Thank You for forgiving me. Amen.” At that moment, when I made that prayer real in my life, the great God of the universe came and took up residence in me. To me, that was when God was at His greatest. What about You? (from here)

Everything is a Miracle — reblogged — Part 1

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio.
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. (from here)

We achieve faith in God only with difficulty. Some of us have parents who work energetically to instill such faith in us. Nevertheless, all of us have to learn God is real. All must learn He cares about us. All must decide to return God’s love or reject it. In Everything is a Miracleinsanitybytes22 replies to violetwisp .  calls herself an atheist.

Violet has a post up called “coincidence, tragedy, and other acts of God.” It is one of my favorite subjects because I am all about the synchronicity, the harmony, the sweet music that plays connecting random events together.

Science and math are especially good at showing us the true story of synchronicity, about the interconnectedness of the world around us. Often we will speak of eco- systems, the way each part plays a role and to remove even one piece changes the entire design. I remember a ridge of trees in Hawaii that were cut down on the rainy side of an island and it changed the clouds, altered the rain patterns, created a drought in that area which killed the native plants, which lead to a mudslide, just an astounding series of events that transformed a little piece of paradise into a pile of muck, all because a tree line was removed without a good understanding of the significance, the purpose it served. (continued here)

Interested in this subject, I commented, and  and rautakyy responded. Our discussion involved five issues.

 and I debated these issues.

  • Does the Bible promote slavery?
  • Does the Bible promote sexism?
  • Does the Bible promote animal abuse?
  • Does the Bible teach us to hate homosexuals?

 and I focused more on the subject of ‘s post. Is “it” coincidence or does God involve Himself in His creation?

 has a post which is peculiarly related to ‘s complaints.  In Values argues that our values are the result of processes.

Values are results of processes, not some fixed ideals, that could stand on their own just because a god said so, or because we chose them through equally arbitrary method and then mutually simply agreed upon them. But processes represent change and that alone seems overwhelmingly threatening to some people. As if some of us were so inherently fearfull of even a thought of a change. The question is for us to evaluate the processes and choose them according to best results. How then do we decide what is best, or even good? To put it as simply as I can, the method to choose what is good and valuable is, to choose the values, that under most objective scrutany give us the results for general human wellbeing only for the simple reason, that we making the choise are indeed humans. As chosen by the largest group of people with the best awailable information who would prefer the values and conditions resulting in them to themselves and equally to others. That is the value of democracy.

There is an element of truth in ‘s assertion, but, fundamentally, he misunderstands. Because God is eternal and unchanging, God has fixed ideals, but we change. Therefore, how we obey God’s command to love and obey Him change.

In His mercy, God adapted the Mosaic Code to the needs of the Jews, and He says as much.

Matthew 19:7-9 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

Jesus answered, “Moses gave you permission to divorce your wives because you are so hard to teach. But it was not like that at the time of creation. I tell you, then, that any man who divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness, commits adultery if he marries some other woman.”

Let’s use ‘s complaints as examples.

Does the Bible promote slavery?

In America we now find it relatively easy to survive. Hence, we can have a naive notion of the past. Thus, in the midst of an anti-technology rant, an otherwise serious blogger, culturemonk can say something like this.

The world used to be agrarian; prior to the Industrial Revolution, 97% of Americans were farmers. If the weather was bad one year, instead of being “unemployed”  you merely migrated to a different part of the country to hunt for food, fish, or gather berries. You see, prior to the Industrial Revolution, people lived off the land and provided for themselves…….there was no dependence on “the man” for a job. (from here)

Was that the nature of famine? Imagine life a couple thousand years ago.  No machines. You plowed your tiny plot with a stick. What if this year the rain either failed or drenched the land and rotted your harvest. What if some of your neighbors have better farmland? What if they are more skilled as farmers?

You see barns. You see your neighbors have managed to fill them, and you and your family are starving. What would you do? Would you simply take your family and venture into the wilderness. With an empty belly, would you just hope for the best?

In those days when the world was mostly agrarian, what kind of welfare program did most societies have? Was it slavery? Yes. When people could not find the resources they needed to survive, they offered themselves up to those more capable as slaves. Undoubtedly, some slaves were more trouble than their economic worth, and many slave masters abused their slaves. Nevertheless, those more capable were still expected to do what they could to help their neighbors, and that peculiar institution, slavery, provided them an incentive.

What does the Bible say about slavery? The Bible does not recommend slavery; it simply says that masters should treat their slaves as well as they can. God is more concerned by the fact that we enslave ourselves to sin than He is by the fact we enslave each other.

John 8:34 Good News Translation (GNT)

34 Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: everyone who sins is a slave of sin.

If we did not sin, would we enslave another person?

Does the Bible promote sexism?

God is not partial, but we are different, and He has fitted us to different tasks. That’s why the Bible teaches is that men and women are different. Therefore, while in this life men and women are better fitted to different roles. That makes it possible to take verses out of context and pretend the Bible supports sexism. Thus, when  neglected to quote the last passage in the verse in the passage below, that makes it sound like women do not have a critical role.

1 Timothy 2:12-15 Good News Translation (GNT)

12 I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet. 13 For Adam was created first, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and broke God’s law. 15 But a woman will be saved through having children, if she perseveres in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

When the Bible tells about the kings of the northern and southern kingdoms of ancient Israel, in each instance the Bible tells us the name of his mother. Thus, the Bible credits his mother, the hand that rocked the cradle, with the good or the evil done by that king.

For now, we can only see each other from the perspective of this life. God has an eternal perspective. Thus, when the Sadducees asked about the next life, Jesus explained.

Luke 20:34-38 Good News Translation (GNT)

34 Jesus answered them, “The men and women of this age marry, 35 but the men and women who are worthy to rise from death and live in the age to come will not then marry. 36 They will be like angels and cannot die. They are the children of God, because they have risen from death. 37 And Moses clearly proves that the dead are raised to life. In the passage about the burning bush he speaks of the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is the God of the living, not of the dead, for to him all are alive.”

What is important to God? Is it the fact you are a man? Is it the fact you are a woman? Or is it the fact that you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

To Be Continued (Next Saturday, hopefully)

The subjects will include: