Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
What does this mean? Does it mean we shed our skin and look different?
It means GOD no longer sees us as sinners – past, present or future – because Jesus has paid the price for sinning: death, ultimately spiritual death. GOD has amnesia with respect to our sinful nature and we are assured of an eternal life.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
We have a new spiritual nature and depending on our progress as new creatures becoming more Christ-like we will display this change more as we grow in our Christian walk.
Some sins are easy to defeat but, some sins are PERSISTENT and take a RELENTLESS desire to purge from our being.
Hebrews 2:18 ESV
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
And so my fellow Christian, if you keep up the “Good Fight” against even the sinful tenancies within your self Our Lord can help you succeed. Remain committed, recall the victories, if you stumble repent and continue to walk in the faith. Study God’s Word each day, feed your mind what is good, and fellowship with like minded believers helping each other to be that “New Creature” even in this old world.
Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/
President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s Dream in 1964–65 * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Society
During the 1960’s the social upheaval, the negatives and the violence was only part of the story. In those years President LBJ was part of an effort to make life more equitable for Americans. He revealed his dream for a better America with ￼his desired improvements in education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, and transportation.
Just getting a chance to create Federal programs that would facilitate these positive efforts took a great deal of political skill (LBJ was a master politician). What was successful and what was not I will leave that up to you if you care to research the subject thoroughly. I am not going to evaluate his effort, nor examine the historical record now. My focus is on why I believe Christians can influence our society in many positive ways because of Biblical principles and can move humanity toward a Great Society nevertheless.
The Bible does not indicate that humans can establish perfection on Earth; it does instruct us how to live better.
The Holy Scriptures point us to a future when GOD will establish a New Kingdom upon a New Earth. Jesus Christ will rule.
Revelation 21:1 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
In the meantime Christians can do a great deal (and some have) to make living on this Old Earth better. Christians know from the Bible that humans are susceptible to self-serving motives and in some instances evil attitudes and behavior. Modern society dislikes the word “sin” so much that there are many people saying it does not exist; wishing it away will not make it vanish. Acknowledging it will help people to do a better job at lessening sin and its negative effects. The Bible paints a realistic picture of life as we know it and instructs us how to be victorious. First you must be honest.
Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Next Christians must strive to live the new life they have been granted even as their spirit still dwells within their old body.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Victory over sin in this life requires a number of proscriptions and prescriptions.
Yet it is not a simple matter of memorizing a list of do and don’t instructions (Like The Ten Commandments), it is understanding our nature, believing GOD, and possess the commitment to persevere knowing at times we will fall short.
1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Even if Christians are diligent this Old World can only improve to a degree; human nature and current reality will prevail.
1 Timothy 6:17 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Matthew 25:37-40 ESV
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Manipulation – control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously. www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&q=define+Manipulation
Mind control (also known as brainwashing, re-education, brainsweeping, coercive persuasion, thought control, or thought revision) is a controversial pseudo-scientific theory that human subjects can be indoctrinated in a way that causes “an impairment of autonomy, an inability to think independently, and a disruption of thought…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_control
MANIPULATION is operational
Advertising in all its forms is omnipresent here in the United States; in fact around the world in many if not most countries. This part of our reality can be viewed as a necessary specter because though a nuisance businesses need to advertise in order to function and compete – new and worthy products and services are often revealed in this way. When does manipulation become mind control?
Brainwashing or mind control . . . etc.
Is it real? Science Fiction demonstrates what this concept could be if it becomes irrefutable yet there are skeptics and experts that resist accepting even the possibility. OK I am not an expert; I need to lean on the literature experts present. Yet, when I review the research published about how our human brains work I suspect the science fiction writers have raised important questions about the possibility of actual mind control.
Our Brain is more than a Super Computer
We store memories and information not in a static state as a computer but rather in a dynamic state. The value of knowing this alerts us that our memories are not infallible and can be altered. Whether or not external forces can modify our minds substantially or not may be debatable but, it seems to me the more willing we are to accept change and, the longer we are exposed to what affects change within our brain, I believe the more likely changes will occur. How, parents influence their children, schools facilitate learning, the military trains and organizations guide their employees are all dependent on knowing how our brain works. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series “The Brain – The Story of You” and the companion book written by Dr. David Eagleman presents an excellent snap shot of where science is today concerning understanding our human brain. I recommend both highly. It may be just a matter of time before true and complete Mind Control is indisputably real.Our Brain is more than a Super Computer
Can the INTENTION justify the end result
Last week I wrote about “The Greater Good” and the danger of the concept when its definition is changed or is subject to change; the thoughts about this subject can lead one to consider implementing a perceived “good thing” by any means possible. Who decides what will offer the most good to whom and how many? The method of accomplishing the goal can be negative for some. Shouldn’t that cancel its implementation. Many of us probably heard a parent say, “I am doing this for your own good.” This most likely was true. As a citizen of a complex and often devious world we are reluctant to be so easily convinced by a political leader who espouses plans in a similar fashion. So what are we to consider when we plot a course for our life?
We are FINITE and subject to limitations
As a follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and I tend not to ‘lean on my understanding’ but rather trust GOD’s Word as a guide for my life. If studying and applying lessons learned from the Holy Bible manipulate me I do believe it is for my good and for the good of all.
Excerpts from the Holy Bible (ESV)*:
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
John 14:26 ESV
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
*Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/
In a world increasingly influenced by multiculturalism, pluralism and (seemingly CONTRADICTORY) individualism circumstances may beg the question: What is meant by The term “The greater good”?
If we could eavesdrop on two wise and learned people engaged in a debate about “The Greater Good” – one from antiquity and one from a possible future – perhaps we may gain some deeper understanding of this concept.
Standing on a stage before a group of people from around the world and many different periods of time, are two distinguished representatives about to debate one another on what is meant by the phrase “The Greater Good”?
￼The representative for the ancients is a man named Manu on the right; the representative for people yet to be extant a woman named Ai on the left; I (James) shall be seated below and in front of them and act as moderator when necessary.
Moderator: Ai and Manu you have read the rules for this discussion; if you do not have any questions are you ready to discuss the topic “The Greater Good”?
Moderator: Manu please tell us about what the term meant to early humans before there were cities, farms or permanent settlements.
Manu: In those days the created people emerged from the forests and engaged the world; the men hunted or fished as the women and children (able enough to help), gathered seeds, fruit and other small edibles. All helped manage water use and waste disposal. These practices constituted the first rules intended to insure survival; they insured all members of the group had the best chance to survive. Survival equaled “The Greater Good” Not adhering to them would certainly lead to death.
Moderator: Ai in the eras yet to come does this clear concept still ensure survival for the people who live in the future?
Ai: “The Greater Good” in the future is the same as “Do what Ever Makes You Happy”.
Moderator: Manu what kinds of humans suffered punishment and why if they were judged to do things or behave in such a way as to violate the rules jeopardizing survival of the many?
Manu: In the earliest days there were no jails or systems to modify or control recalcitrant individuals therefore capital punishment was the norm. Very few violators were punished in less severe ways. Gradually with the advent of larger populations other punishments requiring payment or restitution supplanted capitol remedies.
Ai: Allow me: In the future there is no punishment we understand all things are relative so we tolerate all but a very few crimes; the only remedies are control of a violator with substances that modify their behavior or relocate them. We no longer prosecute victimless crime.
Manu: Excuse me, what kind of life do individuals lead?
Ai: Most law-abiding individuals are happy and content; everything is provided from cradle to death (death is only determined by choice of the individual) or they can live perpetually since science prolongs life indefinitely. People try this or that but most settle into a quiet lifestyle enjoying constant virtual reality entertainment.
Manu: Is there nothing to engage in? No great people of science or leadership?
Ai: There is no need for any of that. Machines attend to every conceivable need a person may have. Machines do all the work and people simply seek pleasure and enjoy whatever pleases them.
Manu: And what about spiritual life, family life, friendly competition, exploration of the universe or altruism?
Ai: Those are all things of the past. There are no needy people; we can explore any imagined world using virtual reality; there is no need for GOD, God or gods we are each a god of our own. Humans can choose to live perpetually if they want to.
Manu: What is the average life span in this Utopian future?
Ai: Life span by choice averages about thirty years of age . . .
Ai: By that age most people have experienced all the joy they can and chose to vacate allowing room for a newly emerged individual . . .
Moderator: Ai and Manu I am sorry because that is all the time we have for today’s debate. We hope to see you both again and continue with this topic.
to be continued.
I am not sure what you make think concerning this topic but, I as a follower of Jesus Christ trust Him for my future.
GOD has created us for a purpose that is beyond our selfish selves. In this life we can be transformed by following HIS precepts; we can be fulfilled; we can know that we have a purpose and a destiny; HE will prepare us for a new future with HIS gift of eternal life that has meaning and fulfillment now and forever more.
Some Bible verses that point the way:
Isaiah 5:20 ESV
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
James 2:14-17 ESV
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Galatians 6:9 ESV
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Galatians 5:19-26 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. …
Proverbs 4:27 ESV
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Romans 12:21 ESV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The young-boy had taken a candy bar and was caught when he was escorted home by the patrolman everyone agreed: It was just a little thing. When his dad came home mom told him, “It was just a little Thing.” A few years passed and the boy was about to enter high school when a note arrive in the mail from his teacher:
'Dear Mom and Dad,Your son was caught sharing answers on the final exam . . . in light of his generally good record we'll consider it just a mistake . . . no punishment beyond a re-test is warranted . . . IT WAS JUST A LITTLE THING .Truly Your, Mrs. Teacher'
Now a teenage driver the young man had worked part-time and saved enough to buy his first car. One evening he and his best friend were ￼speeding home from a party; a patrolman waiting for speeders near their hometown caught them. The patrolman recognized him because he knew his father well, so he said, “Son in light that this was just a little thing I am letting you go with a warning; just do not do it again.”
In the university the young man did well with maybe a minor indiscretion or two now and then: they all were “just little things.” He finished his education and advanced as an attorney and eventually ran for, and was elected to, political office. His political career flourished and the story of his life seemed to be the embodiment of The American Dream.
When he had matured in age and stature he held one of the highest offices of the land; he was respected and heralded as a respectable elder statesman. No one including he ever dreamt of the disgraceful ending that befell him. It was exposed in the news to everyone that many of the political accomplishments attributed to him were achieved by subterfuge, backroom deals, deception and in one instance breaking a law.
As he was led away from the courtroom where he had been convicted he mumbled over and over, “It was just a Little thing.”
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
James 1:15 ESV
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
1 John 1:8 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Discipline your child, and he will give you rest; he will bring you happiness.
Population Control is an emotionally charged subject that often evokes strong emotion when debated.
Reasons for this are manifold: Religious, tribal, economic, fear, hate, historical, reprisals, political, limited or lack of resources, selfish, arrogant, criminal, misguided . . . or a combination of factors. Contributing factors that have the potential to be equivalent to population control could be, poor or sparse health care, easy access to weapons, easy access to alcohol and drugs, the availability of abortion on demand, a limited or substandard food supply: just some of the factors to consider potential population control mechanisms.
For this reason I will not express the rationale for approving or disapproving theoretical speculation: investigative research, statistical analysis, and other objective methods would surely be needed before a definitive conclusion with remedies be declared.
No matter why or how a particular population of humans may or may not be controlled is not the focus here.
The point of my blog post is two-fold: 1) examine facts and fallacies about human population growth, and 2) consider what may be an equivalent population control intended or not. When people are motivated by a belief about a growing population that is negative, they may quickly descend into a position favoring population control with no logical basis for it. If conscious efforts fall short, subconscious effects on decisions may be manifested unintentionally or even worse, by an agenda conceived and implemented in subterfuge intentionally.
Is over population on a global scale a myth or real threat to humanity?
Every time people predict that we will run out of resources or food human ingenuity finds solutions to the challenge. I believe there is enough food and natural resources wasted even now, that if this wastefulness was remedied all the people of the world could be adequately supplied. Renewable resources, renewable energy, increased production efficiency, less planned obsolescence, better urban and suburban planning and, preservation of natural habitat for all living creatures seems possible along with greater efficiency in use and manufacturing. Then too, there is the ultimate probability humans will become a space-faring race of sentient beings in the not too distant future – thus opening new possible homes and resources for people for some time.
I have a saying, “Too many people too close together equals too many problems and too many laws.”
Yet even this picture of growing populations in finite spaces is a fallacy, we have room for people: There are vast areas where people can live: marginal lands improved my technology, innovative methods that allow people and wildlife to coexist sharing space and new cost-effective energy sources that encourage new communities. New communities in areas with new opportunities for gainful employment hitherto too remote and hard to supply with required energy via conventional sources.
The image of a crowded inner cities where crime, substandard living conditions and undesirable habitat are prevalent, need not be extant. The conditions that create the circumstances for all these perceived negatives endured by people, may be the result of people seeking to live in substandard conditions. The people who live in these places like and create the situation that they live in – that often is the perception held by outsiders I believe. The converse idea that the situation creates the stereotypical people who populate the area in question is closer to reality. A vicious cycle feeding on itself: children are negatively affected while maturing and living in such an area and, they grow up believing there is where they belong thus sustaining the substandard area. Why? Because this is expected and, it seems there is insufficient interest and effort devoted to breaking the negative pattern. Another way to picture it: consider what happens when people are herded into – or confined to – places by suppressed economic conditions and are forced into where substandard conditions already beginning to take hold are thus overcrowding makes things worse. This is likely to accommodate the negative view and make the feared results a continuous reality. Social change from negatives to positives most probably is a generational phenomenon once the cycle sets in; think carefully, did a negative substandard milieu get that way overnight? Not likely, so it will not be remedied overnight either. It will take education, financial help and hard work to turn urban blight into prosperity.
What laws are passed or not passed, behavior of authorities, business practices or even qualifications for societal benefits may all serve a population control agenda.
These practices if governed by blind adherence to tradition or are linked to the subconscious negative view of the creators and not recognized as such. The status quo may be fiercely defended and if negative effects are demonstrated but judged to not be an intentional attempt to control the population growth then what? What about the identified population can it really be the natural outcome of the culture of the population in question? Perhaps some may say the effect on a segment of a population that may be negatively affected from the effects of the way their own political overseers carry out their governance and not any external effect.
Humans are not always truthful and one negative human trait that illustrates this well is the art of deception; it can also include self-deception. Think hard and carefully about what you think you know and how you came to know it concerning “The Bad Side of Town”. You may realize short of organized genocide the methods and effects may be very subtle. The control of a particular minority, race or class of people is not easily exposed because it may be an expected part of contemporary life but not recognized as such.
Let me get to the major goal of this post: the following paragraph will introduce ideas worth considering in view of the concept of population control.
Whether or not population control is actually a part of our society here in ￼The United States of America, it should be considered a possibility. It should be considered a possibility because the socioeconomic and equality problems recognized by even a casual observer may be correctable. In a land so filled with wealth, talent and passion it is hard to accept that nothing can change the situation of the poor living here. Young people please study and research the economically challenged of America. See if you can apply new ideas for change on old persistent problems that keep so many of our fellow citizen from enjoying a better life. People like these remain on the economic sideline and have not had their fair share of the American Dream.
Getting to the another major point:
Deep inside our minds may lurk ancient assumptions and practices that once helped us survive and thrive. We are hardwired to see faces, recognize differences, quickly determine friend or foe. I believe other latent ancient survival mechanisms probably exist as well. What was out of the ordinary could represent a threat so these mechanisms are understandable. Strangers may well have had clever tactics to overwhelm and conquer us in the distant past. Anomalous individuals born into our midst may have represented new unacceptable burdens, because they became non contributors, or disrupted the normal flow of peace and tranquility. Maybe they had to be eliminated in order for the group to survive. If resources grew short it may have led to warfare where the victor survived and the vanquished perished. The responses to these conditions may be in our genes: suppressed perhaps, but able to influence us in subtle ways even now. We as intelligent creatures have the ability to discover this and do something about it. We do not have to act as if we are condemned to repeat the same old mistakes of our past. We can and must change.
￼When we truly see all our fellow homo sapiens as family we will alter any destructive practice or impulse that emerges in us (of this I am sure).
If a population is perpetrating acts of violence upon their neighbors we can act to engage the evil and bring it to an end. If people are suffering and dying we can provide medical care to save them. If ignorance is limiting people to substandard wages and a low standard of living, we can educate them. If they live in horrible conditions, do not have safe water or sufficient food we can change that. If they are naked and cold we can give the clothing and shelter that is warm. If you study children and follow them as they grow to become adults you may discover much of the good they could have offered our society, was lost somewhere along the way. The very few people who represent stubborn problems can more easily be addressed in youth, before they become uncontrollable adults who seem to repeat evil acts perpetually.
When we do not address these challenges we may inadvertently be imposing a form of population control upon some of our people.
As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe the wisdom for our times is easily found in the Bible; all you have to do is accept it.
Excerpts from the Holy Bible:
Genesis 1:28 ESV
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Psalm 127:3 ESV
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Matthew 7:12 ESV
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
This post is a little different from most of my previous posts. How is it different you wonder? It is about the current world order and the distribution of wealth. Wait: it is not a manifesto of a radical social point of view; not about an ideology; not a litany of complaints. First I shall briefly write about the world condition and then emphasize speculation concerning current events as I perceive them. In conclusion I shall link conditions with wisdom from what I have learned and now believe. Let me begin.
Humans have discovered many things about our world that has contributed to the success of our species.
Science, technology, ability to anticipate, plan, test and pass on knowledge and skills have made life better for many of us but, not for all of us. The reality is, we have never conquered that trait of human nature that temps us to indulge in evil for personal reasons especially in order to gain riches and power. It infiltrates even the best milieu and as our population increased worldwide so does the negative fruit from this self-serving tendency. Fortunately today our collective memory about the two world wars of the last century has confined this manifestation of evil to a relatively small-scale and not on the large-scale infestation of the worst kind that history reveals. Of course if you are living in one of the hot spots where evil rules your world view surely must be very negative; this is understandable.
Even from a secular frame of reference people do not expect perfection in this world.
Yes we seem to have done better in many ways than what history reveals about past generations.
If you do study history you probably have recognized, like many things we observe, the good and bad times are cyclical. Political, social and even cultural aspects are greatly affected by this cycle of ups and downs good and bad times. The part of the cycle when good prevails followed by the part of the cycle when evil prevails. This pattern seems to continue ad infinitum. One old nemesis of peace and tranquility is a condition that arises whenever the disparity between rich and poor reaches a critical breaking point. When a population arrives at such a point drastic things usually happen: mass immigration, civil unrest, revolts and wars. Does that seem like a familiar theme to you?
Today some sources claim that the gap between the wealthy people of the world and the poor people of the world is greater than ever.
I can believe this. I see in the news everyday indications of clashes caused by desperate people on the move in search of a better life. The hopeless people flee anarchy, radical ideology and war. Unfortunately some stay and turn to more radical measures themselves, by adopting barbaric and brutal behavior believing it is their only choice. What is worse, people with criminal tendencies see this manifestation of evil masking as religious or political expression as an opportunity to validate their barbaric behavior.
Some adopt an ideology inspired by hate and fueled by anger because they are angry and they do hate; even if they have cause, their action only worsen situations that are already horrible. At the end of this post I will summarize the direction I suspect our
social reality will continue to be moving toward if the current state of human affairs continues unchallenged and unabated, but first I want to write about what may help alter these negative social forces and what may be a possible solution.
Like it on not a redistribution of wealth will always occur and seek a happy medium.
In physics we learn that equilibrium will occur when two different things representing opposites, like hot and cold, dense and sparse, or fresh and salty water will eventually arrive at a point when both modify each other and neutralize the disparity. The second law of thermodynamics. Wait, are not humans infinitely more complex than a gas or a fluid? True. If we examine extreme differences between groups of people with opposing positions we may note some similarities from their solutions resembling the basic examples above in some cases, and less predictable very different results in others : 1) Human behavior is unlikely to end a point of contention with all the individuals agreeing completely, instead there will be a distribution of agreement and disagreement along a familiar pattern – introducing the famous “bell curve”,
2) It only takes a small percent of a population to disrupt a solution, increase costs or foment discontent, 3) A total diffusion of any possessions, freedom, privileges or power may be unnecessary. Not many individuals desire solutions that guarantee they will be allowed to gain in excess. This is true especially if the extra benefits place greater demands on them who take possession of them. In other words, a fair distribution of material gain, freedom, power and privilege spread throughout a population would satisfy the majority of the people involved. Some would like more power and more wealth but others would not want the added responsibility that would go with it. Whatever solution is adopted it would require periodic evaluation, mechanisms for adjustment and remedies for failures. The group as a whole would need safeguards: methods to deal with disrupters, law breakers and abusers.
How is a more equitable world achieved?
There are many ways to redistribute wealth: a social mechanism such as taxation, charity, welfare, land reform, monetary policies, confiscations or more drastic measures like warfare, immigration, and lawless behavior on a large-scale. If people want peace then they must address the problem equitably before evil harnesses the unsettled masses and we all move toward anarchy, barbarism and a return to “The Law of the Jungle.” An immigrant may send money home; a nation may provide aid to a suffering neighbor country; the wealthier societies may invest money and resources where there is a need – a need to cultivate a higher standard of living for a people. In my opinion a more equitable world can be achieved but whether it will be a peaceful or violent transition remains an open question; an answer to a question that all people alive today have a vested interest in finding a peaceful answer to.
What if the gap between rich and poor continues or increases?
I have read science fiction literature and watched films that portray a future for humanity that is bleak, in chaos and violent. Walled or fenced cities where “The Haves” isolate themselves from the “Have-Nots”; within the cities luxury is common and excesses abound; beyond the perimeter where the poor masses struggle to survive it is a “dog eat dog” existence ruled by cruel and violent people. The status quo one day is totally upset when the security zones are breached and the deprived run amok venting frustration and hatred by attacking all who have “the good life” until an ugly equilibrium is established and a horrible dystopia is the reality for all people.
As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe the Holy Bible provides insight and the wisdom to achieve this goal.
*Excerpts from The Holy Bible:
Genesis 4:8-10 ESV
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
1 John 3:17-18 ESV
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Proverbs 14:31 ESV
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
Psalm 82:3-4 ESV
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
Proverbs 29:7 ESV
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
Mark 14:7 ESV
For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. . . .
*Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/
Yes it is OK to Love Animals and all living things showing respect and consideration for their place here on Earth.
If you consider that all living things seem to depend on each other caring for living things is beneficial for all life.
All life? Yes. all life is inter-connected. Scientists talk about food chains from microscopic to macroscopic; plants make food by photosynthesis and animal life consumes it; waste products becomes fertilizer; plants and
￼microbes store carbon and emit oxygen; beavers dam streams and habitat for aquatic life including amphibians is created. Humans appear to be the preeminent living creature on top of it all because we alter, consume and promote environments and even living things.￼
￼￼Why do some humans abuse their position?
Humans can be so aggressive and selfish when harvesting food and materials for their needs that the result is devastating to environments they share with other living things. This negative effect is becoming apparent on a planet wide scale affecting oceans, forests, lands and the atmosphere.
Abusers include the most hideous of all: poachers. Poachers kill living things just for a very small part of an animal: a tusk, an organ or a hide and more. Pollution is a problem a by-product of scale but, poachers are motivated by greed and their markets are the equivalent to nothing less than selfish evil. Whether deliberate abuse, accidental damage or ignorance the effect is the same: the planet becomes less able to sustain many life forms.
￼￼￼Before you dismiss this article as leftist propaganda think again.
As a follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I have learned that GOD the Creator has considered our world with all that is alive upon us as “Good”. GOD’s Word teaches us to use not abuse, to be considerate, respectful and competent stewards of all we preside over. It is clear to me from the beginning we humans are intended to be the caretakers of our world: Our only home, Planet Earth.
￼Selected Biblical Excerpts*:
Proverbs 12:10 ESV
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
2. Genesis 1:28 ESV
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds ￼of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”￼
Exodus 23:5 ESV￼￼
If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
Genesis 1:20 ESV
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”
Genesis 2:19 ESV
Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.￼
Genesis 2:15 ESV
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep Yes it is OK to Love Animals and all living things showing respect and consideration for their place here on Earth.it.
7. Numbers 35:33-34 ESV
You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no Yes it is OK to Love Animals and all living things showing respect and consideration for their place here on Earth.atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
*Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/
How often have you heard, “The Devil made me do it.”
Usually with tongue in cheek but instead it really should have been firmly held between our teeth whenever we feel like saying the old quip; the supernatural should probably be better left alone. No this post isn’t about demons, evil spirits or the Devil; it is about you, and me and ‘Free Will’.
We often do or say things that we would like to blame on all of the above; yet this is really a dark truth about human nature. After World War II many perpetrators of Nazi atrocities claimed they were only obeying ‘orders’ and by implication it was not they who were to blame for crimes against humanity. Really? Let us think carefully about this and not be so hasty shifting blame on others for the mistakes, selfish acts, crimes or cruelty we find ourselves involved with. Sure most of us can claim, “I am not THAT, bad.” Let us think about this statement more carefully.
If we are so innocent and intrinsically ‘good how is it many of us allow ourselves to comply with situations and things we know clearly is wrong? Cheat on taxes, pilfer, violate driving laws, cheat in games, cheat on our mate . . . etc. Worse? We many even find ourselves doing these things without help from anyone else. If we do not capitulate completely we may regret, agonized and repent afterwards but, in the end we must take responsibility for our actions.
Who knows what evil lurks in our hearts and minds, acted on or not?
Once upon a time my view on dabbling, with the occult, the seedy side of life or, even taking excursions to the realm of what was culturally taboo; this was, “No big deal.” Of course I was just curious, playful or just feeling recalcitrant. Little did I realize how wrong I really was. So now with many years of life’s experience to consider and reflect on, I have a much different point of view. I firmly believe we are always in the process of transitioning to the kind of person we will ultimately become. Yes, from birth until death the process continues: It all adds up. The familiar computer programmer’s phrase saying that is probably trite these days, “Garbage in; Garbage out,” is much more real for me than I would ever have thought. And, sciences of the brain and mind appear to be confirming this through studies and experimentation even as I type this article. In our country I think we, as a people, have allowed our new pluralistic and relativistic beliefs to drift toward the extreme because of the freedoms we enjoy. In my opinion we have pushed our culture ever closer to the abyss by watering down the standards by which we have successfully lived since the beginning of our nation.
￼I believe our very foundations of morality and a clear understanding of right and wrong has been severely weakened.
An athlete acquires skills, mental ability and physical stamina by repeatedly practicing and striving for what is best. The scientist seeks more knowledge and evidence to advance her field. So what are we to think when each new generation waters down even more, the social standard for morality, civility and the respect for law and order that made our Nation great?
You do not have to be a religious Jew or Christian to see what had happened to the ancient Hebrews every time their civilization’s standard was weakened by disregard for The Law and disrespect for GOD. It was a series of disasters.
We did not use the phrase “One Nation Under GOD” because we were superstitious. Our forefathers had a deep respect for GOD and GOD’s standards for our people.
In spite of some portrayals of the establishment and history of The United States of America depicting flaws and mistakes, we were a Nation under God. I fear what will happen to us when we fully become a Nation under many gods or no God at all.
As a Christian I believe The Holy Bible has the teaching we need. We can reverse the trend toward unrealistic freedom and again we can become the moral standard for a dangerous world. Satan and his cohorts influence and tempt but we make the choices in the end.
Excerpts as examples from the ESV* Bible:
Matthew 15:19 ESV
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Genesis 6:11-12 ESV
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw ￼the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
4. James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
5. Genesis 3:13 ESV
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
*Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/revealing
Is your right to offend more important than your right not to be offended? Which right promotes love best?
In our good old United States of America we hear the saying, “By rights I can do this” or ” To do ______ (fill in the blank) it is my right.” Sometimes I think too many people think almost anything is their right to do, have or say; can that really be true? The “Bill of Rights” (first ten amendments to our constitution) are the real foundation of our rights by law and of course and subsequently approved amendments or related laws passed and tested by our true and bonafide government. This article is focused on the Fourth Article in particular: The Freedom of Speech, and of the Press . . . . .
You may have the right to say it or print it, but should you?
￼Truth is important. If a crime has been committed we need to know exactly what has happened
in order to capture and bring to justice the perpetrator or perpetrators. Lies published widely or pronounced as truth in an open forum can be deemed damaging and the people who spread the disinformation can be subject to a libel suit. My focus today is on speech and publication that falls into a huge grey area: short of libel and what is not prohibited by any law. Yet as a Nation founded on Christianprinciples from which we have learned, we should do things with the spirit of love: is this not the higher standard? Need something be said that inflicts verbal harm with nothing to demonstrate the utterance has a redeeming quality (or the result does not demonstrate a redeeming quality)? Is it not true that some emotionally sensitive truth can be stated with respect and care and, not intentionally said to inflict emotional harm?￼
The better way to achieve communication without deliberate intent to offend is when it is said with civility and in the spirit of Christian Love.
For me and my Brothers and Sisters in Christ we strive to be obedient to the guidelines we discover in The Holy Bible. In studying scripture we learn the power of the words spoken by a human tongue that can destroy a person, risk creating hatred and disrupt harmony among all the people involved. Below you will find some of the references from The Holy Bible that warn about falsehood and teach, or encourage, the use of loving speech (and by logical extension, this includes the printed word as well). It sometimes seems that in these times Christians must take care not to offend some people in our society yet, some people seem to have free rein to offend Christians. Thanks.
Selected Biblical Excerpts*:
James 3:8 ESV
But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Proverbs 29:11 ESV
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
2 Peter 3:3 ESVfree reign
Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful ￼desires.
James 1:26 ESV
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
James 3:9-10 ESVdays it seem
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
*Use of ESV Bible verses: https://www.crossway.org/support/esv-bible-permissions/