The Church is not a building, meeting hall or home it is The Body of Christ present on Earth; this body is composed of all Christians that are true believers in what Jesus instructed, taught and ordained when he was here on Earth. He fulfilled “The Law” as revealed in the Hebrew Bible and amplified, clarified and augmented The Word of GOD Himself and through His disciples (Apostles) to whom He sent the Holy Spirit to assist in this mission.
Matthew 28:16-20 ESV*
The Great Commission
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is the primary function of the church
There are other important functions of course: Teaching, edifying, supporting missionaries and each other in Christian Fellowship. Since this world we live in is currently flawed and subject to the effects of sinful imperfect people, including we Christians, we have more to do than what is delineated above.
In gratitude to GOD Christians strive to obey God representing HIS Good on Earth by ministering to needy people: needy non-Christians and, needy Christians alike.
Helping fellow humans in as an unconditional manner as possible demonstrates GOD’s Love to all. God wants all people to gain eternal life and access to heaven and Christians are HIS voice to the unknowing people. The unbelievers the unsaved the lost the troubled wherever they are.
Fellow christians use your gifts to serve
2 Peter 3:9 ESV*
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
No, not prophets like Elijah or Jeremiah but prophets of GOD nevertheless. Since Christians can read and study GOD’s Word in great detail every Christian has the potential to speak for GOD. The better they know GOD’s Word the more able they are to express GOD’s messages for all people.
Some Christians have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
Not to judge but to encourage one another to do what is right.
Since we all fall short the modern Christian Prophet reminds fellow Christians to do what is right, what is good and what is edifying. There is a need in some cases to explain a Biblical principle in modern terms. For example:
“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 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.
The Modern Prophet may say, “You should help anyone in need not just those you know and like.
There is no shortage of opportunity
Not just repeating a truth from GOD’s Word but expressing His love in many ways: demonstrating forgiveness, promoting justice, being fair and demonstrating that you care for GOD’s creation and fellow humans. Help those harmed by floods, wars, tornadoes and ever small scale calamity affords an opportunity for you help people in GOD’s name. You as a Believer in Our Lord Jesus Christ can express GOD’s love in this way. In the process you contribute to making living on Earth better. It will be made better though the perfection will not be extant until Jesus returns when we as believers will enjoy a perfect body and live upon a New Earth.
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/
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It is ridiculous to think our world can be run by one sex. In In
OK, throughout history variations in culture and tradition make things appear that people have lived (and some may still live) within a society dominated by one sex: either male or female. I am referring to what societies considered norms not the exceptions: there always seems to be a person (or persons) who is (are) unique and as an exception to the pattern of the society they have lived in. How people see what is normal is dependent on the milieu they were born and nurtured in, and this may become so firmly embedded within their being that to them it is the only way it can be. So within the world and at various times people have come to accept a variety of traditions that define roles for Men and Woman: then, what seems to be the standard is actually just the prevailing view. What is the predominant view from within my society? From the historical frame of reference I was taught: “it seems to have always been a male dominated world.” Really?
Sometimes I believe women let men believe they are in charge. I think there is much evidence to support the view that despite differences in appearance, humans cannot function without a close partnership between the sexes. Each has characteristics making them important to survival. When there are few people and the priority is to multiply and populate, the traditional family unit becomes vital for a group of humans to survive. There is limited time and resources available for anything but sticking with what enhances the prospects for survival. In that circumstance what each is more suited for cast them into particular jobs in general but, that is not where the story ends. Variation in both sexes confuses stereotypical classification; the brain power is virtually identical and physical prowess (or lack of it) is subject to individual specialization. It may be that the only real difference is women bear our children and have the ability to nourish infants with breast milk and men cannot. Almost all other differences are just apparent differences; this is because humans chose to believe how things should be and then act out what is assumed to be correct. Often people are motivated predominately by what they like; each sex enjoys the differences between the sexes in some way, and so for the most part the accepted norm continues. So what does history indicate to me, concerning the role of the sexes in society over time?
Sometimes men seem to be in charge and sometimes women seem to be.
When there are few people and the priority is to multiply and populate, the traditional family unit becomes vital for a group of humans to survive. There is limited time and resources available for anything but sticking with what enhances the prospects for survival. Obtaining food, shelter and physical security is paramount.
New opportunities arise.
Gradually as the basic needs become assured some individuals can pursue endeavors beyond mere survival: Specialization is then possible. Political leadership, religious leadership, career warriors, health-care specialists all become possible; the group initially affords them by sharing resources willingly but as the society expands the need for taxing may then become necessary.
Some of the leadership roles can be assumed by women and they may even choose not to bear children. This is fine as long as the group as a whole has sufficient population growth to fill vacancies as people age and become less productive: in good times even elderly members may be cared for despite their inability to contribute much in the physical sense. The society develops a tradition concerning roles for males and females and then after a time the pattern becomes the social norm resisting further change unless dire circumstances force it.
Change can evoke fear in some people.
Humans tend to fear change and reject it when there is too much of it, when there is too wide a variation, or if change happens with too rapid a pace. This aversion to alteration usually persists long after survival needs had been met, and when patterns mature to become in grain they acquire a sense that “we have always done it that way, so why change?” Social innovation may be slow in coming without strong influences pressing for it.
And so today we are living in a multi cultural world with extensive global trade, extreme specialization and rapid social change challenging almost all the people on the planet. The pace and amount of change varies in different degrees but the influences of easy travel, social networking and technological advances is irresistible . What was normal is challenged; what is normal is challenged ; what could become normal is challenged,. All these challenges force humans to adopt and adapt now, if they have not done so already – this is done in spite of the risk of “growing pains”.
Examples of woman rising up to meet a challenge are not so rare.
Throughout history regardless of when or where women have arisen to leadership – even within a male dominated tradition – some have led, defended, defined or discovered in important ways. I see only more opportunity in the times ahead for women to expand their influence and their roles. To gain an understanding of what women are capable of doing just examine the list via the link below and read the stories of notable women from throughout history:
See “100 Important Women of History” http://www.angelfire.com/anime2/100import/
When survival becomes a dim memory non-traditional roles abound: Does it matter? What aspects of human progress do we depend on most?
What is familiar gives us comfort and furnishes a sense of identity, a place called home, a recognizable society and a reassuring cultural (a lens for understanding). Brave new worlds are challenging for most people, upset many people , generate fear and prompt insecurity in some people. So overall while some people welcome change many do not (at least not easily). Perhaps a slow pace of change can allow more people to adopt, and adapt because rapid change often is unsettling and reaction to it prompts a counter productive risk. And yet change still can occur anyway. Having said that, I recognize change is an ongoing process that cannot be stopped; it cannot be stopped because it is part of a natural progression that is the way reality works on our planet (and probably for all of the cosmos). Since the echoes from the distant past often still reverberate within us, this legacy helps us make sense of it all; how we come to judge what works and what does not is recognized by the realized outcomes of past change? What is now, is compared to what once was, and the process never stops.
Observing more women in roles that were traditionally taken by men should not automatically be rejected or instill fear in our culture. The socioeconomic structure can handle it (in fact it may be necessary: i.e. during World War II women replaced men in factories for example). Humanity has much less need for what was established during a period when population growth was paramount, and what roles were adopted when they were essential for survival. Still, I must interject that the foundation layer of the human experience really has not changed and, still is important though not so much to increase the population, but as an emotional foundation for well-balanced individuals who will join the society.
My bottom line:
Yes there is another side to this progression of change in my opinion: though we can see the merits of change and embrace some of it quite well, I believe we still need to cling to the traditional family unit – no vision of Aldous Huxley for me or for many other people I suspect is acceptable. We should cling to the family unit because children benefit and therefore society benefits: people are less emotionally challenged, learn right from wrong early, have a sense of identity and a place to call home. This is in my opinion of course, but if I had time I probably could produce some evidence for the positive effects derived for those nurtured within traditional families and the benefits for society.
People nurtured from within a traditional family unit are less likely to violate social rules or be abusive; more likely to be law-abiding, civil and productive. Families that are fostered in love, promote caring and peace that often spreads well beyond the family unit itself. Families grounded in true Christianprincipals experience much comfort and are the example for what the good side of humanity can demonstrate. It proves that our existence within this dispensation can improve because we have the knowledge, means and motivation for doing so.
So, how are women rising?
Woman are rising because with more specialization, understanding and the recognition that the female mind is as competent as the male mind, more woman can contribute to society in more ways than what some traditions limit them to. So not only should they be considered equal contributors to men, they should be paid at the same rate as men are paid, for the same job when they do the same work. Women have always been as vital as men for the survival of humans and it is time to see in what ways they are similar and in what ways they are different for real. This knowledge will allow us to get the maximum good from both sexes: symbiotic and complementary scenarios together ensure people get the best of what life has to offer. Yes similarities and differences both can be harnessed for the advantage of our total and complete society.
Achieving our goals is more enjoyable when the partnership of the family unit (a man a woman and their children engaged in a social partnership) are extended to other aspects of society in my opinion. So not only do the children raised in a traditional family unit have a better chance for a better outcome, so do the men and women embedded within a secure personal relationship as well. Exceptions are expected but I am convinced the benefits go far beyond the individuals and it offers “the good” to all people.
What guidance do Christians obtain from God’s Word about this?
What Christians are taught amounts to “realistic common sense“; division of labor that makes use of the advantages each sex brings into the relationship and the recognition of different emotional and physical requirements for each: man and woman become one unit. The relationship is to be governed by the spirit of unconditional love and dwell within a permanent loyal commitment to each other. The fruits of the man-woman relationship do change over time but these changing needs associated with age can be met within the traditional framework quite well. Yes, each can meet the needs of their partner throughout their entire life from child rearing years on through to the years of old age. Nothing can replace the joy and fulfillment of a close relationship that has accommodated these changes over a lifetime.
In conclusion, all this love and the relationship’s beauty, demonstrates to all and, interacts with the people who live it and the people who come in contact with it.
Excerpts from scripture that define roles for Men and Woman:
Galatians 3:28 ESV (Equality)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.and
InEphesians 5:21,22,25 ESV (Relationships)
21submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. . . . 25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, . . .
Judges 4:4 ESV (Leadership)
4Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
Genesis 1:27 ESV (In God’s image)
27So God created man (I see this as “people”)* in his own image, in the image of God he created him (“them”); male and female he created them. (*my words in italics)
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We all are Tempted by the Same Opportunities to do Wrong.
If we are all tempted by the same opportunities to do wrong why do some of us take action and do the wrong thing and others refuse to? We might say it is a difference in each person’s character; a strong person resists; a weak person caves in.
The circumstances of life do play a part I am sure: a poor person may find it hard to not take food left unattended while a rich person wouldn’t even think of it. OK this seems logical and easy to accept; or is it?
The Temptation to Steal may have Nothing to do with need.
You surely have learned about disadvantaged people returning lost money and some affluent person taking things they do not need. Can this anomalous behavior be attributed to individual difference in the way people are made? In other words dictated by how their genes worked together with their environment to form their individuality? Perhaps this is a factor when considering some individuals yet what if we consider all humans? If we consider all humans as a group we may discover the observed behavior and the correlation with apparent motive for stealing can be represented by a “bell curve”. The lower and upper extremes being never stealing to the upper limit always stealing. So many factors apply to people that we can never predict exactly who will or will not steal under any test situation but we can get a sense that out of x number of people 1 will steal. We also may be able to predict what an individual may do or not do if we have sufficient information about that person. Still what I am most interested in, is what the vast majority of people within a culture would do under which circumstances. I can get some idea by looking at human behavior data: it often plots as that proverbial “bell curve.” i may perceive or derivemeaning from this as, most people will steal something under some particular situation. If I compare different groups over time (like A generation to B generation or more generations) I may be able to recognize a trend.
I Believe Most People Will Take Something that is not Theirs Sometime.
The possibility of stealing goes way up when a person believes what they are taking won’t be missed, it is too small with very little value, the victim has so much material wealth, it is in some way owed to them or everybody does it so it is OK. Not paying all the tax one owes, insurance fraud, price gouging and not returning borrowed things are all forms of theft. People can rationalize claiming, ” I didn’t steal a car, rob a bank or embezzled from my employer so I am not really guilty.” If you believe that, you are wrong. How can we do better than that? Teach our children right from wrong and live up to their expectations is a good place to start.
In the U.S.A our Legal System is Heavily Influenced by the Bible.
The Bible (Old and New Testaments) provide all the information we need to do what is right and avoid doing what id wrong. Our Nation is at its best when the Christian foundation of our society strives to rise above human imperfection by believing what God’s Word teaches, reveals and instructs. So here are a some quotes from the Bible as examples.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
Romans 3:23 (NIV)
. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Galatians 6:7-8 (ESV)
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.