Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Part 2 - Sin, Karma, Santification, Laws & Grace

This is a Continuation of the Previous Post. The First was about the Definition of a Few Salvation Words and how the Focus of Christianity is not on Works, but on the Condition of the Heart.  This Post will Explain Sanctification, as well as the Natural Reap What you Sow Law, Contrasted with the Law of Grace.  Here is the Comment from Satyavati again that I have been Responding to.  This Time, I will Quote it in it's Entirety.  The Bold Emphasis was Added by me.

Satyavati devi dasi said...
"That would imply that the process is such:

"1. Admit or confess
"2. Get cleansed from sin (karma is a different thing and for me it is more accurate to use the original words)
"3. Everything's hunky dory.

"Now, this would imply that you can go on and do whatever you like now and it'll all be just washed under the bridge, no problem.

"Of course this isn't true.  In fact, according to the Bible, it's basically impossible NOT to sin, if you're human, so at this point, I have to ask what happens to all those post-salvation sins?  Do you just keep claiming Jesus over and over?  Does he come back endlessly and wash it all up?   Personally, I'd think eventually he'd get pretty tired of that; salvation is not cheap and not to be used as an excuse to go on and do whatever awful things you want to do.

"The way we view karma is as a law, independent of other things.  Consider the law 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction'.  The thing with laws is that they operate regardless of belief so that part doesn't really come into it.

"There's different kinds of karma, and they all carry their own baggage.  That's too involved for here.

"There are instances in the Bible that point to a belief in reincarnation. People asked John the Baptist whether he was Elijah. Of course, Elijah was dead and gone, so that would mean that they believed that he could be reborn again in a different body. Also, the man who was born blind: they asked who had sinned, he or his parents, that caused him to be born blind. Asking whether the man had sinned would presumably imply a previous lifetime, unless you'd like to posit that he sinned whilst still in utero."

July 21, 2011 3:28 PM 

To Pick Up where I Left Off, I will now be Responding to this Quote...

"so at this point, I have to ask what happens to all those post-salvation sins?"

The Process that Occurs after Salvation is Called Sanctification and is a Process in which we are Gradually Being Cleansed and Washed of our Sins.  This is Illustrated in Romans “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are PUTTING TO DEATH the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13, NASB)

In this Verse, Deeds or Actions are Mentioned, yet the Phrase, “Putting to Death”, is from the Greek Root, “Thanatoo”, which Means to Mortify, Kill or Put to Death, yet in this Verse, the Tense Used Contains an Implication of a Process.   The New American Standard Bible is the One that the Most Got this One Right, by Using the Correct Tense of the Word, Putting to Death”, rather then "Put to Death" (NRSV & NIV) or “Mortify” (KJV)

Quoting Satyavati again... 
“Do you just keep claiming Jesus over and over?  Does he come back endlessly and wash it all up?  Personally, I'd think eventually he'd get pretty tired of that.”

My Response:
In a Sense, Yes.  He does Keep Cleaning it up, but He doesn’t get Tired of it, because He Loves us and if we are Willing to Submit to the Sanctification Process, then Over Time, there will be Improvement.

"Salvation is not cheap and not to be used as an excuse to go on and do whatever awful things you want to do.”

That is Absolutely Correct and also Biblically Accurate, just as I Explained in the Previous Post.

“The way we view karma is as a law, independent of other things.  Consider the law 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction'.  The thing with laws is that they operate regardless of belief so that part doesn't really come into it.

There is such a Law that is Described in the Bible...

“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.” (Galations 6:7, NRSV)

As to the Second Part of your Words, though, Satyavati, Laws do not Actually "Operate Regardless of Belief".  For Example, Once when we were Shoveling Snow off of the Roof of my In-Laws, I Slipped and Feel off a Ladder.  According to the Laws of Slippery Ice and Gravity, I should be Dead Right now, or at the Very Least, Seriously Injured, yet somehow, Miraculously, the Ladder was Caught on the Step.  To Better Picture this, the Ladder Slipped Off the Deck and was Caught on a Step.  That is, One of the Legs of the Ladder was Caught on the Step and the Other was Still Suspended in the Air.  With Ice that Slippery, there is no Way that the Ladder should have Remained Up Right and yet it did.  I Ended Up Up Side Down with one of my Legs Caught in One of the Rungs of the Ladder.  The Ladder Remained Up Right, I did not Hit the Ground, aside from Shock and Fear, I was Unharmed.

This Experience Defied the Laws of Gravity and Slippery Ice and most Spiritual People would Consider this an Act of a God or some sort of Guardian Angel.  For some Reason God Decided to Spare me.

There is another Law at Play here, which is the Law of Grace, yet Grace is not for Everyone, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5b, NRSV).  For some Reason, God Extended Grace to me and Spared me from the Natural Laws of Gravity and Ice, so you see, Satyavati, it is not True that Things such as Belief and also Grace do not “Come into Play”.  The Law of Reaping and Sowing is Similar, for Sometimes God Steps in and Offers Grace.  Does this Always Happen?  No.  Sometimes God Allows us to Experience the Natural Consequences for Our Actions.

Here is another Example from my Own Life.  Earlier in my Life, I was Caught up in a Certain Sin.  In my Sin, I was Taking Considerable Risks that should have come with Far Greater Consequences then they did, yet Somehow I was Spared and my Consequences were Minimal.  Why?  I Think it was because God Knew some of the Insinuating Circumstances, as well as my Own Level of Maturity at the Time.  In Time, through the Process of Growth and Sanctification, I Improved in my Ability to not Sin.  There was a Time, though, in which I “Back Slid” and Regressed into some of my Old Ways.  This Time, though, God decided not to Protect me from some of the Consequences that are more Serious.  Why?  Because I should have Known better.  This was an Old Lesson that I should have Left in the Past and I was a Fool to Return to this Old Pattern of Sin.

I’ll Deal with the Reincarnation Issue Later.  I’ve Said Quite a Bit for now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sin, Karma, Salvation Words & Condition of Heart

This Post, as well as the Next One, will be Written in Response to a Comment that was Submitted in the Comment Thread of the Next Post Down and here are the First Few Lines of that Comment...

Satyavati devi dasi said...
"That would imply that the process is such:

"1. Admit or confess
"2. Get cleansed from sin (karma is a different thing and for me it is more accurate to use the original words)
"3. Everything's hunky dory.

"Now, this would imply that you can go on and do whatever you like now and it'll all be just washed under the bridge, no problem."

(The Rest of this Comment will be Addressed in my Next Post, for this will be a Two Part Response.) 

July 21, 2011 3:28 PM

For now, my Goal is to Respond to Satyavati's Statement, "Now, this would imply that you can go on and do whatever you like now and it'll all be just washed under the bridge, no problem."

What she is Saying is Implying the Absence of Effort, yet the Bible Actually has Two Key Words that are Used in Relation to Salvation.  One is "Confess", which is from the Greek Word "Homologeo", which not Only Means "Confess, Acknowledge and Profess", but also "Covenant and Promise".

In Part, this is just a Covenant Sealed in Christ's Blood, that if we Believe in Him, He will Forgive us of Our Sins, yet there are Other Words that Imply Man's Side of the Covenant.

The Word, "Repent", for Example, in the Greek ("Metanoeo"), is a Military Term that Means "About Face", or "a 180 Degree Turn in the Opposite Direction".  "Repent" also Means to Think Differently, Reconsider or "Change Ones Mind" and in the Context of Salvation, this Means to Change One's Mind about Our Sin and Agree with God that this Behavior is Wrong.

Satyavati Requested Original Language, so here it is.  Besides, my Entire Audience is Intelligent, so why not do this in a more In Depth and Intelligent Manner?

Another Word that Needs to be Defined is the Word "Believe".  In the Famous John 3:16, the Word, "Believe" is from the Greek Word, "Pisteuo", which Means not Only Believe, but also "to have Faith in, Entrust or put in Trust with (espec. one's Spiritual Well-Being to Christ)".

The Truth of the Matter is that a lot of these Words have been Watered Down.

And then there is another Famous Passage in Ephesians...

"8) For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--, 9) not the result of works, so that no one may boast."  (Ephesians 2:8-9, NRSV)

So Often the Focus is on the Words "Grace" and "Gift", rather then on "Faith".

"Faith" is from the Greek Word "Pistis", which Again means not Only "Persuasion, and Conviction of Truth", but also "Reliance Upon" and not Only "Assurance, Belief and Faith", but also Loyalty or "Fidelity".

The way I have Heard Concepts such as Belief, Trust and Faith Explained is with the Illustration of Someone with a Wheel Barrel on a Tight Rope.  You Can Believe all that you Want to that this Person can Wheel the Wheel Barrel Across the Tight Rope, but you don't Really Believe until you are Willing to Get into the Wheel Barrel.

What Ephesians 2:8-9 Actually Means, though, is that it is "Faith", a Heart Attitude, not "Works", the actual Actions, that Saves us.  In my Opinion, what is at the Heart of the Gospel is the Idea that Heart Attitudes are what Count, not the Perfection of our Behavior.

Other Verses that Bring this to Light are the Ones that Focus on the Mind, rather then on Behavior, for it is Impossible to Change or even Improve on Behavior in any Lasting Way without Dealing with the Condition of the Heart and Mind

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good, and acceptable, and perfect.”  (Romans 12:2, NRSV)

“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  (Romans 8:6, NRSV)

And the Salvation Message is not Complete without also Looking at Verses such as...

"because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9, NRSV)

It is not Correct to Focus on the Second Part of this Verse and not the First.  Lord is a Title of Great Respect and Authority.  Some Other Verses to Consider are in James...

"17) So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.......20) Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren?.......26  For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead." (James 2:17, 20, & 26, NRSV)

Read the Entire 2nd Chapter of James for the Context.

Also, Even Paul Said, “1) What then are we to say?  Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?  2) By no means!  How can we who died to sin go on living in it?”  (Romans 6:1-2, NRSV)

To Further Complicate the Issue there is a Group of Christians, Known as Calvinists, who Focus on Grace, as well as Predestination (God's Part) and another Group of Christians, Known as Armenians, who Focus on Faith (Man's Part).  Satyavati may not have Realized that her Arguments are Mainly Against the Calvinists, not the Armenians.

Both of these Ideas Need to be Kept in Balance, for Man can not Live a Perfectly Holy and Pure Life without God's Help (God's Grace), yet God will not Force Purity on someone who is not willing to Accept His Help (Man's Choice).

More will be Coming Later in Response to the Rest of Satyavati's Comment.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why do Bad Things & Suffering Happen to Christians?

Today I'm Thinking about one of Radar's Posts again...

Do Bad Things Happen to Christians because they are Bad?

He was Trying to Lead into a Discussion that is a Little more Deep and Personal, yet the Commenters on his Blog at Times Tend to be a little Rude and Insulting and do not Appear to have the Emotional Strength and Maturity to Handle Subjects that are Deeper then that of either an Intellectual Competition or a Brutal Insulting Match.  At Least that's how it Seems.  You will see what I Mean, if you Read the Comments.

My Blog is Safer.  I Assure you that, especially on this Post, I will not allow any Insulting.  If any come in, I will simply not Post them.  Discussion about Emotional Issues can not be Allowed to be Diluted in that Way.

I Liked Radar's Post and also his Closing Comment, which I will Share in a Minute.  I'm Going to have to Go and Read that Post Again now, since I've Made my Own Post of it.  For Now, I just Remember him saying...  (The Bold Print Emphasis is Mine.)

"We live in a world that is full of sin.  Because Adam and Eve sinned, then sin and death came to the world and we all must suffer from this.  There will be accidents and there will be evil.  There is a law of reaping and sowing - if you work hard, you most likely succeed, if you goof off, you probably don't.   If you are faithful in marriage, you will not get an STD, as long as your mate is also faithful.  If you drive carefully you probably won't be in an accident - unless some careless person smashes into you.   Sometimes while driving down a highway, I consider that each new car coming down the road could suddenly swerve into my path and quite possibly kill me and everyone with me.  Usually we all stay in our lanes and avoid smashing each other."

Here is the Clincher in Relation to the Question of Suffering.  Pain is in the World because God Allows Free Choice and yet the Consequence of that Privileged is that Sometimes we Suffer Because of Someone else's Sinful Choices, Carelessness and at Times, even Cruelty.  Why does God Allow Cruel People to Exist?  To Really make this Question Complete, we have to Include the Pain that is caused Deliberately by those who have no Conscience, Murderers, Rapists and the Like and not just the Pain of Cruel Speech or Careless Driving.

I've often been Frustrated myself with the Fragile Way in which we are Created.  Emotions are Far too Strong and Hearts are Far too Easily Broken.  Why, for Example, should the Crime of another Create Scars that will Last a Life Time.  Perhaps the Sexual Abuse of Children should not have this Effect and yet it does.  There is Very Little that can be Said in Order to Answer this Question, except that Life on Earth is Temporary and Life in Heaven will be Eternal.  I do Know One Thing.  Being Continually Angry about the Issue does not Cause it to go Away.

That's what I have to say in Response to Radar's Post. 

Radar's Post, itself, is Very Good and I also Liked what is so Far, his Closing Comment.  Here is a Quote of the Last Four Paragraphs of this Comment, which I Felt were Truly Excellent.  The Bold Emphasis is Mine and I Added Links to some of the Scriptures that he Suggested... 

"So meet God while you are alive and find out how great He really is...or meet Him after you have died and find out how righteous He really is.  A Just God must punish sin.  You want Jesus to pay that price for you or will you take it upon yourself?

"See, the above is what bringing the Bible into the discussion is all about.  Read Romans chapters 4-10 and John from the beginning to say the end of chapter 10.  Consider what Jesus said in John 3:16-18 and what Paul wrote in Romans 10:9-13.  What did Romans 5:1 say?  Romans 6:23?  How about Romans 8:1?  Does the Son of God come to Earth and perform miracles, teach the Gospel, accept punishment and shame and death for no reason?  Why would God's Son separate Himself from a supernatural existence and live in a human body for 33-some years unless it was critically important?  We know when Jesus lived and died and we have eyewitness accounts of His miracles and his resurrection.

"Nothing is what naturalistic materialists give credit to for the existence of the entire Universe and everything in it.  The concept of nothing in place of God doesn't seem reasonable to me.

"Not for nothing did God's Son die for you."

Thanks, Radar.  I Could not have Said that Better myself.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Defense Mechanisms and Confusion in Debate.

As I Continue to Talk about the Difficulty in Communicating on the Web, Perhaps I should Start with the Defense Mechanisms that have been Taught in Psychology Classes for Years.

Here is a Link to a Place in which they are Listed and Explained.  All I'm Going to do here is List Them by Name; Denial, Suppression, Reaction Formation, Projection, Displacement, Rationalization, Intellectualization, Undoing, Isolation of Affect, Regression and Sublimation.

Sublimation is the One that is the Most Healthy, but Many of these Defense Mechanisms Hinder Communication when Debating Emotional Issues.

Projection is a Really Big One, for it Leads to Blaming Other People of the Same Faults that we Possess Ourselves, which is in Reality a Hypocrisy.  It Reminds me of something that Grade School Children Sometimes say, "I Know you are, but what am I?"  I used to Chuckle when ever I Heard that and yet it has Truth to it for Sometimes what Someone Accuses of is more a Reflection on the Character of the Accuser, than on that of the Accused.

Displacement is also common.  I Like to Call this One, Scape Goating.  That is, you Take your Feeling Out on Someone Else, rather then the One who you are Actually Mad at.  If the Object of the Wrath can Realize and Remember that the Actual Frustration is Relating to something else and not Take this one Personally, then this Helps Alleviate the Problem, yet as Human Beings, we Often do React to these Things and this Makes the Communication more Confused.

Rationalization and Intellectualization is Actually a Form of Denial.

Aside from Sublimation, it is Better if we can Avoid these Defense Mechanisms while Debating Issues and Give Apologies when we Catch Ourselves doing it.

It's Funny, but it Seems to me that this List should also Include Identifying with the Aggressor.  This is when we Find Ourselves Acting Like and Becoming just Like Someone who we Hate.

Anyway, these are the Defense Mechanisms and they sure do mess Communication Up.  Whenever Possible, Facing and Dealing with Emotions Head on is the Best Way.  The Ability to do so is a Sign of Maturity.  Small Egos Require Defense Mechanisms, yet since we are Created in God's Image and He Loved us so much that he sent Christ to Die on the Cross for our Sins, we can have a Healthy sense of Self-Worth just Based on the Fact that we are Loved by the Creator of the Universe and having been Adopted as sons into God's Family, we are Royal Children of the King.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Manipulative Arguments

I Guess I've Written about the Manipulator before and One Very Common Response is that if Someone is Making me not Feel so Good about Myself, or Confused in some Way, then I should Stop Interacting with him.  Perhaps those who have told me that are Getting Tired of me Bringing Up the Subject, yet don't you see, I'm not Just Talking about "The Manipulator" anymore, but about those who Manipulate on the Web.

Manipulation can be Used in a Rather Cruel Way in the Context of Relationships and Friendship, yet it can also be Used in just Plain Arguing.

People Manipulate by Exaggerating the Facts, Appealing to the Emotions and Accusing and Pointing Fingers in a Hypocritical Way, when the Party (in Politics) or the Position (Everything Else), that they are Supporting is just as Guilty of the Same.

People Manipulate when they Change the Subject, rather than Talking about the Issue that is Being Brought Up by their Opponent.  Or when they Insist on Focusing on the Part of the Issue that is Stronger for their Own Point of View, while Avoiding that which is Less in Line with their Point of View.

People Manipulate when they Insult or Accuse their Opponent of Motives such as the Quest for Power or Ego, Hatred (Hate Speech) or some form of Phobia or Fear, (Xenophobia, Homophobia), rather than Giving a Rational Argument for their Position.

People Manipulate when they Misinterpret what their Opponent Says, Put Words in their Mouth and then Argue against something that was Never Actually Stated, Make it appear that there is Agreement, when there is not, or Try to Make their Opponent Appear Inconsistent because of something that they Never Actually Said.

People Manipulate when they Exaggerate what their Opponent Says in Order to Make it appear Foolish or like an Agreement with something that the Opponent in no Way Agrees with or Approves of.

People Manipulate when they Lie, Misrepresent the Facts or Exaggerate the Facts, while Speaking Authoritatively about that which they have Absolutely no Evidence for.

People Manipulate when they Redefine Words, such as Marriage, or in the Case of Evolutionism vs. Creationism, Species and even Words such as Confirm, Falsify, Assumption and even Science.

Manipulators will Make sure that the Definitions of the Words Used will Fit their Own Point of View Better then that of their Opponents and will Avoid Using any Words that their Opponents Introduce.  Such a Practice has Way more to do with Manipulation then with Truth.

Manipulators Apply Different Rules and Different Definitions to their Opponents, than they do to themselves.  In Friendship, this is Called the Double Standard, yet People do it in Politics as well and also even in Science, just as Evolutionists Expect more Proof from their Opponent then they are Willing to Offer themselves.

There.  Now Maybe I have Created a Can of Worms that will Cause my Blog to be Less Quiet, but Oh well.  Go Ahead and Talk and Tell me what you Think.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogging and People Reflections

My Blog is Often more Peaceful then the Rest of the Blogosphere and I guess you could Say that I Like it that Way.  Arguing can be so Tiring at Times.  And even I can be One of those who Doesn't Exactly Know when it is Time to Quit.  I Wonder what the Rest of you Think.  Is there an Appropriate Time to Turn and Walk Away and Stop Arguing with Idiots?

Speaking of the Word Idiot, I Used to be so Reluctant to Use that Word, but you Know what?  It is Sort of Like when a Person is Pushy in some Way and Hangs Around and will not Go Away.  Being Polite is not Enough, so a Person has no Choice but to be Rude in Order to Get the Message Across that I do not wish to Interact with you any more.  This doesn't Apply to Anyone on the Web Right Now.  It's just something that I've Come Across before in my Life.

There is Something Similar, though, that Occurs while Arguing on the Web.  When a Person Keeps Repeating a Totally Ridiculous Point Over and Over Again that Makes no Sense at all, I've Actually Gotten to the Point At Times in which I Feel that I have no Choice but to Use Words Like Stupid or Idiot or BS, for this is the Only Way to Get my Point Across that I'm Really not at all Buying This and I Really do mean Really.

Sometimes I Get the Feeling that People Say the Ridiculous on Purpose, in order to Persuade People to Doubt themselves and their Ability to Reason, so that the One Speaking the BS can get the Upper Hand.  I've Actually seen this sort of thing used as a Form of Manipulation.  Control Freaks will do this in Order to Maintain Control Over the Situation.

Again, I am not Directing this at Anyone.  I'm just Curious what People Think about what I'm saying.

There are Times in which I have Actually been Obsessed with Idiots.  I don't Know What it is.  Perhaps I'm Trying to Figure Something Out about them.  Why don't they Get it?  How can they Possibly be so Dumb?  And Do they Really Think that I'm That Stupid?

There is Another Phrase that I Never Used to Say, that I've Said a lot more Recently, and that is the Phrase, "You are Insulting my Intelligence."  Never Before have I ever had my Intelligence Insulted on such a Regular Basis, Prior to Entering the Blogging World.  Never Before have I Met such Idiots, as I have Met in the Blogging World.  At First, it was just one, yet more Recently, I've Found Out that there is an Idiotic Personality Type that Lurks in the Shadows of the Web.

People are Far more Insulting and Some of them are even Far more Cruel on the Internet than anyone that I have Ever Met in Person.  If Someone Drops by and Reads this who is New to Blogging, Heed the Words that I'm now Saying.  It might be Good to be a Little Less Trusting and do not Let your Guard Down too Early.

It's Funny, you Know, I'm Even Having Trouble Writing about Relationships, cause on the Internet, such is even more Difficult than in the Real World.  People have no Desire to be Civil.  All they want to do is Argue.

Am I Venting Right Now?  I don't Know if I'm Venting or Reflecting.  Perhaps it doesn't Matter.  All I know is that I Don't Really Want my Blog to Always be just about Arguing the Issues.  Sometimes I just Like to Talk about what Troubles me.

So What's your Story?  What is Troubling you?