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Author Topic: The world needs our witness
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The primary challenge facing us human beings is and always has been the difficult task of understanding and experiencing the basic qualities that are necessary to exist and to otherwise live in satisfactory and dynamic relationships with other human beings and ultimately with the super-natural being of god. All religion, philosophy, psychology, and ethics are each in their own systems of thought our historic efforts to understand and to explain this challenging matter.

We have given each of these systems different names at various times in our history. These include such names as pantheism, Platonism, Freudianism, materialism, Pauline morality, and others. And within all of these systems of thought regarding our human situation have been other similar systems of thought regarding the particular nature of god, how god is revealed, and what is god’s will. The basic names for some of these systems of theology include Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity, and within them and other such systems of theology are various schools of thought like those developed by the Pharisees of Israel and the Christians from Europe and its neighboring countries like the Roman Emperor Constantine, saint Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jacobus Arminius, and their respective followers. And we have devised different systems of governmental organization and rules for living with others that have various names like socialism, communism, fascism, and democratic. And throughout history thousands of teachers have delivered thousands of talks and written thousands of documents to explain and to defend their favorite thoughts regarding this matter. Some of these documents are considered to be “inspired” by god by certain groups of people while other documents are only given the status of being “rational” by their supporters. And the studies, and the debates, and the teachings, and the writings, and the challenge of these relationships continue to engage us and to divide us every day in our personal, civic, and religious ways of thinking and living.

It is well to recognize that all of the basic dynamic factors involved in this matter of relationships with other human being and with God were present from the very beginning of such relationships. The first couple of human beings, Adam and Eve, existed in a situation in which they had to understand and to experience relationships with each other and with their super-natural creator, God. And in the “garden” where they lived, they were challenged by a very clear task of deciding whom they were going to believe and to trust in regard to what was “good” and “evil” in these relationships, whether they were going to trust God to teach and to lead them in the details of this matter or whether they were going to seek to do it in accord with their own understandings. God gave them one commandment in his initial relationship with them, do not seek to do this on your own, implying that they should trust Him in this matter. But Adam and Eve refused to trust God. They did not believe His words of law and warnings of judgment for disobedience, and they chose to seek to acquire the knowledge and understanding of what was “good” and “evil” in their situation for themselves.

This act of disobedience immediately affected their relationships with each other and with God. They got caught in a “blame game”, and their relationship with God was severely broken. And human history since that time has been a record of the various ways by which human beings and God have sought to understand and to work to restore the satisfying and fulfilling relationships that God initially intended to establish in creation. Note the initial and persistent presence of both trust and obedience, faith and law, in these relationships as well as the presence of judgment, which involved their expulsion from the garden and other painful conditions, and grace, which involved God’s work to cover their “naked” condition of sin with “garments of skin”. (See Genesis 2:15-3:24 for the description of this event.)

We would do well in all of our discussions on this Forum and in our personal efforts to teach and to practice the “good” principles of relationships with each other and with God to recognize the long and challenging process of teaching and grace in which God has been engaged as He continues to try to teach us how to trust and to obey him as we seek to live with each other and with Him in dynamic relationships. Let us be careful to resist the temptation to grasp too much knowledge or to claim too much insight into understanding what is “good’ and what is “evil” by resisting judgments or claiming any authority to have the “right” explanation or teaching on the details of this matter. God is and always has been the “master”, the LORD, over all of these relationships.

The people of this current world no longer need more of these historic writings and teachings and endless debates and revised systems of religion and politics. They need some very real and personal and believable and persistent demonstrations of how human beings are to live in loving relationships with each other and with God, their creator. And such demonstrations can only be effectively made through the power of the Holy Spirit and not through the accumulation of words in our rapidly growing body of published and circulated messages throughout this world. People need to see Jesus and to experience his love not just to hear more about his claimed glory and authority and the sequence of events in his life on earth. Let us fill this Forum with testimonies and personal stories of God’s transforming love in Jesus Christ and trust God to handle the differences between what is “good” and what is “evil” and to make any necessary judgments between who has a “right” understanding of the relationships that he seeks and those that may be “wrong” or questionable. Our calling is to “witness” not to “judge”.


Posts: 438 | From: Rockford Illinois | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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