Common Sense Christian

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Daily Devotional – July 18

 

I Corinthians 13:4,5 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,

Random Thoughts: 

  • Two friends were talking about giving and receiving and one indicated that they would rather give than receive because they were blessed more and felt better about it.   Such is not charity, such is not love.
  • In a world that stresses emotional fulfillment, even when giving it is important to realize that there is never a selfish motive attached to real love.  
  • Love is never selfish and does not seek anything in return.
  • It has been said that there are two kinds of people – those who are always thinking of their rights, and those who concentrate on their responsibilities. Each generation in this nation has become more self-centered than the preceding. Everyone is protective of their own rights – and is willing to hurt others to keep them and force others to follow them. 
  • Want to know what love is? Consider the sacrificial example of the Son of God (Phil. 2:5-8). Love thinks of others and seeks to serve.

(Helen, we will talk about the feminine gendered “charity” if you would like to start off the discussion:)

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July 18, 2006 - Posted by | Daily Devotional

29 Comments »

  1. Jack, I have more questions than answers concerning the switch from neural (itself) to feminine (her). All I know is I see it. It is there. And there must be a reason for the switch. ( The old “when I see a ‘therefore,’ I wonder what it’s there for” kind of exegesis.) But ”her” is not “herself.” Also of note: the neutral sections (to this point in this verse) concern what love is not, the feminine what love is. But not knowing Greek (I know, that’s no excuse. There are concordances.), I don’t know whether that single clause, “seeketh not her own,” is the only part that is feminine or whether the word choice that continues is, also. I suppose could post a great argument that states that women love less selfishly than men for argument sake, but I don’t really think that’s true. And yet one can clearly see the word “her” is included in this verse.

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  2. First of all, Helen, it is a fantastic observation to begin with. Many people read through this passage and never pick up on the gender switch. What is interesting, is that the word “charity” in Greek is of feminine gender. This is seen more often in other languages–verbs or nouns having gender without modifiers or qualifying adjectives. For example, “lluvia” (“rain” in Spanish) is feminine. “Aurora”, which is defined as the same thing in English and Spanish is gendered feminine whereas in English it is neutral.

    Now I have my theories as to why the switch. This may take some time and navigate quite a circuitous route, but hang in there:)

    First of all, I do have to point out some possible misconceptions from this:

    Since the Da Vinci Code, there is a heightened awareness of the “sacred feminine” (God being male and female–or just being female). This extends all of the way back to Diana worship, Mary worship, and multiple and sundry female deities since ancient times. There is temptation for many people to seek out single anomalies to support assumptions (God is female, Jesus was black, etc.), and we have to be very careful about “handling the Word of God deceitfully”, (in other words, believing something, then trying to fit scripture into it). Here are some things to note:

    God is a Spirit, and pardon me for being crude, but I do not think that spirits have genitals. 🙂

    God created a man for Himself and then created woman for the man (BTW, this has nothing to do with equality, etc. It was just the order in which things took place).

    A primary function of that male/female split is pro-creation/propagation of species. In order to encourage that, there had to be attracting differences between genders.

    Scripture indicates that we are spirits inhabiting a carnal/mortal vehicle.

    There are multiple verse in the Bible indicating that gender is immaterial (For example, Matt 22:30 indicates no need for marriage, Gal 3:28 indicates there is neither male of female, etc.)

    So…where does that lead us?

    Helen, the best example I can give is sort of a science fiction one. Picture this. We are creatures that have limited abilities that need tools in which to carry out what we need to do in the environment we are in. So, created are complex robotic environmental suits that do our bidding and allow us to manipulate our environment. These suits (our bodies) come in two different kinds, designed such that we can reproduce more suits for other creatures like us to inhabit. Now the two different suits have two different purposes and function differently, so the creature inside adapts to the function of the suit, begin to utilize its strengths and weaknesses, and adapt the usage of the suit to the environment that its being used in. Yep, Helen, I know this sounds far out, but I think it accounts for what makes us male or female.

    Now lets look at the female suit. The female suit has strengths and weaknesses. One of its strengths is an instinctive preservation of the species. She will often preserve her own children at the cost of her own life. Men will do this too, but it is a much more heightened emotion in females. Making extreme generalizations, women are more apt to give sacrificially than men. I think that this is supported by the passage in Col 3 when Paul actually has to instruct men to love their wives–something women naturally do, but apparently men don’t.

    For this reason, I believe that the term “charity” is in a feminine gender (also why we don’t hear many men with the name “Charity”:).

    But…let me take it a step further. The English gender switch may be due to what often motivates a female to charity. Women have a heightened sense of emotion, and often rely on that emotion for affirmation, feedback, motivation, etc. I think in this particular case, it is cautioning the female side of the brain to not do charitable acts because of the emotional benefits they provide. In other words, giving because it makes you feel good is not charity–because it “seeketh her own”.

    My 1.5 cents worth…

    -j

    P.S. Keep in mind that this is “theosophy”–just thoughts, not fact.

    Comment by bereans | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  3. Jack, I’ll have to think about this more than is possible right now. We just had our coutertops installed and must get on with re-plumbing the sink and dishwasher and adding a garbage disposal. Until then, it’s Pizza Hut to the rescue. 🙂 Thanks for the explanation. I’ll get back to you on it.

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  4. In keeping with spiritual genderizing you may find the differences in these verses interesting.
    Luke 1:15 Luke 1:35
    Luke 1:41 Luke 2:25
    Luke 1:67 Acts 1:8

    Comment by Brian Reason | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  5. Hi Brian!

    I’m a little slow. Can you help me out? I know that people make reference to the Holy Spirit being feminine. Is this what you’re alluding to?

    Let me know!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 18, 2006 | Reply

  6. J. You seem to be from what I have read a quite knowledgable man. So I hope you can help me. I have a friend who is Bi- Devotional. Would his confusion be a result from this very topic. If you could give some words of wisdom so that I might be able to help this robotic environmental suit understand his confusion.

    Please help me!!
    sam

    Comment by sam | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  7. I’m confused, Jack. The “female side of the brain” in whom? Everyone? Are you saying that both men and women have male and female sides to their brains? And if not, what do you mean?

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  8. ha! sam, I’m going to ignore that. 🙂

    Helen, I kind of threw out a euphemism for the right lobe of the brain. The right controls more of what is intuitive, creative, spontaneous and emotional, the left part of the brain the rational/analytical. Men and women both have each side, but either side is more developed in either sex.

    There is a host of analogies that may be applicable. For example, we know that while the right lobe should be paid attention to, it is necessary that the left over rides it (emotional decision/reaction vs. rational). Science indicates to us that women in general use the right side more often than men use their right side (hmm…could that have something to do with the controversial Eph 5:22 & Col 3:18?)

    Anyhow, these are just thoughts and observations only, let me know what you think…

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  9. Honestly, I’m a bit confused. I don’t know why there is a gender switch in I Cor. 13.

    I did find this chart at http://www.funderstanding.com/right_left_brain.cfm

    Left Brain . Logical, Sequential, Rational, Analytical,
    Objective, Looks at parts

    Right Brain . Random, Intuitive, Holistic, Synthesizing,
    Subjective, Looks at wholes

    I’ve looked at this before. The site explains that most individuals favor one side over the other.

    I, undoubtedly, am a right brain thinker. But why you think that’s because I’m a woman rather than that’s the way I’m wired (and thus, became a writer) is unclear. Male poets are also right brain dominant. I think dividing this by gender is just another way to undervalue women, random thought and intuition (which is dangerously close to spiritual awareness, i.e., mysticism, visions, etc.)

    I think you are a left brain thinker ( just the facts, that’s in verse …). Actually, I think most men are. But why?

    I think it’s more a question of what’s taught to little boys (nurture over nature). I think sexuality is on a continuum. [And I guess thinking that makes it easier for me to understand homosexuality and wonder if it’s moor “normal” than we think. 11% of the population seems significant. (Only 10% are left handed.)] Any way no one is 100% male or female, although most of us figure out our gender (and sexual orientation) at an early age.

    I don’t think Eph. 5:22 etc. has anything to do with why women become engineers. I just think they are left brain dominant from birth. But society has labeled women right brained, so left brain women do a better job than right brain women and most men (just a label, not fighting words) at becoming whole brained. For example, I have a friend who’s an engineer (head of technology dept. at a community college) and who wires model trains, etc. who also writes poetry.

    You yourself said you had ignored understanding poetry and the like. Now, I don’t think for a minute you’re trying to become more woman-like, I think you sense personal imbalance in the way you view life. But I think you hinted at that when you said you used theosophy (which is right brain thinking), right?

    I think we all have a preference (Right or left) but we ought to use both sides (most people do to a degree) and value the opinions of those who do not think like we do and don’t want to.

    I will now take an offering. 🙂

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  10. Helen, I understand your confusion. This is actually a part of sociology, psychology with a little biology thrown in. Not undervaluing women, just pointing out the difference(ALL are equal in Christ). My statement was not meant to undervalue women any more than your statement about men does.:) There are just differences tied into many variables, hormone production, body habitus, chemical and physical compositions, and yes, environmental influences.

    (BTW, homosexuality is in reality more like 3-5% of the population. I think the lobby wants us to think it is that high, but true homosexuality, not the experimental sex that young people are engaging in as a result of current “fads, is a lower percentage).

    Also, I’m not really referring to a contest of who does what better. Men and women have differing strengths, and to say that women are better than men or v v. is a little bit self-defeating. 🙂

    Overall you are right, we should use both lobes, but in a scientific and statistically proven sense we don’t, and are often unable to use them equally.

    Now what this all has to do with the switch in gender in I Cor I am beginning to lose track. ha!

    Here’s my 5 bucks.

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  11. Now, concerning your statement in comment 2, “There is temptation for many people to seek out single anomalies to support assumptions (God is female, Jesus was black, etc.)”
    Don’t we also have to be careful with Jesus, “Our Father,” then? Wasn’t he giving gender also to the genderless God? Saying that God is neither male nor female indicates a genital-less God. (No agrument here.) Saying God is both male and female is a different matter. Wounder why Jesus picked the father image rather than the mother image for his prayer? Wonder if praying to Our Heavenly Mother isn’t okay?

    When I say “Jesus was black” I mean he was downtrodden and given little repsect. I’m not talking about melanin. He was a Jew from the Middle East, darker than some, lighter than others. Who cares. Was Jesus using a similar metaphor?

    We know the parables are stories meant to illustrate a given point(and not necessarily accurate concerning other details). Was Jesus saying that God can be compared to a parent (and just flipped a proverbial coin and got “father”) and men (church leadership through the ages has been predominately men, right?) have overdone the left brain deal and assigned gender to a Spirit?

    And Jesus (fully human as well as fully God) was male anatomially, I believe. So what difference does that have to do with his right brain /left brain choices? He, too, was taught how little Jewish boys behave, was he not? Has all of this been used by men to build their case as dominant over women? If God is a “person,” don’t human brains assign gender, even if it is absent?

    God has ” allowed” as opposed to favored many things. Maybe he allowed Paul a few rants. 🙂

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  12. And BTW, Isn’t “worshipping God in spirit and truth” a right barain concept? The whole rather than the part, the truth rather than just the facts?

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  13. Helen,

    Personally I don’t think the spiritual is concerned with gender. The father image that God portrays is based on the order of creation. God portrays Himself as male in order to relate to our earthly understandings. In other words, He “acts” male. God chooses the male gender to communicate Himself to us (Jesus was definitely male) because of several factors. If we look at what is required of the male in the Bible we will see the following characteristics–a. Men are to provide for those weaker(I Tim 5:8); God provides for His children. Men are to protect those weaker (1Peter 3:7). God protects His children. God is love (right brain?:), but His righteousness supercedes that love (left brain?), which could be another reason for His desire to communicate Himself as a father figure.

    Now as far as dominance, I don’t believe that there should be any. Helen, it is my belief that when Eve was deceived and Adam sinned that responsibility for the woman was given to the man–the worst possible thing one could do to a man! It wasn’t a compliment–but a punishment. It was Adam that brought sin into the world, and brought about disparity in the male/female continuum(I Tim 2:13,14). Salvation, (which is bringing one back to the perfect and equal state), was made available to both so that the proper balance could be restored. Different, but equal. Complete spiritual equality with God.

    Now that did NOT mean that our robotic environmental suits changed, nor the environment that they function in. 🙂

    Spirit-right brain, truth-left brain?

    Enjoying this!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  14. I love it, Jack. You aren’t afraid to explore an idea, knowing full well you might reject it, nor are you afraid to let other explore ideas, which they also may accept or reject. You talk about ideas not labels. Thus, you challenge me to think. Thank you. Exploring ideas isn’t wishy-washy or inconsistent. It isn’t illogical. And just because one person doesn’t agree with another or even fully understand (due to poor communication or unfortunate word connotations or whatever) doesn’t mean the other person is dumb or even wrong. But then sometimes the one’s who are quick to judge (and call people derogatory names)are unsure of themselves and should be pitied or ignored not put down. “Spirit-right brain, truth-left brain?” Maybe. Hve to think about that.

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  15. Helen, I learn more from those the Lord puts me in contact with than I feel I teach. I am first and foremost a student of life, the universe and everything (to borrow Douglas Adam’s book title:) I would rather spend a day blogging back and forth with you, than sitting under the same old boring sermon that I have heard a thousand times before. Much of what we discuss is not necessarily right or wrong, but “suppose”–that is good I think–you teaching me to use the right side of my brain more! 🙂

    Update on the kitchen?

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  16. “Spirit-right brain, truth-left brain?” Still not sure. But what is obvious to me is that both right and left brains are needed to obtain the (whole) truth. The church – the body of Christ composed of many members – contains both idividuals who are predominantly right brained and those who are left brained. Fit together, they make the whole, the bride of Christ. So surely the church is feminine, in that it is subject to Christ.

    The kitchen? Slow. The countertops look lovely. The plumbing and wiring that Bill is doing is going slowly. (Oops. There’s a vent between these studs. Extra two hours. Meter fails. ZAP!!! $150.00 and an hour and a half later. New meter.) For all practical purposes, we have no kitchen. But not for the lack of trying. Tonight we’re having hot dogs on the grill, tomorrow hambergers. And paper plates? YES. I bought 100. The plan is to have a functional kichen with a very ugly floor by the weekend. In the long run, it will all be worth it.

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 19, 2006 | Reply

  17. Good morning, Helen!

    Without getting into theology, a quick note. The church is the body of Christ, not the bride (Eph 5 is metaphoric, not symbolic. A common misconception, so don’t feel bad!:). The bride of Christ is Israel. I may write and publish about this in the future.

    Also, the emotion is valid, but always controlled by reason. The heart is deceitful–the Word absolute. The Spirit will never tell us to do something contrary to the Word-it is God (John 1).

    Looking forward to seeing the kitchen complete!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 20, 2006 | Reply

  18. sam, please forgive me for not taking your statement seriously! I will try to address it:

    Is your friend truly confused? If so, what specifically is he confused about? (1Corinthians 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion). If one finds themselves confused then I always advocate they turn to the Word for answers. God, being the author of the Word, is about understanding, and study of the Word eliminates what God is NOT the author of (confusion).

    The Bible says that in the beginning was the Word. That means that the Word of God has always existed–it was there when God spoke it in the creation. But it doesn’t stop there, it says that the Word actually IS God. This indicates that the Word of God is a part of His very cosmic nature–He is Spirit, therefore the Word is spiritual but the Word was also made physical–our Bible, our universe (God spoke) and the person of Jesus Christ.

    Now what is the significance of this? Well, I have often spoken with many a Christian who engages in conversation concerning theological matters, and many times out of frustration and confusion they resort to the question: “how is it relevant?”, “what difference does it make?”, etc. One of my classmates asked the same thing in my philosophy class at University of Maine, and my response would be almost the same as my professors at that time. This would be Jack’s paraphrase:

    “The universe is an amalgamation of correlated conundrums.” -Jack (July 20, 2006)

    Hmm…big words to say essentially that life, the universe and everything is interrelated. For example, one cannot discuss physics (the study of our physical world and its laws) without having a knowledge of mathematics. One cannot understand economics without knowledge of history. The same goes for religion, theology, apologetics, etc. To increase one’s understanding of it, many things have to be taken into account–such as a fundamental understanding of English (1Timothy 4:13), study of the the sciences of the universe (Romans 1:20, I Cor 15:40,41, Genesis, etc.), etc.

    Also, discussion of any Biblical issue, wherever the discussion leads, is fruitful (Isaiah 55:1) and contributes toward growth and understanding–maybe not in the short run where confusion exists, but in the long run where eventual understanding comes about. If your friend is confused, he still needs the knowledge and information in the short run in order to have a later understanding of it.

    Moral: Let one’s environmental suit stop to smell the roses on occasion. 🙂

    Comment by bereans | July 20, 2006 | Reply

  19. First, of all I did not expect my question to be acknowledge,both of you were to engaged in the environmental suit debate. The question was posted as break in this long winding conversation. Didn’t God describe himself in Gen.1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the (Spirit of God) was hovering over the face of the waters. I’ve know since I was a young man what that verse means. God is neither man nor woman. Now I might not be as educated as either of you but all I know is, that answered who God was is to me. Now I have been trying to study this thing called Biblical hermeneutics . I know there are many different principles involved but the one key rule to hermeneutics is that: “If the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense.” Now I know before I’m told by the powers that be here that this statement has no scriptual base, I understand that. But I do believe that there are many things in the Bible that are just “plain sense” and need no great debates. Debate is a good thing, but I know that there are other areas that debate serves a greater purpose, like how we show God’s love in this world. We as christian’s spend to much time trying to set our rules and morals of life on everybody else instead of showing through our walk with Christ what he stands for. And yes whether it be male or female it still is charity. God’s Love. And in the great words of Linus there are three things we should not debate they are: Religion,Politics,and The Great Pumpkin. P.S. we are still humans J and there is just as much mystery in the human aspect of life as anything written. Remember God created the environmental suit. What’s inside it fascinates me greatly. Love You All sam

    Comment by sam | July 20, 2006 | Reply

  20. sam, I’ll title this one:

    COMMON SENSE ACCORDING TO GOD

    Ezekiel 4:15 Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.

    Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only [son] Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

    Judges 11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she [was his] only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
    35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
    36 And she said unto him, My father, [if] thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, [even] of the children of Ammon.
    37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.
    38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away [for] two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.
    39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her [according] to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,
    40 [That] the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

    Ezekiel 24:15 Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
    16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.
    17 Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not [thy] lips, and eat not the bread of men.
    18 So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.
    19 And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these [things are] to us, that thou doest [so]?

    Isaiah 202 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

    🙂 

    Love you too!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 20, 2006 | Reply

  21. Thank you for showing how God tested the faith of his people. More or less proves how important our faith is. God uses many situations to test our faith.

    Still does not prove that common sense should not be used in some verses of the Bible. Are the Ten Commandments common sense or do they have a deeper meaning? He seems to be using common sense ideas to guide his people.

    In many verses in the Bible God tested the human aspect and those test made no sense, except for the Glory of God & The Showing of Faith.

    If I’m wrong than use your own words to prove your point. Or better verses. Maybe New Testament.

    Never did answer question: Did Gen.1:2 answer the question of what God is?
    Also makes plain sense for God to test the FAITH of everyone of his children.

    Love Ya
    SAM

    Comment by sam | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  22. SAM, you’re absolutely right about applying common sense to verses in the Bible. Sometime though our common sense is not His common sense. The apostle Paul said that we currently “see through a glass darkly” meaning that not everything about the infinite God and his actions are understandable by the finite that currently limits us. Till we have complete understanding, sometime we have to fill in the gaps with conjecture/theories, till we can test them and come to a greater understanding.

    You bring up a good question, for example, about the Ten Commandments. How many Christians understand the Ten Commandments and their purpose? I would say maybe 1 in 100. There is a much deeper meaning–if one chooses to look. For example, the Ten Commandments are not for the Christian, and never intended for them (I’ll get a lot of responses concerning this one:). What was the purpose of the Ten Commandments? Most Christians can’t answer this question either. What law existed before the Ten Commandments? What relationship do the Levirite laws have to the Ten Commandments and which are sanctioned by God and not part of Israel’s human government?(Insert 20-30 more questions that can be asked that have answers). Last, but not least, what is common sense about:

    -keeping a day “holy” (with penalty being death for failure to do so?) I mowed lawn a couple Sunday’s ago (of course we know that Saturday is the Sabbath).
    -forbidding one to have a graven image of any kind…(maybe I can use that as an excuse for the bear…)
    -what does it really mean to “take the name of the LORD thy God in vain”?

    In the examples I threw in in the previous comment, one may have been a trial of faith, but the others, what were they? Why did God command Hosea to marry a whore who he knew would commit fornication with others behind his back–this wasn’t a test of Hosea’s faith, what was it?

    SAM, I love the Bible, and have often said that one of the reasons is that it is bottomless–one can dig the rest of their life and never know it all. The problem with churches (as we have spoken) is that Mr. Average Christian is not concerned with digging, is concerned only with the surface things, and becomes dismissive or avoidant when faced with misunderstanding (We have talked about these kind of people before). The catch all “we may never understand that” is not an admission, but an excuse to neglect investigating further. These are Christians needing milk, never progressing to meat.

    Oops, sorry, I will address specifics:

    About Genesis 1:2, I would have to say that it is not a complete picture of God. It refers to one part of Him (Spirit OF God), but there is much more in the scripture descriptive of Him that we have to take into consideration:

    God is light

    Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the GLORY of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (Glory in this context and in others refers to light–Paul saw a light on the way to Damascus, plus there are many verses referring to God as light in both a figurative and physical sense)

    God is information/intellect: John 1

    God is a collective/cosmic being of infinite proportion: How many verses indicate that we are actually IN Him?

    God is a singularity but of three parts…

    etc.

    In regards to “Also makes plain sense for God to test the FAITH of everyone of his children.” Does it really?

    Does it really make sense for a God who can see the future to test the faith of His children when He already knows what grade they will get on the test? Hmmm…

    Glad you’re in the conversation, SAM! Our exchanges are beginning to sound like mine and Helens! ha!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  23. Oops, SAM, you had asked for a good New Testament example:

    Acts 5:1-11

    Let me know what you think.

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  24. I think part of the reason a lot of Christains don’t dig (into the Word) is that the response of pastors, teachers , whoeever, is to immediately “set them striaght” with different vesres if they challenge the view of the pastor. Sometimes well-meaning leaders stop any real digging.

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  25. Good morning, Helen!

    Isn’t it the responsibility of those individuals to instruct, to challenge others to think, to learn? If not, then why go to them in the first place? Helen, when I taught at Penn State I had non-traditional students (usually older folk) who got in there and learned whether I taught or not, I also had kids whose parents were paying for their education who cared less about learning. Those who want to learn–will. In the years of my ministry, I discovered that there are three kinds in most churches/church groups: 1. those who will produce no matter what, 2. those who will produce if propery motivated (provoked) and 3. those who won’t produce regardless.

    Another quick point.

    SAM and I had discussed why men are leaving Christian churches (61% female and 39% male) while Islam is growing exponentially. I think it has a lot to do with the propensity to dispense milk and not meat, to water things down to the point of ineffectiveness. (If one sees our age as the Laodicean church age as referenced in Revelation, that we are neither hot nor cold and make God sick!)

    Our churches have become group therapy sessions aimed at making people feel good, rarely helping them rise to their Christian potential. We need churches with Pauls and Peter. (Not that I’m comparing myself to such great saints!)

    I think the majority of the reason Christians don’t dig is because of two reasons: it is not their priority, or they are lazy.

    (BTW, SAM is a digger–He is a dear friend who I know personally–we discuss this way often!:)

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  26. I was taught (Teacher ed. classes) that there are three kinds of students 1) those who learn because of the teacher, 2) those who learn in spite of teacher, and 3) those who will not learn no matter what the teacher does.

    Be back later. The plumbing saga deepens!

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  27. ha! Like that one, Helen. Of course I have always viewed my learning as my responsibility, not that of others…

    🙂

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  28. Helen,

    Just a quick note. I’m only an “absolutist” on the things I understand. There is a host of things that I don’t and I try to be careful about presenting something as fact when it is opinion, philosophy, theory, etc. SAM and I discuss the scripture at length and frequently. He is a scholar whom I respect. One of the tremendous things about him, though, is that we can disagree and it makes not one iota of difference to either of us. Kind of like when you and I differ!

    My wealth of knowledge expands not through affirmation of what I already know, but through the learning of new and material information–whether that information challenges what I think is right or adds to what I already know.

    Good luck on the plumbing!!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | July 21, 2006 | Reply

  29. Good luck on the plumbing!! Try prayer.

    Comment by Helen Losse | July 21, 2006 | Reply


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