Having opinions, judging or being judgmental

In the Christian world, there are people who say we may not judge nor vote.

John 7:24 says

Stop judging by mere appearances, and make it right judgement”

Many people forget that we may not judge according to appearance, but it does not say we may not judge at all. We should investigate everything before we express our opinion. By giving our idea we should have judged righteous before we express ourselves.

“’You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.” (Le 19:15 NAS)

“”Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ’Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother;” (Zec 7:9 NAS)

Often we make a judgement already by only seeing a person, without having spoken enough with him or her to get some real idea of that person. We should try to do like God does, not judging on their ‘outside’, but getting to know their inner thoughts and compare it to their action and judge then their attitude.

“”You people judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.” (Joh 8:15 NAS)

Every day of the week or of the year, we do have to face matters and have to judge them to take the right action. Some think or say that Jesus said we may not judge at all.

“”Do not judge lest you be judged.” (Mt 7:1 NAS)

Here Jesus warns us not to pick on people and to jump on their failures, criticize their faults unless, of course, we want the same treatment. Jesus lets us know that the attitude we take or critical spirit to look at others has a way of boomeranging.

It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Often we find people who say they are Christian and want to be ‘holier than the pope’, living with a whole travelling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living their part.

“1  “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ’Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7:1-5 NAS95)

Jesus is telling us to remove the plank from our own eye so that we may help the other person. As such we have to check our own attitude and thinking and doing away with the faults of ourselves.

Just as we are commanded to not condemn others, we are also commanded to not ignore sin. This requires the act of judging others in a biblical way.

It is important to be able to discern the difference between the judging.  There is judging that is mentioned in Matthew 7:1-5 and the biblical kind of judgement mentioned in John 7:24:

“”Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”” (Joh 7:24 NAS95)

Jesus is indicating we may not just show discernment because we do not like something from a person, but allows as to examine a person and gives us permission to tell right from wrong. We may go into confrontation with someone else, but have to be very careful how (and why) we do it.

The ultimate goal in confronting someone is to bring that person to repentance. We are called to judge sin with the goal of bringing repentance and reconciliation.

God commands us to point out the truth with hope, love, and Christ-like compassion. 

“but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” (Eph 4:15 NAS95)

So before we give some remarks to someone, we should consider if our opinion is right and how we are going to say it would be right. At all times we should really be sure that we are right in what we are remarking and that we give our opinion in the right way.

We are told to correct, rebuke, and encourage, which means that we would have made a judgement or formed an opinion, otherwise, we would not be able to give a correction or rebuke something. At all times we should be ready to give a Christian opinion, making it that we can teach people and correct them in the things we think are wrong. As being taught in the word we should try always to use the right way to communicate, giving an example in all good things, have become imitators of the apostles and their master teacher, Jesus Christ, having received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit;

“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (2Ti 4:2 NAS95)

“You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,” (1Th 1:6 NAS95)

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Find also to read

  1. Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love
  2. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  3. How we think shows through in how we act
  4. How us to behave
  5. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  6. Do we have to be an anarchist to react
  7. Judgement
  8. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  9. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  10. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  11. Believe and speak and act in ways which show we have life in Christ’s name
  12. Raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair
  13. Who are the honest ones?
  14. Followers with deepening

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Further related

  1. When someone criticizes your appearance
  2. Reflections on Flourish Part 11Things you shouldn’t do.Working out our own salvation (Philippians 2)
  3. To Judge
  4. Go Ahead, Judge Me! I know you are!
  5. The Self Righteous Person Is The Most Dangerous Person In The Room (Bible Study Matthew 7 Part 1)
  6. Does ‘judge not’ mean make no judgements about sin?
  7. Do you think its ever ok to judge?
  8. Do Not Judge Others
  9. Feeling better by condemning
  10. Do to others…
  11. Do you find it easy to criticize bad behavior to very close friends?
  12. When I was deemed a liar…
  13. Unwillingness to “bother people”
  14. Making Mistakes, Dealing With Judgement And Shining On.
  15. Dirty Hands
  16. Remember who you ARE!
  17. God’s Report Cards
  18. God’s Righteousness and Justice. VIII: Clothed in Christ’s Righteousness
  19. Be the Lighthouse
  20. Different Kinds of Values
  21. The Judge Stands at the Door
  22. Justice
  23. God Loves All!

Decolonising our minds

Every generation has to undergo some turnovers on one or the other factor.

What is to considered to be normal at one time in another generation can be “not done”.

The last few years it seems like we are living in a society which wants to overcorrect itself. It wants to break with previous passages in history. In several countries suddenly a lot of words may not be used any more because they are considered wrong or unjust to certain groups of the population. Often then there are created new words to substitute the older word, but then they forget that happened in the past already with several words as well.

With the “Black Lives Mattermovement this seems to have arrived in a roller-coaster or rapids. It looks like when you do away with all monuments and all related words that part of history shall be made away with and forgotten. Instead of thinking about the value of keeping also the wrong things in memory.

Even the prestigious London university got caught in a row with some of its students who have repeatedly demanded leading philosophers, whose ideas have underpinned civilised society across the Western world. It might well be that a lot of philosophers their writings students may have to cover, come from Europe and as such from white people. Instead of studying the European Enlightenment figures, the students have insisted the majority of philosophers should be from Africa and Asia, and white thinkers only to be studied “if required”.

People often forget that they when being part of a certain culture should learn about their own culture first. If one wants to learn the other culture(s) it should also be possible but in another curriculum. It is wrong to exclude European thinkers, because they are part of our world mindset and provided the patrons with our wisdom, morals and ethics.

What we can see today is that lots of youngsters are trying to desacralise European thinkers, stopping them from being treated as unquestionable. We should not stop studying them, but should be able to look at them critically.

For sure, we may question what should be the place of European philosophy, and European philosophers, in an age of globalisation and of a shifting power balance from West to East, but we should recognise that they are essential to our insight in the construction of our society throughout the ages.

The argument for a more diverse curriculum seems reasonable, indeed unquestionable. After all, philosophers and thinkers come not just from Europe. There are great non-European intellectual traditions, a myriad philosophical schools from China, India, Africa and the Muslim world, many of which have shaped European philosophy as well. It would be good to see that there is made more place to look at the works of Mo Tzu, Zhu Xi, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, Anton Wilhelm Amo, Frantz Fanon, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Feng Youlan, just to call a few.

It is wrong to think that all European philosophy would be tainted by racism and colonialism. Several people are now falling in the same trap as racists, suggesting that because one possesses a particular identity, so one’s ideas are necessarily distinct, and linked to that identity.

A philosopher is white so his or her ideas are contaminated.

John Locke is widely regarded as having provided the philosophical foundations of modern liberal conceptions of tolerance. Yet he was a shareholder in a slaving company.
Immanuel Kant, often seen as the greatest of Enlightenment philosophers, clung to a belief in a racial hierarchy, insisting that

‘Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites’

and that

‘the African and the Hindu appear to be incapable of moral maturity’.

Sian HawthorneSian Hawthorne, convenor of the undergraduate course in ‘World Philosophies’, the only philosophy degree that SOAS provides, observes:

‘Enlightenment philosophers make arguments about knowledge and reason setting us free, and laud the values of liberty, at the very moment that colonial enterprises and the slave trade are expanding. Those very same arguments are summoned to justify Europe’s so-called civilizing mission and make claims about European superiority.’

Jonathan Israel, now Professor Emeritus of History at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, lauds the Enlightenment as that transformative period when Europe shifted from being a culture

‘based on a largely shared core of faith, tradition and authority’

to one in which

‘everything, no matter how fundamental or deeply rooted, was questioned in the light of philosophical reason’.

Yet, Israel is also deeply critical. At the heart of his argument is the insistence that there were actually two Enlightenments. The mainstream Enlightenment of Locke, Voltaire, Kant and Hume is the one of which we know, and of which most historians have written. But it was the Radical Enlightenment, shaped by lesser-known figures such as d’Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet and, in particular, the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, that provided the Enlightenment’s heart and soul.

The two Enlightenments, Israel suggests, divided on the question of whether reason reigned supreme in human affairs, as the Radicals insisted, or whether reason had to be limited by faith and tradition – the view of the mainstream. The mainstream’s intellectual timidity constrained its critique of old social forms and beliefs. By contrast, the Radical Enlightenment

‘rejected all compromise with the past and sought to sweep away existing structures entirely’.

Israel finds the argument that the ‘Enlightenment is racist’, coming from a one-eyed view, the selective picking and choosing of certain individuals and quotes.

Such critics see only the more conservative mainstream figures, such as Locke, Kant and Hume, and ignore the thinkers of the Radical Enlightenment,

an approach that Israel calls

‘seriously obtuse’.

The Radical Enlightenment, he observes,

‘was condemned by all European governments and by all churches, because in principle it insisted on the universal and equal rights of men and the full emancipation of the black population.’

Israel is sympathetic to the demand that university curricula be diversified.

‘There is a strong case for studying non-European traditions as an essential part of any philosophy teaching course.’

But, he points out, such a global view began in the Radical Enlightenment itself.

‘Many radical enlighteners believed their anti-Christian naturalism had powerful roots in medieval Islamic philosophy. They also had strong affinities with Chinese Confucianism. They were free of the Eurocentrism that marked the mainstream Enlightenment of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Hume and Smith.’

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Preceding

Visual and aural impacts – contacts and concepts

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

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Additional reading

  1. The twist of politics and expression
  2. Institutional Racism
  3. Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division

Dividing walls of “race”

Dividing walls of “race”

All human beings are created in the image of God. This makes that we are or should be, all accepting the other as being allowed to be here by God and to be co-images of God and ourselves.

The Divine Creator, Jehovah, the God above all gods, did not create more than one race. Of the kind that now usually walks on two legs, God created only one kind: a man taken from the red earth, hence his name “A·dham“.

Dr. George Gallant says

Racism, implies that our Creator made more then one race of people. There is but one race the human race. Get use to it people and stop using the word Racism. One Blood, One People, One set of Parents, Adam and Eve.

He has good reason to call for stopping to divide people in races or a sort of brands. We all come from the same original human beings, who probably were not white at all. The first man and mannin Adam and Eve (Chavah or Isha) got children and their children got again children and in the end we come from those children their children.

William D Tillman says

the majority of people have bought into the false construct of color/ethnicity equals – species (sic race). This is really a question of supremacywhite supremacy in particular. The dividing walls of “race” were erected to not only keep “the races pure” but to subjugate all to so-called white people. My real concern is how silent the church is on this.

“let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think…”

is a principle that is espoused but today’s rhetoric indicates it’s one that rather needs to be lived. The statement,

“I don’t see race”

is another method to dismiss the systematic denigration and disenfanchisement of a whole sector of the population because it places the blame of perception of the suffering and relieves the “race-blind” of the guilt of apathy.

We always should remember we could be born in another region, another culture, or we could have been born with either lighter or darker skin, God chose what we are on the outside but the inside is the same. The inside is the most important factor of our being.

In the life and teaching of Jesus we nowhere can find that he had a particular predilection for a sort human being. The places he went to had Hebrew, Palestinian, Arab and other Eastern people walking around and also listening to him. Never gave he a sign to have a certain preference for or over one or the other person. In Jesus’ teaching is no such thing as racial preference. He teaches that all people are the same. Also for God everybody is equal and shall be equally judged.

As followers of Christ or Christians, we all should be like brothers and sisters and share that brotherly love with each other.

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Find also to read:

  1. How did the original readers understand Gen 1:1?
  2. A dark skinned Jesus
  3. Why I’m Angry
  4. What is Racism??
  5. A last note concerning civil rights
  6. Even in the so-called freeworld countries racism exist
  7. Where It All Needs to Start
  8. Need to reject an archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible and animosity against other believers
  9. Speciesism and racism
  10. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  11. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  12. Institutional Racism
  13. Immigration consternation
  14. Migrants to the West #1
  15. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  16. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  17. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  18. Looking at an American nightmare
  19. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  20. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism
  21. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  22. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  23. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  24. Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
  25. It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!
  26. My Multi-Cultural Childhood Could be the Answer to Racism & Xenophobia

Known and unknown things

For ages, man has been confronted with loads of questions. Millions of people tried to find answers but never got to the point where they could say they were satisfied.

There are things that we think we do know. But often when we grow up we come to see we did not know it really. And there are things that we know that we don’t know. Looking at this world and outer space there are so many things that we don’t know, that we don’t know. Those things that we don’t even know enough to know that we don’t know lay so far outside of our existing frame of reference that we can’t even imagine them. They are too far out of our box to hold in mind.

Most of the time we are already so busy with coping about the things we do seem to think are there in the unknown, that we do not have time to think further about those things which are the very far unknown. Lots of things are also matters we do not understand or do not seem to get a grip on to have a good view of them.

Many philosophers were busy with the unknown and wanted to have a clear view of the known. The American philosopher William James was fascinated by the unknown unknowns and assumed that what we knew about reality (and even what we can imagine to be true about reality) is always a tiny fraction of the totality of what is. Question also should be “what is reality”. These days people are confronted a lot by things which are not at all true. The greatest caller and accuser that others are fake is mostly presenting the world with a lot of fake news and very dangerous ideas. (Even when he, as 45th president of the U.S.A. is proud to tell the world he takes this or that product to avoid having Corona, and brings others in danger when they follow him.)

James was a free thinker who held loosely to what he thought was true and assumed that whatever seemed true now would yield to much bigger and more encompassing truths soon. Rather than defend what we know and expand on it slowly, he wanted to inquire directly into what we don’t already know by focusing on the anomalies and oddities that don’t fit into our current understanding.

James felt that our attention should be on the outer fringes of what we know. The next big idea doesn’t come from the center. It comes from the dim outer edge where the light of what we currently know fades into the blackness of the unknown beyond. James risked his career and his reputation as a scientist to study things that others thought were absurdities. As the president of the American Psychical Society he studied spirits, mediums, and life after death. Most scientists felt this was worthless, but James felt that it was out there on the fringes that we would find our way to new and unexpected vistas of truth.

{, How to Move Beyond Vicious Intellectualism}

For mankind has been created by an invisible Source, which is the Being. Without that Being there is no being at all. And that seems very difficult for lots of people to cope with. They want to have something they can touch and see. That is why so many people took themselves some visible god or gods, be it Jesus, cows or other animals or trees.
The two originators of the philosophy of Pragmatism – Charles Sanders Peirce and William James – were both very concerned with unknown unknowns. Both realized that human beings find it very difficult to even imagine that there could be things that we don’t know that we don’t know. Sure we know that there are things that we don’t know. I don’t know lots of scientific and cultural facts, the distance to the nearest star, the president of Monaco and so on. But I know there are such facts that I don’t know. (The film maker and columnist Errol Morris has written for the New York Times recently on the concept of unknown unknowns.)
We all should know that there is so much that we even do not know, which is a manifold of what we know. Are brain is just too limited to cope with everything there is and exists. Bounded unto this earth there is also space which goes beyond our dreams and far away from our own capacity to understand and know what is all there.
Problem with man is also that he thinks to have enough knowledge to understand or to analyse the things in the known and unknown.
Those things that we don’t even know enough to know that we don’t know lay so far outside of our existing frame of reference that we can’t even imagine them. They are too far out of our box to hold in mind. What endears me to Pragmatism more than anything else is the respect given to the existence of truth beyond our current ability to imagine. James and Peirce both assumed that what we knew about reality (and even what we can imagine to be true about reality) is only a tiny part of the totality of reality. And they envisioned a way of going about philosophy in light of this. They created a form of inquiry and a philosophical attitude that was militantly open ended. “Never block the road to inquiry” was Peirce’s motto. And William James railed against what he called vicious intellectualism.

Every day we are requested to look around us and to recognise the truth and untruth, the known and unknown. Each day we have to examine how we want to look at things, because that is going to decide if we are going to be able to go further to understand the unknown as well as the truth or reality.

We must take steps to dare to go out of our comfort zone to come to new visions and coming to known more unknown things. We have to dare to step outside of our own frame of reference. If we are consciously or unconsciously assuming that what we think is true actually is true and negates all other possibilities, our inquiry proceeds by expanding on what we already know. There is the trap for mankind that we focus on what we know and not many try to push at the borders, “creeping slowly out into the vast oceans of unknown that surrounds our small island of known”.

If we want to come to a better world we should dare to look at the darkness and see the light the divine Creator offers the world. He has also given His Word to look into and to find answers. Though not many people take the effort to read that Book of books and come to see more clearly in so many matters that bother us every day.

Danger also for mankind is that people are often so sure that what they think is the truth. Many dare not to question their own value or their own way of looking at things and their own analysation of matters. We should dare to question how we want to look at things. Certainly for looking at things we do not really understand we should consider which glasses we want to use.

James and Peirce wanted our thinking to be free. They wanted to hold on loosely to what we think is true by assuming that whatever we think is true now will yield tomorrow to a much bigger and more encompassing truth. Rather than defend what we know and expand on it slowly they wanted to inquire directly into what we don’t already know by focusing on the anomalies and oddities that don’t fit into our current understanding.

James felt that our attention should be on the outer fringes of what we know. The next big idea doesn’t come from the center. It comes from the dim outer edge where the light of what we currently know fades into the blackness of the unknown beyond. James risked his career and his reputation as a scientist to study things that others thought were absurdities.
{Vicious Intellectualism and the Reality of the Unknown, }

It is not that we have to know how it really is to come to believe. It can very well be that we do not know all the  facts, but may consider that there is some truth or some existence of that what we assume there to be. We have our own sensations and thoughts and can listen to others their thoughts, combining those ideas to form some other ideas, transpiring to come to certain conclusions. Though often we still can’t be sure we would have made the right conclusion.

People should know that even if we cannot point to direct irrefutable evidence of something we should not be afraid to believe in it. As such the belief in God is grounded.

Michael Shermer in his book “How We Believe” describes the mind as a “belief engine” that is constantly creating patterns of belief. From fractured information and sense impressions the mind weaves together plausible pictures of reality that we believe in.
{Belief and Fact, }

Question is also

How do we want to believe?

and

In what do we want to believe?

Most often man only wants to believe in what he can see and feel. For going to believe in certain matters, he wants direct irrefutable evidence. For the matter of God, the divine Creator that is very difficult. To explain God there are also not always common sense definitions. We must be honest, in the God matter, we mostly cannot point to direct irrefutable evidence. To convince others about the existence of God it is also difficult to give really direct evidence.

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Perhaps the following articles can make you think about the matter

  1. 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
  2. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #1 Many gods
  3. Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)
  4. Nature Is A Reflection Of God
  5. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #3 Transcendence or Surpassing other gods and man
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #4
  7. 4th Question: Who or What is God
  8. A 1st reply to the 4th Question Who is God 1 A Creating Being to be worshipped

How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

The following short article from a “Christian” source recognizes and addresses a modern day problem associated with Bible engagement and technology.

Though technology has played a major role in the availability of the Word of God in ways unimaginable just a generation back, today an estimated 50% of Americans read their Bible digitally on computers, phones, and Bible apps. In addition, computer programs quickly and efficiently present the Bible in multiple translations, readily available for reading, copying, and saving with the click of a mouse; while essential tools which Bible students depend upon such as concordances, lexicons, commentaries, etc. are equally available on line.
Yet… what impact has technology had on Bible engagement in this digital age?

Studies conducted by the Barna Group and The American Bible Society show that there is a growing Bible literacy problem despite the technological advantages, concluding,

“today’s technology is doing as much, if not more, harm than good to overall Bible literacy.”

Scriptural sound bites and snippets necessarily reduce not only content, but also meaning and impact. There is simply no replacement for Bible study. When one repeatedly reads the Bible with the sincere desire to understand and embrace it, one becomes familiar with its themes, its teachings, and its contexts.
We are admonished to

“study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

– Editor of the Christadelphian Advocate

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Harper-Collins-Bible-best-Bible-apps-for-Android – the Word of Promise telling: The NKJV Study Bible, Second Edition, is the most comprehensive study Bible available!

It turns out that electronic Bible providers are employing “a data-centric model” which regularly regurgitates those verses which are already the most tweeted or shared by their user communities. The result is basically a repeating loop of “verse of the day” Bible balm. This means those who get their Bible online will receive plenty of I can do all things through Christ… (Philippians 4:13), and, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace…(Jeremiah 29:11), but not so much of the rest of the Bible. Apparently no one is intentionally choosing a wide selection of verses to more adequately convey the wider range of biblical teaching… The prognosis is not good… the less-than-hopeful question:

“Does this mean that we lose out on doctrinal or propositional input into our Bible reading online”?

And if we do put more than therapeutic Bible verses out there, will they all merely land on “deaf ears, blind eyes, and dead screens”?
The concern is appropriate.

Constantly engaging Bible verses that make me feel good is perilously close to turning the Bible into a prophet that tells me only what I want to hear. This is the kind of prophet the real prophets warned us about. But is simply adding more verses – propositional ones – to the playlist really the solution? Isn’t there a deeper problem here?

Exposure to a wider variety of Bible verses might offer me more than therapy, but the entire approach is still based on providing would-be Bible readers little more than a morsel. The bigger issue is that we can’t rely on tweets, Facebook posts or “verse of the day” deliveries to our inbox to fulfill the promise of Bible engagement.
The social media channel as a communication medium has built-in limitations. The Bible itself is so much more than a collection of verses, so much richer than a sourcebook of one-liners… The Holy Scriptures are a gathering of complete literary works, meant to be read as a whole. These books come together to tell a story that can only be taken in, understood, and lived if it is fully encompassed, apprehended at length, and deeply embraced. Sound bites can’t do this. A constant diet of atomized fragments is a disservice to the Scriptures that God gave us.

Let us rather respect and read the Bible holistically.
Let us honor the Word of God by giving it our time and full attention.
We don’t need a shrinking Bible delivered to us with a diminished set of expectations. May we rather welcome back a full-sized Bible – the stories, wisdom, instruction, and visions overflowing with all that God has for us and all He expects of us.
Words to encourage and inspire us, yes: but also to instruct, correct, and welcome us wholly into this long and winding narrative that in the end leads us where we need to go. Only the complete Bible can do this. So read big.

This article originally appeared on Institute For Bible Reading organisation under the title “Verse of the Day‘Therapy’ is Shrinking the Bible,” October 10, 2018.

Turned backs on serious study

“Many in the church have turned their back on serious study, and have embraced an anti-intellectualism which refuses to learn anything from scholarship at all lest it corrupt their pure faith. It is time to end this stand-off, and to re-establish a hermeneutic of trust (itself a sign of the gospel!) in place of the hermeneutic of suspicion which the church has so disastrously borrowed from the postmodern world around”

Wright, N. T. (2005). Scripture and the Authority of God (p. 99). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

Is reading the Bible necessary?

Many who call themselves Christian do like to follow Augustine, even more than Christ. they do agree with him that reading the Bible is no longer necessary once God had fully cultivated faith, hope, and love in us (On Christian Doctrine, 1.39). In other words, according to them, once we are mature in Christ, the Bible is no longer necessary.  In this way, the difficulties in this ancient text are not first off problems to be solved, but opportunities to grow.

People may not forget that God has given the world His Word for a very good reason. It should be seen as our best guide and way to the future.

God is like a wise parent who wants us to grow in maturity and gain the skills necessary for life.  God wants us to come to know Him, but also wants us to know ourselevs and to put ourselves in the light to others, and placing ourself in the universe.

God is like a wise parent who gives freedom and responsibility so that we can learn to handle life like “mature, well-functioning adults”. His wise words and the history of mankind, as presented in the Book of books, the Bible, can help us to grow and to mature. > Therefore we have all the more reason to regularly read the Bible and to continually think about the Word of God.

Where people find meaning in life

Pew Research Center asked thousands of Americans where they find meaning in life. Their responses were rich, thoughtful and varied. Here are just a few examples of what they told us…

“That’s a gosh darn big question for a survey like this, I’m used to the check boxes. I find meaning in career, family, spiritual and hobbies aspects of my life. Those are the things that keep me going and areas that I develop goals and look to improve.”

I honestly think goals are very important in life. But people constantly also need new stimuli. Having a good focus also helps people staying on a path where they can tackle the difficulties in a reasonable way.

one person reacted:

“My family is the focus of my life. I feel like I should have said Christianity; however, that is a given for me, underlying and surrounding everything in my life. My greatest joy comes from my loved ones.”

Family was the most common topic Americans mentioned when talking about what keeps them going. Two-thirds (69%) brought up their spouse or romantic partner, children, grandchildren or simply “family” in general.

Surroundings do a lot for having an interesting and acceptable or a detestable life. But even when not living in good surroundings a person is able to make the best of his life, when he is willing to invest in his own personality.

One person wrote

“I look at meaning a little differently. I believe meaning is something we build into our lives; by our successes, failures and experiences. I do not feel meaning can be found but must be created.”

Though some did not see so much in their life to have them going or to keep them going.

Nothing keeps me going, I just do. No meaning at all. Too many stupid people in life to deal with, that cause constant negative consequences. Many of them in positions of power. I would find meaning in life from anything that would remove their influence from my life!

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It would be nice to live according to my being rather than my blackness. I will never know how a totally worthwhile life will feel because of this.

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Read more:

What keeps us going

 

Human nature designed for love

GOD DESIGNED HUMAN NATURE FOR LOVE 

By Jesse Morrell
Everything God created has a function and a design.

God created human nature.

Therefore, human nature has a proper function and a design.

What is the proper function that human nature was designed by God for?

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves”

Romans 2:14

The proper function of a thing is determined by its design.

When a thing operates according to its design, it functions properly and orderly.

When it malfunctions, it violates its design and is in a state of disorder.

Our moral obligations (how we should function properly) are according to the design of our human nature.

We were created to love God and love our neighbor. We were designed for love. Love is our proper function.

A holy man is simply a man who lives according to his true human nature – the way God designed mankind to live.

Sin is a malfunction – a violation of our design.

Sin has damaging affects upon our soul, heart, mind, and body precisely because it is a violation of our design.

Our world is in a state of disorder because men choose by their free will to violate their God given nature, just like Adam and Eve did.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Emphasis: without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving]

It’s natural and human to be loving.

It is unnatural and inhuman to be unloving.

Human nature was designed by God for love.

Trump Dragging the Jews and Israel into the scrum, using both as one more weapon in his racist rants.

President Trump, long a trafficker in anti-Semitic stereotypes, treated American Jews to a classic anti-Semitic canard Tuesday afternoon. When asked about two Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who had been barred from Israel at Trump’s own behest, he broke out an oldie but a goodie from the closet of anti-Semitic tropes.

“Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” President Trump told reporters.

Per Trump, Jews are and should be loyal to Israel rather the United States; to show their loyalty, they should vote for a Republican.

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Read more:

This Week Proves It: Politicians Won’t Call Out Anti-Semitism On Their Own Side