Tag Archives: Freedom of choice

Looking at an Utopism which has not ended

Marcus Ampe wrote a few days ago on WordPressUtopism has not ended” giving more clarification on his way of thinking and about his “Utopian Dreams“. In  a series of articles on his WordPress blog he continues to look at reasons why we should not give up hope for a better world and how some Christians and certain people are too much afraid for matters of social protection.

The Thousand-Year View from N.S. Palmer wants to apply time-tested ideas to the problems of our modern era and also took a look at Mr. Ampe‘s writing. N.S. Palmer preaches that we shouldn’t worry about things we can’t control, but it’s easier to say than to do. On that point we seem to differ. We cannot escape being in this system and having to live in this world at a certain time. But how we live and what we are willing to accept to happen plays an important role in our life. When people, living in this world, believe it could be very well possible to make it a better place for many, to some that might be an unreachable goal, to others it should be something to work at.

Trying to get a perfect society is something which we all should be doing. Though we agree only partly with Mr. Palmer who says

No society ever has been or ever will be perfect. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

him forgetting that one day Jesus Christ shall return and install the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Nazarene rabbi his government will be the most perfect governing body and shall give all its inhabitants the most perfect system to live in.

Mr Palmer further finds that

utopians waste their time and cause great harm by rejecting possible goals and pursuing an impossible goal. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

It is true that the goal set by utopians might be very unreachable, hence their name “utopists”, or followers of utopian dreams, thinking of utopia (1500-1600) being the imaginary perfect country in the book Utopia (1516) by the English humanist and statesman, chancellor of England (1529–32) Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place”.

Because their goal can never be achieved, nothing will ever be enough. They think we should keep doing the same things, just do them harder. Spend more money. Take away more freedom. Police more speech. {Utopia’s Biggest Problem}

Such an imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens may be presented in several authors their stories. A utopia focuses on equality in such categories as economics, government and justice (a non-exhaustive list), and does not focus on “spending more money” like Mr. Palmer seems to give the impression. Neither do utopians want to take away the freedom of people. Just the opposite they want to secure that there is freedom on all sorts of levels: freedom of life, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, a.o. but most importantly also freedom of choice under the condition not to limit others. That utopians want to have more control on those freedoms and perhaps would want to see more control of having all people receiving the same liberties and same equalities, may demand a controlling apparatus or police, but does not have to mean we have to go to become a police-state or a state of repression. That is the wrong vision a lot of people who are against socialism, utopianism and communism want to send into the world.

There are many debates about what constitutes a utopia. Many who are against any social feeling, what they call part of the “left” consider utopians and their world or societies they want to build, “utopias” benign or dangerous. Concerning utopia fitting or not, or being essential to a Christian world lots of contradictory ideas go round. Many ask

Is the idea of utopianism essential to Christianity or heretical? What is the relationship between utopia and ideology?

One of the leading scholars in the field of utopian studies, Lyman Tower Sargent argues that utopia’s nature is inherently contradictory because societies are not homogeneous and have desires which conflict and therefore cannot simultaneously be satisfied. Sargent notes that some thinkers see a trajectory from utopia to totalitarianism, with violence an inevitable part of the mix, and we have the impression Mr. Palmer might do so also.

According to Sargent:

There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian and many more utopias [ Naturism, Nude Christians, …] Utopianism, some argue, is essential for the improvement of the human condition. But if used wrongly, it becomes dangerous. Utopia has an inherent contradictory nature here.

And that describes very well the difficulty of that utopian world for which Mr. Ampe puts his hand in the fire. He as several other Christians believes in the purity man can come to reach, in which innocence is in the heart of that person, enabling people to walk freely in nature naked, without others having bad ideas. In such a free world naturism would for example never be a problem, because all people would abstain from wrong thinking and wrong acts. In an utopian world there is no place for sexual offensive acts to the public sense of decency. There being no place for obscenity by people keeping themselves to pure thought the same as the first people in the Garden of Eden had. It was only after they had done wrong and came to know good and evil that they became afraid of the other and wanted to protect themselves by covering their body. Such covering in an ideal world would not be necessary, the same as it was not a matter to cover oneself in the 1970ies and hippies could share their places freely with others without having to fear something to go wrong. Nakedness was no problem at that time, whilst now we see again a lot of shyness and fear of nudity among many young people as well as some elderly people.

We do agree many of the boom children tried to create a perfect society in the 196070ies but failed terribly. Though we are not ashamed that we tried to stimulate others to step on the wagon with us (dreamers). Many of our generation might have betrayed their ideas, but Mr. Ampe like several others, as a follower of the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) believes the teachings of that rebbe are still worth going for.

Utopians just ask people to take the responsibility for others and to respect everybody and everybody around them. They would never stimulate capitalism, like N.S. Palmer gives the impression.

 

At the moment we can grow unto more tolerance by learning to agree to disagree, as well by not being afraid to dare to engage in thoughtful political discussions. Though at the moment we still face the difficulty that not everyone involved is really interested in finding out the truth. An other problem these days is also that lots of people do not realise that disagreement does not imply evil. On that fact Mr. Palmer seems to agree and writes:

Calm, rational debate helps them see the underlying assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses of each person’s viewpoint. That helps everyone understand the issues better. It also helps them understand each other better. Screaming, hysteria, and emotional theatrics do not. {Dialogue Is Not Harmful}

We believe the Bible offers a way to live together peaceful and gives us a nice picture in the Book of Isaiah, what that world can and shall be. We might be utopians or dreamers for many, but Mr. Ampe with his brethren and sisters in Christ do believe those prophesies are going to become true, and as such shall their utopian dream once become a reality, though it still may take some time.

Mr. Ampe also believes we can be united and should try to convince those who hate certain people, to have them to accept them as co-living citizens with the same rights as them. It is for mutual benefit and the common good that people must be rational enough to set aside their differences and come closer to each other with full respect for each other and for other cultures.

Big problem today to come to such an utopian world is the egocentric and egoistic attitude of the present population.

We believe the Bible gives enough directions to come to a better world already now in our lifetime, even before the return of Christ. We do not have to wait until the wars to expect or the Big Battle or Armageddon, before we shall come to think about that better world. Already today, in our lifetime, we can show others fundamental truths of life.

Some might think utopians want all to become “puppets” handled by someone in charge of everything. But that is a wrong thought about the world envisioned by us. We are against any dictatorial system. It is a world whereby people freely agree to follow certain ethics and moral laws. We also do not say everybody has to do the same thing in the same manner. In our ‘utopian world’, there is enough freedom to act freely. Already now we can try to come to agreements to live a certain way, and this without any force or violence.

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Find also to read:

  1. Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism
  2. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  3. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  4. Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, Demographic trends and New blood from abroad
  5. Lower and middle-class youth becoming tiny cogs in a larger whole that they cannot control
  6. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  7. the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet
  8. the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves
  9. Determine the drive
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #3 Rejoicing in the insistence
  11. The Scensual World – Mission & Vision
  12. Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?
  13. Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’
  14. The Upbringing of Ideas and the Extrapolation of Capitalism
  15. Utopism has not ended
  16. A famous individual by the name of Jesus of Nazareth

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Further related

  1. Utopia! 
    Utopia basically means paradise. And, in these times of social, political and ecological upheaval, to dream of a utopian world in which these problems cease to exist is completely natural.
  2. Utopia – Thomas More ****
  3. Broaden the Narratives: Mistaken Orders<
  4. Humanities Retribution
  5. Anarchy, State and Utopia
  6. Leon Trotzky
  7. Globalism: a Letter
  8. Money-Free World
  9. Alternative Earth
  10. The Citizen’s Convention on Climate: utopia or step towards change?
  11. Utopia….State of bliss!
  12. Technology, Utopia, and Horizon Zero Dawn
  13. Are We There, Yet?
  14. History Bends Toward Chaos
  15. “How will i get a cappuccino in your political utopia?”
  16. Why Common Sense Is So Uncommon
  17. Nothing Learned
  18. We Can Have Unity Without Unanimity
  19. How to Get a Healthy Society
  20. Rebecca Solnit on Hope
  21. The Blank Slate of Outer Space
  22. The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking
  23. And The Greatest Of These…Is Love
  24. An Ode Of Utopia

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Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

In the people of God their year 2448 (1313 BCE), on the 6th (or 7th) day of the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar, Sivan, after Moshe was called up at the mountain of Sinai, God told his chosen one what to tell to the people. With the Shemoth or  Exodus from Egypt only three months in the past, the Jews arrive at Mount Sinai to hear a terrible noise and to see flashing lights. They saw a mountain which was been touched and burned with fire and to blackness and to darkness and to tempest.

“Now all of the people were seeing the thunder-sounds, the flashing-torches, the shofar sound, and the mountain smoking; when the people saw, they faltered and stood far off.”
(Exodus 20:15 SB)

“The people stood far off, and Moshe approached the fog where God was.”
(Exodus 20:18 SB)

Moshe having entered into the thick ‘darkness’ of the clouds, came to hear the Voice of God, the Most High Divine Creator. God spoke to Moshe

“… Say thus to the Children of Israel: You yourselves have seen that it was from the heavens that I spoke with you.”
(Exodus 20:19 SB)

V11p133004 Torah

V11p133004 Torah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There God gave to the Children of Israel what is by most Christians known as the “Ten commandments” but would be better referred to as the (literal translation) ““The Ten Sayings” or Decalogue. These Sayings including more than ten actual mitzvahs. Later Jeshua would tell that he has come not to take that Law away, like so many christians think, but to explain it and to fulfil it.

“Do not suppose that I came to tear-down the law or the prophets; I did not come to tear-down, but to fulfil.”
(Matthew 5:17 MLV)

“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one serif of the law to fall short.”
(Luke 16:17 MLV)

“Now I am saying this: the law, which happened four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not invalidate a covenant* validated beforehand by God in reference to Christ so as to do-away-with the promise.”
(Galatians 3:17 MLV)

Many thousand years ago God found it time that what He wanted people would know very well what He expected from them. He wanted to make it clear to them what His expectations were.
He made it clear what He wanted man to keep to.

For those who doubt it, or use graven images in their worship places God made it clear He does not like such things.

“You are not to make beside me gods of silver, gods of gold you are not to make for yourselves!”
(Exodus 20:20 SB)

No body, who wants to be a child of God, may have more than One God before him or may become unequally yoked with unbelievers and take part in pagan rites and pagan festivals (like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, just to call a few).

It was on Sivan 2 that the Almighty God tells Moshe that He not only wants to give the Jews the Torah, but also wants to make them His chosen, set apart or holy nation, who will follow His commandments. The Jews wholeheartedly agree, replying,

“All God wishes we will do.”

On the third day of the month Moses relays the Jews’ answer to God and then returns to the Jews to tell them that he will be the messenger for the Ten Sayings; that what God told him up high on the mountain.

This weekend, Adar 6, 5777, we remember the giving of Torah and this transitional moment in our history — a moment known as Matan Torah (the Giving of the Torah). No longer were we merely the descendants of a great man named Abraham, or simply a Middle-Eastern people known as the Israelites. We had now become God’s people, chosen to learn His Torah and keep its laws. It’s a moment we celebrate every year on the festival of Shavuot, and this year will take place from May 30–June 1.

The Torah and Talmudic sources describe the delivery of the Ten Commandments as a unique experience — complete with thunder, lightning and a smoking mountaintop — and an event of historic significance. Yet the Talmudic account itself actually makes it quite difficult to understand what was so earth-shattering about

“the giving of the Torah.”

It was not that people did not yet know God’s Will. A significant body of legislation and moral lore was already in existence long before the historic event described as “the giving of the Torah.” Indeed, even without the Talmudic tradition it would seem that all of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai are either philosophical axioms (e.g., monotheism), moral imperatives and ideals (e.g., do not murder, do not steal, honour your father and mother, do not covet), or previously received mandates (e.g., the Sabbath). In other words, not the sort of material that would seem to warrant a divine revelation — and certainly not one of such grandeur.

But we should know that it was no simple handing over a book of lore …  God gave man the basic rules to live by, the Ten Commandments.

Please do understand, though the name of the event — the Giving of the Torah — implies that the entire Torah was given that day, this is not the case. In fact, only the Ten Commandments were taught to us that day, and even they were only transmitted verbally. The physical luchot—the tablets — were not given for another 40 days.

Nevertheless, the name remains, as it marks the day the Elohim began the process of giving us the Torah. In that light we should remember this weekend which great gift we were given so that it would be much easier for us to know how to keep in line with God’s desires.

First we were taught the Ten Commandments. Then, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to learn from God, for 40 days. We too can take such 40 days to meditate and wonder about our relationship with the Most High. You can call it a time of reflection. Also Jeshua took such a time to think about what God wanted from him and his followers. He too had gone in the desert for 40 days to contemplate. Jeshua also took time to cogitate and was not afraid to deny the requests from others to denounce God or to test God. Also God’s people had to wait such a long time before they saw Moshe back. Though they proved not to be as strong as Moshe and Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who thought it most important to do the Will of God and not his own will. Though it is clearly impossible for Moshe to have learned ‘all 385 commandments’, he did learn the rules they are based on, and so it is considered as if he actually learned them. On stone tablets the basic 10 sayings cover most rules. The rest of the Torah was communicated in stages throughout the Jews’ 40-year sojourn in the desert.

In short we could say

The Ten Commandments

  1. Believe in Only One God.
  2. Do not believe in other deities.
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain.
  4. Keep Shabbat.
  5. Honour your parents.
  6. Don’t murder.
  7. Don’t commit adultery.
  8. Don’t kidnap.
  9. Don’t give false testimony.
  10. Don’t covet another’s possessions.
The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The Ten Commandments, In SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This our the basic rules for man to follow. The 4 first ones you could consider laws believers in God should follow, but the 5th until the 10th commandment form the basic rules for all people, who should take care to be able to live with each other in the best and most peaceful conditions. By obeying those given ethic laws for humanity man should be able to live in peace.

Although Matan Torah is known as the time when God gave us His Torah to study and keep, there were a few Israelites who had kept the entire Torah of their own volition before Matan Torah.

Now the moment had come that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah asked man to take the act of making a conscious choice or decision. It had become time man had to show for Whom he wanted to stand. From the beginning of times God had given man freedom to act or judge on one’s own. Now it is time for man to show that he has the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.

Man has to make the choice how he is going to behave in a community. He has to choose the position he is going to take opposite others and how he is going to treat them.

Before Matan Torah, those who observed Torah did so entirely of their own accord. It was their own choice and we can not tell in what way they wanted to do it. We can only guess how they saw it as a matter of having a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Probably their connection to God, therefore, was only as deep as their understanding and feeling. Like today people who come into the faith cannot know yet all what they have to keep to and have to go on a path of learning to come to know what God really wants from them.

English: The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Mo...

The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Moshe ben Maimon haRambam, published in Venice in 1575 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us tonight having Matan Torah in our mind, we look at the time the Elohim connected His Essence to the Torah and gave it to mankind and as such also to us. Each of us has the own responsibility now to decide to accept that given Torah or to deny it. Each of us should see how The Law of God is our safeguarding but also our inner set apart (holy) contact with the Most High. When we observe the Torah, therefore, we are connected to God’s essence, no matter who we are and how much we understand or feel. {Likutei Sichot, vol. 28, pp. 11-12.}

Fear may have seized those at the fields before the mountain of Sinai, but we should not be in fear, because “God has visited his people!” and given His instructions so that they could live according to the Wishes of God. We should know that in every place where God’s Name is recorded He will come to us and will bless us.

“Moshe said to the people: Do not be afraid! For it is to test you that God has come, to have awe of him be upon you, so that you do not sin.”
(Exodus 20:17 SB)

“A slaughter-site of soil, you are to make for me, you are to slaughter upon it your offerings-up, your sacrifices of shalom, your sheep and your oxen! At every place where I cause my name to be recalled I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 SB)

“I will make a great nation of you and will give-you-blessing and will make your name great. Be a blessing!”
(Genesis 12:2 SB)

“So are they to put my name upon the Children of Israel, that I myself may bless them.”
(Numbers 6:27 SB)

Moshe wrote down the Words of God and that way even today we can read what God wants from His creatures.

“Now Moshe wrote down all the words of YHWH. He started-early in the morning, building a slaughter-site beneath the mountain and twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.”
(Exodus 24:4 SB)

English: Moses repeated the commandments to th...

Moses repeated the commandments to the people, detail by a Carolingian book illuminator circa 840 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Our life depending on faith

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

29. Laws that Value People

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Luther’s misunderstanding

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Additional reading

  1. Statutes given unto us
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  4. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  5. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  6. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty GodJudeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  8. Hello America and atheists
  9. 1,500 to 1,700 years old Chiselled tablet with commandments sold at auction

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Further reading

  1. Our Competition With God
  2. A Summary of Exodus
  3. February 6, 2017-The Beginning of Law’
  4. Intro to the Ten Commandments or The Ten Words
  5. Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
  6. Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights
  7. The first commandment – Putting God first
  8. God verses our gods
  9. God’s nature revealed as Law
  10. The 10 Commandments
  11. The Ten Commandments
  12. The Ten Commandments and Prophesy
  13. Daily Prompt: Ten
  14. Do You Keep the Ten Commandments
  15. 10 Rules Worth Following
  16. Ten Commandments
  17. Do the Ten Commandments apply to Christians?
  18. The beginning
  19. Can the Old Covenant be abolished if the Ten Commandments are not?
  20. “The Catechism in Six Parts: The Ten Commandments”
  21. How Not to Learn from The Bible
  22. God the Father – “I did not create you so that you could do whatever you want…”
  23. Want What You’ve Got! (Lent)
  24. Christian Parenting, Ten Commandments, and Les Miserables
  25. It Depends
  26. Idolatry & The Shack
  27. Honor Your Parents
  28. What I’m Reading: Are You Normal?
  29. Simple Standard
  30. Rules of the Road
  31. Sabbath, Creation, Guarding and Observing
  32. Top Ten Secrets From The Foundation Of Our World
  33. Simply following the Ten Commandments isn’t enough
  34. Seven Fundamental Practices: Sabbath Rest
  35. Sermon: Who Do You Love?
  36. Love and the Meaninglessness of Scripture
  37. Lying
  38. Lust of the eyes
  39. Morality and neurochemical impulses
  40. Shorty*: What Ultimately Comforted Job?
  41. Jesus Christ – “Remember, you are not here to please man with your actions but God – God’s Laws never change”
  42. I’ll Do It My Way -the terrible harvest of moral relativism

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