Tag Archives: True love

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

In the previous articles we have spoken about the world clinching to material wealth like velcrostrips hoping to have all luck in the world.

The materialistic desires have conquered the world. Those who know were they come from and Who they should honour do know they should not give their love to material things.

15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world.+ If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him;+ 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh+ and the desire of the eyes+ and the showy display of one’s means of life*—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. (1 John 2:15, 16)

In the articles we also could see how many love to be moulded by this system of things. (Romans 12:2) The worldly desires have run high in our society, but at other times people also fell for those distractions and attractions.

It Conquered the World

It Conquered the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The love of money or the desire to amass riches and possess material things can corrupt the heart, leading a Christian to do things that go against God’s will. A few have become dishonest at work, have cheated others, or have even stolen money or objects that do not belong to them.

Lots of people do have many things of which they want to boast of is this. Lots of people also do think man is full of wisdom and that they have ‘most’ wisdom’. They do not want to look into their conscience which might bear witness. They are full of fleshly wisdom.

Material pursuits may bring on anxiety. For example, some complicate their lives by living beyond their means. Others have been enticed by get-rich-quick schemes and risky financial investments. For others, secular education as a means to attain financial success becomes a snare. The Bible warns: “Those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin.”

However, those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation+ and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires,+ which plunge men into destruction and ruin.+ 10 For the love+ of money is a root+ of all sorts of injurious things,*+ and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.+ (1 Timothy 6:9, 10).

Essential to not being drawn into a materialistic way of life is cultivating the ability to distinguish between right and wrong when making decisions. This ability is developed by regularly partaking of ‘solid spiritual food belonging to mature people’ and by ‘having our perceptive powers trained through use.’ (Hebrews 5:13, 14) Making sure “of the more important things” when setting priorities will also safeguard us from making wrong choices.

And this is what I continue praying, that YOUR love may abound+ yet more and more with accurate knowledge*+ and full discernment;*+ 10 that YOU may make sure of the more important things,+ so that YOU may be flawless+ and not be stumbling+ others up to the day of Christ, 11 and may be filled with righteous fruit,+ which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.+ (Philippians 1:9,10,11).

A materialistic life-style can blind us, leaving little or no time for spiritual pursuits.
How can we examine ourselves and avoid being ensnared by such a life-style?
We need to consider prayerfully how and to what extent we can simplify our life. King Solomon of ancient Israel said:

“Sweet is the sleep of the one serving, regardless of whether it is little or much that he eats; but the plenty belonging to the rich one is not permitting him to sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12)

Does taking care of unnecessary material possessions consume a lot of our time and energy? The more we own, the more we have to maintain, insure, and protect.
Could it be to our advantage to simplify our life by freeing ourselves of certain belongings?

Lennon (right) performing "All You Need I...

Lennon (right) performing “All You Need Is Love” with The Beatles in 1967 to 400 million viewers of “Our World”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We think life can much be easier when not loving the material things and not focusing on the world and its worldly life.

On the other hand, by cultivating a healthy fear of displeasing Jehovah, loving justice, and being determined to hold a good conscience, we show that we love “purity of heart.” That love moves us to continue to “conduct ourselves honestly in all things.” (Hebrews 13:18)

18 Carry on prayer+ for us, for we trust we have an honest conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.+ 19 But I exhort YOU more especially to do this, that I may be restored to YOU the sooner.+ (Hebrews 13:18

When we act uprightly, honesty can result in a fine witness.

Emilio, an Italian Witness who works as a driver for a public transport company, found a wallet containing 470 euros ($680, U.S.). To the surprise of his colleagues, he handed the wallet to his supervisor, who later gave the wallet to the person who had lost it. Some of Emilio’s colleagues were so impressed by his conduct that they became interested in the Bible and started to study. As a result, seven people from two families have accepted the truth. Yes, behaving honestly from a pure heart really can move others to praise God.Titus 2:10.

Materialism may not seem to be an issue of loyalty, but it is. Do we trust in Jehovah’s promise to provide what we really need?

33 “Keep on, then, seeking* first the kingdom and his righteousness,+ and all these [other] things will be added to YOU.+ 34 So, never be anxious about the next day,+ for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.  (Matthew 6:33-34)

Let [YOUR] manner of life be free of the love of money,+ while YOU are content+ with the present things.+ For he has said: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”+ (Hebrews 13:5)

Rather than striving to obtain at any cost some of the “better” things in life that are presently beyond our reach, can we do without them? (Read Philippians 4:11-13.) Are we tempted to forgo theocratic privileges in order to get what we want now? Does loyal service to Jehovah have first place in our life? Our answers will largely depend on whether we are wholehearted in our service to God or not.

“It is a means of great gain,”

wrote the apostle Paul,

“this godly devotion along with self-sufficiency. For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Timothy 6:6-8.

In a revelation to the apostle John toward the close of the first century, the glorified Jesus Christ delivered a message to the congregation located in Laodicea, Asia Minor. It was a warning message against materialism. Though materially rich, Laodicean Christians were bankrupt spiritually. Instead of continuing to walk by faith, they allowed material possessions to blind their spiritual vision. (Revelation 3:14-18) Materialism has a similar effect today. It weakens our faith and causes us to stop ‘running with endurance the race’ for life. (Hebrews 12:1) If we are not careful, the “pleasures of this life” can smother spiritual activities to the point that they are “completely choked.”

14 As for that which fell among the thorns, these are the ones that have heard, but, by being carried away by anxieties and riches and pleasures+ of this life, they are completely choked and bring nothing to perfection.+ (Luke 8:14).

Time ran out for the world of Noah’s day, and it will run out for the present system of things. The apostle Peter assures us:

“Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.”

Neither the symbolic heavens — wicked governments — nor the symbolic earth — mankind alienated from God — will survive the heat of God’s burning anger. Indicating how we can prove ourselves ready for that day, Peter exclaims:

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!”—2 Peter 3:10-12.

A key to spiritual protection is contentment rather than the use of this world to the full and the enrichment of ourselves materially. (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 Timothy 6:6-8) We as such do not have to look so much at the world of mankind or the kingdom of mankind but at the world of the Kingdom of God. When we walk by faith and not by sight, we find joy in the present spiritual paradise. As we partake of nourishing spiritual food, are we not moved to “cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart”? (Isaiah 65:13, 14) Moreover, we take delight in our association with those who manifest the fruitage of God’s spirit.

22 On the other hand, the fruitage+ of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law.+ 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus impaled* the flesh together with its passions and desires.+ (Galatians 5:22, 23)

How vital that we find satisfaction and refreshment in what Jehovah provides in a spiritual way!

Some questions we do well to ask ourselves are:

‘What place do material things occupy in my life? Am I using the material possessions I have to live a life of pleasure or to promote true worship? What brings me the greatest satisfaction? Is it Bible study and fellowship at Christian meetings, or is it weekends away from Christian responsibilities? Do I reserve many weekends for recreation instead of using such time for the field ministry and other activities in connection with pure worship?’

Our regularly attending Christian meetings and sharing in preaching the good news are included among the necessary acts and deeds of godly devotion. May we perform them with heartfelt devotion to God while we wait patiently for Jehovah’s great day. Let us “do [our] utmost to be found finally by [God] spotless and unblemished and in peace.”—2 Peter 3:14.

Walking by faith means that we keep busy in the Kingdom work, with full trust in Jehovah’s promises.

58 Consequently, my beloved brothers, become steadfast,+ unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord,+ knowing that YOUR labor is not in vain*+ in connection with [the] Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58).

+

Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

For The Love of Stuff

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Watch out

Thought of the day: We want more, i want more, but why is that?

Mini-MAX-malism: A Bigger Approach to Less is More

Less… is still enough

Less for more

The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

++

Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Greed more common than generosity
  3. Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
  4. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  5. Some one or something to fear #4 Families and Competition
  6. Struggles of life
  7. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  8. Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  9. Daily portion of heavenly food
  10. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late!
  11. How should we react against the world
  12. A call easy to understand
  13. Followers with deepening
  14. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  15. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  16. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  17. Count your blessings
  18. God should be your hope
  19. Always set a place in your life for the unexpected guest
  20. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  21. Be a ready giver
  22. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  23. Bearing fruit
  24. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  25. What’s church for, anyway?
  26. Making church
  27. Meeting – Vergadering
  28. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  29. Gathering or meeting of believers
  30. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  31. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  32. Breathing and growing with no heir
  33. Breathing to teach
  34. Reasons to come together
  35. God won’t ask
  36. Communion and day of worship
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment

+++

Further reading:

22 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Lindsay Felderman confesses she is a person that likes to shop and buy new things.  Over the years she has accumulated a lot of stuff, from clothes to shoes to hats to Apple products to video games and more, like so many people have gone from one shop to an other or looked at the internet shops to find their liking.

Though many focus on gaining material wealth her eyes may have gone open by two life events that have happened/are happening now that are making her come to the realization more and more, that things are just things, and that what is more important is creating memories with people that you love.

What may be the changing elements that people come to see that they have to live more simply.

She writes:

if we haven’t used/seen/worn something in the past year, it’s out of here.  Going to charity or the garbage.  No need to keep so many physical items around.  I have learned over the years and the amount of times I have moved, that stuff is just stuff, but every time I settle down, it seems I collect more and more.  Well, not this time.  I am getting rid of the clutter and starting fresh. {The Meaning of Material Things}

Today lots of people have lost track of the necessities of real life making issues. Several youngsters are clinging to the idea of having the most recent newest thing brings happiness, and want to do everything to get the new hipe. They have no idea any more that material things are nothing without real people behind it that get their love from those around it.

For many people it takes a lot of time before they come to see what Lindsay came to see and feel when she and ‘her’

Samantha and I’s families met for the first time, Ever, in almost 3 whole years.

She came to feel one of the most elementary things for building up a real ‘home’ and a real ‘family’ and got to see what

transpired that day was truly magical, it was so special,

that she will never forget

Each one of us only brought certain family members to the event for various reasons.  But each one of our family members meshed in a way that I couldn’t have planned myself.  Every one was laughing and joking, and conversations were flowing all over the place.  Every one truly wanted to learn about the other.  There was not one dull moment.  It was honestly the way that family should be.  No drama, no fighting, just pure love, honest and true love.  I know this is really mushy, but if you know anything about the history of Samantha and I, you will know that this was a moment we were not sure would ever come. {The Meaning of Material Things}

It is incredible how many broken families we can encounter today. At school we find classes where there is not one kid who still lives by both its parents. Divorce seems to be the key word of this contemporary society where not many want to take time to talk with each other and to make it worthwhile living with each other instead of living next to each other.

Lindsay Felderman got reminded that family is what you make of it, but also came to see how it is possible for others to be there for you and how valuable this is. This is the most precious treasure so many do not seem to find, though it is so close at their doorstep.

Much more people should be there for each other,  willing to share their love and time for each other, with comprehension and with patience. It is so important

That people who truly love you, will be there for you.  That they will love you no matter what, that they will take you in their arms and hug you because you are special and unique and just You.

But to come to such a position people do have to be wiling themselves to be just their own and not somebody who fits the common trend of homogeneous people, wearing those clothes that shops and fashion magazines dictate.

When a person is really just herself and is willing to give her self openly to somebody else and to share herself with others than the doors may go open to build a good relationship and to build real ‘family’.

It is unbelievable what that lady could gather in whatever time it took to collect more than

The purge18, 30 gallon trash bags, filled with clothes, shoes, hats, purses, and accessories galore.  … They were just taking up space in our closet for no other reason than to take up space.  That wasn’t all we gave away though, just the 1st round.  I would say by the end of it, we had close to 30 bags that we donated, and a bunch of boxes of DVDs and books as well.  It felt great to get rid of so much Stuff.  That is all it was, just stuff, taking up space. {Do What You Say}

She also recognises that this doesn’t even include the amount of crap she had collected by the years and dared (at last) to threw away. We do not know if it would have been wise to throw a way her school projects she did when she was a kid, even to her high school yearbook, because in our country (Belgium) a student has to keep the school material for ten years, because it can always asked a s a proof of studies and work done.

She went with the mantra that,

“I will always have the memories”.

but has forgotten that perhaps one day in history she perhaps would have children and later grandchildren and than she will not have anything to show and to share.
Naturally there is no need to continue to lug around physical items to remind oneself of those memories, as long as they are not destroyed. For the moment she thinks it is impossible that her memories can ever be destroyed, but then she forget that accidents and illnesses are possible to wash away any sort of memory and by then it can be useful to have some materials to bring back the memory. (The writer of this article your reading, speaks of experience, having had a memory loss after a very serious car-crash.)

Though lovely to hear Lindsay Felderman immediately felt lighter as she packed and got everything moved to her new place in one weekend.

But the point of this all,

she writes, is

I did what I said I was going to do.  I didn’t just talk the talk, I walked the walk.  I wrote about how material things aren’t the true meaning of life, that I was going to start to purge the majority of mine and I did it.

We are taught from a young age, that actions speak louder than words.  But many of us still grow up to be big talkers.  We talk about our dreams and what we could be doing.  But very few of us actually act on those dreams.  We let life get in the way, and we let our words speak louder than our actions instead of the other way around. {Do What You Say}

Today we do not find many youngsters with aspirations and when we encounter people who say they want to do this or that, we see that they are not really taking steps to do so. Not many want to do what they say, but it seem Lindsay took the courage to do so.

Can you do it as well?

She concludes

You gain more credibility in life when you just do what you say you are going to do.  Plus it feels better, you say something and you do it.  People around you begin to trust you, they believe that you will do the things you talk about.  When you only sit around and talk about it, you just become a talker, you become noise in their ear.  Much like the “wamp, wamp, wamp” noises that the adults in Charlie Brown made every time they were talking to the kids.  You don’t want to be that person.

Be someone who makes a difference, makes a change, follows your dreams and most importantly: do what you say. {Do What You Say}

+

Preceding articles:

Mini-MAX-malism: A Bigger Approach to Less is More

Less… is still enough

Less for more

The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite

Thought of the day: We want more, i want more, but why is that?

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

 +++

19 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle

Soft values? Needed heart- and- soul!

Soft values? Needed heart- and- soul!

Is it possible that, in times of taking care of the future, we look in the wrong direction?
Often society resembles a playground, until you listen to the inner side and get to the bottom of what preoccupies and moves people . When people ask me ‘if I have the time to listen to them’, often tears fall. Every human being has a ‘burden’ and there is a lot of hidden pain, more than we want to admit.

Who has the time to listen?

Love and Human Remains

Love and Human Remains (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Very few people. Everybody runs behind their schedule. Couples don’t have time for each other anymore, parents not for their children. More and more relations end in a divorce, less and less people risk a durable relationship and more and more children grow up in a stressful environment, full of conflicts or unsafe.

From figures of a Health Inquiry in Belgium, it seems that 42% of young women between 15 and 25 indicate to have a psychiatric problem. They are unsure of themselves and anxious, but still they are the mothers of tomorrow.

Is love going through a crisis?
If so, the living material that is our society is in danger. If we claim that love is the fulfilment of life, it is of the utmost importance to say it out loud and to choose resolutely for love.
Movement Without a Name wants to make it its business . In all our projects and initiatives the human being plays the central part  and our care goes to those whom we tend to forget.
We do not use many words when doing this. We love decisiveness. To do something concrete for people- that is the motto.

Finally this. He who claims that the economy is the engine of society and that more welfare guarantees more happiness, is greatly mistaken. Not the money – because that is the outside – but love is the deeper motive that keeps us going.

So it seems that the softest value is the strongest engine to keep this world afloat.

Movement Without a Name

++

Additional literature

  1. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  2. Importance of parents 2
  3. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  4. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  5. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  6. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  7. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  8. Behold, My mother and My brothers!
  9. Luck
  10. To be chained by love for another one
  11. Loving and having respect for the woman
  12. What Does Love Look Like?
  13. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  14. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  15. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  16. The task given to us to love each other
  17. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  18. God loving people justified
  19. What Jesus did: First things first
  20. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  21. Alternative four letter words
  22. More-Letter-Words
  23. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  24. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  25. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  26. The Greatest of These is Love
  27. Love and cultivate that which is pure
  28. Love turns one person into two; and two into one
  29. If we love one another, God lives in us
  30. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  31. God demonstrates his own love
  32. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  33. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  34. Christian values and voting not just a game
  35. Growth in character
  36. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  37. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  38. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  39. Work with joy and pray with love
  40. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  41. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  42. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  43. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  44. Unconditional love
  45. Love the Whole Person
  46. “Unnoticed”
  47. Live …
  48. Life and attitude of a Christian
  49. Loving the Word
  50. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  51. Breathing and growing with no heir
  52. Falling in Love’ as Temporary Insanity.
  53. Moving forward
  54. Overcoming Hurt Feelings
  55. No fear in love
  56. The one who has not had a taste of love
  57. When we love we do not need laws
  58. Love envieth not
  59. Spread love everywhere you go
  60. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  61. Reflection for today: hating your brother
  62. Blessed are those who freely give
  63. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  64. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  65. Love is like playing the piano
  66. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  67. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  68. 2nd Half 20th Century Generations pressure to achieve
  69. Christian the Lion
  70. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  71. Love and forgive this friday

+++

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

True happiness, love and perfection

 *

True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.
+
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
+
For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.
+

Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.

+
A civilization is a heritage of beliefs, customs, and knowledge slowly accumulated in the course of centuries, elements difficult at times to justify by logic, but justifying themselves as paths when they lead somewhere, since they open up for man his inner distance.
+

The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.

+
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.

– Antoine de Saint Exupéry

 

 

English: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, pilot and w...

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, pilot and writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antoine de Saint Exupéry the French aviator and writer whose child’s fable for adults The Little Prince (1943) is not only in the school curriculum to be read, but is the person who lets children and adults dream and believe in their own dreams (born June 29, 1900, Lyon, France—died July 31, 1944, in flight over the Mediterranean) French and writer. His writings exalt perilous adventure and aviation, as in the novels Southern Mail (1929) and Night Flight (1931) and in the lyrical memoir with philosophical musings and meditations “Wind, Sand, and Stars” (1939).

He flew as a commercial, test, and military reconnaissance pilot and was a publicity attaché for Air France and a reporter.
He died when he was shot down on a wartime Air Force mission over the Mediterranean.

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Echt geluk, liefde en perfectie

+

Find also: What moves mountains? Trust!

+++

  • The Timeless Tao (zengardner.com)
    it seems we have based so much of our understanding and our culture on empirical, materialistic science, that we have left out the rest of what’s “out there”. We have opted for the linear and causal mode of thinking, rather than what’s circular, unseen, interpenetrating, and spirals. What we’re discussing here is about as far away from petri dish as you can get. The Taoists always matter-of-factly asserted that Taoism exists in all places- all planets, all galaxies, all times, in all extraterrestrial civilisations- not as a religion, but as a flexible kind of science, a non-material science, that can be translated into any language. It just so happens that on our planet, at our particular stage of evolution, Taoism is represented in texts such as the I-Ching in 64 hexagrams. In other words, Taoism adapts to us and not the other way around- and that is the biggest difference between this and other modern religions, especially the Abrahamic ones in which an image of God is made in the image of man. There are no Gods or Deities per se in Taoism, at least not in early Taoism. They came later as psychological byproducts of a growing age of esoterica and cross-acculturation.
  • The Sutra of the Master of Healing (Bhaisajayaguru-Vaidurya-Prabhasa Tathagata) (zenspeaking.com)
    I now ask all beings to light up the lamps and hang up the banners, to set free the animals, and to do good deeds, so that misery and grief can be overcome and the life’ hardships can be avoided.”
  • ‘Towards Global Inclusion of LGBT People Within Catholic Communities’ (jasongoroncy.com)
    Well, each one of us was as shocked as the person next to them: the first-class citizens finding themselves on the same level as us, with all their purity and sense of separateness deflated, and having to overcome a certain repugnance about dealing with people like us; and the second class citizens having to get used to taking ourselves seriously and behave as sons and daughters, rather than dirty servant children who had a sort of built in excuse for impurity.
    +
    the teaching concerning us being bearers of an objective disorder inclining us to intrinsically evil acts has revealed itself to be a taboo
  • What Is Evil (tvtropes.org)
    Philosophers of morality have, for centuries, struggled with the apparently impossible challenge of objectively proving a “should”, even as most of us deeply believe that, say, murdering innocent children is objectively wrong. Typically, heroes tend to cling to that exact deep conviction; they don’t care for arguing about moral relativism, much like real-life people who see themselves as morally in the right don’t care for it. You could say that this has resulted from aeons of evolutionary pressure on heroes: the ones who stopped to think out the moral conundrums got killed by the Card-Carrying Villain who realized they could use this to Logic Bomb heroes. Meanwhile, the heroes who refused to give in to the villain’s nihilism – either out of boneheadedness, or out of a belief that fighting for what you believe in is a worthy enough goal- persevered. Out-of-universe, the typical lack of moral ambiguity in hero/villain conflict may be attributable to writers just not wanting to waste any effort on that issue, for either ideological or pragmatic reasons.
  • Be Mad At God First (orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com)
    The path of Recovery requires that we drop the pretense: anger is a poison, and it is never justified.  Resentments and condemnation of others is the same judgment and condemnation you will receive.
    +
    Our afflictions are the path to healing.  Do not resent others for doing what is in their nature to do.  God will deal with them.  You yourself must be healed, and God will only do that if you cooperation.
  • 7 – Essays – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) (classiclit.about.com)
    nature punishes any neglect of prudence. If you think the senses final, obey their law. If you believe in the soul, do not clutch at sensual sweetness before it is ripe on the slow tree of cause and effect. It is vinegar to the eyes, to deal with men of loose and imperfect perception.
    +
    Genius should be the child of genius, and every child should be inspired; but now it is not to be predicted of any child, and nowhere is it pure. We call partial half-lights, by courtesy, genius; talent which converts itself to money; talent which glitters to-day, that it may dine and sleep well to-morrow; and society is officered by men of parts, as they are properly called, and not by divine men. These use their gifts to refine luxury, not to abolish it. Genius is always ascetic; and piety and love. Appetite shows to the finer souls as a disease, and they find beauty in rites and bounds that resist it.
  • 49 For 49 (tokenhippygirl.com)
    The wind blows here, it’s blowing somewhere across the world.  It carries life and hazard and is alive in its own way.  It reminds me how gentle or ferocious life can be and that I should try to be gentler, quieter, softer in my approach.  It reminds me how small I am, how big the world is, and that there are people in other places lifting their faces to the wind, closing their eyes, and sighing, just like I do sometimes.

4 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Quotations or Citations

Savouring pictorial entertainement

English: Casual photo of Dr. Ted Baehr

Casual photo of Dr. Ted Baehr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher of Movieguide looks at the tolerating self-destructive or socially destructive behavior in our children. According to him it is not a sign of love, but hate, as well as parental neglect. He warns the public also that our narcissistic society is on the brink of stewing in the vile juice of its own self-destructive behaviour.

Consequently, we seem to have forgotten what love entails.

God calls us all to love our neighbour as ourselves, both Jew and Gentile. That divine call entails helping ourselves and our neighbours get over intolerable destructive behaviour, such as violence against the innocent, alcoholic stupors and perverting our children’s innocent hearts and minds by frankly intervening and correcting such behaviour in a manner that brings about significant change or repentance).

He writes, reminding us of Leviticus:

Levitcus 19:17-18 AESV Torah  (17)  “‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him.  (18)  “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am Mar-Yah.

Today we should remind ourselves more of this saying, concerning what we bring our children in contact with. What do we allow to come in front of their eyes?

Nothing should lead a young person into viewing something that would lead them down the road to perdition. Young people tell us all the time they’ve been blessed by the guidance of Movieguide®.

Ted Baehr thinks love marks the freedom of the abundant life (as promised by Jesus Christ) with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, knowledge, discernment, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, apostleship, teaching, evangelism, pastoring, leadership, encouragement, faith, healing, miraculous powers, administration, service, giving, and mercy – built on all the fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. But should parents not wonder more what the freedom may entail? The last twenty years we can see too much unguided freedom is given to children. They were allowed to do what they wanted and see what they wanted, but were left on their own. Television has become the modern babysit. It is so easy to set the (little) children in front of the (big) television screen and have it savouring the full entertainment stuff presented by all sorts of channels and entertainment groups.

Baehr reports that in 1985 only 1 percent of the films made by Hollywood contained “positive, redemptive content,” according to Movieguide’s grading scale. But after more than 20 years of conclusive evidence that audiences back their desire for positive, faith-affirming and family-friendly films with box office bucks, now more than 65 percent of the movies made include “positive, redemptive” content and storylines.

In most of the things shown on television or in the cinema it is not clear any more what is good and what is bad. Regular non commitments sex with several people, of the other but also of the same sex is often promoted and violence looks like a game to enjoy. In Aronofsky’s film Noah, good and evil are two very distinct things at first.  Noah’s family — the descendents of Seth — are “good” and Tubal-Cain and his people are “evil.”  Early in the film Noah’s son Ham sees a flower he believes to be pretty and picks it, after which Noah explains that they should only take what they need from the earth, never more.  In this human beings should recognise the lesson the Bible and the film maker want to get across, how we have to treat creation. Tubal-Cain’s tribe, on the other hand, will kill or destroy all creation without care in order to build industrialized cities.

Several conservative Christians may say not such messages are given in the Bible, but than they should read it better, and also between the lines on many places.  While not mentioned in story of Noah in the Bible, Tubal-Cain can be found in Genesis 4:22, as a son of Lamech (a descendant of Cain) “who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools….[his] sister was Naamah.”  It makes sense for Aronofsky to pull Tubal-Cain into his interpretation of this story because while not mentioned in the Bible, rabbinic literature (The Book of Jasher, chapter 5) suggests that Naamah was the wife of Noah (also the name of Noah’s wife in the movie, played by Jennifer Connelly). {“Book of Jasher, Chapter 5.” Sacred Texts. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/apo/jasher/5.htm (accessed April 11, 2014).}  Critics should be happy to know that a reference to The Book of Jasher (Sefer ha-Yashar) appears in Scripture in Joshua 10:13.

Parents seem to forget how much such television screening can impact the life of their child. A view of this world is given to the viewer, which is not always realistic nor in accordance to Judeo-Christian values. Often there is not given a reflection of how we behave or how weak we are.

Noah sees how women are being dragged into tents, presumably to be raped. He notices also how man has become full of lust and egoism, not taking any interest any more in the other. The same as we can notice today. He realizes how bad the world has become and find it high time to let them know how the Creator is indignant. Noah knows it is a justifiable anger of the Divine Creator, because man itself should recognise how man do dishonour God His creation. Noah also realizes that his family will have to die in an environment where they will form a solitude of lovers of God. Because of his insight into the depraved world he chooses, out of his love for his children, to save his seed for the poor, and he thinks the commission of an infanticide security will be for the better of the child. He let his happy beloved son Ham be trampled by a crowd. As such he knows his child will not be part of those people fighting over food, slaughtering animals in grotesque fashion (it’s like an undercover animal rights investigation), and not having to face all the killing of one another going on. He can imagine himself partaking in all of this.  And this brings us some heavy pictures to swallow. In such dreams we can take an attitude we would like to make possible. As such we also get a warning how we have to cope with our thoughts. For the conservative evangelicals it could also be a warning that we all have to be careful not to play for God. Evangelicals may consider that they are correctly following God’s Word and are handling in (blind) obedience to their God. By taking certain actions and proclaiming certain things they think they know for sure what their God thinks. But we should know that it is more what “they think their gods want them to do” based on interpolation of the sacred text, the people are known for terrible things.

Over-thinking everything he sees Noah realizes in that moment that he is no different than any of these people.  He too, is subject to the duality of man. are we not all guilty of certain dreams where we picture ourselves in ‘happy circumstances’? How many of us may not enjoy some films or television series, placing ourselves in the role of the character of the play? How much do we let our ghost wander? How many of us do not like to enjoy such adventures we can see on the little screen? Dreaming or thinking of such events or activities which are not in accordance to the Will of God, are as bad as doing it or taking part of it. And Noah knows that. He for a moment seems to be enjoying such things as well, but he is confronted by the badness of such thoughts. He, like we, should know how much such thoughts are also part of something God does not like. He tells us that already looking with desiring eyes is already a sin.

Parents confront their children with many pictures they themselves often would desire and would not mind dreaming of. They give food to their children with lots of things which they should know are not in unison with the Will of God.

We do not know exactly what God is thinking, but from His Word we can have some idea. People have been known to do terrible things. They regularly have to be warned when they go astray or when some things are going to go really wrong.

Several people may be excited God and Jesus are back on the big screen. Many mega churches call their followers to go to fill the theatres. For the cinema owners it would be good business, but we wonder if it will be good business for God. One good thing is that once again people can speak about God, commandments, Jesus, how we have to behave and live, how the world has to continue. This are good things. People should be more aware of such issues.

The backers of Son of God are hoping for its own Passion of the Christ moment. The 2004 Mel Gibson film was a huge commercial success, grossing over $600 million, despite mixed reviews from critics and very understandable concerns over the portrayal of Jewish people in the film. Son of God has even made an attempt to remove its own potential controversy from its big screen version. The producers cut out scenes with the Satan or Devil when re-formatting their miniseries for the big screen. That’s because, in part, the actor who played the devil bore (for some) a striking resemblance to the current president.

All events of the small or bigger screen can always be related to the real life. All fiction can be used to learn lessons for the world of facts. We may use it but we should be careful what we do want to come in front of our kids.

Integrated Behavior Tree

Integrated Behavior Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our worldview (including what values we adopt and live by) determines whether you will forgive or seek revenge, be generous or stingy, be courteous or rude, be independent or dependent. People with worldviews build or destroy, rescue or torture, join churches or join gangs. Finally, a society’s prevailing worldview shapes its culture, and, of course, the mass media has a powerful impact on every worldview.

Distracted by the cruel shibboleth of “tolerance,” even judicial systems built on Christian principles are now confused about some very basic values.

For instance, in Germany, a man put an ad in the paper asking if anyone wanted to be killed and cannibalized. Surprisingly, several people answered his ad. He chose one, slaughtered him, and ate him. The court in Germany was hard-pressed to find a reason to convict this villain since both men were “mutually consenting adults.”

What kind of moral idiots and mental midgets are we breeding here? How do these people even get high school diplomas, much less college degrees? There, but for the Grace of God, go we!

This case and many others show how low a culture can sink when it rejects the love of God and the love of its neighbour.

True love refuses to tolerate such evil. True love affirms life. True love gives. True love shares. True love does not delight in evil or sinful behaviour, including extra-marital lust.

Lust, on the other hand, consumes. It takes without permission. Lust is never satisfied.

We have moved from a society of love to a society of lust where we tolerate evil in the name of self-gratification, or in the name of trying not to “offend” another person. This is exactly what’s happening when many of our leaders, including church leaders, are asking us to tolerate rampant gang crime in our inner cities, rampant illegal immigration that flouts the nation’s laws, and rampant prostitution and perverse lust on our public streets.

As a result, our culture faces economic, moral, and spiritual collapse, and God is warning us to turn back from the brink of self-destruction by removing His blessing and allowing the alarms of natural and social disasters to sound to wake us from this nightmare of self-destruction. Sadly, like Pharaoh at the time of Moses, the warning alarms of a series of plagues screaming out “let my people go” may be falling on such hardened hearts and tone deaf ears that our current governing powers will not heed the warnings but will persist in America and Western Civilization’s continued self-destruction.

writes Ted Baehr. {Love vs. Lust: Transforming the Culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ}

“Most people dedicated to a particular faith are likely to find the violence, substance abuse, sexual immorality, and mocking of traditional values in most modern movies offensive,”

said Megan Basham, entertainment editor at Christian news site, World Magazine.

“The rare well-made film that offers the opposite is going to appeal to church-goers of every stripe.”

Christians in the world should know were to go and were to look for. They shall have to make choices and direct their children and their loved ones to get to see the right things and come to understand what is good and what is bad. They have to avoid this descent into the personal hell of an intolerable evil and lustful narcissism that destroys body, mind, soul, and spirit. As Baehr rightly says,

those who still love their neighbour must take a stand.

That stand according to him includes:

  • Praying for an awakening, for the gifts of a fear of judgement and knowledge of the love of God, as manifested in the free gift of new life offered by God Himself, Jesus Christ, the prophesied messiah for both Jews and Gentiles.
  • Reclaiming the role of the church and the family, not the state, in the rule of all matters of faith and values, including godly education and marriage.
  • Exposing the fruitless works of darkness and excommunicating those in the church who pretend to be faithful while espousing a politics of “I don’t care what you do” tolerance instead of love. Because they are leading others astray, these callous pretenders need to be reprimanded by a new 95 theses nailed on their doors declaring them unfit for preaching, teaching, discipling, or fellowship.
  • Excommunicating those in the church and government who tolerate evil. If they persist, legal action must be brought against them in the church and against government leaders in the courts for violating the inalienable rights of people, for distorting God’s Truth, and for violating the Constitution of the United States of America. We need to stand for God’s Law in the face of the abuse of power to inflict harm by those in civil authority, who know no restraints. Doing anything less is a form of secular, if not demonic, tyranny.

The writer of the article believes vast majority of people have faith and values. Now, they need to exercise love by refusing to tolerate the evils destroying our culture and jeopardizing the future of our children and grandchildren.

Model Behavior

Model Behavior (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moviegoings writes in Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

Our fallen human nature and brokenness as believers isn’t always manifested in ways as dramatic and overtly evil as the Church turning over a group of innocents for murder and enslavement. Sometimes it looks more like the recent imbroglio over World Vision International, for example, or like producing and praising a “Christian” movie that “takes every available chance to unfortunately stereotype, almost to the point of offensiveness, every people group represented.” Whatever the situation, however grave or seemingly trivial, these are failures of Christian community and Christian love. And when it comes to the mainline evangelical approach to movies, there is also a chronic failure of Christian imagination, impoverished by sanctimony without discernment, and atrophied from lack of use.

Fans of God’s Not Dead might regard the negative reviews on the film as further affirmation of secular hostility towards “the truth,” rather than an informed assessment of the movie’s ham-fisted lack of artistry.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, at least to me, is that this film’s audience is so insular and out-of-touch that they regard a product that is avowedly preaching exclusively to the choir as a valid evangelistic tool.

writes Jared in Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?.

At Movieguide® they are convinced that very strong redemptive content in movies does much better than very strong negative content. We also at From Guestwriters are convinced that we do need much more articles in the world showing the good things and the better ways to live. We also do find we do have to concentrate much more on the old commandment – to love one another, and to show our preparedness to do that in honesty.

God wants us to make our culture more free and more civilized. He wants us to be the light of the world. He wants us to teach our children to love Him because He loves them so much.

So, then, how should we live?

Go into all the world with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ and do not be afraid. For, we are heirs to God’s His kingdom, and we come with faith, with freedom, with thanksgiving, and with the power, love, and joy of the Lord, not the lusts of our sinful nature.

What can we possibly give our children and grandchildren that is more valuable than that, than a culture which honours Jesus Christ and His Gospel of True Love? Nothing!

ends Ted Baehr in his article: Love vs. Lust: Transforming the Culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

+++

  • All Things Truly Wicked Start from Innocence, or “Hey Everyone, I Watched Aronofsky’s NOAH!” (beatlands.com)
    Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite filmmakers, as he is just so excellent at capturing the human condition.  He is a master of creating complex characters whose private demons will elicit all sorts of feels in the audience and probably shatter your soul a little bit.  NOAH, while not Aronofsky’s finest work (I reserve that spot for Requiem For A Dream) and not necessarily soul-shattering, takes the Biblical deluge myth and makes it relevant to a world in which nature is being threatened by industry—our world.
  • Noah: A dissection. (faithandfrustration.wordpress.com)
    How far would you go for God? How sure would you have to be that he was speaking to you? That it wasn’t just some delusion? What is our responsibility as Christians towards the planet? How important are the choices we make?Those are just a few of the questions that Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah asks. And they are all very, very good questions. This review is going to be full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, please go see it first. Do be warned, however – it is a dark movie, and quite disturbing at times. You know, kind of like the actual story of Noah.
    +
    I’m a Christian, and I value the story of Noah. I don’t think it’s literal, but it’s probably based on some very important historical facts. However, this movie is NOT a Christian movie. It’s a Jewish movie. It’s heavily inspired by Jewish Midrash – this is a certain style of reading the Hebrew Scriptures. Essentially (and I might be getting this wrong), midrash is reading the scripture and then interpreting it several different ways, and letting the interpretations sit. It’s not about finding the ‘right’ way to interpret a scripture, but about providing possibilities. Noah is definitely in this vein.
  • “Is this the end of everything?” Noah – review. (josaustin91.wordpress.com)
    Being one of many controversial and outrage-inducing elements to irritate church circles and flood the internet (no pun intended) are the film’s supposed biblical inaccuracies and distortions of ‘God’s word’.It seems Hollywood can’t please everyone, as many Christians and others believe that God existed before this beginning, and have also voiced  their unhappiness with the film’s depiction of Noah as a ‘psychopathic killer.’But with atheist director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan) on record as saying that Noah is “the least biblical biblical film ever made” and producers Paramount explaining that the film is “inspired by the story of Noah”, this inevitable religious backlash is something non-believers need not worry about.
  • Noah, the Movie (biblescienceguy.wordpress.com)
    Noah’s Flood is the pivotal geological event of all time because it utterly transformed the globe. Mountains, ravines, ocean basins, and continents probably all date from the time of the Flood—they were either formed by or drastically altered by the Flood. Most fossils were probably deposited by the Flood.The Apostle Peter declared the Flood destroyed the world (2 Peter 3:6). The Flood caused geological damage to the earth that defies imagination. Turbulent Flood waters caused massive erosion worldwide. Churning sediments were hydraulically sorted and settled in layers, solidifying during the following decades. Geological adjustments continued for centuries after the Flood. The oceanic, atmospheric, and geologic upheavals of Noah’s Flood exceed man’s capacity to comprehend.
  • Movie Review: Noah (infobarrel.com)
    The story is not quite true to the Biblical story, as read in one Bible. Even without considering the similarities to a story in the even older Epic of Gilgamesh,[2] there is a tendency for some to take the entire Bible as gospel (sic) truth, rather than as a parable, even when logic shows that the literal meaning does not work – Noah was building an Ark, not a Tardis, and that many animals for that length of time would have built up a lot of waste. The film does come up with a solution for some of these problems, through the knowledge of herbalism of Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), Noah’s wife.
  • ‘Noah’ Movie review: As promised, it’s not a Biblical movie, but worse – it’s not a good movie (theglobaldispatch.com)
    Director Darren Aronofsky promised his film Noah would not be a “very religious story” and he certainly didn’t disappoint in that regards. Later Aronofsky attempted to clarify his statements, attempting not to alienate Evangelical viewers, saying “I think people who are believers will see the ideas and the values that they’re looking for represented in the film…” – more on that Here.
  • Movie Review: Noah (reellifewithjane.com)
    I admit I’m not up on my Bible studies as much as I should be, but despite the contrasts between the story told in the Bible and director Darren Aronofsky’s film, I still really liked this movie. I went into it determined to view the movie on its own merit, and in that way, it delivers as an entertaining, well-cast, well-written movie with great special effects.
  • Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: Noah: A Midrash by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel (Interview) (huffingtonpost.com)
    When Darren Aronofsky was 13, he wrote a poem inspired by the biblical story of Noah that won an award from the United Nations and was part of a lifelong quest to bring the story to the big screen. After 10 years of trying to develop the project in Hollywood, Darren Aronofsky and co-writer and producer Ari Handel will introduce their interpretation of Noah to the world this Friday when the movie opens across the country.Not surprisingly, there has been controversy around Noah that has featured the Sunday School crowd loudly declaring that they will refuse to see the film because it does not simply tell the story in the Bible. That is, of course, ridiculous. First of all, the Bible is never simple, and any depiction of it that doesn’t acknowledge that complexity is doing the Bible a disservice.I’ve seen Noah, and it is epic, mythic and wrestles with questions of God, creation and the role of humans within it — in other words, it is biblical.That said, the apocalyptic story of Noah that Handel and Aronofsky have rendered will disturb some people — not because it is unbiblical, but because it is a biblical vision to which they object.
  • Dear America: A Response to Our Mass Violence Du Jour (anapperscompanion.com)
    In a month or two, someone will lash out, killing or injuring another dozen or two, and we’ll do what we always do: scratch our heads, look for behaviors foretelling violence, and ask what can be done to prevent such a horror from happening again.
  • Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back? (wnyc.org)
    Why do people willingly inconvenience or even harm themselves in order harm others? And why are some of us more spiteful than others? Being aggressive and lacking empathy might have a lot to do with it, researchers say.”Spite can become very destructive,” says David Marcus, a psychologist at Washington State University and the lead author of a study published in the journal Psychological Assessment.
Enhanced by Zemanta

8 Comments

Filed under Cultural affairs, Educational affairs, Religious affairs