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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Meriting the Favor of God

In light of who God is, who are we? What are our problems as creature relating to our Creator? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 738).


The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome [understood] it. (John 1:1-5).


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 NIV).

What is the special claim of religion over humanitarian values? On the news this morning I heard reports of terrorism. It was suggested that we should relax our restrictions on rules of interrogation and include elements of torture (such as sleep deprivation, waterboarding and other “enhanced” techniques). This is a bipolar approach to life – when times are good we get warm and fuzzy and cozy, when times are bad we get “realistically” cruel and practical and tough and no-nonsense.

Religion allows no such neat categorization susceptible to bipolarity. The special claim of religion is that it is the widest of all sets in which literally everything else is a subset (including human behavior as well as the material world). It is a light that has universal suffusion and that provides the reliable approach to the world under any and all circumstances (which assertion we ascribe to with faith and trust). The minute that we think that values are of our creation and are thus expendable is the minute through rationalization that we revert to duality and bestiality.  And this is not limited to matters of war, but to all other aspects of life in which we find it convenient to lay humanitarian values aside. Religion does not let allow such facile hypocrisy.

The United States must confront this question: are we a nation governed by love or of hate? Our religion and our civil faith ascribe to the illumination (NOT elimination) of love. The human brain and its perception is susceptible to modality. We must not mirror the mind of our enemy but rather merit the favor of God.

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