While I have had a horrible cold/chest infection type thing…I have discovered the delicious habit of daytime napping. It’s such a hard habit to break now! I have long days at work though so I won’t be able to have an afternoon snooze. Then a weekend ahead with Jack 🙂
But enough of the updates with my sniffling and coughing…it is is time for SHARE-YOUR-WORLD! Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, has given us some wonderful questions this week, as you can see from her original post blow:
Can we ever experience anything objectively? Why or why not? (Now for the people who may not understand that idea, this is what objective means (definition wise): Something that is not influenced by personal feelings or opinions).
We are all unique. We have all seen things through our own eyes, heard things through our own ears, and they have helped us form opinions, ideals and values. We have an individual outlook. Our heart or inner person is made up of our thoughts and feelings and reasonings. In fact, each week when bloggers answer Melanie’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD questions, it’s interesting to see each of us reveal the secret person of the heart.
We have been shaped by our life experience and by millions upon millions of images and sounds we have taken in and a vast amount of information. When we form an opinion or make a decision, we are usually doing so because of previous experience we have on that subject or issue.
It can be challenging at times not to be ruled over by our own heart. In fact some people say “you should listen to your heart”. It can take effort and humility to recognise that often our own hearts are not to be trusted. They may veer us off onto a path that leads nowhere, or into quicksand.
If I followed my heart… I would be in huge trouble! We humans generally need help (and it’s wise to be selective in who to turn to for help) from those with experience, understanding and a balanced view of many issues and areas of life.
It is absolutely fine that we have our own natural (or learnt) inclinations. We may be inclined to think, feel, view things a certain way. But it is beneficial to seek the views of others who have proved wise by their lifecourse. It is to our advantage to listen humbly to others who present clear reasoning and evidence.
Not everyone believes in a Creator, but for those that do, it is wise to seek His view of matters.
Do humans have a soul? Do animals have a soul?
Oh I know this one. It’s a bit of a trick question isn’t it? There’s a lot of ancient Greek philosophy that you have to reject for the scriptures to read clearly. A lot of modern Christian denominations still try to interpret the scriptures through those ancient Greek teachings which result in what can seem very confusing and contradictory.
The answer is no…because the Hebrew and Greek words within the scriptures rendered “soul” in English refers to a breathing creature or a living being. In other words humans and animals are actually souls. They do not have souls. They are in themselves souls. The soul refers to the whole creature, not something separate from the body. The soul is the entire creature.
According to the scriptures a soul can eat, desire food, work and die. In the account of the creation of the first human, Adam, the scriptures state that he became a soul, not that he came to have a soul. He became a living breathing creature – a soul.
There is the potential to make this answer very very long. I shall move along to the next question.
At this point I have that T’Pau song going round my head:
Why are people told to respect the dead? (example: “Don’t speak ill of the dead”)
I am not sure how this saying originated. Possibly in some false idea that the dead were conscious and aware of what was said about them. But I like to think of the subject this way:
Suppose one of your workmate is absent from work due to illness or an accident. While your colleague is away, other members of the team speak badly about them. They insinuate bad motives to the person who is absent, they recollect all of the mistakes that person has made, and assert that they are a neglectful, sloppy, and don’t contribute to the team. Then it gets even more personal. Someone accuses the absent member of staff of stealing from the petty cash, flirting with the boss and bullying junior members of staff. Maybe some of that information is true, maybe it is false. The person is absent, so they cannot defend themselves or clear up any accusations.
So when your colleague is back at work – what if someone tells them what others had to say about them in their absence? How would they feel?
Those who have died, they are absent at the moment. They are asleep. Our Creator remembers every intricate detail about them and is keeping them safe in His memory. Those who have died are not breathing at the moment, they are not conscious of anything at all. But that state is not permanent. Our Creator has promised that He will resurrect humans who have suffered the consequences of Adam’s rebellion.
Thanks to our Creator, death (as a consequence of our inheritance from Adam) is only a temporary state. Those who have died will soon be back with us, strong and healthy again. While it may be true that they made mistakes and did things that were wrong while they were alive, they died. Some in fact may have made very serious mistakes. But they wake up with a clean slate. A second chance to make better decisions under a truly just and fair rulership. A chance to live a better life. Of course they will have to choose to do good in order to thrive in the future, for under God’s Kingdom, only those who want to do good are going to flourish.
That leads nicely into the next question.
Without using the names of specific people, discuss “the ideal” President or other world leader.
I am going to stay out of politics…but let’s put some rose tinted spectacles on and presume that some politicians are genuinely motivated. The truth is that even if there was an imperfect human ruler who seemed sincere, who seemed to care, who wanted to bring changes – they simply do not have the power.
There is no human ruler, no human government that can care for all subjects fairly. There are thousands of years of human history to confirm that man is not qualified to rule himself – all sorts of governments, all sorts of rulers. Human rulership is grossly inadequate.
This world is infested with problems and issues – complicated issues that take up countless hours and hours in judicial rulings and political debates. When issues are thrown out to democratic votes or referendums – even more division and anger can result. Currently we live in a fragile unstable political climate with some minority governments struggling to get anything done. But that is no surprise. That is exactly how three thousand years ago the scriptures described human rulerships just before they are gone for good. How human rulership will end is also described in the scriptures.
We need a ruler who is strong, incorruptible, impartial and trustworthy. A ruler who deeply loves humans, loves our planet and it’s beautiful creatures. A ruler with the wisdom and power to rule mankind.
In his days the righteous will flourish, And peace will abound until the moon is no more… For he will rescue the poor who cry for help, Also the lowly one and whoever has no helper. He will have pity on the lowly and the poor, And the lives of the poor he will save. From oppression and from violence he will rescue them, And their blood will be precious in his eyes. – PSALM 72:7, 12-14
The spirit of wisdom and of understanding, The spirit of counsel and of mightiness… He will not judge by what appears to his eyes, Nor reprove simply according to what his ears hear. He will judge the lowly with fairness, And with uprightness he will give reproof in behalf of the meek ones of the earth… Righteousness will be the belt around his waist, And faithfulness the belt of his hips. – ISAIAH 11:2-5
Back at the beginning of human history, the goodness of our Creator’s rulership was questioned. Note that the challenge to our Creator’s rulership was not whether He had the power to rule, but the righteousness of His rule. So, when human governments end, it’s not just going to be a matter of our Creator “flexing his muscles”. He will act because of the serious act of injustice that human rulers will try to commit. He will act because it will be right and just and loving to. There will be no question over the legality of His actions.
The accusation back in Eden was made that intelligent creatures were better off ruling themselves. His enemy accused our Creator of withholding good from humans. What do you think? Can humans successfully rule themselves without causing injury and harm to many people, animals and our environment?
Since Adam’s rebellion, the entire theme of the scriptures was how the accusations against our Creator would be proved false, how the damage would be undone by means of a government He would establish.
After wisely allowing the issue of whether humans could rule themselves to be answered, our Creator’s original purpose would be fulfilled, by means of His own government, with His own son as the appointed King of God’s Kingdom. That government will undo all of the damage and allow all to heal. Billions have prayed in harmony with the model prayer that Jesus taught:
Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth. – MATTHEW 6:10
Soon our earth and all of its inhabitants will thrive – under the righteous, loving and unfailing rulership that has been provided by our Creator.
Share your gratitude! Stories, images or thoughts all welcome.
Well…right now, I am feeling very grateful to the many courageous men and women like William Tyndale. Men and women who risked their lives and worked so hard to make it possible for you and I to pick up the scriptures and read them for ourselves in our mother tongue. Men like him were viciously opposed, particularly by powerful clergy. Why? Because if people could read the scriptures in their own language, they would see that the clergy were not teaching God’s Word at all.
There are many many millions of books that have been printed or published electronically, there are millions of blogs I believe, but all of them are vastly inferior to the scriptures. There is nowhere else that you will learn the truth about the meaning of the term “soul”, about what hope there is for those who have died, about why humans suffer so much now, and about how our Creator will repair all of this damage by means of a truly righteous rulership. The scriptures are a very personal letter to you from your Creator. Read it in your own language. Your Creator has made sure that His word has survived despite huge opposition and has been translated into thousands of languages.
Times are changing rapidly. Soon all of mankind will face an issue far more important than any general election. There will be a lot of manifestos and political propaganda floating around. You will hear politicians making a lot of promises which you likely realize are empty. Contrast that with the manifesto for God’s Kingdom. Read the scriptures objectively and find out how our Creator views this earth and all of it’s creatures. Learn what He will do to solve the problems that human rulers will never be able to.