Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Cooperative Altruism"

I will be getting to commenting on my previous post, but first, I would like to share something that I DO know exactly what I think about it, and I think it is incredibly cool. (And not just because my boyfriend wrote it.)

Christopher wrote a post yesterday about "Cooperative Altruism." It really encouraged me, and I like the way this idea is going. Here's a snippet of what he said that especially spoke to my heart and what I believe to be true about God and his love.

I believe that God did give us the ability to feel some high feeling from doing a marvelous act for someone else. If we do it just to get that feeling, we are in the wrong. But, to have that feeling is not wrong. We should doing good things to the point that we don't even notice that feeling because our minds will have been so set on the giving nature of God's love above, that we won't notice the change in our thinking--it will be already heavenly. God does good things for us without requiring us to return the favor. He helps us to do so in some ways (by loving, serving, following Him), but He loves us knowing we can't possibly do so. That is the true nature of altruism.

Read the rest of it; what do you think?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quotations and Thoughts

The following are quotations that have made me think, taken from blog posts I have read over the past few days. Some of them I agree with, some of them I disagree with, some I don't know what to think yet. I don't have the energy at the moment to elaborate on why they made me think, nor to take time to set out in writing my own opinions on the subjects. I will do so soon, hopefully tomorrow, but since I now have these thought-provokers in one place - meaning I won't forget them now - I think it would be good for me to sleep on my thoughts and pray about them before I start writing. I have a lot to say, and I have a lot of thoughts that will require me to write without the care of whether everyone who reads it will agree or not. Of course, my fervent desire is to write with humility and grace to all, I pray my Father censures my words where they will only offend and not edify, but I'm learning a lot about the need to be TRANSPARENT and HONEST.... another issue I need to write about.

Anyway, if you read this and have thoughts of your own, please share.

In order for God to use a man greatly He has got to hurt Him deeply
~ A.W. Tozer

If anything is heretical, it is Tozer’s quote - the only person God ever hurt deeply was himself on our behalf.
~ Jon Lee

“A post like this does grieve me…I did try to encourage you in the other thread over this crisis you are in or whatever you are going through, but please don’t blame the Lord”

Don’t blame the Lord because his feelings might be hurt?

Don’t blame the Lord because unlike us mere humans he is so touchy he won’t be able to understand your humanity?

Don’t blame the Lord because the religion known as Christianity has taught us that the most important thing is getting to heaven (and more importantly exacping Hell) Rather than following Jesus?

Jeremy is Brian sugegsting that you to try not to follow in the footsetps of our Lord and Master , The Living Word of God who in the Garden of Gethsemane modeled broken humanity and humility when he made himself so vulnearble he asked three mere humans to pray for him ( the same three who were about to deny him)

Also try to ignore most of the Psalms where David ( the adulterer, murderer AND man after Gods own heart (go figure) often told God how he doubted and wondered where he had gone.

This foolishness is where religion has gotten us - Free Jesus!!
~ Jim Henderson


Wow. You may have just put into words what I’ve been thinking, but was unsure if it was safe to think.

I don’t “blame the Lord” but I do believe he could take it if I did. When we Christians are confronted by pain, fear, and doubt in our own lives, we feel like we have to bottle it all in and keep it hidden. When we run into similar pain in the lives of others, we feel like we have to remind them of spiritual platitudes and Bible verses rather than just let them express their pain and be there with them without judgment when they do.

Thanks for the comment.
~ Jeremy Myers

Because if we want to avoid similar decades-long battles in other areas — like, say, over the exact content that one must believe to be saved — then it is helpful to see what our brothers have done wrong (and what they have done right) in past conflicts.
~ Tim Nichols

People who have set healthy boundaries, who know what healthy boundaries look like and know how to maintain them, generally do not get used (by men, but they are indeed used by God). Claiming otherwise gives the false perception that the Word has no power to redeem from corruption those whom you are ministering to, who disagree with you. Claiming otherwise also gives the false perception that when a threat comes to you in the guise of goodness, you are not safe even with your knowledge of scripture, your resources of prayer and the faith you have in the promises of God for your protection.

It also sets up false-unity in the body of Christ because while the reality is that everyone disagrees with anyone else on some thing or another, no one is publicly known and accepted as such. The church is not safe for learning, for disagreeing, for testing, doctrine.
~ Michelle Painter

If an Egyptian who never heard of Christianity in his life were to read a scrap of paper containing John 6:47, the Egyptian would no doubt equate the guarantor of eternal life with Heqet, the frog goddess of life and fertility. Wikipedia affirms:

“When the Legend of Osiris and Isis developed, it was said that it was Heqet who breathed life into the new body of Horus at birth, as she was the goddess of the last moments of birth. As the birth of Horus became more intimately associated with the resurrection of Osiris, so Heqet's role became one more closely associated with resurrection. Eventually, this association lead to her amulets gaining the phrase I am the resurrection, and consequently the amulets were used by early Christians. Finally, as the legend of Osiris' resurrection grew increasingly stronger, she became ever more aligned with Isis, and eventually becoming an aspect of her.”

Nothing in John 6:47 would make a pagan reader think of the Biblical Jesus. The guarantor of eternal life would simply be understood as referring to whatever polytheistic god fit that description. In the case of the pagan Egyptian, the guarantor of eternal life would most closely align with Heqet, the frog goddess of life and fertility.

Wilkin's marooned man scenario and corresponding promise-only gospel simply illustrate that “A text without a context is a pretext.”
~Jonathan Perrault