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rmm


My dear friend continues to astonish with his wonderful and peace loving grasp of our language and, I commend him for it. I enjoy every crafted thought even if may disagree from time to time. It is a wonderful spice. I wish to venture a few comments from within my own discipline of expertise as it is it has been called. Studying any field for 40 years brings a certain degree of conviction and we each have our own set. I wish to both support, praise, and commend as well as critique an area where I may have been privileged to have had more in depth research time. The first quote is this
“The fundamental problem is one of the heart.” Truer words could never be uttered. Inasmuch as the person of Jesus has been brought into this, as well as His words I comment first by quoting him regarding the human heart. Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:23 All these vile things come from within, and defile the man
Theologically speaking, the human heart is irretrievably beyond human reform. The content at base within the human heart essentially is poverty and need. Men may attempt reform, may attempt to prepare for peace, but the words of Christ and history reveal the sad tale that it is never to be found by human striving. Jeremiah states it thus; Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? According to the source my dear friend quoted from, the human heart a disaster. All manner of wicked deceit come out of human heart. Evil thoughts of others, adultery with other women or men, fornications with a winking eye toward the trivializing of a marriage covenant by just screwing with no strings and so playing that game privately. Murder, ie hate, coveting, and a host of “vile things.” These things one may know to be true from a mere honest. I offer a critique in this regard. Jesus did not identify Himself as a mere man, a mortal, but the eternal Deity entering time and space, true God, true man and ultimate judge of all men. Thus to refer to Him as one who came striving to understand or effect His generation to get men to start turning the other check and being nice, is theologically aberrant. Aberrant in the same way that saying a carpenter is one who nails boards together with a hammer. There is so much lacking it the assessment that most carpenters would take issue with the appraisal as near insult. Hence Jesus would say, which one of you convicts Me of sin, while Gandhi well understood his own depravity as any mortal would. To conclude, one of the reasons I only very seldom venture out to do construction is that I have only a passing knowledge in nailing boards. I would never even try to write a book on basements, and so I guess this is my manner of suggesting that theological commentary on the eternal Son of God should also be as seldom unless and until He is granted the identity claimed for Himself. There is only one Prince of Peace in history. Selah

Roger German

Randy...I do not venture a theological commentary, just an attempt to understand the heart. And yes it is true that there is much evil in the heart of man, there is also much good. I believe that man can choose to do good or evil. What I am suggesting above is that we as a society could begin the process of choosing good rather than succumbing to the notion that we have no choice but to choose evil. That is a matter for the heart of each of us, and collectively, for our society.
I am a carpenter. I nail boards together with a hammer. I don't find that demeaning at all. I don't know what was in the mind of Jesus when he walked his walk, all I can do is read what was written down of his words. Are they exactly what he said? I don't know. What I do know is that the words that were written were simple, direct and clear. It was written he said if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also. And there are some variations on that, but most are strikingly similar.
The problem with it is that is is a very hard thing to do. And many many people will try to interpret it differently, to accommodate their own needs.
My take on it, for what it is worth, is that he meant it just as he said it. We're not particularly fond of turning the other cheek in the US of A. Jesus said it works. Some believe him, some don't. That gets back to the heart. And it doesn't mean that I always turn the other cheek, but when I have, it seems the long term outcome has been better.

rmm

I recall Augustine's account of his early adult life, filled with revelry, doubts, a sordid array of various types of sin, and one tale stood out to me. He threw down with a group of teens who at night in stealth snuck into various yards stealing the peaches off the trees. Later in life he realized he could not explain the motive behind it all because after all, he didnt even like peaches. The trouble with the heart is that it can do no perfectly pure deed. No absolutely good deed can be done by it. It is fraught with all it's connections to pride, esteem, ego, expectation, remuneration and instrumental values. So I agree we can do good, but as Aquinas understood, it is outward good, not a true wholehearted good. We must be happy with it I take it. Your words are genuine and helpful to the weary soul. Think back on all the deeds you have done, as I often do, realizing the folly of it all. The choices, the self serving residue of it all.Think of the things and the people we brought pain to knowing full well we acted amiss. As for theological commentary, I take that to mean any comments made on any theological item. I would say you have ventured some, and it may lead to examinations of all the rest the Master has said. We need to take it all. Peace.

rmm

Off the cuff, but recently there has been a move to ban Nerf guns because though parents may see them as innocuous, they nonetheless continue to underscore the act of shooting. So and so from such and such movement for "peace" claims it instills real dormant urges for shooting and violence. My question is where does this stop? Cap guns, water guns, BB guns, CO2 rifles,pellet guns, where will it go next? Why not just ban the constitution?

Sandy

As an agnostic I find it a bit strange that you would reference Jesus in so many of your musings. To all believing Christians He is the Son of God and our only way to salvation. He was either who he said he was, the Son of God, or the greatest liar and deceiver of all times. You lump Ghandi and Jesus together with relative ease but there is no in between with Jesus. He made perfectly clear who He was, why He was here and Who He represented. Agnostic: A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or anything beyond material phenomenon. It seems your references to Jesus are purely for personal entertainment (to make points and stir emotion) - not a viable base for your arguments...for as an agnostic, you surely do not believe He was who he said he was. So please stop pulling Jesus into your blogs whenever it is convenient for you to do so.

Roger German

Sandy...just finally saw your response here. Sorry it took so long...thanks.
As an agnostic, I make a distinction between knowing and believing, that is true. But Jesus was a real person, and some of what he said was written down and recorded, and some of it possibly accurately. And when I read what is recorded of what Jesus said, I am drawn to what he believed and how he thought we should live a good life. I find much of what is written about Jesus, and what is interpreted from what he said, a discredit to his memory and used more for ill than good, used for control rather than compassion, power rather than service to others.
When I quote him, I try to use only those things ascribed directly to him; not to various interpretations of his words, nor to his followers.
I don't always write as true as I should; I don't always give it that time or effort, don't always have the heart to go that extra mile. But I hope to try to.
I write to understand, not to inform or instruct. It is part of my own journey, and helps me sort out my place in the world, helps me seem my own path more clearly. But I'm not always true to that, and more often than not, I get on my soap box.
Mostly I am writing about peace, and how me might achieve some semblance of that here, on our good earth. I started off that way in this blog, but lost my way a bit...and I apologize for that. It's darned hard to stick to one topic, as my mind wanders down many a rabbit hole as I try to stay focused.
I started off proposing that we can't prepare for both peace and war at the same time...and it seemed some of what Jesus said was relevant to that idea. As is some of what Gandhi said.
There are others I could have quoted, but both Jesus and Gandhi were feared and loathed by authorities in there own time. I think that is exceedingly relevant to these times. They also spoke simply and honestly, something few with their intellectual prowess seem able to do.
I realize we view the person of Jesus differently, but I in no way intend to diminish or devalue your belief; I respect that entirely and am very happy you find solace and deep spirituality there.
love, Rog

Roger German

...ahem...perhaps a Freudian slip, but where I wrote "Mostly I am writing about peace, and how me might achieve some semblance of that here, on our good earth," I really intended to write "how WE might achieve..." mea culpa.

Sandy

Oiy...I do have more to say but will have to wait until I have more than a few moments.

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