Circular arguments – Part II


“The Book of Life”: gotta be in it to win it. “The Other Books”: every thought, action, choice, decision, reaction, outburst, everything.

Hell. Fire. Judgement. The basic principles of salvation through avoidance. Faith. Hope. Love. The basic principles of salvation through living. God. Jesus. Spirit. The basic principles of Trinity and eternal reward.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

Now let’s argue about who is right and who is wrong: The Book of Life. Anyone seen it? The Other Books. Anyone seen them? All that salvation and living for eternity. Anyone seen that?

(You have? And are those examples also written in The Book – the same Word?)

When our children were very young we bribed them. Now they are older we still do. When they were young we buttered them in love by dangling sweet sugary carrots.  When they are older it is “if you don’t do that, we will do this”. And when they get older still – everything changes. When they get older we (as parents) step back. We have to withhold our help. We have to wait to be asked. Because when our children become adults and live their own independent lives – anything other is not independent – it is a power thing, stunting love on all sides.

Now let’s argue about who is right and who is wrong.

And I kinda get the “books thing”. Because when our children are/have been attracted to someone (that glorious lust and passion stage), we know it may well crash and burn.  We see that (and still do) in many of these ardent relationships that “are forever” … we have dried the tears … made endless cups of tea … listened to the same song of despair played over and over again … so we operate a “book of deeds” kind of relationship whilst lust and passion are the “this is forever” cry.

But if these two loved lovers wish to cement their relationship, we move to the “book of life” phase. This human being – who they are, what they are, and why they are – is no longer relevant. They become family – they “are family”. And even if they are the scratchiest member of our family (or the best thing to ever happen) it does not matter. They are family.

Now let’s argue about who is right and who is wrong.  Because we talk a lot about family when we talk about all this “God stuff”.

The thing I see more and more is that we each have limited experience of very few families: our own and our friends. And we see the divisions and fractures of our own nuclear family – and we see the absence of that in others’ families. A perception kind of truth.

Now let’s argue about who is right and who is wrong.

And finally …

I was going to use an article from a UK daily national that piqued my interest – and then saw some bloggers already chewing it to bits. So I will use both – the article – and the arguments …

“Religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts, study finds”is the headline (and the article carries links to the studies).  Four things caught my eye:
a) Mainstream “World Faiths” are the labels.
b) Love is not mentioned once in the entire article (or the two studies).
c) Parents always think their offspring have been perfectly parented.
d) The “bloggers debate”: a (sadly expected) circular argument.

For the most part I agree with the article.  Why not?  We are talking perceptions.  Beliefs. Evidence.  We are talking labels. We are talking (and talking).  But we are not talking the Love I call God at all (doesn’t get a mention).

Why is that?

(to be continued)

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2 thoughts on “Circular arguments – Part II

  1. So much religion! Not enough intimate relationship!! That’s why the Father accepted back the prodigal—not because he was a great offspring but because HE desires the relationship with His sons and daughters!! Gotta read more brother!

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