I think you are missing the metaphysical forest for the trees, my friend. What I think It's Unholy is getting at (and please feel free to correct me if I am wrong) is that Jesus didn't let anybody make Him do anything that would be contrary or outside of His Heavenly Father's will. That is because His will and His Father's will were in such complete and total unity and agreement that Jesus knew that He knew that He knew that as long as He only did what was in His Father's will and nothing else, it would be for the best. He also knew that the very second He did anything that was outside or against His Father's will, it would instantly disqualify Him as the Savior of all mankind. After all, what did Satan do, in various ways throughout the course of Jesus' ministry, starting with the three temptations in the wilderness and culminating with Him being nailed to the cross on Calvary's hill? Try to get Jesus to step outside of His Father's will and make the salvation of all mankind happen in a way that didn't involve Him dying an excruciating and humiliating death. But Jesus knew that the second He fell for one of Satan's easier ways out, He would no longer be pleasing to His heavenly Father, and His death on the cross would be meaningless and empty.
I see what you are saying about Jesus not wanting to die on the cross; nobody in their right mind would. But, that is just looking at the humanity of Jesus, without taking into consideration His divinity. After all, He was and is both fully human and fully God at the same time. Now, we don't know a whole lot about what that looks like or how that works, probably because it's a great mystery that we won't ever fully understand or grasp, but we do know that the Bible says that "...for the joy set before Him, He despised the shame of the cross." Now, what that says to me is that while in His interior thought life His humanity was probably screaming something along the lines of, "I don't want to die on the cross! Are you kidding me? These people don't deserve it. They'll probably misunderstand what happens, anyways," and so on, His divinity was saying something along the lines of, "I know they don't deserve it, but Your Father loves You and them more than You can possibly know, and He will make something beautiful out of this selfless sacrifice you are about to make. Don't worry. Remember that Your heavenly Father has a good plan for Your life, and will bring many spiritual brothers to glory as a result of what You are about to do," and so on. Jesus recognized better than anyone the importance of doing His Father's will, and didn't let anything or anyone stand in His way, even when they offered what seemed like an easier way out. After all, when Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate the last time, He could have given a rousing sermon about He was the sinless son of God and therefore didn't deserve to die on the cross. And then Pilate, being moved with compassion and love for this articulate, humble man of God, could have used the incredible numbers of Roman soldiers at his disposal to keep Him from being crucified at the hands of the angry Jewish mob that wanted him dead for His claims to divinity. But, if Jesus had done that, had allowed Pilate, or anyone else for that matter, to put unjust words in His mouth, He would have disqualified Himself as the one who came to die for the sins of all mankind. And then God would have had to come up with another plan to deliver us from our sinfulness, fallenness and depravity.
What does that look like for us today? How do we go about not letting others deter us from fully following God's will for our lives? Well, for starters, we have to use our God-given discernment and wisdom and point out injustice and violence wherever it exists, but in a humble, gracious and loving way. We then defeat it by following Christ's example of self-sacrificially laying down our own lives, whatever that may look like depending on the circumstances, and then hopefully others will see just how unjust the injustice is that we're fighting against, and will rally for change. For instance, take a look at the example of Gandhi. Granted, he wasn't a Christian, but he modeled fighting against injustice and violence with love and forgiveness better than just about anyone. When the British colonial government which was ruling Gandhi's home country at the time made an unjust law that only they could refine salt, Gandhi protested and defied that unjust law by walking the length of India to the ocean and refining his own salt. When he was arrested for doing so, he gladly and willingly submitted to the punishment the British authorities meted out, which was several years in prison, and in so doing, he demonstrated to the whole world the unjust nature of the British law, and it was repealed under international pressure. We, as Christians, are to do the same whenever we encounter injustice and violence, whatever form it may take.
That's about all for now. God bless, and have a great day in the Lord.
Yours in Him,
I do agree that the words we use, however we use them, are immensely powerful and are, as you put it, "...in a different league than actions or just about anything else." After all, when we pray in agreement with what the Scriptures say, the words we speak have an incredible impact on the spiritual underpinnings of reality. But, I would also hasten to add that our words are not quite in the same class as our heavenly Father's, since we cannot create anything ex nihilo like He did when He spoke the universe into existence. After all, at least last time I checked, I cannot say, "Let there be a tree right in front of me right now," and then reasonably expect a tree to pop up out of nowhere where none previously existed. Creating something out of nothing is the heavenly Father's unique prerogative.
That's about all for now. God bless, and have a great day in the Lord.
Yours in Him,
Since you still seem to be getting bogged down in the details of It's Unholy's example, let me see if I can clarify the deep spiritual truth we are trying to illuminate here. While I can't and won't presume to speak for It's Unholy, I know that for myself, this is not about greed or covetousness, which you seem to think it is, based on the things you said in your previous comment (e.g., that those who oppose writing on a tax form don't want to "...wait a bit for their next ipad," or that our "...number one goal in life..." is to hang onto "...a few more greenbacks.") At least for me, nothing could be further from the truth. While it is true that there are moments when I wish that the Lord would plop a huge sum of money in me and my wife's lap so that we could pay off all of our debts and move into a nice, new house, the Lord is quick during those times to remind me of all the good blessings He has showered down on us over the years, and that we have a great deal to be thankful for. We have a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, food on the table, reliable transportation to get us to where we need to go, and jobs to pay for all those things. So, when you said what you did, you made it obvious, at least in my mind, that you are not grasping the deep spiritual truth that is being discussed here. That is the main reason why I suggested in a previous comment that It's Unholy would have had better luck getting his point across in his article if he had used other examples to illustrate what he was trying to say. Don't get me wrong; I understand why he did what he did. After all, he is a former CPA, so taxes are something he is extremely familiar with. In my humble opinion, it would have made his point clearer if he had used some other examples from real life.
After reading that, I wouldn't be surprised if the first questions you asked yourself would be something along the lines of, "So, what is the point that you are trying to get across? What is this deep spiritual truth that you are trying to illuminate? And, most importantly, how does it affect me?" I'm glad you asked. Let me spell it out for you as simply as I possibly can, and hopefully you'll at least begin to see where we are coming from. To start with, the first point I would like to make is that the words that we use, whether we speak, write or type them, are immensely powerful, in that they have, as I wrote in my last comment, "...an incredible impact on the spiritual underpinnings of reality." What I meant by that is that when we speak or write something, it changes things in the spiritual dimension of reality, which then changes things in the physical dimension, because the latter is built upon the former. We can see this concept illustrated in Hebrews 1:3a, which states, "And He [Jesus] is the radiance of His [God the Father's] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power." In other words, God is constantly speaking, and it is those words that He is constantly speaking that keep the universe from flying apart at the seams and crumbling into dust. So, since we are "...heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.," (Romans 8:17a), doesn't it necessarily follow that our words, while not quite on the same level as God the Father's, still have an incredible amount of power? Which means that we ought to be extremely careful how we use them, because any time we use words that do not glorify and honor God as He ought to be in our lives, we will be held accountable. The Scripture that immediately comes to mind which illustrates this is Matthew 12:36,37, which states, "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."
Another point that needs to be made at this juncture is that the words that we use are a fairly good barometer for the inward condition of our heart. Granted, we can use all the best "Christianese" in front of those church friends who don't know us very well, and fool them into thinking that everything is fine, at least for a little while, our true colors will eventually come out and will be evidenced by the words that we use. After all, as Jesus said just two verses prior to the Scripture I just quoted, "For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart." (Matthew 12:34b) And, He also states elsewhere, "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (Matthew 15:17-20; Mark 7:14-23) An example from my own life might help illustrate this principle. A couple of years ago or so, my wife Renee and I were living with her eldest sister and brother-in-law for a period of two years or so, in order to help us get back on our feet financially after getting a bit behind on our bills. During that time, a specific incident occurred where I washing a bunch of dishes, pots and pans in the kitchen sink, and was expressing my frustration to my wife about how it seemed like I was the only one in the household that cared about keeping the house clean. I know now that that wasn't an accurate assessment of the situation, but it was how I felt at the time. Towards the end of that conversation, out of my frustration, I blurted out that that set of circumstances would never change because, to quote verbatim, "Life is crap." Now, I know that is not true, but that is what I felt at the time, and it is an indication that, probably because of all the tough things I have been through in my life, I have chosen to believe that lie from the devil. So, please be praying for me, that God shows me, in whatever way works best for me (and, since He knows me better than I know myself, He knows exactly what that is), that my life is NOT crap, no matter how bad things may have been in the past or how bad they may get in the future.
Another point that I'd like to make here is that injustice and violence are NOT just physical. We may have been lulled into thinking that that is the case because the physical forms of those things may be the most easily recognizable and the most overt, but they are not the only kind. After all, there are all kinds of ways people can manipulate and abuse each other without ever having to lay a finger on each other. Which makes the non-physical forms of violence and injustice that much more insidious and evil, because they could be going on right under our noses, and if we don't recognize the warning signs, we could be completely oblivious to them. In the example that It's Unholy used in his article, the federal government uses threats of punishment, however covert and subtle they may be, to force you to do something against your will, viz., fill out a tax form. After all, as I mentioned in a previous comment, try paying the taxes that you owe without filing a 1040 tax form, and see how well the I.R.S. likes that. They will punish you with fines, jail time, or both. Just because they wouldn't literally physically kill you (at least not yet), doesn't mean they aren't violating your free will. Which is a good functional definition of violence: anything anybody does to someone else that violates that person's ability to exercise their free will. Does God ever violate anyone's free will? No, He does not. He is a perfect gentleman. He woos us by loving us unconditionally, and then He says that if we will be His disciples, we will lay down our lives for Him. That is a conditional statement, in that we are perfectly free to agree to do that, or walk away and do things our own way. To our detriment, I might add. And, just for clarification, laying down our lives doesn't necessarily mean physically dying. It can, but most of the time, it refers to the daily dying to self that is required for us to live a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord. In other words, we need to be constantly asking ourselves, "How can I die to self today? How can I do things God's way, rather than my own way, and trust Him to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be?"
So, what does all of this add up to? That the words that we use, however we use them, are immensely powerful, and that they can either hinder or help the injustices and violences that are going on all around us, whether we realize it or not. When we use words that are in agreement with God's word, we hinder and destroy the works of the devil by short-circuiting his plans to promulgate injustice and violence. On the other hand, when we use words that are in accordance with Satan's lies that we have chosen to believe, we help propagate violence and injustice, whether we realize what we are doing or not. My hope is that through It's Unholy's article, as well as my comments, you, along with anyone else who reads them, will come to realize just how serious and important it is to be very careful with how we use our words, no matter what context we use them in. After all, they will have eternal consequences. Just use a concordance and look up the words "tongue," "words," "say," "speak," etc., and you'll see just how serious God takes the words that we use.
That's about it for now. God bless, and I hope that helped you better understand where I am coming from.
Yours in Him,
Last edited by It's Unholy; Nov 12th 2010 at 12:43 AM. Reason: grammar
What other government forms and otherwise banal bureaucratic necessities will condemn me to hell?
"Banal"...funny. Try letting the Holy Spirit tell you what to say on your next tax return. Give it a little time. Then you can tell us how "banal" it all was. Your words and soul are only banal if you say banal things.
Besides all that... what if the Holy Spirit told me to fill out my tax return in good conscience since I benefit directly from numerous government services paid for by those taxes?
Last edited by HisLeast; Nov 12th 2010 at 02:28 PM.
YES, So true.
And, We are supposed to obey all our government's written laws.
But, How many of you bother to search tax law for "excluded income"?
Go ahead, do it, search Title 26 ...
ECFR dot GPOACCESS dot GOV
Also, see if you can find the legal definition of "Exempt income", AND the exact opposite, the actual list of taxable income.
Sound too complicated?
Then GOOGLE: excluded income
Or, GOOGLE: regulation "exempt income" defined
While you're at it,
GOOGLE: who would jesus tax
People, its the computer-age now.
There is no excuse for not looking up all the critical code-words in our laws,
e.g. eliminated income, eliminated items, etc, AND IN OUR BIBLES, e.g. Jesus + taxes.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
And, there is no excuse for not searching the Bible with a computer, either.
Those who love the truth will take the time to LOOK FOR IT.
Furthermore, its worth repeating that Google is an INDEX, and not a vetted source of information. Just because you can find something on Google, doesn't make it true or even worth one's time investigating. In other words, provide good sources for your information before you start lecturing me on the love of truth... especially if you're going to condemn those who haven't reached your level of illumination on the subject.
www.wikiaccountants.com. You shift the the burden overseas where the tax preparers are not so controlled (they're sovereigns of another country), of course you need to know them but can't meet them, so you learn who they are by their works. Not a perfect solution, I know, but Jesus didn't just walk up and clear the temple without building support either.
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