Submitted by Terence Blackett
How So-Called Knowledgeable Christians Corrupt & Debase Good Morals by Virulent Speech, Hatred of Others & Self-Opinionated Plaudits of Self-Righteousness
“Reprove a fool and he will hate you – rebuke a wise man and he will love you” – Proverbs 9:8
Aristotle – Greek philosopher believed that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Some would beg to differ strongly with this opinion. CHRIST said unequivocally, “For where a man’s treasure is, there his heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21) Socrates, also a Greek philosopher opined: “I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think” – something many can agree on. The BIBLE in Luke 6:24 says: “The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honourable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.” So mouth and heart are inextricably linked – showing what’s really inside the human person.
In today’s world, “It takes courage to stand up for what’s right – it takes even more to do it in LOVE.” In a piece entitled “When Did Christians Get So Mean?” the author cites some very important truisms which only those suffering from ‘denial-phobia’ would venture to reject! For it’s virtually impossible to get real consensus today on even the basics!
Plato – another Greek philosopher opined: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” However, Scripture reveals how the river of the heart flows as the “tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6) And although the battles of life, as Solomon cites, sees “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) yet the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matt 24:13) Thus the collective journey for us all remains part of a spiritual movement (either shared or divided) as we choose to see fit.
Aristotelian wisdom recognized: “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over the self” – for he felt that “It is the mark of an educated man to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Scripture is clear as well in (Galatians 5:24-25): “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
In the Pre-Socratic School of Stoic Greek philosophy, led by Epictetus, believed that “You count yourself to be but an ordinary thread in the tunic. You ought to think how you can be like other men, just as one thread does not wish to have something special to distinguish it from the rest: but I want to be the purple, that touch of brilliance which gives distinction and beauty to the rest. Why then do you say to me, ‘Make yourself like unto the many?’ If I do that, I shall no longer be the purple.” Paul the Apostle in a Biblical adjunct to the argument reminds us that we are “ALL MEMBERS” of One Body! For “the body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ”. (1 Cor. 12:12; 27)
Pericles (another Greek orator & statesman) cited that – “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” These philosophical tenets and principles are all borrowed from the foundational principals etched within the Sacred Walls of The Scriptures and can be found out only with careful, tireless investigation.
In Cor. 1:22 “The Jews ask for signs, and the Greeks seek wisdom.” Solomon like his predecessors, recognized that “The tongue of the WISE* makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a FOOL* belches out foolishness. (Proverbs 15:2) No wonder then, Plutarch, (another Greek historian, biographer & essayist) saw that “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks” – for God has given men the wonder, beauty & space to enjoy the plaudits of aesthetic knowledge, cosmic science, living faith and “POWERFUL GOOD WORKS”. This is what life should entail. For even Solomon, at the lowest ebb of his life (spiritually) gave his heart over to understand the metaphysics behind “MADNESS & FOLLY” having received from the inspired fountain of wisdom and knowledge but like all who lose their way, end up bastardizing their human experiences upon the altar of pagan idolatry.
Yet “there is nothing new under the sun!” (Ecc. 1:9)
The pretext of all that we are witnessing today echoes back to that bygone age when according to the Biblical text – Eve (the mother of all created human beings) opened up herself to the hissing sophistry of the Serpent (for its words were almost MUSICK to her ears) – then falling prostrate into the subterfuge of that wily deception, she became fodder for the arch-villainous spirit of rebellion; loosed to ravage her mind with thoughts, suggestions and words which contravened the PURE, inimitable Word of The Creator God. And yet somehow, men still believe that they will not be “JUDGED” for their words, thoughts or actions (though vile and wretched they be).
Science believes that the tongue of the (SERPENT) was deliberately split (FORKED) so that through its sensory mechanisms, it would know the direction in which to move, based on its evaluation of the chemical particles on either side of its forked tongue, given the differentiation between the chemical levels on the right as against the left, with both working together to create an evolutionary process of synthesis. This is why the Scriptures are clear that “SATAN” (the wily Serpent) and his ministers can transform themselves as angels of light and ministers of righteousness for the express purpose of deceiving the blind and undiscerning – for The Bible says: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…” (2 Cor. 11:13-15)
These are hard words – who can bear them? (John 6:60)
We must be true to who we are. We cannot live as two different versions of ourselves, hoping that nothing bad would come of it. For just recently, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “PRIVATE” & “PUBLIC” positions were laid bare through WIKILEAKS, pushing her lack of moral debenture to that of the “FORK-TONGUE” Serpent – reinforcing that age-old Adamic EVIL which seems to have even greater resonance now than ever before.
Seneca – (Roman philosopher, statesman, dramatist, & humourist) cited in 41 AD, when he was banished to the island of Corsica, after being accused of adultery by Emperor Claudius, that “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” This “ACID” Seneca speaks of, began with the son of Adam called Cain who killed his brother – first with his tongue, then with the animus of his physical might! In the aftermath of his vitriol and then violent murder – he defiantly exclaimed: “AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?” This “MARK OF CAIN” has followed men right down to our time, where in the simple, petulant affairs of life – to quote the words of Heraclitus: “Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.”
When the Scriptures speak, it oftentimes is speaking to the person and to the “Personage” influencing the person who is speaking! When Christians speak, regardless of whether they are in their own homes with their families or in open secular or religious forums – their words must be seasoned with salt. The Scriptures in Philippians 4:8 reminds us that “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Pastor Chuck Baldwin echoes similar sentiments to those within the hearts of many virtuous Christians who see the changing tide of Christianity becoming more and more sinister and austere – mirroring that wretched time during the “DARK AGES” when Dominican & Jesuit prelates & friars had men burned at the stake for dissent, at the behest of the state apparatus for religious or social abnegation.
Pastor Baldwin’s contextualization is spot on: “Angry, self-willed, rebellious, hate-filled Christians are not only a curse to their pastor and church; they are a curse to liberty itself. They are doing the Devil’s work of subverting the work of God (including the work of liberty) within the church and, therefore, within the community and country. Sitting home and sending out a barrage of hate-filled emails (LET ME INCLUDE TWEETS, FACEBOOK THREADS & ANY VIRTUAL MESSAGE) is doing NOTHING to restore liberty. Hate will NEVER win hearts and minds. And that’s what’s happening: we are losing the war for the hearts and minds. And one of the biggest reasons we are losing this war is because we have supplanted and destroyed the one position that is most necessary to winning the war for the hearts and minds: the courageous and inspired patriot pulpit.” One can also safely include or add the rancour of social mediazation and its virulent effects on the state of social & religious consciousness within internet forums!
Thus in polarized western, so-called Christian democracies (i.e. AmeriKKKa, Europe, Canada, OZ, & NZ), it is almost impossible for Christians to have any meaningful dialogue on any substantive issue, whether political, sociological, scientific , monetary or religious – without tempers flaring, innuendoes being slung about and verbal Molotov cocktails being hurled in disgust over the opinions of another. Yet these are the same FOLKS* who believe they can reach and teach “INFIDELS” the Scriptures by the “LETTER” of the LAW* and not by the “SPIRIT” of It.
What base and deceptive hypocrisy!
Pastor Baldwin believes the reason why modern Christians have become so mean and nasty is due in part to a number of factors – however, he states that: “Without the undergirding principles of Law and Love, there can be no RIGHTEOUS indignation. Hatred and bitterness against evil is meaningless without Love and Affection for Righteousness. And if Christian people are filled with hatred and bitterness against the most fundamental spiritual principles of truth and honor within the church (and tons of them are), how in the name of common sense can we expect the world around us to successfully engage in something as complex as political liberty within a nation? Without the undergirding principles of Law and Love, there can be no approbation of Heaven. And without the approbation of Heaven, there can be no lasting liberty.”
In the virtual world of cyberspace, where most live in the 21st century, every aspect of modern life (BANKING, MEDICAL SERVICES, ACADEMIA & even WAR) is fought at the touch of a button from an armchair of distanciation. Relationships are formed or NOT in this virtual world of intrigue. Even many knowledgeable Christians who possess skill and understanding in The Word of God are somehow socially and morally vacuous when it comes to the finer “VIRTUES” in life when dealing with opponents. The on-going, prevailing mythologization of the “RUM-SHOP” enculturated mindset takes precedence over the transformative work that “MUST” be done by THE HOLY SPIRIT in the heart – subduing the base, carnal, animalistic passions which tend to over-ride even common-sense and reason when dealing with other individuals in the domain of cyberspace – given that we do not even know our so-called opposition from a hole in the wall. As a result, Christians have become like a barrel of crabs – all fighting each other and the rest with incendiary language, barbarous “BARBS” and an effluent of vitriolic jibes intent on creating the maximum amount of carnage in its wake.
What blissful FOLLY!
In a final citation from Pastor Baldwin, I believe hits the nail on the head: “What is missing from the hearts and minds of so many professing patriots (Christians and otherwise) is old-fashioned humility. We refuse to hold ourselves accountable. We refuse to be taught. We know it all. We are never wrong. And if we are, we would never admit it. We refuse to submit to lawful authority. Bull-headed, stubborn, SELF-RIGHTEOUS people who are totally unqualified to fight a freedom fight. They don’t even understand the meaning of the word freedom, much less understand how to wage a righteous, disciplined, and honourable fight to preserve or reclaim it…” The Bible states: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8) [Cited from NewsWithViews.com)
In conclusion, we live in a world of myriad views on life. Whether it is God, science, money or politics – you name it! One thing should remain sacrosanct – RESPECT for others, regardless of their views, opinions or held beliefs. All the more so, because we have come down to a time as Richard Jewell says when “Deists say God is beyond Creation and He stays there. Pantheism says God is everywhere in the Creation. Theism says God is both beyond and in Creation. Agnosticism says there is no proof God exists. Atheism says there is proof that God does not exist. Gnosticism says one can have special Knowledge of God. Monotheism says there is One True, Central God. Mysticism says direct experience of God is possible. Polytheism says there are many “gods” (which include man). And spiritualism says there are “spirit beings” that exist everywhere.
Whatever your belief – if it can withstand the “LITMUS” test of solid reasoning, LOGIC and tireless unpacking – then in the “LIGHT OF THE BEREANS”, (come let us reason it out together), will no longer be an exercise in futility – harping back to a time when even Paul on Mars Hill could stand and reason solidly of his faith with the adherents of the schools of Stoic & Epicurean philosophers of his day (some of whom were quoted at the outset of this piece).
‘In the end, the “TRUTH” shall prevail’ – John Wycliffe