Random Blog Clay Feet: January 24, 2008
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Elements of Civilization vs. Creation

As I am learning and assimilating concepts that are important to me I find it helpful to write them down. This helps clarify them better in my own mind and helps synchronize my left and right brain a little bit better. Sometimes these big thoughts sit in my mind and continually rearrange their components during the day until they become more clear to me and I feel the need to capture what is emerging.

The following principles were ones I first heard about a number of years ago and have revisited the subject more intensely the past few weeks. This morning I felt compelled to simply contrast the two opposing systems that have so much influence on every aspect of life for every one of us. It is the conflicting, underlying perceptions of reality as presented by God and presented by Satan and most of society as we are familiar with it. Sometimes I call it the false trinity – this system we take so much for granted. But as we learn more about the true principles that this false system attempts to mimic and counterfeit, its ugliness and emptiness becomes more evident. Here is a side by side comparison of the root ingredients of these two diametrically opposed ways of viewing life and reality.

Creation – also known as Grace – is the full provision of all the needs of God's created beings without earning it. We depend on and cooperate with God's means to take care of us because He loves us and promises to take care of us. He can be trusted to keep His word. This eliminates the need for ownership or exclusiveness with any of His blessings as we share everything with others. In unselfish love and sensitive awareness for the needs and desires of others we make available the fruit of our labor or the blessings under our influence for them while they are doing the same for us. But this is not based on a contract mentality but on a spirit of covenant commitment.

Economics – the artificial assignment of some measurement of value to everything. This also leads to possessive feelings of ownership and exclusivity and the desire to have our needs and desires met ahead of others. As our possessiveness increases so does our fear that others may want to take away our stuff so we use our economic advantage to leverage our power and create laws that will protect our possessions from others. This allows us to culture our selfishness and achieve more and more power over other people's lives. Our relations with others are based on contracts whereby we only trust others to the extent that they can benefit us.

Marriage and family relations – this is the model upon which all created beings in the universe were designed to relate to each other and to God. Selfless love was to be the underlying motivation in every interaction with others so that joy and happiness would continually thrive and grow for eternity. In this arrangement there is no need for artificial rules any more than there is need to see the bones of the body externally. Selfless love inherently has the structures built in that are needed for harmony and unity. Self-control and self-discipline are a natural fruit of the Spirit of God within our hearts so there is no need for external controls to create conformity through force or fear. Love is the fuel and the adhesive that bonds everyone together as they all live in perfect freedom and joy from their hearts.

Law – an artificial system of external controls needed to forcibly bind together diverse and selfish people to create the apparatus for a functional society. Rules are created for the benefit of the economically advantaged to force the rest into compliance with schemes designed to reinforce the artificial structures of society. Laws and rules because they are inherently weak, have to be propped up with arbitrary punishments attached to them or they generally become useless. Punishments depend on sufficient amounts of fear of some form of death or pain to be effective and furthermore have to have the third leg of this counterfeit system in place to implement them – Kingship. Laws must have enforcers who are willing to heartlessly give greater priority to artificial, external fabrications of structure over concern for the hearts and lives of living souls.

Sabbath – the greatest anti-slavery principle ever instituted by God to remind us of our proper relationship to Him and to all the rest of creation. The Sabbath reminds us that we are all equally valuable in the mind and heart of the One who created all of us. While we may have different positions and unique gifts and personalities, we are all on the same plane in value and are infinitely loved and cherished by our Creator. The Sabbath forbids us to even exploit the animals to our advantage, much less any other humans. It also reminds us that God has not even set Himself aloof from us but in the Sabbath has placed Himself on the level playing field, so to speak, with the rest of His creation in resting together. While this does not make Him less powerful or less Godly, it invites all of creation to participate in loving and respecting each other on an equal level as far as value is concerned. God did not value His own life over ours and through that example shows how we are to relate to Him and to each other. The Sabbath is a time of reminding everyone of the key elements of true reality as God perceives it.

Kingship or hierarchy – the artificial and external assignment of varying degrees of value and importance to humans, animals and generally everything living, but especially humans. This progressively intensifies the hardening of our hearts and the externalization of our perception of reality. This is the system whereby we believe that some people are more valuable than others. As this disease progresses it results in the thinking that allows people to consider some to be heroes to the point of worship as gods, and others to be considered as things or bodies to be exploited for selfish advantage without any compassion or guilt. Most of our concepts of authority are rooted in this kind of thinking – the exploitation of some for the benefit of others. This is the outgrowth, as well as the means, of enforcement of the first two legs of this trinity. It results in viewing others as obstacles for us to overcome in our clamoring to rise above them in value or importance. This is embodied most succinctly in the phrase, “survival of the fittest”. It is reinforced by the system of artificial or positive law and is leveraged by the power of economics.