Question

Deuteronomy 7:23
“But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.”

1 Corinthians 14:33
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace”

In my reading, it sounds like God is a God of peace…but only to those who are faithful.  Or that God’s intrinsic character is one marked by peace, but that maybe the peace he gives to man is contingent on man’s faithfulness.  So then if I am confused or not at peace it’s because I am unfaithful?

The thing is…I feel like I’m really trying to understand him, but it seems the more I pursue knowledge and wisdom and seek to understand him the more I uncover the paradoxical, and the more I recognize how much I don’t know and possibly could never hope to know of infinite things via a finite mind.  Sure I can and do eventually come to understand some things, but in that journey, usually, when I cut off the head of one it becomes two and I am ultimately more confused than when I started.  Sometimes the only thing I really feel like I’m solidifying is that confusion is necessarily a part of the, or my, christian experience.  It’s commonly said that ignorance is bliss, and even Socrates affirms: the more you know the more you don’t know.  So is my confusion really wholly a result of being unfaithful, self-centered, or legalistic in my pursuit of truth?  Or is an increasing level of intellectual vexation a natural byproduct of acquiring knowledge and understanding?  Is it really the case, if pressing on to know our God is considered faithful and confusion is tied to lack of faith, that the more faithful I seek to be, the more unfaithful I seem to become?  Perhaps…confusion, at least as it pertains to 1 Cor 14:33, can be seen more as chaos or an uncomfortably chaotic life, cognitively or otherwise.  Maybe, we can in fact embrace confusion, knowing that though we feel inadequate or incapable of intentionally and correctly applying some seemingly encrypted spiritual principles to everyday decision making, at the end of the day God is sovereign and we can have faith that God will take care of us regardless, which produces a peace that surpasses understanding.  But even this, even a marriage of peace and confusion, seems to contradict their mutual exclusivity in the statement “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”

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Christian Boundaries?

1 John 4:10
“This is how we know love: that He sent his son as a sacrifice.”

Philipians 2:5-8
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus […] he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant […] he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross!”

The idea of maintaining healthy “boundaries” (as popularized in the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud) while embracing a Christian worldview based in sacrificial love, has always seemed highly paradoxical to me.

I can understand not sacrificing for someone if it’s in their best interest, as is commonly the case in dealing with addictive behavior for example, but I would classify that as tough love more so than boundaries.  Maybe I’m just getting too caught up in the semantics, but I feel like boundaries has a somewhat self serving connotation as it considers relationships from the point of view of protecting one’s own self, which seems to conflict with humility and capitulation to the point of “death, even death on a cross”.

 

Quote

“But he saw Francisco turning to them with a gravely courteous smile. “So you think money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Aconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money?…You’re wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money…To trade by means of money is the code of men of goodwill…Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it…wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality…Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants…Money is a living power that dies without its root…But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money?

-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

 

Psychopathology and Religious Commitment

Here’s a study on Psychopathology and Religion.  I’ve always wondered if there were any scientifically observable correlations between the two since it seems, in my experience, and from a theoretical perspective, usually the more neurotic you are the more you know you need help and therefore the more apt you are to turn to God.  Generally Speaking.  Although in this study no significant correlation was found between the two.  Honestly not what I was expecting.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7701064

I would love to find more studies on this topic.

Question

Just pondering cause I saw the batman movie last night-

“You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak…How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.”

As a Christian I’m not supposed to fear death.  Furthermore I’m supposed to be content in every situation (Phil 4:12).  Sometimes though I feel like there should be more of a balance. I have faith that God has his reasons, but what’s more motivating- security and contentment or an underlying survival instinct?

Thought

Interesting.  Intrinsic vs. extrinsic conscientiousness as it relates to church vs. state.

“It’s like this,’ began the elder. ‘All these sentences of hard labour in Siberian prisons, and formerly with flogging, too, do not reform anyone and, what’s more, scarcely deter even one criminal, and, far from diminishing, the number of crimes are steadily increasing. You have to admit that. It therefore follows that society is not in the least protected, for though a harmful member is cut off automatically and exiled to some remote spot just to get rid of him, another criminal takes his place at once, and often, two, perhaps. If anything does protect society even today and indeed reforms the criminal himself and brings about his regeneration, it is, again, only the law of Christ, which reveals itself in the awareness of one’s own consciousness. Only by recognizing his own guilt as a son of a Christian society, that is, of the Church, does the criminal recognize his guilt towards society itself, that is, towards the Church. The criminal today, therefore, is capable of recognizing his guilt only towards the Church, and not towards the State.”

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

 

What You Say You Believe

1 Corinthians 15:17-19
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless […] If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

For all worldviews and faiths, but especially Christians as it pertains to this verse, is your life, holistically and everyday, so utterly tied to what you say you believe that you would be so deeply effected if it turned out not to be true?

Thought

“Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

Luke 5:4-6
“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch. Simon answered and said, Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets. When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break.”

Conclusion:  Maybe sometimes Jesus calls us to be insane?