Wednesday, July 19, 2006:
Many will get the impression that we are demanding perfection. Jesus did not demand perfection.
He said to the wealthy young man that if he wanted to be perfect that he should convert all is wealth to the poor and then follow Jesus. Jesus had already made clear to the young man that the young man was doing those things necessary for life and this life. However, the fellow wanted to know what else he could do beyond what he was already doing. He asked what he was still lacking. Jesus gave him his answer.
We covered this in the main volume of the work already. You may review that if you wish. What we want to do here is discuss failure, not to justify ourselves but rather to keep ourselves from continuing to strive after a setback.
If we are under the impression that we reach perfection instantly, we need to disabuse ourselves of that mistaken notion.
Perfection is not a relative thing. God is absolutely perfect. No one ever exceeds God. The best anyone has ever done, or will ever do, is become closer and be accepted by God as one with God.
Jesus told the young man what to do if he wanted to become perfect. He told him the first steps. He implied the whole narrow way. However, the young man would have had yet to learn that. He would not have been instantly perfect simply by doing the first steps Jesus told him.
When we embark upon seeking the truth, which is perfect, absolute, and God, we don't just instantly become perfect. We are still subjected to trial by temptation and error. If we don't realize this, we will despair at our lack of being the finished product before we have done the growing.
Remember, this is no way diminishes the power of God to instantly transform anything or anyone into anything else. With enough growth in the spirit, in faith, such things will open up. That is what Jesus taught.
The point is that when we are tempted, and we are tempted every time we have to say "no," we are temptable that is less than perfect. God is not temptable. Satan cannot stimulate any temptation in God to do evil. Therefore, until we reach the point of straightening that even the thought or feeling of doing something harmful no longer enters the realm of possibility, we are less than perfectly one with God. We are relative even as God accepts us as God's real children.
More to the point though is that when we are tempted and cave in, we must remember that such caving in is conducive to a further sliding. We must not at that point give up, saying to ourselves that we are unworthy to even keep striving. At the same time, we cannot dismiss our errors. We must rather redouble our efforts. We must grow from the error and grow in the right direction. It must become that much more unlikely that next time we will fall. It must become that much more unlikely that we will even be tempted by the same temptation or any temptation.
Let us remember that only Jesus so far of any human being I know of has been attempted to be sifted by evil and has come out of the experience whole. Look at how straight Jesus had to be made successfully to go through his ordeal.
Also, always keep in mind that those who introduce temptation into your life are products of the culture and society. They too have been tempted and fallen, else they would not be a temptation. Also keep in mind that not everyone even knows or thinks about that or how that one is presenting a temptation. To many fallen souls, even the innocent present a temptation.
As a clarification, there is a difference between luring and preying upon the innocent versus falling prey to the temptations of the merely tainted or extremely filthy (corrupted). Also, when we speak of the corrupted, there is the broken one who is not preying upon others versus the broken one who is extremely ravenous. The extremely filthy, ravenous ones are the greater sinners.
To the point, don't give up. Learn and grow. If your lack of worthiness is your doubt, quitting doesn't show worthiness.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)