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On The Necessity of Virtues and Values

Of an Empowering & Inspired Leader

The term values is often confused with virtues although similar in meaning virtues are characteristics and attributes (qualities and aspects) associated with the nature of God whereas values are any principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile and desirable (Bredfeldt 2006). Furthermore, values are determined by one’s worldview and are based on personality, family dynamics, environmental factors, social factors, cultural aspects, political views and other views of social nature. One’s view on creation, God (or the lack of, and even economics shapes one’s values as well as how one perceives and pursues the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. Additionally one’s values are mutable and change as one’s perception and perspective changes. Our values can be influenced and manipulated by the views and teachings of others and form the basis of our morality where as our virtues are God given. The two combined form the basis for Ethics.

Ethics can be divided into three categories.  At the highest level is our Virtue our concept of God and Evil or theodicy.  Western social concepts of virtues is credited first to the Greek Philosopher Plato who views justice as the highest virtue.  Justice forms the bond that holds all the other four virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance (Self-control) and continence (abstinence from immorality especially sexually desire) in unity and congruency. Additionally, only through the exercise of knowledge and the power given within our soul can ultimate good be achieved for the form is an imperfect copy and our senses are inferior matter or existence is imperfect while essence (soul, God, spirit, knowledge) is perfect and unchanging and is the basis for all things (anonymous 2016).  The second level is one’s personal and family conception of what is right & wrong (general morality) and at the base is secular law or social and corporate structure.

Virtue, Values & Vices

Aristotle built upon Plato’s concepts but came to a different conclusion. For him matter and essence are inseparable and both are derived from God. The lower form matter thereby originated from the deity and all action originates from the potentiality of motion (anonymous 2016).   For Aristotle virtues are God given but must be developed in training and discipline in what he called means. If we for example wish exemplify High-Mindedness (Wisdom) but the over development of it this will lead to the excessive vice of pride (boastfulness, vanity). In Contrast a lack of development will lead to the vice of deficiency of foolishness ( humble-mindedness) Thus for Aristotle, virtues fail as a result of two categories’ of vices one of deficiency and one of excess as a result of a lack of discipline and training.

Aristotle’s list of virtues and vices are listed on the following chart (anonymous 2016).

VICE OF DEFICIENCY VIRTUOUS MEAN VICE OF EXCESS
Cowardice Courage Rashness
Insensibility Temperance Intemperance
Illiberality Liberality Prodigality
Pettiness Munificence Vulgarity
Humble-mindedness High-mindedness Vaingloriness
Want of Ambition Right Ambition Over-ambition
Spiritlessness Good Temper Irascibility
Surliness Friendly Civility Obsequiousness
Ironical Depreciation Sincerity Boastfulness
Boorishness Wittiness Buffoonery
Shamelessness Modesty Bashfulness
Callousness Just Resentment Spitefulness

 

Finally, one is to practice self-love and friendship or love of others, which is a communal relation, and peaceful and beautiful state of existence with the world in general (anonymous 2016). Furthermore, justice is both general and special in that it applies to the observance of both secular and moral law in occasional circumstance such as judicial and economic matters and is abstract in some instance for absolute justice, which is corrective, and often retaliatory is necessary in moral conduct and common decency.

God cannot be comprehended by practicing normal human moral insight; rather one finds God in happiness in being (anonymous 2016). For Aristotle, pain and pleasure of the mind and soul is the motivation behind the virtues and thus desire for higher pleasure one strives for the highest virtue of high-mindedness through the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and the disciplines of means or pursuit of the other Godly virtues.

From a Biblical the character of the leader should be developed out of disciple and training from the study of God’s word, meditation, prayer, a life of obedience of faith ( reliance, dependence and trust on Christ and the Holy Spirit).   One must additionally die to flesh – born to Spirit (Rom. 12) and be without boastful pride and in loving humble servitude and in a unity of heart and mind that imitates the likeness of Christ (Phil 1-6). Through the transformation of one’s mind through various spiritual disciplines and the resistance of temptations and living by Christian Ethics, one is granted Spiritual Gifts for the glory of God and service (Rom 12-15).

Additionally, one is to be follow the guidelines of Christian character and conducts as outlined in 1 Tim: 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. This ethical code is similar to the classical code of the Greeks and summarized lists certain desirable traits of conduct for leaders and elders of the church. However, this code should become the basis for all believers conduct, as it is list some basics guidelines for virtues besides those in Romans 12-15. The Fruit of the Spirit, which results from discipline practice and training, is the highest virtues (Gal 5-16-26, Col 3:1-17) and is only given by the leading and granting of the Holy Spirit. Both lists also contain some of the more common sins or depravities of Humanity.  One should recall from Romans 1-8 Paul reminds us all though the Law illustrates us the nature of our sin and we may have all intentions to do good deeds, works actions or even obey out of obligation of the Law. Because of our sin even after being justified or declared citizens of distinction worth and righteous (elect, saints). Will fall short. Thus only by the atoning cross can any of us be truly forgiven, and it is by Christ grace and mercy that all faith is based not by anything we can accomplish. WE however must with the aid of the Holy Spirit striving to become transformed dying from the temptations of sin, forgiving others as well as our self, empowering others and spreading the Gospel to the fallen world serving as Christ like teachers in faith, hope and love.

Courage

Courage is essential and is the result of Endurance, perseverance, and often times suffering.  Courage is the ability to face one’s fears, standing firm in strength in one’s convictions and is a discipline virtue that arises from faith and relying on the practice of truth in times of crisis, adversity or suffering. Courage as a virtue is the assurance of the interdependence working of God in total trust and reliance in any situation or occasion of danger (whether perceived or actual).

Thus, with that aid of the Holy Spirit and the Authority given to the believer by Christ the sovereignty will insure the outcome is in the best interest of the Trinity of God and for his divine creation and Eternal- kingdom.  Additionally courage sparks the passion and not always the sensibility of the individual leading to actions in a situation. Wisdom is the application of knowledge, virtues, and vales in a manner that practical and is thus sensible and heartfelt or appropriate in any given situation.

Truth

Truth can be absolute or relative based on assumptions, feelings, false input of one’s senses or misguided views or actions. The Bible in inerrant when God, Christ or “The Angel of the Lord says or the Holy Spirit gives direct directives. However, the Bible is also infallible meaning it is the means and ends of achieving Faith. Both doctrines of the church are human perspectives and can be supported by the Biblical Evidence.

However, the Bible is not fully inerrant or infallible in itself and never makes an exclusive claim for one or the other. Rather truth and faith (Spirit) matched with authenticity should be seen as the Biblical doctrine  Biblical intake and teaching requires the ability to differentiate, evaluate and incorporate  historical, occasional, cultural, situational, universal, personal and finally current relevancy (Duvall and Hays 2012, 235-246).

To make a claim that either truth of faith or works or goodwill (deeds) are to be separated or combined in any a+ +b or b+ d or any other combination to achieve salvation is missing the mark. The truth is all are inseparable and holistic parts lived and in of obedience of faith for the suffering Bondservant of Christ. One style of leadership or church will not be fitting or reach and meet the needs for all people and doctrines of man will divide. Each view has strengths and weakness as every man has strength and weaknesses (Bredfeldt 2006).

The Key of Wisdom

The key is discernment with biblical guidance and application of general revelation, assessment and our experience. This enables one as an individual, the Body of Believers or universal communal church, and all who are willing to hear, see and receive the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ and the Good-News in a manner that leads to a profession of faith and the empowering and ongoing transformation to the Eikōn. This New Adam – New Kingdom fulfillment, will be granted  when final salvation and full restoration is completed upon Christ return which is only possible with the aid of others and the Holy Spirit brought forth in humble, and accepting discerning teachings of love grace and mercy.

 

Uniqueness & Diversity: The Character of a Leader

What defines ethics and sound character will vary from subculture to culture and will differ even by some degree with in the individual heart and mind of each person. A worldview is simply how an individual perceives the world and his place in creation. It is influenced by family dynamics, cultural customs, ethnicity, nationality, religious views ( doctrines and dogma & beliefs), peer pressure, inspiration, philosophical ideology, political perception,  economics, innate vales & talents , God given virtues ( often unrealized or undeveloped), knowledge, and wisdom. This list is far from complete.

Sin is the adversary of character and is like a genetic curse inherit in all humanity. Sin leads to opposition to the guidelines of the Law that is Holy and the basis of our virtuous morality. Only through Christ atoning sacrifice are we worthy and significant free from blind obligation to obedience of the Law.  In correlation by the leading of the Spirit sanctified and ethics is thus written on the heart of all who live obediently in and by faith (Rom 6-8).

Our strengths and weakness need to be assessment and evaluation and at times God uses not our strengths but our weakness ( Gen 50:20)  for the benefit his divine purpose ( Matt 28: 18-20 must be done in conjunction Matt 22:33-39). Finally, Philippians 1-11, Titus 1:6-8, 1 Timothy 3:2-7, 1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5, Romans 12-16 as well as Matt 5-7, Eph 5, Col 3:5, and Rom 1:18-32, Rom 2-6). The Good News is since all are declared righteous and redeemed by Christ and love writes the Law on one’s heart in transformation, obedience and willing service of love.

The individual and community is being transformed and restored as long as we keep trudging running, persevering, suffering thru the race of life and praising and glorify God in all things. Thus, doing our part to advance the completion of God promise of salvation and inclusion of all who are willing into the New Adam ( Man)- Perfected reconstructed Eternal kingdom of God when Christ returns to reign in the Eschatological Age (Moo 2000).

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

 

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Bibliography

anonymous. Ancient Greek Philosophy. Edited by James Fieser, Bradley Dowden, & Kirby Jeremy. 2016. http://www.iep.utm.edu/greekphi/ (accessed May 01, 2016).

 

Bredfeldt, Gary J. Great Leader, Great Teacher: Recovering the Biblical Vision for Leadership. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2006.

Duvall, Scott J., and Daniel J. Hays. Grasping God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Moo, Douglas J. Romans. NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

 

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INTERVIEW PAPER: THEORIES ON CREATION

Trenton Rindoks

Liberty University


 

 

Introduction

Whether one believes the universe originated from an instantaneous explosion that split subatomic particles and created the first atom or God created the first man and then spilt this first Adam to create Eve an Intelligent Designer must be present and can be proven using simple mathematics. For  and. Thus, some prime factor must be in the equation for the universe and life to begin. The most likely prime number would be 3(which would be factored to 3= 3, 1) as in composition of an atom is equal to three parts: the nucleus, electrons and protons and in the begin God is present as on being composed of three forms in a homoousios state, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1, NIV, 1984).”

Another common argument between the Creationist and the Evolutionist is the age of the Earth and Universe. Fundamental Creationists hold to the believe that the earth and universe was created in a six day 24 hour period and all of creation is @ 6,000 years old(+2000) where as those who rely on science hold that the universe is @ 13.8 billion years old (Dewitt, 2012). A common misconception is that Earth is the center of the universe or that the sun is the center of the solar system. According David A. Dewitt, quoting from Stephen Hawkins in his book A Briefer History of Time, “The universe appears to be moving away from us and appears to be universally the same in whichever direction one looks a conclusion can be drawn that Earth is the center of the universe. However and alternate theory would suggest that this would be a universal truth from other positions in other galaxies as well (Dewitt, 2012).” Also Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relative has proven that the speed of light is absolute but time is not. Thus a paradox would occur in the space-time continuum if an astronaut was to travel at the speed of light leaving earth on a trip lasting a few years and then return to find many years had passed upon his return. Also, Einstein in his Theory of General Relativity proved Time is affected by gravity since space-time is curved and not flat, thus gravity is affected by the movement of heavy objects across such a warped space (Dewitt, 2012).  However, as the Pioneer 10-1 Space Probes which were launched in the 1970’s and left our Galaxy has slowed down for no apparent gravitational influence begging Astronomer’s to wonder how such an occurrence can happen? Creationist use this has proof that the Big-Bang Theory and Expanding Universe Theory is questionable however a more reasonable explanation is different galaxies and even universes operate on a different set of parameters.

One can use a theodicy view to explain Creation and the universe. The following is the Basis of the free-will or Augustine view and will be presented as it is in lines with the view presented in the Book of Genesis. (1.) God is under no obligation to create a world for his own existence as God is omnipresent. (2.) However, creating a world/universe is a rational thing for God to do. Creation was done so based on reason and the laws of the universe are not obligated to the laws of reason as God is omnipotent. (3.) God created an infinite number of Worlds, some evil and some Good but as God by his nature could not create those which are inherently evil some external cause must have cause them to become such a way. There are more than one possible good worlds/universes created by God. (4.) God was free to Choose whichever of the good realms he so desires (Elwell, 2001).  For those who still wish to argue the point of God and evil in creation one can simply state evil is the result of The Fall of humankind in response by Adam and Eve’s choice to partake from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. AS a result for our first ancestors’ disobedience the environment became hostile, we became subjectable  to errors of judgment or false assumptions which lead to sin or “evil, our spirit was separated from God resulting in death or the separation of A likeness of God and man must work the earth and  women must suffer the pains of childbirth  . However a promise of restoration and reconciliation through the offspring of Eve a Savior will be born to deliver us from sin and death and restore us in Spirit and to the image of God (Genesis 3 NIV, 1984). Also, by using both the theodicy and science on could conclude the days in Genesis may actual be Days in Heaven and not on Earth as God is the Narrator of the Creation story. A further point of contention often cited Among Biblical Creationist and Evolutionist is the supposed dual creation of the sun on day 1 and day 4 in the Book of Genesis. This can be explained with theodicy as well as day 4 does not in the mention of celestial bodies refer to the sun and moon but celestial beings or angels of light and dark which are a necessary part of creation particular the Fall of Lucifer and the Temptation of Eve which is necessary to create Evil or Sin.

Evolutionist also argues all life originated from a single cell organism and all man has a common ancestry to apes as can be proven by our closest relative the chimpanzee. However, Humans have 23 Chromosome pairs and Chimpanzees pairs have 24 and although some common genes are found in both creatures if one was to attempt to splice such genetic material into the host of on creature of either type the body would either reject such a mutation or the subject would be unable to pass such mutations on to successive generation proving such evolution is impossible (Dewitt, 2012).

Fossil records are often used to proof creation. One method used is carbon dating. A recent study on the reliability of carbon dating concluded in a study on zircon crystals and the rate uranium present decays to lead that the crystals would have a half- life of 4.5 billion years. However using another means of testing the age of the crystal measuring the amount of Helium present the age was concluded to be 6,000 years old. For the creationist this proofs that indeed the Earth is of a Young age and science is wrong. However, it possible that different elements decay at different rates and yet it is true carbon dating is subjective to the premise the earth is billions of years old this alone does not in its self-prove the Earth is young. Further data would be needed by either side to prove the actual age of the Earth. As creation science is historical science whether assumptions are based on Biblical views or scientific theory it all comes down to a matter of faith and one’s worldview. To best define a worldview point I will offer the following definition. A world view is the accumulation of observation, knowledge, personality, social, environmental  and personal moral variables, and a personal faith system (whether based on science, theology or ethic) which defines the thinking and actions of a particular individual and may have some shared commonality with others but is unique to each individual and is constantly modified as each individual matures. Thus, each individuals view on creation may share some commonality to others but may be subjective to some unique perspectives as well. To illustrate such a point three friends were interviewed on creation and the information as well as my response to each is listed in the next section of this essay.

 

Three Interviews on Creation

Interview 1

My first friend’s view on creation holds the Book of Genesis is a literal narrative of Creation and thus is based on a biblical worldview. I myself believe the days are presented in Genesis from God’s perspective and based on proximity with Heaven being the center of Creation and thus, the current age of the Earth and Universe is Millions of Years. I believe God created life in stages and we do not share a link with any other plant or animal. In response to the question on death I believe it is meant to represent a separation of spirit or a cutting off from God which is returned when one accepts Christ into one’s life and is the result of the fall.

How long are the days in Genesis 1?

The days in the entire Creation story as told in Genesis is exactly 24 hours in length. God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th.

How old is the earth and Life?

Life is approximately 6-10,000 years old depending on which method is used. The church fathers, Usher and other differ on the actual date of initial origin.

Did Man and Apes share a common Ancestor?

No by evolutionary standards but yes theologically as all Life is from the Father the, Word (Christ) and the breath of God (Spirit).

Were Adam and Eve real People?

Yes they are the first to people on earth whom all humanity originates.

 Interview 2

My second friend believes Genesis is a parable and is simply a creation story which gives credit to God. Although this individual holds a Christian worldview he also acknowledges that God may have revealed truth to other people throughout many cultures independently of the Bible and holds to the micro-evolutionary approach with God as the designer.

In response to this view I would agree that God in is Omnipotence, Omnipresence and Omnipotence is possible of such actions and in deed creation stories throughout cultures do share a commonality and numerous cultures include a view of a global and universal flood. My only caution to such an individual is to not lose sight that only Christianity offers salvation where other religion’s offer judgment based on one’s deeds. Even in Christianity there are warnings against false Christians who claim to have faith but not deeds, do not practice forgiveness, compassion, love, or truly have a relationship or the inner dwelling of the Holy Spirit within them and Christ warns He will not Know such an individual on his return such individual will thus be subject to judgments as well.

How long are the days in Genesis 1?

The days represent eras or cycles in History.

How old is the earth and Life?

The earth/ universe are approximately 14 billion years old. Life developed in cycles at different periods throughout the history of earth.  Modern Man was created @50,000 years ago (Adam and Eve represent the ancestor of the first human beings). Other stories from other cultures also tell of the universe coming from light, global flooding and the like.

Did Man and Apes share a common Ancestor?

No Man came from Man created by God.

Were Adam and Eve real People?

Yes, although other cultures may have been created by God

In response to this statement I would disagree and state all Humans share two common ancestors, Adam and Eve and each race is the result of migration over time and is recorded in The Bible by the Story of the Tower of Babel and in numerous theories of anthropology.

 

 

Interview 3

The final friend interviewed believes in Biblical-Evolution. Although I support the idea of a large span of time I do not believe in the Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest or evolution from a single cell to monkey to human. To such an individual I would introduce the idea that survival of the fittest undermines the role of God in creation, introduces prejudice, supremacy and that genetic mutation only lead to weakness not strengthens in a species. Adaption for survival however I believe is part of God’s design and is evidence in humans by such variations as skin color or by variations as the beak size of Galapagos finches.

How long are the days in Genesis 1?

The days represent the various periods in earths development

How old is the earth and Life?

The earth/ universe are approximately 14 billion years old.

Did Man and Apes share a common Ancestor?

Yes, all life can be traced back to single cell organisms

Were Adam and Eve real People?

Yes

Conclusion

Although many theories exist on how the world and universe came to be and the age of the earth the ultimate answer comes down to be a matter of faith whether one is from a theological or scientific worldview on the subject. In the question on the relevance of the Book of Genesis it is my perspective that God is providing a theodicy more than a natural record and that as He is the narrator the days should be considered from his perspective. For those that question the existence of God I would ask one to prove how nothing can yield existence. Mathematically and scientifically this has been found to be unsound. One final argument I would like to raise is that fundamentalism from either side only leads to dissension. Truth thus lies in wisdom which can only be found in the commutation of Theology, science, observation and the data. Jesus Christ warned against legalism and fundamentalism when asked who would enter Heaven sarcastically he stated “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:18, NIV, 1984).”  Furthermore, as the God’s ultimate Goal and desire is the reconciliation of his children through salvation and all individuals operate on unique cognitive processes in theory this may be why multiple explanations exist for creation so each individual can come to understand the world, universe self and ultimately God to be restored to the image and restored from death. True wisdom comes to those who seek but judgment is reserved to God alone.

In God, Christ and Spirit

Trenton Rindoks

 

 

 

 

 

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References

Dewitt, D. A. (2012). History of Life. Lynchburg: Creation Curriculum LLC.

Elwell, W. A. (2001). Evangelical Dictionary of theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Books House Company.

NIV (Swindoll, Charles R ed.). (1984). Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publish House.

 

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I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immora

 

lity, and marries another woman commits adultery (Matthew 19:4 NIV).

An Essay of Anthropology: Biblical Teachings on Divorce and Marriage

Assume two friends come two you that are experiencing difficulty in their marriage. As A Christian, what sort of advice would you give in the areas of separation, divorce, the right to remarry and the nature of marriage itself as it pertains to scriptures? How does divorce affect society and the Church as a whole? These are a few of the topics we will exam in this short essay on marriage and divorce. Many more could be covered but only the most relevant will be covered to keep paper as brief as possible.

The Bible on Marriage

What is marriage? Is marriage a formal contract between two parties, an arrangement, a religious decree, a personal bond or some deep spiritual and physical connection? The world has many theories on marriage Differing from one’s personal views and that of the society one is born into there are some many numerous concepts. My focus is one of a Biblical nature I will not cover those of the secular variety in this essay. I will only mention a few of the world viewpoints briefly.  One may go to Justice of the Peace, marry in front of a religious leader, may choose to live as if married but without a legal contract (Common Law) or may be totally against the concept entirely.

When does the Bible consider one married? According to Walter A. Elwell “Marriage is effected through sexual intercourse (1 Corinthians 6:16). A person is thus considered to be married to the person to whom he or she has had sexual intercourse with. This is seen as the agent in which God in acts marriage similar to the way baptism initiates regeneration (Elwell 1984,2001).”

Other Theologians consider the declaration of vows or intent the point at which the marriage initiates (Elwell 1984,2001).

According to Walter A.  Elwell “The first reference to marriage in the Bible is in the Book of Genesis and states the God had established marriage for the good of mankind (Gen. 2:18 -25).”  Elwell then expounds on the early customs of the Jewish people of the Old Testament and that most marriage was arranged in early times. He then explains the word betrothal (Exodus 22:16; Duet. 20:7 )  “was a legally binding  contact between the parents and the groom It had the same status of marriage  and anyone guilty of violating it was guilty of adultery (Elwell 1984,2001, 740-741).”  From the concept of Betrothal, the idea of engagement originated. This also is one of the earliest Judo-Christian marriage contracts as well.

The first Biblical story on Marriage is the account of Jacob. A simple expression of vows were exchanged as recorded in the Elephantine text “She is my wife and and I am Her Husband from this day forever.” In Christian times, it was a more simple declaration: “Thou shalt be my Wife (Elwell 1984,2001).” It was not uncommon for a wedding feast to last up to two weeks in the time of Christ and the couple was treated as royalty. The wedding was expected to be consummated on the same night and if a woman was found not to be, a virgin the marriage could be nulled within a week of less of residing together (Elwell 1984,2001).

The Bible teaches one main point on marriage “The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said:

This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman, for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh (Gen. 2: 20 -24).” This passage teaches us man and women are to be together in a perfect union, as partners, helpmates and in a symbiotic union with each other only exclusively. This passage is in the defensive of monogamy and the basis for which all the other passage on graveness of adultery stem. It illustrates the need for love and relationship in one’s life to be a whole. Nothing aside from marriage or God’s Agape love will suffice in filling this void. Paul in (1 Cor: 6:16) reminds one illicit sexual acts are not to be condoned even by married individuals.  Jesus states, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate (Matt. 19:6).” With the discussion, in mind, what is the Bibles view on separation and divorce?

The Bible on Divorce

The basic teaching of the Bible as it relates to Christians is that divorce is only allowed under limited circumstances. The conditions are Adultery, desertion, marriage to a nonbeliever and extreme acts of violence, malice or neglect. Some theologians include a list of other lesser evils as well…

Many ministers and churches cite Matthew 19:4 stating adultery is the only justifiable reason: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” In This passage Jesus is debating with the Pharisees on divorce however if one reads further one will see he states in response to a question on marriage and divorce not all can accept this: Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

 

“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can (Matthew 19: 10-12).” In addition, one must not forget Christianity is about love and forgiveness. If one does not allow for divorce and remarriage in some instances one goes against the nature of God. It is imperative counseling must be pursued. Remember, Marriage is a covenant between God, man and women, as illustrated in the passage from Genesis stated earlier in this essay. Marriage is our natural state. Abuse and the acceptance and tolerance of evil and Sin is not however. [1]

The bible differs from what the world teaches in a dramatic manner. In today’s society unhappiness, infidelity, financial struggles, loss of love or simply trading in for a new model may be sufficient grounds. The list could go on indefinitely. If one can come come up with a reason one can get a divorce.

I believe divorce should only be sought after counseling and reconciliation has failed or when there is an imminent threat of danger to one’s security or life or that of a child. To many people are too quick to give in to rash decisions and emotions failing to realize you do not necessary always like the person you love. It is a lifetime commitment. It is a partnership. It takes determination, commitment, communication hard work, perseverance, integrity, and discipline. In response that I am old fashion or to conservative I tell people to grow up and live in God’s World. Stop being so selfish! Life is not about You!

On Remarrying

Many Churches are against the right of remarriage to the divorcee. The Catholic Church holds the view that remarriage is forbidden unless done in a civil setting under certain cases only. The general view of the Roman Catholic Church is to not remarry in accordance to its ban on divorce. The Eastern Orthodox and Nonconformist and some Anglicans have allowed conditional remarriage. However, in general most Anglican and their protestant derivatives have outlawed remarriage. As for the independent churches, it is done by a case-by-case basis and should be considered carefully by the pastor. A wise minister should remember that the Bible warns that marriage is only for the mature and sane. This is what The Apostle Paul was alluded to in the Book of 1 Corinthians 7.

Impact of Divorce

The impact of divorce on society is great. Divided homes are linked to everything to behavior problems in children, to crime and violence. The financial loss from a one income home can be strain on many as well. Divorce destroys and divides family units.

The role of the church should not be to condemn but to encourage. We must strengthen and bring hope to those recovering from divorce. To those considering divorce, we as Christians should seek to help in reconciliation if possible. Divorce is like a cancer that not only eats away at the body of society but also can divide the Body of Christ. However, at times it is useful to save one from abuse and undue harm. Who are we to judge anyways?

In God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit,

Trenton Clark Rindoks

Word count: # 1565

Bibliography

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1984,2001.


[1] For more on divorce see also, 1 Corinthian 7:11

(What Genesis Chapters 1-11 teach us regarding the natural world, human identity, human relationships, and civilization and the way it has changed my view of the world.)

In this essay I will summarize what Genesis teaches us about the natural world, our human identity, and our relationships.  I will cover the origin of civilization. I will then, conclude with a synopsis on how Genesis has changed my world view-point.

What does Genesis teach about the natural World?

Genesis teaches that in the beginning God created the Earth, all the planets and the universe and that the Earth was formless and dark and was made up of water. His Spirit hovered over the water. God then created light and separating the light and dark into day and night. Saying He also created the Morning and the Evening thus, Concluding the first day of Creation.

On the Second day, God created the sky and dry land and all the vegetation.

On the Third day God created the seasons, days and years. He also created the Sun, the moon and the Star

Next God created animals, and on the Sixth day he made man in his own image. The man was named Adam and was given dominion over every creature.  God informed him he may eat from every plant and every tree except for the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Proving to Adam (and now Mankind) how God will provide for our daily needs.

What does Genesis teach about Human Identity?

Genesis teaches that man was made in the image of God and that Woman was created from man to serve as his companion.  Genesis also teaches that man needs a dependency on God for left to his own desires and the inherit nature of Sin he will destroy himself.

What does Genesis teach about Human Relationship?

Genesis teach us that God quickly realized Adam was lonely and in need of a companion. After a suitable one could not be found among the animal kingdom, God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and from one of his ribs created woman. In Genesis 2:23(NIV) man says to God “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.”  In the living insight Bible Charles R. Swindoll points out “ Here are four timeless one word principles from Scripture that give a marriage (as well as a family) its strength: Severance, Permanence, Unity, and  Intimacy.” [i]

Another point illustrated in Genesis is Man’s deceitful nature. This first appears when Adam and Eve are hiding from God when they realize they are naked after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Then Adam blames Eve for causing him to eat the fruit, and Eve blames the Serpent. Instead of each being accountable for their respective sins the both try to shift the blame or use deception to avoid facing the possible consequences of their actions.

The first ever recorded murder is a result stemming from jealousy when Cain kills Abel when his sacrifice is not seen as priced in the eyes of God. This serves as a powerful reminder of both the danger of jealousy and the power of pride.

The two main themes outlined in Genesis in regards to human nature are we all are inheritably sinful creatures and that since God loves us in spite of what we have done. We should thus, forgive the transgressions of other people and treat those around us with the same kindness and dignity God shows unto us.

Genesis then continues on to explain that as man became more   corrupt he was forced to destroy the world in a great flood. Only Noah and his family, and two of every unclean and 7 of every clean animals were spared. This is the first mass baptism in history as God cleanse the world of sin and once again shows us God’s grace as he spares those who serve him faithfully from the flood.

What does Genesis teach us about Civilization?

Genesis teaches us that Civilization began with Adam and Eve near the Tigris and Euphrates River in what is now present day Iraq.    Originally, man lived in harmony with God and all creatures of the world in the Garden of Eden and would have had eternal life sustained by the Tree of Life. However, Once Adam and Eve made the decision to taste The Fruit of Knowledge they were separated from God and cast out of the Garden of Eden. Man was to work the earth for his Sin and woman was to endure the pains of childbirth as a reminder of her transgression against God.

Eventually the first age of man became corrupt .All but Noah and his dependents were destroyed.  Noah had three sons Ham, Japheth and Shem and from these sons all the nations of the world come to exist.

From Ham the Hamites came into being. The Hamites settled Cush, Egypt Assyria, Babylon and Philistine.

From Shem descended the Semites.  These people settled Mesha to Sepharin the eastern hillside and Ur. (Possibly India)From this clan Abram was born and later the nation of Israel would come to prominence paving the way for the House of David and the come of Christ.

From Japheth would come the Japhethites a maritime people who would later become the Phoenicians, Greeks, and other people of the Mediterranean Sea.

In what way has Genesis Changed my world viewpoint?

Genesis Has expanded my view of the world by allowing me to realize that even from the beginning God’s Grace was present. God, predicted the coming of Christ from Woman, it edified my beliefs from my studies of ancient civilization by giving Biblical accounts to support that man originating from the Fertile Crescent.  Genesis also further will allow me to disprove the myth of the Big Bang Theory.  Although personally, I still hold to the notion that dinosaurs did not walk the Earth with Man but are from a different Era and hold fast to carbon dating method and Archeology. I plan to use these tools as methods for Evangelism and reasoning. Also, I never noticed in my studies of Scriptures before that 7 clean animals were taken onto the Ark. My thought on this is God provided enough clean animals for sacrifice while leaving two of each species for mating purposes as not to lead to the extinction of any species. Once again showing us how God truly has everything thought out well advance for us. Once in a While, All one needs to do is simply stay out of his way and let his plans happen. As hard as it may seem his Will shall be done no matter what we try.  However due to our stubbornness, and the true nature of Sin itself we complicate life.

 

In God’s Peace.

Trent Rindoks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[i] Charles R. Swindoll. The living Insight Study Bible(Grand Rapids:Zondervan,1996): 7

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