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“The Theory of Everything” or the Great “I Am”?

A Perspective on Substitutive and Subsistence Coefficients

How Math May Quantify & Qualify One’s Satisfaction with God!

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Many people are under the assumption that any form of mathematics beyond an understanding of basic foundational level is not a necessity. Additionally, some have developed phobias associated with mathematics that lead to an almost hatred and avoidance of Algebra, Geometry, Statistics and other forms of  higher computation and logical problem solve methods. Yet, most Academic programs require at least Algebra or Statistics for Graduation. The Basis is for Algebra and other forms of mathematics allow an individual to bridge the gap between logic and reason and even to understand abstract concepts. Bass mentions, Math forms the foundation of all sciences (Bass, 2012) and may be the basis for all communication and thus is the language of the universe itself.

One can even make the claim that the never changing-changing mind, body and Spirit of The All Knowing, All Present, All Powerful God is ever reacting to a multitude of probabilities and an infinite number of possibilities which can best be expressed simply as,  “All things are possible through Christ ( Phil. 4:14). If we were to express this in a mathematical way Possibility is thus greater than or equal to probability but only to one who abides in Christ in faith – mercy and grace.

Stephen Hawkins is credit for his believe of “The Theory of Everything” in which he in a lifetime both proved and disproved the existence of God. In reality when one studies the later work and Hawkins’ work in its entirety one can conclude what Hawkins is, stating is that all life originated from an intelligent point that transcends time, space, all dimension and even nonexistence. Thus, for something to be everything, it must also include and transcend nothingness.

Additionally, Hawkins placed this intellectual entity in a central location in the dome that encompasses the entire universe and every dimensions. Finally, this deduction is similar to most of the near-eastern creation primordial concepts of creation most anthropological theories including those of the three monotheistic religions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

From the Judo-Christian, prospective God created the world in seven days. However, some debate whether this is the actual first creation of our planet or whether it is a reforming of creation after an initial creation attempt. The first creation theory in Genesis 1 views the First Earth as a realm for the fallen angels that was created then became inhospitable in reaction to the revolt and expulsion of Lucifer as a result of pride and a desire to become God. The Seven-Day creation process may even be merely a blueprint or literary device to explain the forming and filling of the universe (Boyd & Eddy, 2009, pp. 70-97).

The use of the number 7 in Scripture or a variant such as 70 refers to life or creation whereas 3 refers to the persona or aspects of God, the trinity. One refers to God universally the Great I AM. Moreover, four can be seen to represent the cross. Many believe the top position to represent Heaven (Father), the Bottom to be Earth (even Satan, for some Humanity or Adam), and the sides to be Son and Spirit.

Eight is the number of infinity, nine in some sects of Christianity and Judaism represents adversary, the devil, or evil and six is the number of man. Seven-Seven-Seven is the Holy number in some sects as well representing the number of God. Additionally, many reference the seven seals within Revelation and the seven signs and wonders of Christ while other refer to 8 seals and miracles of Christ (Gospel of  John) depending on dogma and doctrine.

Finally, when God speaks 3 times it should be seen as all aspects of the trinity speaking or appearing and it is not a coincidence that many people need to hear things at the least 3 times to learn new task or skills.

“Mathematics within exercises of commerce is  a means to integrity which honors the Lord (Lev 19:35-36)”, Jesus however did warn against the evil of greed and unscrupulous business deals, think of the Statement of not being able to serve Two Master in Matt. 6:24 and the Parable of the Shrewd Manager in Luke 16: 1-15 NIV.

The Book of Acts views, ministry via proximity as first to the Jews then to the Gentiles. Thus, While Acts does speak of evangelism beginning where one is physically present and then sojourning to the Ends of the Earth.  If one studies The Book of Acts, the historical, cultural and theological concepts within the various missionary Journeys of Paul and others that God elected, or sent for to witness to the world as his servants from and to distant lands will become clear. Furthermore, both Paul and Peter remind us that we are to consider ourselves Ambassadors of Christ and that this world is not our home. Even Jesus reminds us the wind blows freely as it choices to do so and additionally that one must come to know Him by their own free volition.

Thus, from measurements for building the Ark, to the temple to the various rods and even the geology numbers hold a place of distinction of prominence within the Bible and the history, present and future of humanity.

Besides being useful to classify and quantify things, mathematics is a universal language all machines and all creatures communicate using codes. The basic form is the binary system a simple relay code of “on and off” or “ones and zeros that tell neurons to fire or switches to fire. The earliest of scientist and mathematicians from the Hebrews Arabs and well into the 19th century used math to prove and not disprove God. Even Sir Francis Bacon and Newton were Christians as was Galileo and many other great minds including Thomas Jefferson.

“If we do not find satisfaction in God we will seek it elsewhere (Beth, et al., 2003).” Thus, we become slaves to in subsistence or a life substitute of living (Beth, et al., 2003). The basic concept in subsisting living one becomes a beggar and lives off the affections of another to fill what only God can supply. Additionally, we may become thieves and steal the affections and even time and possessions of others. The concept of substitution is when we create idols of people, place or things, thus placing hang-ups, hold-ups or habits before Christ. Our reliance must come from him and all we do and live for must be for the Glory of God and the prosperity of his Eternal Kingdom (Beth, et al., 2003).

The relationship of this to math can be expressed simply in a math as 1*0=0 or reliance on, in and by an individual on false things = nothing. “For The Wages of Sin is Death ( Roman 6:23) or “Life is meaningless under the Sun (Theme of Ecclesiastes)” in either perspective no matter how hard one works or  how moral one is all are sinners and only can be justified and redeemed by Christ( Rm: 1-8).

The verse I draw most of my strength from in times of crisis is, “Whom Shall I Fear (Ps 27:1, Rm 8:31-40).” While the actual verse is in Psalms, the concept is further developed in Romans, which states as Champions of Christ No Power of this world or Spirit World can harm us.  Once in Christ one is in Christ, we made struggle even suffer, but in the end when we live for his glory and in his love since he is love and we express this love to everyone and everything we all will succeed. We are more than conquerors we are inheritors and citizens of the Kingdom being reborn in his exact Image How amazing and magnificent this Blessed Assurance is and eternal destiny unimaginable.

While math may not hold all the answer of God or even to ones’ worldview it is certainly a tool that can help build and shape a better tomorrow and understand one’s past.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 1338

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References

Bass, A. (2012). Math Is Useless. In A. Bass, Math Study Skills (1st ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Beth, M., Briscoe, J., Wilson, S. D., Hart, K., Hager, D., Wells, T., & LaHaye, B. (2003). A Women and Her God: Life Enriching Messages: Extraordinary women. Brentwood: Integrity Publishers (AACC).

Boyd, G. A., & Eddy, P. R. (2009). Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology. (2nd, Ed.) Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.

 

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Early Childhood Education

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The Montessori Method is an empirical style of learning in which children develop at their own pace using a variety of developmental and age appropriate tasks in a systematic fashion. The Montessori Method utilizes instructors and fellow classmates as mentors and additionally, the classroom is structured to provide a soothing and orderly environment to promote positive and harmonious growth for all participants in the program.   In this educational style, natural learning theories involve principles of rationale, spiritual and foundational learning are combined and although the curriculum follows a specific path each student helps shapes the focus and progress thus determining the outcome or growth of each student and the class. (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Reggio Emilia, a less formative model that focuses on each individual’s unique interests by encouraging the exploration of creative ideas, thoughts, feelings and interactions. The abilities, talents, and skills are developed using drama, music, free-play through music, and free-expression in words, poetry and the arts in respect for the development one’s diverse needs and abilities of each student. Other methods of learning also are less formal and structured to encourage creativity, unique expression and other forms of abstract and post conventional thinking and expression (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In both methods above locomotive play is incorporated with structured learning. However, in Reggio Emilia the arts are embraced, as is the development of individualism and free expression (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Additionally, the method tends to favor more of a qualitative approach focusing on aspects and stages rather than on quantity as in other methods, which focus on basic foundational skills of language and mathematics taught on repletion and social normative standards (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In Montessori language, math, free play, and values and elements of spirituality are incorporated into a structured program with the child setting the limits and progression and both teachers and students acting as coaches and mentors in more a symbolic or communal setting (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Other learning methods exist within Early Education but tend to focus more on either the development of the basic standardized skills of mathematics, language, and the social normative skills defined by a particular society, or focus on free play. Additionally some methods use a combination of the two standards above.

What is deemed appropriate or best for one child may or may not work for every child. For although learning tends to follow normative patterns in regards to cognitive, social and biological development and the means in which each individual acquire information is determined by one’s environment and experiences (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Our unique experiences, consequences and the various ways we all develop and incorporate and process information through perception of our senses and the theory of our mind differs, as does the influence of culture and subculture and that of our worldview. Additionally any challenges derived from evolution itself has a positive or negative correlation to one’s growth rate (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

As to which model is best suited for Early Childhood Learning it depends on the particular developmental needs of a child. Each individual has different cognitive, social and other developmental needs, strengths and weaknesses and cannot easily be determined simply by either biological, social, environmental or any other factors. As such, the best learning center would offer various learning methods with strategies tailored to meets the multiple complexity of needs of the diverse populous they serve and the variety of interests, virtues, vices and such they may encounter as they prepare the minds and hearts of our future generation to serve and glorify God. Thus, the best center should offer programs suited with combination of methods or a holistic/eclectic blending of developmental-learning theories to help shape the future of the mind, bodies, hearts and souls of the leaders of tomorrow.

For although God created all People in his Image (Gen 1:27). Each of us were created before time, space and Creation began unique yet similar or universal in form (Ps 51). Furthermore, all of us are called to serve various plans in our various stages of life for the prosperity and Glory of God (Jer. 29:11).  This election which is to build, equip and baptize Disciples in Faith in the preparation for the return of our Savior-King during the Second Coming Jesus will bring final restoration of all people of faith. Furthermore, the result is the restoration of all creatures and all creation from the penalty of death that is the result of Sin and return humankind to Holistic Oneness in Mind-Body-Spirit in the likeness of Christ (Premise of Gospel of Romans).

“Blessed are the Children and Cursed be to any whom wish to harm them or cause them to fall, Be like them in their innocence and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matt. 18: 1-9, Matt. 19: 14-15).” For “We shall all start children off on The Way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it (Pr. 22:6 NIV).”

Whitney Houston proclaims, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be (Masser & Creed, 1984).” By, embracing, the similarity and building on the unique needs of each child while instilling a understand of unity, diversity and moral and legal understanding educators’ and parents’ shape the future of tomorrow’s leaders and help build lay the foundation of peace, hope, faith and love that will bring assurance, joy and prosperity in generations to come.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 994

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References

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

Masser, M., & Creed, L. (1984). Greatest Love of All [Recorded by W. Houston]. On Whitney Houston [Compact Disc]. New York, New York, United Staes: Sony.

 

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The influence of Media and Young Children

The influence media plays in development in youths is a controversial topic. Critics claim that television, video games, social media and the internet can have detrimental effects on emotional, mental, physical and social growth (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).  Advocates of technology cite that media improves motor skills, cognitive awareness and allows children to engage with people of other cultures outside of their society and provides access to a wealth of information beyond the confines of their localized environment. Additionally, critics also claim media increases aggressive behavior and has the potentiality to expose children to vulgar or unsuitable material not appropriate for either their developmental level or moral development.

Furthermore, some parents choice to make television and other technology a surrogate caregiver and in doing so deprive children of nurturing and social interaction that plays a vital role maturation (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In regards to potential health risks television and electronic devices emit blue radiation that studies have proven prolonged exposures can cause damage to the eyes and disturb sleep. It is wise either to limit the time spent using such devices or to take frequent breaks when using devices to curb such effects and to not sleep with television or computer monitors on. Additionally, people who engage in excessive use of technology and do not have a regular fitness plan or engage in physical activity are prone to obesity, coronary disease, a higher degree of stress and a host of complications depending on the risk factors of each individual and the influence of genetics and association of environment hazards.

While video games improve motor skills and cognitive awareness in children over the age of three (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014), certain content may increase aggressive behavior depending on stress level and temperament and prolonged exposure can decrease social interaction skills.

Additionally, prolonged exposure can limit cognitive development and memory skills. Studies have found a dependency on media has caused the average concentration rate to drop to around 6-8 seconds because of media in most people. In addition, a decline in literacy rates and syntax errors in speech and writing may be the result of texting and social media.

Sexual predation and bullying are often first initiated over social media and the internet. However, predators in general will seek out children in any environment frequented by this group. Thus, in the case of media the best safeguards is to have access to passwords, to use content filters, and check the posts and interactions of youths to protect from unwanted activity. Most, televisions and audio visional equipment are equipped with content filters and password protection for settings. Additionally, computers, cellphones and tablets should be protected with content filtering software, anti malware protection, password protection and if the devices are in the bedroom of youths cameras should be disabled or covered up with electrical tape when not in use to stop from unwanted spying as these accessories can be enabled remotely by hacking.

How much is too much media time?  After conducting a review of the effects of media, “The American Pediatric Committee on Public Education discourages the use of television by any child under the age of two, rather the committee encourages in cognitive and social activities such as talking, sing, and reading (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).”  The data found toddlers spend an average of approximately of 2 hours watching television alone. Yet Youths in general spend more time engaged in the use of media than sleeping spending between 6-9 hours fixated with technological devices. The average child should sleep about hours a day, attend school for approximately 8 hours and engage in physical activity or exercise for about an hour a day. Furthermore, all people benefit from positive social interaction or quality time of approximately 3 hours a day and additionally children’s time will be spent on completing homework and helping with family chores for about hours daily, this would only leave 2 hours for media related endeavors. Granted time management and the amount of sleep could allow for an increase in media time as well as the time spent exercising may be decreased to around 30-45 minutes; however, the time spent for media engagement would still be approximately hours.

Does media have a positive or negative correlation in development? The correlation depends on the frequency of exposure, the type of content, the temperament and personality of the individual as well as how the family interacts and perceives media in general.

A further suggest is to use all forms of media as an educational tool and a form of group dynamic model. By including the whole family in the media education process and using the same methods one would use when reading such as, “introducing the theme and asking follow-up questions, encouraging the participants to explore the depth of the content matter,  and/or describing the relevancy to one’s own thoughts, feeling action, situation or circumstances.  Finally, discuss any social values and Virtues, or Spiritual truth, gained in the message. Knowledge and wisdom can be gained that will lead to growth through the media experience. Additionally, this fosters development of listening and communication skills as well as cognitive and social development (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).”

Although, individuals possess innately unique abilities, traits, and talents and learn at a different duration and frequency.  Most cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual development occurs within a normative range. The theories of Piaget, Erikson, and those of Vygotsky are considered as baseline by some and questioned by others; observation of children and people in general couple with one’s own experience as well as Biblical Scripture confirms that life develops in stages (Eccl 3) (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). Yet, Life also is an ongoing process (Ps 51, Rom 3-8, Rev 20).

What is most evident from all studies conducted is prolonged exposure poses significant risk to physical, cognitive, emotional and social development and detracts from social interaction and nurturing (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).  Both nurturing and social engagement coupled with genetics form the cohesive bond of necessity in maturation in all stages of development and through ones temporal lifespan as we trudge the road toward the Narrow Gate toward Eternity with and in Oneness with our Creator.

“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning (Dan 2: 21 NIV).” Thus, God, initiates maturation, and eliminates bullies and Authoritarians, bullies and those whom to bring discord to society. This is done so by the Gift of Wisdom and Knowledge given to the mature and wise people who know and teach his ways. These parents, mentors, and leaders pass down experience, knowledge and wisdom to the children and students of future generations for the purpose of his discerning virtue and truth and the prosperity of all people and the fulfillment of God’s Divine Purpose through his various plans for each person given in stages throughout all Eternity and our life cycle within creation.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 1126

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References

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

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A Biblical Perspective on Parental Relationships

In Deuteronomy 4, the focus is the obedience and teaching of the commands of God to one’s family and within society. Deuteronomy 6 focus on Loving God and proclaiming the Blessing giving by him to others so all people may come to know, worship, serve, and glorify him.  In correlation, both passages form the basis of moral and legal truth.

In Deuteronomy 4:1-9 God commands his people to obey his laws for in doing so will yield the fruits of his spirit or virtue and provide wisdom and understanding allowing Israel to be a beacon of hope and a blessing to all ethos or people and attract others to “The Way and Truth of God.”  Furthermore, this is to be done so in a communal and discipline fashion using communication and meditation and without cohesion a blessed gift to be given only to those who wish to receive it. However, it is the parents’ responsibility to equip (scaffold-teach) and through righteous living transmit (model) the children the ways of the Law (recorded directive of conduct) and Virtues of God (Morality/ mannerism of heart).

Deuteronomy 6: 4- 9 deals with the principle of teaching morality and conduct. Simply stated, God commands parents to teach and communicate his commands and the Way of Love of all things through righteous living. This is an active -reactive process of obedience of living in and by faith as a love servant of God is for his Glory to all things and all things.  God’s Sovereign, inclusive -redemptive plan for all creation and all humanity. This plan of justification and restoration is available to all who wishes to choose to follow and live under his guidance and authority receiving the gift of total transformation from death and freedom from the bondage of the slavery sin and the consequence of depravity, suffering, and hostility.

The Commandments, or the directives of God, form the foundational framework to illuminate and educate all people in matters of ethical conduct both personally and in society to a standard that is equivocal to the Virtues or nature of God himself and thus forms the basis of decency and morality. This Moral code’s capstone is in unity and love. First love and trust in and to God. Then to everyone else regardless of any belief, ethnicity, of and variable of culture. Certain immoral actions were considered unlawful under Judaic Law and thus, under such a system of belief, originally works and/or deed alone determined the fate for all humanity.

However, freedom, decency and morality is in part achieved through the active- reactive process of mutual compromise, forgiveness and repentance which was and is done under the guidance and direction of mentors and counselors but additionally must be accomplished by the inter-working of faith and the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, only by Jesus’ gracious and merciful atonement on The Jesse Tree and his Resurrection- Ascension all are reconciled and justified as citizens of Heaven and become children of equivocal status, significant worth and distinction once one is given Freedom in Christ (Gal 5). This choice is always subjective to the process of faith that forms in the individual becoming curious, then convince and finally committed that the Penalty of Sin is Death and the Way of the Spirit is the only means of living.

The Way, or path of truth , Christ-mindedness and  Christian Living ( Phil 1-6, Rom 12-15) can best be qualified as an active yet reactive  process of modeling of moral action and the use of teaching through scaffolding, Operant Learning and Socio-cognitive methodologies  and many other learning theories coupled with nurturing or the expression of love (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

In regards to the role of each respective parent both play a part in nurturing and equipping a Child throughout life. Yet, the role of each is often unique and varies from culture to culture and even among subcultures within people groups of similar societies and nations.

Additionally the environment including every person we interact with as well as our own views influence development of our temperament, disposition, worldview and every aspect of development with possibly a few exemptions such as our God given innate personality and certain biological aspects( Ps. 139) that cannot be modified (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Thus, although we as People are create similarly we also all are unique. All people are made in the Image of God and called to be in a relationship with him and additionally to serve him as mangers as contributors and innovators of the Earth (Gen 1). All of creation was formed before Time- Space and our Biosphere existed and thus, was fashioned in the secret or Holy Place of Heaven (Ps. 139). Furthermore, all knowledge is inspired by God and existed with God before time began (Ps. 139, 2 Tim. 3:16).

Finally, God’s Plan is to redeem all Humanity from our self-centered driven intentions, actions and desires which leads towards a wretched sinful nature and our separation from God or death. In the process of sanctified –faith and grace in holiness  God restores us all to our Glorified Likeness of Christ and ends the pang of all creation that currently is in reaction to the plight of Mankind’s’ sin.

One may endure a certain degree of hardship for the world is currently hostile towards our sinful nature. We wait and serve with hope in blessed assurance for Messiah’s returns and reigns as King over Heaven and Earth or until our temporal resurrected awaiting our restoration as Spirits in Heaven. For this is dependent on which ever may come to pass in the coming ages. For all that is certain is That Jesus is always near, change is inevitable, and at times growth is painful. Thus, we preserve with courage, faith love and joy preparing the way for the return of our Savior-King as Ambassadors and Loving Bond-servants of Christ.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count #987

 

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References

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

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Black White or Shades of Grey: An Analysis

On The Moral Development of Children & Teens

Trenton Clark Rindoks

Liberty University

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Abstract

 This paper is an analysis and assessment of a study conducted by Ellen S. Cohn, Donald Bucolo, Cesar J. Rebellon & Karen Van Gundy and published in 2015 titled, “An Integrated Model of Legal and Moral Reasoning and Rule-Violating Behavior: The Role of Legal Attitudes (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).” Legal socialization theory is a method to predict the correlation between legal reasoning how one’s actions in regards to obedience, understanding  and conformity to rules and the law form a relationship in the role of ethics and rule violation. Moral development theory is a predictive model of an indirect and direct link of behavior and the intent and action of individuals to break rules or engage in delinquency (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). The purpose of the study is to integrate moral development, moral development and legal attitude in to a predictive model and assess and analysis the development of morality and delinquency in middle school and adolescent teens.

 

Keywords: Moral development, Moral Reasoning, Legal Reasoning, Legal Attitude,

Child & Adolescent Development, Delinquency, Ethics, Moral Identity

 

 

Black White or Shades of Grey: An Analysis

On The Moral Development of Children & Teens

Preface

The life-long process of ethics, or one’s moral evolution, is dynamic and individualistic and additionally both intrinsic and extrinsic in character. Moral identity and moral development is dependent on both physiological and environmental variables that develop over the various stages in the continual life process of all people. While most people have a symbolic self-image, or moral concept, and thus strive to serve a higher purpose for social order and common good, all people are additionally motivated in their pursuit of ethics and morality by their drive of passions and inclinations towards a particular objective or goal.  Furthermore, moral identity and ethical disposition is influenced by whether or not an action or behavior will be beneficial or harmful and in some instances by the perspective of an outcome of a similarity of past actions. This introspective viewpoint often has a significant role in how one both views the ideal self and actualized moral agent of the individual and influences present reactions and actions (Jordan, Mullen, & Murnighan, 2011).

Finally, cultural, biological, social, political and religious views also play a part in the development of morality, as does the influence of family and peers. The cultural approach uses a template to analyze the influence of autonomy, divinity and community over the lifespan of an individual. In cultures where spiritual influences are encouraged during childhood the use of scripture and the alignment to ones’ virtues of God play a role in moral development and is commonly most expressive beginning in teens when abstract cognition develops. This form of postconventional moral – legal reasoning continues to blossom throughout life with individuals reaching self-actualization or enlightenment, or a concept of integrity typically during the developmental period of middle age to late adulthood (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

If societies and families place a de-emphasis on such views, a sense of autonomy or self- interest developments often over the common good of community. This view also known as egocentric or independent places ones’ self in the highest position in the hierarchy of ethics and one has a tendency to strive for the achievement of ones wants for goals, possessions, gains over the needs of others or society (Berger, 2011). However, many who possesses such a trait tend to become effect motivators, powerful leaders and entrepreneurs (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Finally, the role the community or family, peer and society in general is determined by positive and negative experiences and views expressed during social engagement. This cultural-glocalization approach is a method to quantify and qualify both individual and group development and overcome differences to achieve unity and understanding of diversity in regards to worldview and the impact it plays on morality. Ethical development is a lifelong process in stages influenced by a multitude of variables thus; morality is often expressive in a dynamic manner over the lifespan of individuals and cultures (Jensen, 2008).

Introduction

Black White or Shades of Grey, the influence of moral reasoning , attitude and legal disposition and the role it plays in delinquency and development in preteens, adolescence and throughout life is the basis of the Integrated Model of Legal and Moral Reasoning. In examining the strengths and weaknesses of the study and the possible implications for law-enforcement and education through the applications of the findings, an understanding of moral development and diversity summarized within this paper seek to give insights and alternatives to encourage further growth in the field of psychology and other areas pertaining to the discipline of ethics.

Moral reasoning is one’s view “or judgement of right or wrong on issues of morality” (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).  Legal reasoning is “ones consciousness and ability and appraisal or rules, regulations or laws within a culture or society” (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). Finally, “culture refers to any community of people who hold a commonality perspective of views, customs and values and does not imply any association to any particular ethnicity or nation” (Jensen, 2008).

Synopsis

Age is often a prediction and determining factor of delinquent behavior. Previous research from other studies have indicated that moral development occurs in stages beginning in early teens and develops through life (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). Additionally, “delinquent behavior escalates in late teens then declines in most young adults providing a reason why many crimes are committed by teen offenders (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Cognitive testing on teen offenders have indicted less sophisticated abstract reasoning skills in teens who commit crime although a certain degree of moral reasoning existed in the same individuals. Moral and legal reasoning both form a correlation to rule violation among teens. However, most researcher have examined the two variables separately (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). The Integrated Model of Moral Reasoning and Rule Violating Behavior combines these variables as well as legal attitudes into one model as a means to predict moral development as the possibility of delinquency (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

The model is comprised of a logical framework that examines various studies that may influence the ways that rule violation, legal reasoning and legal attitude combine to influence ones’ behavior and outlook on moral action. The numerous variables, causes and effects are compiled and tested using the structured educational model and then the results are equated to see how the differences and similarities between the various groups correlate within the cohorts studied (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

The current study of middle and high school teens was performed to predict the development of morality, moral identity, and the probability of delinquency and in what manner various influence shape moral perception, ethics, cognition, and culture influence moral development and conformity (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Proposal

Legal reasoning is one’s committed sense of legal obligation to their community a sense of right or wrong and their wilfulness to act accordingly and is often subdivided into three categories. The lowest class or ethics begins to emerge typically in youths around the age of 2-7 and is called preconventional legal reasoning (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014). This basic form of morality and cognition is commonly associated with the avoidance of punishment. The second class is conventional legal reasoning and is associated with the maintenance and preservation of law and order within society and culture. Most people global tend to develop only to the conventional level. Conventional reasoning is associated with the development of concrete learning, the ability to classify objects, spatial recognition, and view other people’s perspectives but not with abstract concepts and thus emerges around the age of 7-11 (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

The last classification is postconventional legal reasoning and involves the ability to challenge authority and advocate change for the prosperity of the higher order of society or culture (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). Individual’s exhibiting traits of postconventional reasoning exists a higher knowledge of the working of the legal system, a perception of the system to be just, and a lower likely hood of committing delinquent acts than people with lower legal reasoning abilities (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). Additionally although many people have a degree of postconventional reasoning abilities which begin to develop during adolescence with the blossoming of the ability to grasp abstract concepts and the ability to think outside the box. Postconventional reasoning develops throughout the various life stages, only reaches maturity in a few individuals, and often is considered a deviant or divergent trait in many societies and cultures (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014).

Legal consciousness, or one’s legal attitude, has been attributed to offenses by many criminologist and psychologist (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).  Social bonding theory indicates that people are less susceptible to commit offenses when their peers or families hold them accountable to beliefs that are inconsistent with their own self-interest or that of their culture (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). Yet prior to committing a delinquent act many people rationalize or neutralize their values in order maintain a temporary equilibrium while committing an immoral action or offense (Jordan, Mullen, & Murnighan, 2011). Finally, people tend to learn delinquent and criminal behavior by modeling from peers. (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010) Individuals have a tendency to view the legal system in a negative perspective from past involvement with law enforcement either personally or from the negative experiences of people close to them within their culture or subculture (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Legal attitude is one’s acceptances of values and the social norm and includes one’s regard towards justice and the legal system and as such, a lower value would be an indicator of a predisposition towards delinquency with a higher value indicative of an approval of law enforcement and the justice (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

In the absence of research on the correlation of one’s legal consciousness moral reason and rule violation  plays in conjunction with either legal attitude and moral consciousness,  The integrated model is the first to compare and analyze all three variables in an attempt to understand the relationship all may play in moral development.

Moral reasoning, or the ability to differentiate right from wrong, is a cognitive skill that developing first in children and then becomes increasingly more advanced in most people over the course of a lifetime.  Moral reasoning is the means in which people justify a given behavior or action and in males is commonly focused on a belief of justice and logic or Judgement over rationality of Behavior or emotional response (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

However, self-reporting measures of delinquency and moral reasoning have given a variety of results indicating both a direct and indirect link of moral reasoning and the possibility of other variables in moral development and delinquency in youths and teens. In an attempt to explain these inconsistencies the Structured Equation Model, or SEM, was used in conjunction with a three stage longitudinal study developed from legal socialization theory.

The SEM, “which predicts normative status, enforcement status, attitude and meditation between legal reasoning and rule violation” from which a three stage self-reporting quiz was then developed, implemented and analyzed (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010). Phase 1 tested attitude, phase 2 tested normative and enforcement status and phase 3 evaluated attitude in correlation with reasoning and delinquency.

Finally, a separate model was develop to test the two cohort groups to determine the rate at which reasoning and attitude developed in each group and the overall model to gain a better association of all variables od development (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Methodology

Participants

This model is part of the New Hampshire Youth Study, which is an ongoing longitude study on moral development in early and late teens. Four communities were chosen with respect to diversity and testing was conducted with the classroom of various middle school and high school upon receiving parental consent and informing the participants and all parties of the intent of the study. Each participant was compensated with a ten-dollar gift card for each of the five sessions. 1040 students were initial chosen for the study. 935 complete the first session in 2007, while 939 completed the second phase. In the spring of 2008, during the last phase, only 831 finished the study.  Finally, after accounting for missing or incomplete data only 671 students completed the entire process. By comparing the means and standard deviation of those who completed all three sessions and those who did not or those with missing data there was no indication of a significant difference or variance among the cohorts (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Participants were composed of students from eight middle schools (384) and five high schools (287) and were 2/3 Caucasian with a gender composition of approximately 60% female in both groups. Additionally, participants reported religious affiliation, parents education level,  in addition to age, year in school, ethnicity and a composite score was calculated to obtain a SES score from 2-12 with the mean being 7.07 and SD 3.54.

 

Experimentation

The test was composed of a three-stage test based in the Delinquency Component of the National Youth Longitudinal Study given over 18 months. The first phase property offenses, and theft, the second violence and the third substance abuse. Each test was given in various places within schools and participants were asked to raise their hands to any question they had trouble understanding and each test was subdivided into two parts with a short break between sections. Each section took about 35 minutes to complete and all participants were guaranteed the right to privacy and confidentiality, Furthermore each student was separated a set apart avoid plagiarism. Finally, each student was assigned Id number to link the survey with each student. Upon returning for each additional phase, each student would give the researcher his or her name to be matched with an Id number to continue the next phase of the study.

Deduction

Preliminary findings were indicative that middle school students had a more positive perspective of the legal system and higher moral reasoning with females having a more advanced scores than boys. In the areas or enforcement, normative status and views towards law enforcement/ criminal legal systems there was not a significant difference between any of the groups.

By estimating the SEM and comparing against separate models for both middle schools and high school students and controlling for gender differences, a framework was established to create a more accurate analysis of the data sets.  During the first stage, moral reasoning had a direct correlation to delinquency. Additionally a year later individuals with higher normative status, lower enforcement status and lower legal attitude scores engaged in more rule violating behavior (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).  Additionally, moral reasoning indirectly predicted rule violation during stage 1 and 2 of the experiment. Legal reasoning however, indirectly predicted a correlation of rule violation and legal attitude. In individual with higher levels of legal reasoning, a more positive regard to the legal system was expressed. A direct correlation between delinquency and legal reasoning was determined with individual with lower legal reasoning ability scores having an association with rule violations and offenses (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Finally, moral reasoning among middle school students had a direct link to delinquency when correlated with the social normative status and criminal- legal disposition. It however also played an indirect role in overall legal attitude.

The results additional indicated legal reasoning forms an indirect correlation with legal attitude and perception of justice in middle school aged students. In contrast both moral and legal reasoning in high school students predicted delinquency.

Additionally, normative status and enforcement are directly linked to rule violation in this group. Finally both moral and legal reasoning as well as overall legal disposition form an indirect link as indicted by the relationship and presence of normative and enforcement status in all stages of testing (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Thus, the findings indicate that individuals who have either or both higher scores in legal or moral reasoning tend to approve of punishment for offenses, are less likely to break rules even when a certain approval of rule violation behavior occurs or when deviation from the social normative is present in individuals as is often present in high school students. Finally, those who exhibit a less positive legal attitude have a greater probability of committing offenses (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

 

Analysis

Weakness

The Integrated Model of Legal and Moral Reasoning allows researchers to better quantify and qualify ethical standards and predict the possibility of delinquency in people. Yet as the current study omitted social-economic variables and the sample, group was ethnically disproportioned towards the white majority and other cultural influences were not included in the study. A modification of the model including additional cultural, and SES variable could be conducted in other regions congruently in the United States and globally to give a better representation of moral diversity and developmental maturation in general.

Furthermore, although confidentiality and anonymity was respected and assured in the process, some participants of self-reporting studies fear exposure of responses and repercussions as a result may not fully respond in nonbiased manner. Thus, observation studies of individuals and groups within their cultural environmental need to be conducted, contrasted, and compared to gain a more accurate picture of ethics.

Strengths

Despite the drawbacks of the current study, is indicative moral and legal reasoning as well as cognitive level and legal attitude are predictive of delinquency in adolescence of all age groups. Additional studies conducted on other groups and cultures shall have a high possibility of yielding similar results. Intervention strategies to decrease delinquency in adolescent may be developed using the model and shall be focused on the offense committed, reduction in risk taking behavior, prevention of negative crisis events, and positive, family, community and legal awareness as well as cognitive and moral-legal development skills.

 

Relevancy & Practicality of Article

One such program that incorporates moral development and education is the PYD designed to implement rules and policies to increase moral reasoning. Other programs such as cooperation with law –enforcement in teen courts and other programs that focus on positive exposure to law enforcement and the legal system in general shall deter delinquency and aid in ethics and moral development (Cohn, Bucolo, Rebellon, & Gundy, 2010).

Furthermore, educators and students of all social sciences and law / law enforcement can use either the model or the present study to understand the relationship of legal and moral reasoning and attitude and the relationship of delinquency as well as the influence of cognitive development in people as it pertains both to ethics, morality as well as development in general.

 

 

 

Conclusion

The process of moral identity or the importance of ethics, social order, and other values are to an individual develops in various stages of life and is influenced by many variables including moral and legal reasoning, legal disposition, culture/ socio-economic, biological function, cognitive ability, and one’s peers and past and present experiences as well as spiritual views (Hardy & Carlo, 2011). The Integrated Model of Legal and Moral Reasoning is on tool used to quantify and qualify these various variables and predict deviance from social normative values,  the probability of delinquency, and other element of moral development. Yet the current model is not without flaws. Black White or Shades of Grey moral development and identity is both uniquely subjective to individuals and culture yet develops in a similar fashion among many people. Future studies using the models need to include variables of gender, SES, and be conducted in more ethnically and culturally diverse settings. However, the current findings suggest individuals who exhibit a less positive legal attitude have a greater probability of committing offenses and both higher scores in legal or moral reasoning tend to approve of punishment for offenses, are less likely to break rules even when a certain approval of rule violation behavior occurs or a deviation from the social normative occurs. Finally, the result may be applied to created policies to deter delinquency and increase social and legal awareness while advancing programs to blossom cognitive, legal, and moral developmental skills.

Postscript

While the Integrated Model of Legal and Moral Reasoning shows promise for reduction of delinquency and is indicative of the role of cognitive moral and legal reason and legal disposition in preteens and teens as the study only is apprehensive of the social normative of a selective white majority within a selective region of the United States. The study needs to be conducted over more regions within the U.S. and Globally to give a more accurate picture of moral identify and legal and moral reasoning and attitude and the factors it plays in delinquency and ethics.

Additionally, the study does not account for cognitive, social or biological development factors of morality in early development that influence morality and conduct although the Integrated Model may be used to study Early Childhood or Infants as well.  Further studies extended to other developmental groups such as adults, middle age and late adulthood. The results obtained from such studies shall be compared and contrasted in a systematic model to give a universal understanding of moral and social identity and the impacts of delinquency and attitude. The application of a universal study on all groups as promising possibilities

The implementation of better strategies for education and awareness and  improvement in law enforcement and cultural and social sensitivity and diversity shall work towards striving of coexistence and universal diversity and unconditional positive regard and mutual respect as all people trudge the road towards self-actualization and enlightenment or oneness with the Creator of All Things.

 References

Berger, K. S. (2011). The Developing Person Through the Life Span. New York: Worth Publishers.

Cohn, E. S., Bucolo, D., Rebellon, C. J., & Gundy, K. V. (2010, August). An Integrated Model of Legal and Moral Reasoning and Rule-Violating Behavior: The Role of Legal Attitudes. Law and Human Behavior, 34(4), 295 – 309. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9185-9

Hardy, S. A., & Carlo, G. (2011, September). Moral Identity: What Is It, How Does It Develop, and Is It Linked to Moral Action? Child Development Perspectives, 5(3), 212 – 218. doi:10.1111/j.1750-8606.2011.00189.x

Jensen, L. A. (2008). Through two lenses: A cultural–developmental to moral psychology. Developmental Review, 28(3), 289 – 315. doi:doi:10.1016/j.dr.2007.11.001

Jordan, J., Mullen, E., & Murnighan, J. K. (2011, May). Striving for the Moral Self: The Effects of Recalling Past Moral Actions on Future Moral Behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(5), 701 – 713. doi:10.1177/0146167211400208

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

 

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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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On Spiritual Disciplines

At times as a student and those whom are elected or called into pastoral or ministry roles much of our time is devoted to meeting the needs of others while we neglect the needs of our self and tragically at times our own family. Therefore it is imperative we devote time to developing a consisting of personal spiritual disciplines in order to maintain a strong footing of faith.

There are two common positions regarding God’s Providence regarding how much free will and choice one has in the matter of one’s life and in regards to one’s destiny and what I would describe as one’s mission.  One’s Eternal Destiny is secure once one accepts the gracious gift of Salvation that was fulfilled during the resurrection and hyper-exalted during the ascension however, one is required to live in the obedience of faith by the transformation of the mind, which brings about the circumcision of the heart and rebirth in the Body. This New Body is one live with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which provides comfort, protection and inspiration, serves as the seal of the New Covenant, and is the Keys to the Kingdom while Christ is the Narrow Gateway in which one passes into Eternal Life.

 

Some would believe that God has predestined all things including Salvation and all areas of one’s life. While others believe that one has the free will to either accept or reject Salvation, that many of our choices are simply probabilities and possibilities and God reacts to the actions of the free agents or in a modification of this process.  Thus, faith is a process and predestined but are daily actions are however actions of freewill (Boyd and Eddy 2009).  However, one’s mission is the secondary purposes and functions one faces daily and throughout life such as matters of vocation, where one will live, who one will marry, one’s role in society and even one’s worldview outlook on life in general. These, missions or views may casually effect the individual’s thinking actions and behavior they should only indirectly affect one’s sanctification. Works and deeds are the result of faith and by the Justification of Faith alone; one is declared righteous or redeemed in grace and mercy from the wretchedness of sin and thus, achieves Salvation on the redeeming qualities of Christ alone.

In regards, to a dilemma on Scripture intake Methodology, the idea of utilizing a digital tool to review the Bible in a year is a sensible approach. May I also, suggest that as struggles arise you consult a concordance on the manner, as well as seek the insight of an accountability group or mentor, and above all else pray and meditate digesting the Words, wisdom and truth slowly (Whitney 2014)! Above all else, do not beat yourself up for failing to read or study the Bible daily for yourself. Quite possibly the mission God has for you in this season of the life is for the growth of a particular area of your life in what you are teaching others. My own experience has found some of the most sufficient growth in my life has come while teaching as at times students can serve as become teachers to the master. One should remember it was Simon who reveal to Jesus that he was the Son of God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 16:16.)

May I also suggest a period at night of thanksgiving and review? In areas where things went right simply God for the lessons learned and things, he has provided. Where challenges have led to setback, where adversity has come first thank God for your enemies and the opportunities to face the adversities and the protection or lessons that you learned from these obstacles. Next, if any action, behavior, transgression is a sin is present on your part or another simply ask for forgiveness of yourself or the other. Although Christ has paid the debts of all sin past, present and future in full and all forgiven and forgotten we as imperfect creatures tend to hold on to grudges and this leads to unneeded depression,  feelings of rejection, fear, anxiety, loss and hostility. Although we cannot control our feelings in truth our feelings should not control us just like our thoughts our not the master of our actions or behaviors. This is the truth of transformation and the principle behind Christian Ethics, dying of Flesh and being born to the nature of the Spirit as outlined in Romans 12.

Personal Vs. Communal Worship

Participating in church activities, attending service, small groups and other corporal and interpersonal disciplines are necessary for Christian living as Whitney stated personal disciplines are equally essential for the development of Spiritual maturity. [1]  Unfortunately, there is a common believe in many modern churches that a believer must be actively involved in the church to be an effective witness for Christ and develop Spiritually.  Although the Body of Christ is communal in nature, the Body is composed of individual and thus as in any group dynamic the group is only as strong the weakest link. If the churches with in the Body focus only on the need of the individual church and each individual seeks to meet the needs of those in that particular church or denomination; are we not promoting more of a social gathering and failing the Great Commission of Christ and the intent of the Father to have a diverse representative group from all people of every people group in the Kingdom?

Time Management

Although time management is an issue for many one only needs to devote 15 – 30 minutes a day to reading & studying the Word a day to have read the Bible in a year. (Whitney 2014) May I suggest that if time management is an issue you break your study time up into three segment a day consisting of a morning, afternoon and evening study and meditation time? You may wish also to begin your day with a prayer of blessing and asking for the provision of needs and end the day with a prayer of thanksgiving and forgiveness of any wrongs done to you of that you may have committed. Although this is a simple formula, it used while assisting in raising Children, attending school, running my own business and attempting to evangelize others. Also, if it does not work simply modify the period to include a brief study time an hour before bed. If one reviews, the time wasted on trivial task such as watching Television, engaging in multi-media, or other random activities one can make the time for God. I myself have become complacent of this in the area of prayer and am working to remedy this in my own life. Above all else place your trust and dependency in Christ and the Holy Spirit who will provide the needed strength and at times one simply needs to be still and realize God is God. Boredom is one of the Best times to Listen for answers from God (meditate) or seek and contemplate areas of Growth through the Word (study). If one is not experience down time in one’s life one is in control and needs to let go of something, someone or some place and remember sufficiency and significance is not achievable by the works and deeds of human endeavors but only in obedience and faith to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At times one may even need to surrender the attendance of a church function or service to have a solid personal relationship with God.

 

Prayer

“The Greek word for disciple is gymnasia from which the English word gymnasium is derived (Whitney 2014).” In 1 Timothy 4:7, one is commanded “train yourself to be Godly. In the Message, it is stated as such: “You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you will be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we have thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers (1 Tim. 4: 7-10 MSG).”

Spiritual Disciplines are active works of faith that build and maintain spiritual maturity and produce the fruit of the Spirit during the act of sanctification in the minds, heart and lives of believers resulting in transformation, Christ-likeness and ultimately godliness.

The primary Spiritual Discipline is Spiritual intake, and is subdivided into five categories of hearing, reading, studying mediating and the application the Word of God in one’s Life the secondary is prayer.  Unfortunately a large percentage of Christians fail have a life based on prayer despite the fact that In Matthew 6: 5-9, Luke 11:9  and elsewhere Jesus expects us to pray. Additionally, the Bible illustrates that Jesus frequently prayed in Luke 5:16, John 11-41-42.  Furthermore, in Thessalonians 5:17 Paul writes, “Pray without ceasing.”  According to Donald S. Whitney “If one cannot always have God in the forefront of one’s consciousness one should always be communicating with God as if having God on one line while taking  a call on another, so you  may never lose your focus or the need of the Lord in your Life.” A believer then does not stop conversing with God but may have frequent setbacks or interruptions (Whitney 2014). Additional prayer serves to equip us for Spiritual warfare by providing guidance and direction, his a means of showing love and not an obligation, is always answered by God but not always in the manner in which we expect, and finally must be rooted in the Scriptures and is best served as a reaction to mediation.

Prayer in my own life could be more consistent.  Currently I am in a season where I have drifted away from my routine of active meditative listening prayer.  In the past I would study a portion of the Word, pray on it and meditate on the context, relevancy, issue in my life, historical and contemporary issue or whatever else would come to my mind and heart through inspiration during my study period.  I instead have become more focused on needs based prayer using the Tell Jesus anything,  attempt to think how Jesus would handle the situation and Wait on a response approach and repeat as necessary approach. While meeting the needs and the request of others I have been neglecting to ask for my own needs, guidance or even inspiration in my own life.  Instead seeking to deal with my own shortcomings through secular counseling techniques, and meditation methods. Additionally, my life has at times felt like a frustrated and hurried mess. I need to return to a Biblical foundation and truth and realize that one’s security and significance is only found in Christ and the dependency of the Holy Spirit and works of sanctification.

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Bibliography

Boyd, Gregory A., and Paul R. Eddy. Across the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology. 2nd. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.

Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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