Thursday, November 19, 2009

Now for the opposition to Good. Evil has its allied concepts and strategies. These are of course linked by tradition and biblical description.
As you would expect, from Light being associated with Goodness, Darkness is associated with Evil. It offers Evil several advantages. First, it hides the destructive effects of Evil’s work. In the dark the damage is hidden or obscured. If you could plainly see a comparison between Good’s effects and Evil’s effects the choice between Good and Evil would be much easier. Second it offers cover to those who do Evil. Darkness protects them from capture and scrutiny. Muggings, rapes and murders happen at night for a reason. This leads us to the third aid Darkness lends to Evil, confusion. In the Dark it is easy to get confused about which direction you should go, where you came from, where the pitfalls are and where your friends are. In a battle, Darkness can cause you to turn your attack on one of your own. I am reminded of the movie “Courage Under Fire” where Denzel Washington’s character recounts an episode in the Gulf War where tanks under his command got mixed into Iraqi tanks during a night battle resulting in friendly fire between American tanks. The confusion of the Darkness was then dispelled instantly when his character ordered all tanks in his unit to turn on their running lights. The firing then ensued upon the enemy tanks with devastating effect. Darkness is a great harbor for disorientation. Darkness is a facilitator of confusion. In moments of confusion many innocent people’s lives can be changed forever. Lacking moral light or moral clarity can lead to a terrible, life changing mistake. Darkness is an ally to Evil.
Other terms and concepts associated with Evil are Death, Cursing, Fear, Hatred, Lying/ Deceit, Rebellion, Despair, Defiance of Design, Shame, Slavery/ Bondage and Sin to name a few. All aid Evil some way in facilitating damage or are the result of it.
You can begin to see how the forces of Good are much more powerful than of Evil. Moral clarity, or Light, can prevent you from making a great mistake. It can help you to see your way when others are faltering. Light is more powerful than Darkness. Darkness cannot overpower Light. It is just the opposite. The tools of Goodness are more powerful than those of Evil. We just need some contemporary uses of them to reassure Americans that this is true. Let Light and Truth work for you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hope I have something to give that will encourage you. I left off the last post with definitions of Good and Evil. I need to explain that these definitions are heavily influenced by Christianity and the Bible. You probably understood that when you read them. The reason I say this is because it is the Bible that teaches us that Life, Health, Character, Property and Potential are of great value. Not just my Life, Health, Character, Property and Potential but yours as well. That is a big distinction between Christianity and some other major religions. The Bible also gives us standards that are excellent to live by that make life better for ourselves and those around us.
Good, Biblical Good, is allied with specific values and concepts. These concepts enhance the experience of those things Good values. They also give us a better understanding of Good. They put handles on the ideal of Good for our minds and hearts to grab hold of. For example, one of these elements allied with Good is Light
Life is not possible without Light. It is the backdrop for the courageous, the true, the faithful. Those who love honor and integrity live in the Light where their actions are plain for everyone to see. There is no need for the cover of darkness when you live a life following Good.
Many of Light’s qualities aid the cause of Good. These qualities can be spoken of in a literal sense as well as a spiritual one.
Light is a revealer of Truth. It exposes reality to scrutiny. That reality can be pleasant. Painters learn the skill of using light to reveal beauty. Photographers do this too. Great photographers have mastered the use of light to illuminate beauty. Light can also expose reality that is unpleasant. An example of this is when a doctor uses a light microscope to look at damaged or diseased tissue to diagnose an illness. Cancers are identified by light microscopes. Light is an unbiased revealer of Truth in practical matters and Spiritual matters too.
Those who do things that are harmful to people and don’t want others to know, don’t like Light. Those who do Good are not afraid of Light.
Light reveals the pitfalls in life to be avoided and helps you find the safe path. Light and Good are allies.
Other concepts allied with Good are: Truth, Blessing, Love, Hope, Obedience, Compliance with Design and Honor to name a few. These concepts have been historically allied with Good. Their association with Good can be seen over and over again in the Bible.
This is just some ground work for further discussion. I will lay out some of the concepts allied with Evil next.

Friday, October 2, 2009

In the late 80’s I worked at a large grocery store in Columbia, Missouri while I was in college. During the process of unloading groceries and shelving them sometimes the labels were torn off the canned goods. If we noticed the label fall off we could mark what was in the can and sell it at a reduced price. If we didn’t see the label come off and just found the can without its label, well that created an interesting problem. In today’s market you would not be able to sell an unlabeled can. Back then, one of our managers got the idea to start a bin of unlabeled cans and sell them at a much reduced price. The price was something like 5 cents a can. It seemed like a good idea but it didn’t work very well. Guess why? No one knew what they were getting. What if it turned out to be canned okra? That’s 5 cents wasted, you have to suppress the wretch reflex and get rid of the can.
Labels are helpful aren’t they? They let us know what to expect. They help us find what we need and avoid what we dislike. Imagine if you went to the drug store and they had a bin full of bottles and boxes without labels for 5 cents each. Would it be worth it? Or what would you do if you discovered your pharmacist was receiving his drugs, pouring them out of the bottle into a big pot, so that all the different drugs were all mixed together there in the pot? Aspirin, birth control pills, blood pressure medicines all there in the same pot. Then when someone came in with a prescription he would just dip out the number of pills they were prescribed from the pot and say, “There you are. You are sick so here is some medicine.”
Not having labels is dangerous.
Since we began rejecting Christianity and the Bible in the U.S. we have been operating without clear labels for what is Good and what is Evil. Some would say we don’t need those labels. Yet when we see Evil like we saw on Sept 11, 2001 we all seem to instinctively know that it is Evil, but what about the experience tells us that it is Evil? I would like to offer definitions of Good and Evil that would help us understand more of the nature of Good and Evil for thought at least. Maybe these will help some with life decisions too.
Good is that which creates, protects, builds or promotes an individual’s life, health, character, property or potential. The scope of this definition is very broad but Good is a vast and adventurous way of life. Don’t get me wrong Evil has its lures too, but Good has been greatly overlooked for adventure that builds a fulfilled life.
Evil on the other hand is that which damages, diminishes, or destroys ones life, health, character, property or potential.
I think these definitions would be good standards to measure a new job offer, an organization that you are evaluating, a political party, a religion or a philosophy. They are not infallible but they will go a long way to discerning what would be a healthy choice.
Don’t just settle for whatever comes out of the “pot” at the pharmacy. Remember, Evil’s nature is to harm. Be ready to evaluate and respond appropriately to the next big decision that presents itself to you.
The next post I'll try to explain how the Bible shaped these definitions for American's for generations.

God Bless

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Charter Post- Misssion Statement

Here I go. My first Blog. Are you supposed to capitalise "Blog?" There is so much to think about. Anyway, my hope is to enter the area of ideas with a personal project I have been working on. It's something of a life long project. (I hope it continues for many years.) I have been "training" for this project my whole life. It began in earnest in 2004. That is when I really got serious about it. For 5 years now I have been accumulating ideas and documenting memories and experiences that help illustrate the practical relevance of my ideas. I hope to think out in the open here and maybe be a blessing to someone in the process.
My project is called the "The Message of Pain" right now. The title is in a state of flux but this one has stood longer than any other. It is a search for an American Spiritual Revival from where we are standing. Pain is obviously a big part of the discussion. Let me explain that I make a distinction between physical, psychological and spiritual pain for the sake of this work. I am refering to psychological and spiritual Pain for the most part such as the loss of a loved one, the trauma of being raped, and the psychological and spiritual Pain that come with a life changing illness or injury etc...
The nub of it is that Good and Evil are forces at work around us whether we acknowledge them or not. Americans used to believe it essential to discern between them and pursue Good. Since we have abandoned the practice of discernment the experience of Pain has become a way of life for a greater and greater portion of Americans. There is a direct connection between Evil and Pain. When you ignore or embrace Evil, Pain will soon be a way of life for you. Physical, psychological and spiritual pain will all find their way to your door.
Before I go any further I have to mention that I am not saying that if you find and pursue Good you will never experience Pain. That's not possible. I am saying that if you find and pursue Good you will not only experience less Pain but those who are close to you will will experience less Pain as well. Second, when you find Good and Pursue Him (ooops I gave away a secret) the Pain that you do experience will have a profound meaning and equip you for fulfilling the purpose of your life.
Enough for the first Blog? Let me sum things up. Am I assuming too much to say the the experience of Pain in our society is on the rise(psychological and spiritual specifically)? Just a look at today's headlines will give you a sense that it is. Let me make a bold claim here and try to work toward convincing you of it. The experience of Pain (life changing psychological or spiritual Pain) is where the ancient battle between Good and Evil becomes personal. No one gets to sit on the side lines. Everyone is in the battle.
Now, to remind myself of where to start next time I want to offer practical definitions of Good and Evil.

God Bless.