Thursday, March 12, 2009

Righteousness Reflected

Sometimes the right thing at the wrong time can be the wrong thing. Jesus said He only did what He saw His Father doing and only said what He heard His Father saying. This means He was walking in a present reality of His Father’s will. He wasn’t doing what His Father was doing yesterday, but what He is doing today. God is righteous and when we are in Him, we are made righteous and we can share in a righteous nature by which we are enabled to live righteously.


The normal tendency is to divorce right living from righteous being. We then structure rules to follow to make our own self-righteousness. Sometimes those rules are things He has told us in a moment that we take as a law. He leads us to hug a homeless person and we turn it into a rule that we have to hug every homeless person and make everyone else do it too. It’s easier for us, we think, to find a structure of rules to obey then to have relationship with the one who is righteous. He does the work for us, and yet we try to keep doing the work on our own strength for our own merit. He says give me your burden and I will exchange it for something lighter, for something better. And yet we hold on to our burdens and struggle under the weight of things He is ready and willing to free us from.


What if when we get married our spouse gives us a list of things to do that they believe will be good for the marriage. What if we then work at the list and try to fulfill it day after day? Maybe that list even has really good things like spending time together or loving each other. But all that is being done is to honor the list to keep the law. All becomes rigorous duty instead of the actions of love. Would it not be better, for the husband and wife to serve each other out of a relationship of love instead of duty? It is the same way with God; Christ frees us from the law of obligations and duties. He came to open the door so that we don’t need external guidance from a set of laws.


When I profess that Christ frees us from the law, I am not saying that we are given license to sin, far from it. I am saying that we are freed from needing the law to keep us on the right path. We have something better; the door to the Father has been opened to us without our earning entry. The price was paid by Jesus and we can enter into full righteousness through Jesus. Also the Holy Spirit guides us in all truth. We learn to listen to the voice of God and allow Him to direct our path. It’s not a control thing, it’s a relationship thing. When you are in relationship with the Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Almighty God, the Perfect Father, the Loving Friend, you soak in His love and righteousness and from that place you desire to live as He and reflect Him. He doesn’t hold the puppet strings and make us conform to Him, but the more we get to know Him the greater our desire to shine Him in all we do.


When we accept our inheritance from Him, He saturates us with Himself. He dwells within us and us within Him simultaneously. We take on a new nature because He is giving us His nature. This does not mean we become God. But it does mean we become like Him in our identity just as a son is like his natural father. He isn’t his natural father, but he can be like him. The Bible equates our union with our spouse – our oneness – to give analogy of the oneness we can have with God. The husband doesn’t become the same person as the wife, but they become one. It’s a mystery of unity. In the earliest days of the Church the followers of Christ were dubbed “Christians” as a derogatory term meaning “little Christ.” The irony is that there is great truth espoused even when it was done to be derogatory. The truth is, as believers, our lives are to be a reflection of Him. What was intended as an insult was really a testimony of the witness of the early Church and how they were living lives that mirrored their Savior.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really need to learn the terms that are being used here, because what you are describing is not absolute morality.

At best, you are describing situational morality, which is not absolute morality - there's difference.

At worst, you are describing relative morality, where what is moral depends on the whims of what god decides is moral at any given time. You may object that god is always moral by his nature (still tautological), so anything he wants should be moral, but this doesn't actually help your case, because we now have to conclude that genocide ordered by god is moral. So, we can form no absolute laws, like genocide is wrong, rape is wrong, etc. since all of this can be overturned at any time and demonstrably has been if the Bible is correct.

Karla said...

It is you who are rooting morality in whimsical beings, humans. I am positing it is rooted in perfect goodness of God. I am not arguing for an absolute moral standard outside of God. The commandments He has given are only true in relationship to His goodness. In them alone goodness is not found. Nor does He give them as a way to become good. Goodness is attained apart from obedience. For we are made righteous only by relation to God whereby He dwells in us.

Do you want to be bound to absolute moral laws? Are you arguing for this?

You yourself have said there is a difference between absolute morality and objective morality. Absolute morality to me indicates that it is self-sufficient apart from God and binds God. This is not possible. Objective morality is that which is not rooted in humanity for it's anchor, but in God.

Anonymous said...

So, instead of addressing my comment, you instead write a screed that has nothing to do with what I wrote. Nice. And, in the process you show that you still don't understand what absolute and objective morality are.

Karla said...

Not sure what to say. That was my response to your comment. I felt it addressed it.

Why don't you define your use of the words "absolute" and "objective" in the context of speaking about morals this way I'm not assuming your meaning. I do know we seem to be using the terms differently.

Anonymous said...

I'm using the terms the way they are commonly used. I suggest you simply look up "moral absolutism" in wikipedia. Also, check out situational ethics, moral relativism, etc.

kiwiofknowledge said...

Isn't God by nature moral? I mean, if God wanted us to do something that was immoral, he/she wouldn't be God. BEcause God by definition is good... Although this would probably be debated by the authors of the new testament, since by their account, God asked some things that were definitely of questionable morality.

Karla, this reminds me of some of the stuff Paul says in Galatians.

kiwiofknowledge said...

*Old Testament, sorry (it's early!)

Karla said...

Kiwi, yes by nature God is good. He is eternally thus. All He does is good.

Anonymous said...

If all he does is good, then that creates a bit of a paradox, does it not? He created a universe that is not wholly good, as you yourself assert. He created a system whereby he would decide to come and be tortured in order to allow himself to forgive us for deeds that he created us to do. This is contradictory.

He created hell. This is contradictory.

He creates natural disasters. This is contradictory.

etc. etc. etc.

Karla said...

Anon asked "If all he does is good, then that creates a bit of a paradox, does it not?"

Nope.

Anon stated "He created a universe that is not wholly good, as you yourself assert."

No, what He created was good. I have never asserted that He created a world that was not good. He created man with freedom and that gave potential for evil, but He did not create evil for evil is not in His nature.


Anon "He created a system whereby he would decide to come and be tortured in order to allow himself to forgive us for deeds that he created us to do. This is contradictory."

He created a world without pain and suffering. Man's sin brought the pain and suffering and God didn't let man experience anything His Son was not also going to experience and bring ending to.


Anon "He created hell. This is contradictory."

For the fallen angels. It was not created for man. Man brought that upon himself.

Anon "He creates natural disasters. This is contradictory."

That depends what you mean. The natural world is all under the curse of sin and as a result natural disasters happen within that system. Yes God can and has brought some against the world as a judgment (ie the flood or the plagues of the Old Testament) He is the righteous Judge and He would only do what is right.

Anonymous said...

So, you are saying that there are things in this universe that god did not create, therefore he is not the creator of all. Nice own goal there.

"He created a world without pain and suffering. Man's sin brought the pain and suffering and God didn't let man experience anything His Son was not also going to experience and bring ending to."

And, where did that pain and suffering come from, but from the world that god designed. Had god designed a different world, then pain and suffering would not exist regardless of Adam and Eve's actions. Oops.

"For the fallen angels. It was not created for man. Man brought that upon himself."

Then why do people go there? Oops. And, even if it was for other entities (other than man) what does that matter?

"That depends what you mean. The natural world is all under the curse of sin and as a result natural disasters happen within that system."

I'm still waiting for you to explain how eating an apple or learning of good and evil can cause tornados and earthquakes. Until then, the most parsimonious answer is that those things have no causal connection and hence can not be explained via "the fall."

"Yes God can and has brought some against the world as a judgment (ie the flood or the plagues of the Old Testament) He is the righteous Judge and He would only do what is right."

Yes, I'm sure that all the unborn babies and just born babies that were wiped out in the flood were rotten to the core.

Karla said...

I know how you don't like repetition so I'll resist responding as we have been over this already. You didn't accept my answers in the past, I don't expect you to accept them now.

Anonymous said...

For anyone following along, what Karla means to say is that she doesn't have answers for these problems, but she doesn't want others to think she doesn't have answers.

Karla said...

Anyone can read past post and see our discussions and the answers I have given. And if anyone else who hasn't been privy to those conversations ask me these questions I will answer once again.

Anonymous said...

Then provide some links to your supposed answers. Put your evidence where your mouth is.

Karla said...

I have no need to defend myself. You can believe what you want of me as can anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Typical - when asked for evidence, the theists claims none is necessary. You're making the claim that you've previously answered these questions. When asked to back it up, you demure. Why is that? I think anyone reading this can see how you don't answer questions, which is ironic given the title of your blog.