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1.22.2006    |    To love or not to love...
..."the world or the things in the world." This is the question, and it comes down to the bigger

John, in 1 John 2:15 lays out the negative, like a Biblical two-by-four to the head:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Think on this the next time you or someone close to you says "don't you just love Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey?" Or something similar, say, involving you in a rather too-fond relationship with Ghiraradelli chocolate.

In contrast to my namesake John, we've got Pesky Paul, who advises Timothy (1 Timothy 4:4)
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.
Which is it? Good, or bad? And is that chocolate ok if I receive it with thanksgiving? Which I promise you, I very much do.

Both points of view are right, in the right context. Paul, and John, are both really tellling us the same things: don't confuse any thing with God Almighty. That includes even the majesty of God's mountains, rivers, and stars and galaxies by the uncountable billions. They are just things, matter and energy, brought into being by the thought (or, as some might prefer, the very words) of God.

Paul, John, and God through His Scriptures are forever telling us that we are the authors of evil in this world. It was all created as good, and with our perfection in God's mind. We're the ones who mess it up.

But wait, the skeptic cries, "what about the mosquito? Surely there's nothing good about that little corner of God's creation?" Well, perhaps not to me or thee. But if you're a bird, mosquitos sure look like God's free lunch. A good thing, and part of God's creation to maintain the ecosphere.

And isn't birdsong a glorious piece of evidence of the goodness of God's creation?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

To paraphrase a tshirt I saw once:

"Chocolate (or insert your own) is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."


10:13 AM, January 23, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.